women turning up dry ground in Tanzania

Early Life

Bedola is 14 years old.  She is one of seven children from a farming family living in a remote village in Tanzania. Although the family work long hours farming their small plot of land they make little money as extreme drought and then heavy rains have caused their crops to fail repeatedly. The family of 9 live in just two small rooms. They share everything and take it in turns to sleep at night but without crops to sell, there is no income for the family, and without income, there is no food.

“When my parents get some money we can eat two times a day, if not we only eat once a day. Other times, my parents would borrow money from my relatives to buy our basic needs especially food, which is also very hard because since they are also poor then they don’t have or refuse to lend.

Sometimes we cannot get enough food but we thank God for our life. Sometimes we even work in the farm from morning up to evening without eating anything.” – Bedola

Girl standing in front of school
Bedola at school in Tanzania October 2023

Life at school

Bedola’s sister, the eldest child in the family, has already been forced to drop out of school aged 13, has married early and is labouring as a farmer, facing a life of poverty and hunger. There is no money for Bedola to have the books, supplies and uniform she needs for school and so she doesn’t go. Without an education, Bedola faced a bleak future. A life trapped in a cycle of poverty, likely married as a child bride, forced into early childbearing with no way to change her situation.

That is until she met the Sisters of Mary in October 2022.

With the support of our friends and donors, we were able to fund a full time place at the Sisters of Mary school in Kisarawe for Bedola and she joined the school in January 2023.

In the care of the Sisters, Bedola now has three regular meals a day, her own bed to sleep in safely at night and the loving care of the sisters. She is recovering from her difficult early life, gaining strength and confidence. With the academic and vocational education she is receiving at our school she will have the skills she needs to find a good job in Tanzania and become independent, able to help her sister and all the members of her family out of poverty and onto a better life.

girl outside school gardens
Bedola at school in the care of the Sisters

Bedola's dream

My dream is to be a doctor someday. When I become a doctor I will help my family especially my father and mother who is suffering from heart problems and to help others too.

Therefore, with my whole heart I would like to thank the Sisters of Mary School for helping me. I believe that through their help I can reach my dreams so that I can help my family.

May God bless the Sisters of Mary and bless too our generous donors. I will pray for them that God would give them long life and good health to continue their service to the poor like me.” – Bedola

“Therefore, with my whole heart I would like to thank the Sisters of Mary School for helping me. I believe that through their help I can reach my dreams so that I can help my family.”

Bedola Kisarawe, Tanzania