Dunia Ya Heri Land of Blessing
We met him in November. His name is Kaleb. We decided to give him this name. Nobody knows exactly when he was born, but when we first saw him we estimated that he was around two weeks old. The morning before, somebody had found him lying near the railway tracks. He was fortunate. He was brought to one of the local orphanages. Kaleb is not the only child suffering abandonment. In some of the African countries of the Sub-Saharan region, more than 30 percent of the population is infected with HIV. Whole generations of parents are dying from AIDS, leaving their children behind. Often, their family members are not able to take care of them.
Because each child is unique and precious, we would like to give children like Kaleb a home and establish an orphanage so they will have a chance of becoming contributing members of society. Children are important to God. On many occasions we can see that Jesus takes special care of and interest in children. On one of these occasions he invites them by saying, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them. For to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” This should be an example for us.
We called this project “Dunia Ya Heri,” which means “Land of Blessing” in Swahili. This name expresses the idea we have in mind—a fruitful and fertile piece of land that shall come as a blessing to many children. Ideally, orphans will be admitted as babies or toddlers, and just like in any other family they should be cared for until the time when they have completed their education and are able to take full responsibility for their own lives.
In order to provide a family atmosphere, “Dunia Ya Heri” wants to limit its capacity to approximately 60 children. If, in the long run, more space will be needed, an additional orphanage would have to be constructed.
Of all the countries that need humanitarian aid, we chose Tanzania. Despite its political stability, Tanzania is not the strongest country economically. Even though recent developments are very encouraging, the number of individuals infected by AIDS is still very high. As a result, Tanzania has approximately one million AIDS orphans. Only a small number of these children can be helped by means of private or governmental initiatives.
As we were looking for a suitable place for “Dunia ya Heri,” we became aware of a piece of land that was not too far from the “House of Peace,” as the city of Dar es Salaam is called. The purchase of the property was finalized in November of 2014. The property meets some important criteria:
• There are 12 acres of rolling land with sufficient space for all of the buildings of the orphanage.
• The soil is fertile and suitable for the cultivation of fruit trees and vegetables.
• Within its vicinity there is a primary and a secondary school which could be used for our children during the first few years until we set up our own school.
• For medical emergencies there is a small clinic in the nearby village of Yale Yale Puna.
• In 2015 the property will be connected to a public power supply. Our faith in God gave us the courage to start with this ambitious project. We ask God to lead us all the way, because “unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.“
Within the next few months the construction of the first buildings for the orphanage will involve intensive work. Despite this vast amount of work, we have set ourselves the goal of receiving the first orphans during the first half of 2016.
Some individuals from our team will move to Tanzania in order to dedicate their lives to this project. They will work together with the local population and try to give people a chance to find hope and courage in their lives—to help them make their lives once again worth living, not only for the years to come but especially for eternity.
“Dunia ya Heri” is a German NGO founded by Adventist laymen, with a branch in Tanzania. “Dunia ya Heri” is also a member of ASI Germany