Continuing his journey through Tanzania, our founder Adrien Colombie came across the Wazee Home for the Elderly and felt a great need to find a way to provide some money to improve the living standard of the people there. Adrien and the home’s director discussed how creative powers could be used for the cause and together, they decided on creating a book about the residents of Wazee.
The plight of the residents at the Wazee Home for the Elderly was and continues to be very serious. They are among the most vulnerable, at-risk groups in Tanzania. They come from Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda and have some tragic stories to tell. Some cannot walk, some cannot speak and some are gravely ill. They have no family, few possessions, and are dependent on the state for food and shelter. They live in less than basic conditions in a disadvantaged area and have no access to basic utilities such as electricity, running water or bathroom facilities in their rooms. They also have limited access to healthcare and medicine. Due to limited resources at the home, the staff struggle to meet the needs of the elderly residents.
The main objective was to provide the residents with a better quality of life – better access to better basics. To gain running electricity, funds for medicine and resources for social activities. They have not been living in secure and humane conditions and do not have access to good nutrition or healthcare.
So the number one goal was to raise some funds for the home.
CWB put the call out for creatives to submit their ideas on how they could use their creative powers to raise some funds for the residents of Wazee. Our international jury selected OsseGrecaSinare Photography – an International award winning Fashion & Portrait Photographer who was also listed as one of the 10 Most Powerful Youth in Tanzania in 2012 – to come photograph the residents of the Wazee Home for the Elderly to make a photo book.
We also enlisted Natalie Trotta as our copywriter, and the jury voted for Elodie Poulin, an amazing graphic designer who specializes in printed objects, to create the beautiful photo book to portray the residents’ stories.
Neighbouring organisation, African Impact, organized some workshops to gather the resident’s stories. Many hours, days, tears and laughs later, we joined the stories to the photos shot beautifully by Osse Greca Sinare. Here is one of the stories…
“Maria is a soft spoken, good natured woman who has no recollection of when or where she was born, but does recall memories of her siblings, family, and life in the Tonto (or Tondo) Mwanza, a region on the Northern side of Tanzania. As soon as she was old enough to work Maria was employed as a farm laborer. It wasn’t long before she married and brought a son into the world.
Due to the unreliable income of farm work, Maria’s husband left for Moshi 08 to secure steady pay. Shortly after, she sent her 0/9 young son to the city to be raised by his father. Years later when word of her husband’s death reached her Maria traveled to Moshi in search of her son. Maria did not speak Swahili and spent three long months at the bus station looking for him with high hopes.
The authorities became aware of her plight and in March 2014 and brought her to the safe haven of the community. The volunteers here are always generous with giving hugs, something so simple that brings so much joy to her. The feel of long hair, the human touch and endless laughter now soothe her days in this new family.”