Uwemba Relocation

Father Bruno was himself an orphan. When his mother passed away, he survived by working odd jobs until he eventually served his year of required military service. He returned home with enough savings to buy his own land and build his own home. This home became his first orphanage.

In 2014, after returning home from time in the United States, he found the home slated for demolition by the Tanzania highway department to expand the highway. There was no questions, no compensations, and no relocation support.

Uwemba“I was very upset,” Father Bruno said. “This was my home. I built it with my own hands.”

Father Bruno taught his orphans that you have to make your own way in the world. No one will fight your battles for you, he teaches, and if you want a better life, you work for a better life. He realized that no one would fight this battle for him, either.

Father Bruno decided to put his teaching into action and negotiate with the local village government instead of fighting a losing battle with the highway department. He negotiated, talked and finally influenced enough village leaders that to lose the orphanage would be a loss to the community. They agreed, and donated a plot of land larger than his originally plot.

The loss of his home was heartbreaking, he said, but “what can you do? You can cry over spilled milk and give up or you can keep going.”

Father Bruno kept up the fight so there remains an orphanage in Njombe, Tanzania.

“If you ask God and do what he asks, God always provides.”