To get a better understanding of the work of our staff I wanted to join a home visit. As the holidays have started I could join Mama Lucy who was bringing one of our boys, lets call him Juma Kurwa, home for the holidays.
This was a very special visit, as it was the first time in 3 years that he would see his family. He used to live in Mwanza when his mother died and his father got really sick. He ended up on the street and eventually came to live in Malimbe Family. It was impossible to reunite him with his father due to his illness and the family had rejected the father due to this illness. Upendo Daima stayed in contact with the father and when he suddenly disappeared they managed via other people to contact him, to find out that he was living with his family again in Bukoba region and that his health had improved. The father and family were contacted and they were happy to receive Juma for the holidays.
After this journey I have newfound respect for the counselors and social workers who make these kinds of journeys more often.
Our trip started at 6am in the bus to Bukoba. After 7 hours we were in Maleba where we got of the bus to take a daladala. After about half an hour drive through the mountains we came to another village where we changed to a different daladala. After another half hour we came to a small village where the family should live. After a few phone calls and discussions with local elders we were able to take a pikipiki to find the family. This took us about 20 minutes driving through banana plantations.
The family was very happy to see Juma. We met the father, an uncle, a brother, the grandparents, an aunt, a sister in law and various children. They welcomed us warmly and showed us the size of their land, their houses, we were given some food and had a good conversation. It felt good to leave Juma there for the holidays.
But then we still had to continue to Bukoba. According to the family there was no need to call a pikipiki, we could walk to the road. We started to walk around 5 pm, after 20 minutes still no road in sight, but we saw one pikipiki. We took this one, sitting together on the back. After 15 minutes we got to the village. There we took a daladala to Bukoba, or at least we thought so. After about 20 minutes he stopped in a village and told us that this was his final destination. To get to Bukoba we had to take a pikipiki. So there we went again, 20 minutes downhill on gravel roads. But then they stopped and told us that for Bukoba we had to take a car. We took a car, sitting in the booth on a soda tray. After about 20 minutes we reach the main road, Bukoba is to the left and the car turns right. Turns out we had to change again. We took a daladala and finally managed to get to Bukoba.
And to think, we were the lucky ones. It also happens that after a journey like this the house cannot be found, the family has moved, etc
So respect to the staff, who has to make these kinds of journeys often. For me once was more than enough.
By Mara le Mahieu