Outreach: Meet Jemima and Mama Max

As most of you will know, The Small Things works in the community as well as in the orphanage itself. This is so important because we believe that the best solutions are those that allow vulnerable children to stay with their families. It’s amazing how much a little basic support can do to make this happen.
Today we would like to introduce you to two women and their families who have recently needed our help.

Jemima

Jemima on a visit to the orphanage site
Jemima is a 31 and has 3 children (ages 10, 8 and 4 months). She has been married twice, but suffered severe beatings from both of her husbands. She is now divorced and receives no support from either of them to provide for her children.
Her second husband left her when she was 5 months pregnant. She was able to trade out of her rented room until the baby came, but was then evicted for not paying the rent. She was temporarily taken in by a neighbour, but cannot return to her wider familiy because they were against her second marriage. 
Although she wanted to keep her baby, she was considering adoption because of her desperate situation. When her neighbour referred her to TST, she asked the orphanage to take the baby in, but the orphanage managers didn’t feel this was the best solution.

How has The Small Things responded?

After home visits, background checks and a lot of discussion, TST decided to help Jemima clear her debts, provide her with food for the short term and support her in setting up a new soap-selling business. When asked what she would like to do, this was Jemima’s preferred option because she can run the business from a small stall whilst caring for the baby.
The first two bags of soap were bought for 100 000 Tsh ($60/£35), with a third bag to be purchased only after a review of initial progress. In time, this should provide Jemima with a small but sustainable income and allow her to keep the new baby at home with her. 
Jemima (and baby in the carrier) and her initial soap stocks in May.
You can sign up as an outreach sponsor for Jemima here!

Mama Max

Mama Max in front of her home.

Mama Max is 50 years old. Since being widowed in 1990, she has been working hard to provide for her six children alone. Four of the children still live with her in her small, two-roomed wooden house, some sleeping on the floor. She hasn’t been able to afford to educate them above primary level, and the family make ends meet doing odd jobs around the village. She came to our TST office to ask for help.

Mama Max at work in her living room/kitchen.

How has The Small Things responded?

With the support of TST, Mama Max has been able to start keeping chickens in the yard around her small home, giving her a more secure and reliable livelihood. 
With 200 000 Tsh ($120/£70) of The Small Things’ help, Mama Max is now the proud owner of 15 hens and 3 cockerels, with the potential for more stock to be offered if the business goes well.
She really appreciates the business opportunities her new venture will bring her, and we hope it will really help her to support her large family into the future.

Mama Max and a sample of her new chicken stock.

You can sign up as an outreach sponsor for Mama Max here!

The outreach program is currently being managed brilliantly by Rehema, who has been a friend of The Small Things since it was set up. We are delighted to have her working with us, especially given the amount of local knowledge she brings. So much of the work done with Jemima and Mama Max has been down to her. Here she is with Jemima:

Rehema (left) smiles with Jemima and her new soap.

We initially use our own outreach fund to respond to the immediate need in outreach cases, as we have done for Jemima and Mama Max, but this can only provide food support, vitamins and baby formula for 2 months. In the long term we look for sponsors to provide more secure, longer-term support. The sponsorship needs of Jemima and Mama Max are very modest – just $50/£30 a month, split between as many sponsors as necessary.

Unfortunately, having paid out from the fund to cover their initial business set-ups, we will find it very difficult to take on any more Outreach clients unless we find sponsorship to cover the commitments we already have.
If you can sign up to offer anything to Jemima, Mama Max, or any of the others on our Outreach page, we would really encourage you to do so here. A little goes a very long way.

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