My Life Story: Felista Mwigani

I am a widow who come from Ikingula, almost 6o kilometers from Yerusalem Upendo Family in Mafinga.  I got married in 2001 and had a child thereafter, Ahmed Mohamed. In 2004 my husband got ill and after a few months died, leaving me with the child to struggle on my own. I had to work different tasks to support myself, my child, and my mother who also raised us as a widow. I have worked at times as a maid and farm worker. During these times I met children who also struggled, and had no parents or stayed with their grandparents. These children reminded me of my own childhood experiences and problems and so their plight pierced my heart.

While in Dar es Salaam, working as a house woman; my friend Esta told me of a Catholic priest in Njombe who cared for orphans. She also said that this priest needed a woman to help raise these kids, as he cannot most of the time stay with them. I thought about this for two years and a half then in 2013 I finally decided to help Fr Mgaya, with these orphans in Mafinga. Since then, my child and I live in Mafinga and I have no plans on leaving this place. I feel helped as I help. My child Ahmed Mohamed has finished his seventh grade and is going to enter high school next year. I hope to raise him as I raise these other kids. I love what I do. I am grateful for this opportunity to help others as I am helped. God willing, I hope to die here.

I want to thank God and all people of good will who help us with items and support to make us live better; those who inspire and encourage me to do what I do. My only wish is not to leave these children as orphans again but to remain with them always. Yerusalem Upendo Family is my home and I am here to stay. Asante. Thank you! Felista Mwigani