Michelle’s Friday Project Update: Gabriella Centre

Today I am going to share information about Brenda Shuma and the Gabriella Centre. GO first met Brenda Shuma in 2012. At the time, the grant from GO Campaign kept the centre doors open and enabled them to reach more children. GO’s grant also gave the Gabriella Centre a certain gravitas. When other potential funders approached Brenda, she would share information on her partnership with GO. This led two other international funders to follow GO’s lead and invest in her incredible work.

Organization: Gabriella Children’s Rehabilitation Centre
Location: Moshi, Tanzania

Context: Children and youth with disabilities are often considered a curse in Tanzania; they are often segregated from the rest of society, denied their right to education, and deprived of a chance of being a contributing member of society.

Background: GO’s Local Hero Brenda Shuma is improving the lives of children with intellectual disabilities. Since 2009, the Gabriella Centre has helped 2,584 children and counting!

Current Status: In March 2015, GO Campaign approved a grant for $31,469, allowing 203 children to receive intensive therapy, 343 children to be assessed and diagnosed, 17 children to attend their inclusive kindergarten, 29 children to participate in special education classes, and 22 youth to receive vocational training.

Meet Waridi (in photo above). Waridi is a young girl who was abandoned by her family who believed she was demonically possessed. Left to fend for herself on the streets, she spent her time in a local bar. A relative brought her to the Gabriella Centre for help. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and given the proper medication and therapy. Her seizures are now under control, and she is able to function normally. Brenda reached out to her family to teach them about epilepsy and provide them with counseling. They finally understand what is happening to Waridi; they have taken her back home. Now she is fully included in family activities and treated the same as all her siblings. Waridi thanks you for helping reunite her with her family!