chidlren standing outside home in Tanzania

Early life

“My name is Mercedes. I am 16 years old. I came from a poor family in Dar es Salaam. I am the second child among six children. One died the day she was delivered by my mother in this world.  This sad death of my sister was caused by a bad health status of my mother while she was pregnant and also due to severe poverty.

My father died of sickness when I was still young, before starting my primary school. Since we depended most on him, his death became a disaster in our family and my mother was left alone to work and bring us food. I was not even expecting to continue with my secondary education.”

girl carrying bucket of water on her head

Early life

“After the death of my father our life became even worse because my mother got another relationship with a cruel and drunkard man who does not care about our needs. He used to beat the whole family without reason and most of the time we were sleeping outside in destroyed houses owned by other people to escape from his cruelty. At home, we can only eat once a day because most of the time we just depend on the generosity of our neighbours.

Finally my mother was obliged to separate from my second father because he was sent to the jail for three years while my mother was in the hospital and I was the one who took care of her and my siblings.

Suddenly there was a miracle in my life, the day when I entered the Sisters of Mary school and great changes in my life happened. I was really surprised when I first arrive at the school and saw the high building. It was here that I experienced walking in the staircase for the first time in my life and also the nice food that I take here is different from what I ate outside. The food that I take here is enough and delicious. Above all I found here a very nice place to study and learn many things. I was really encouraged to study hard in order to have a better and different life in the future.”

mercedes standing with biology book outside school

Life at School

“What I liked most in the Sisters of Mary is it is good environment to study, good and high quality of education and at the same time learning many things even on how to discipline myself and the proper use of time. In this school also I discovered many different skills such as singing, dancing and especially learning the vocational courses offered to us by the school.

I would like to be a doctor of medicine one day because I saw many people suffering in Africa but especially my family back home. And since my family belongs to the poorest of the poor, we cannot afford to go the hospital and get better treatment. But if I become a doctor someday I can solve this kind of problem, I can also help those woman whose children die during birth because of the bad condition of the family and I can help many poor people around.”

Mercedes' Story

“I would like to say thank you very much to our dear donors and benefactors for their generous heart especially to the poorest of the poor like me because without God in them and through our beloved sisters I could not be here.”

Mercedes Kisarawe Girlstown, Tanzania