Outreach Program – Meet Fanueli

Outreach Program – Meet Fanueli
The Small Things have been doing outreach in various forms for a few years now, including the micro grants project and the work with Daniel Meshack, to name a couple. After many discussions, we have agreed that we would love to do outreach without compromising our other commitments. So, we have decided to set up an emergency fund which will cover the first 2 months of outreach for any children in crisis, while we seek sponsors for them. 

We get a lot of requests on the ground in Tanzania but unfortunately, as much as we would love to, it is difficult to accept them all, especially if the circumstances don’t directly fit with our stated mission. However, sometimes there are situations that are much tougher, like this one. Meet Fanueli.


Fanueli is a three and a half year old child who has a medical condition that leaves him with no teeth, very little hair, and deformed ears. His mother was 16 when she got pregnant. Her own father had died when she was a baby so she was living with her mother, Fanueli’s grandmother (since she had to drop out of school when she got pregnant). Two weeks ago, the grandmother also passed away. Now Fanueli and his 20 year old mother are staying with a neighbor. Teacher Emerte from the orphanage spoke to Bekka about Fanueli as she lives very close. Originally, they came to ask for Fanueli to be admitted to the orphanage, but they clearly love him and would prefer to keep him at home. This is a component that, when the circumstances are right, we prefer and feel it much more of sustainable solution to keep a child in their home rather than to pay for them to reside in an orphanage for the rest of their lives.

Through our outreach program, we hope to get Fanueli attending the pre-school 5 days a week and receiving supplemental food assistance as long as we can get a sponsor within 2 months. We also hope for an eventual goal where we can get his mother training and back to work, by helping out with the babies and cleaning at the orphanage as payment, plus monthly food packets. He will only need $50 a month, since pre-school is free. 

Sweet Fanueli
We think he has ectodermal dysplasia or something similar, since he has no hair or teeth, but he has hit all his milestones on time, is a smart and coordinated kid, and seems to have a normal immune system – so it appears the issues are just cosmetic. However, we would love to be connected with anyone who might be able to help him – a dentist, a pediatric developmental specialist, a dermatologist, family members of someone with a similar condition, anyone! That’s really the biggest thing we are hoping to achieve through the publicity, is an idea of what to do next to make his life easier as a person with visible differences in a country where that is very difficult. We also want to ensure that there aren’t any additional medical concerns linked to his condition, and what to be on the lookout for.

Please get in touch with us if you can contribute any information about this condition. Any further insights into the possible future of Fanueli and what we may be able to do to help him would be extremely invaluable. If you would like to make a donation towards our outreach goals for Fanueli and his mother, please click the link below. Your support would be greatly appreciated as we try and establish our aim to help other children outside of the orphanage.

Thank you!