Hidaya is 11 years old. She lives in Kisaware District, Tanzania, with her parents and three siblings. The nearest city, Dar es Salaam, is 2 hours away. While the road from Dar es Salaam to Kisarawe are paved, most of the roads in Kisarawe are dirt. Hidaya’s home is at the end of 3 kilometers of rough road.
Hidaya lives in a 2 room mud house. She and her sisters sleep in one room, while her parents and brother sleep in the other. Her father works as a motorcycle driver, transporting people throughout the local area. On a good day he earns up to 3500 shilingi, or about $1.50. This income might seem shocking to Americans, but in Tanzania, it isn’t unusual – nearly half of the population lives on less than $2.00 per day.
Many families in Kisarawe practice subsistence farming, and Hidaya’s is no exception. The family has a small plot of land, and Hidaya’s mother grows vegetables and cassava to supplement their diet. These crops are seasonal and must be harvested during the rainy season. After the harvest, Hidaya’s mother takes her surplus produce to the nearest market, which is 45 minutes away.
In the mornings, Hidaya walks to a community well to fetch water for the family. After bathing, she and her younger sister walk to the nearby Kitanga Primary School. Feed the Children provides support to Kitanga Primary School; children receive meals at school, shoes, school supplies, and textbooks. Hidaya is good at math, and she wants to become an engineer when she grows up. She told us, “I hope that through this I will keep on studying hard for a long time. I believe that it will help me to make my dream come true.”
When we asked her how Feed the Children’s programs had impacted their family, Salma, Hidaya’s mother, had this to say. “The feeling that I have for you is so high. I give honor to the almighty God for you, so that God can keep on protecting and blessing your operational activities. I have no words to express more than saying thank you so much for your unconditional love.”