Mary has got three sisters and she is the forth child in her family but every child is from a different father. Her father was a mechanic in a local garage in a village called Mwashilalagi near Sumve in Mwanza Region. One day her father left home with his friend and he never came back. That was when Mary was 6 years old. A year after, her mother died of HIV. When their mother died, they were left with nobody to look after them. A few months later, Mary’s grandmother (Mariam Juma) came and took Mary with her leaving the three girls (9,11,&13years) on their own to look after themselves. Mary and her grandmother went to Sengerema District in Mwanza Region and lived there for about five years. Her grandmother was not interested in taking her to school so she stayed at home everyday doing house work and working the land. Mary’s grandmother was alcoholic so she did not really look after Mary properly and she spent most of her time in local bars drinking. When Mary asked her about going to school she spoke nasty words to her such as your mother never went to school and neither are your sisters, why do you care about yourself? You have a little more time you can do your mother’s job of prostitution and get money to make your own living. Or go and look for your father and tell him to take you to school. I have no money to spend on your education.
A few weeks later, Mary decided she was going to try and look for her father. She ended up in the streets of Mwanza where she met three girls wandering in the streets. One day they saw a Bethany vehicle in Mwanza and the three girls recognized one of our girls (Salome) who was in the streets before she came to Bethany and they asked where Salome was living at the moment because they do not see her in the streets anymore. On the 1st October 2009, five girls including Mary came to Bethany looking for a place to live. The following day, David and Victoria Shaw went to Mwanza to investigate and they found that the other four girls had nice homes to live it is just that for some reasons, they had run into the streets. They could not find a home for Mary in Mwanza because she was from another place. On 6th October 2009, Silas Gambishi, traveled to Sengerema to find out about Mary’s circumstance and he did not get anybody to explain Mary’s situation. On the 07th October 2009 he called at Social welfare officer in Mwanza who interviewed Mary and provided a letter to Bethany to ask for Mary’s accommodation. On 9th October 2009, Silas went to see the Social welfare officer in Magu and explained the position she was in. On 27th October, a letter from socal welfare Magu came to ask Bethany to look after Mary until further information about her relatives has been found.
Report By Eliada Bujiku ( Tanzanian team member)