Our History and Background


In the 1990’s in Southern Tanzania, mothers and fathers began dying in increasing numbers due to HIV/AIDs.  Orphans were being split up among relatives and family friends.  They often were unwanted, neglected, abused and forgotten.  Inspired to keep orphaned families together Flora Komba, her sister Fidea Kobayashi and their parents, Regina and Alquin Chinguku,  began taking orphaned children into their house in Songea in 1999. As the need continued to increase, Regina and Flora started an organization called Songea Women and Children Care Organization (SWACCO) in Songea.  Today they continue the dream of caring for these children who are in such desperate need.  SWACCO has a local board of directors consisting of professionals in the community along with the directors of SWACCO and the  Chingukus.  SWACCO employs four full-time office staff, six child caretakers, the SWACCO director (Regina Chinguku) and a senior advisor (Alquin Chinguku).  SWACCO executes all programs on behalf of the Mwangaza Foundation.  Currently Flora is living in the United States, Fidea in Japan, their sister Anna lives in Dar es Salaam and Regina and Alquin Chingugku remain in Songea, Tanzania

 

In 2007 Flora started the Mwganaza Foundation, which evolved into the Mwganza Jitigimee Foundation (MJF).  Flora’s youngest sister, Fidea, moved to Japan where she began to raise money for MJF in support of the orphanage at her mother’s house in Songea.  This provides a small amount of monthly funding to provide basic food, health and education needs.  Flora’s other sister, Anna, lives in the Tanzanian capital, Dar Es Salaam.  She is the director of Mwangaza Dar and coordinates communication and logistics (e.g., shipping) between Songea and MJF in the U.S.   
In 2009 thirty- one acres were acquired by the MJF for the orphanage project and local brick-making was also initiated. Preliminary plans for a residential orphanage, Blessings Village (Kijiji Chema) were created by Seattle architects Olson, Sundberg, Kundig, and Allen.  A formal partnership was also established with SWACCO, the Mwangaza Jitegemee Foundation, USA and Mwangaza Foundation, Japan.  This provided a framework to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of each party as they relate to the support, care and education of the orphaned children and the planning and execution phases of Blessings Village.  For the purpose of aligning the support between the United States, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Japan, MJF has returned to being called the Mwangaza Foundation.

 

In 2011 they were able to break ground at the building site for the orphanage.  A 6 acre parcel was enclosed by an 8-foot high brick hall that was built by the locals.  Following the construction of the wall, a generous financial donation from St. Cousair Vineyards and Winery in Japan allowed Glen Strachen, from Pacific Groundwater Group, to oversee the digging of a deep well. This well is able to provide fresh, clean water to Blessings Village and the community. 

 

Currently in 2012, we are making strides to continue the vision of our foundation.  A formal business plan has been developed to approach donors, we are still seeking sponsorship for children at SWACCO and education and economic development plans are a continued high priority.  In August we had our first large mission trip visit from the United States. They reached out to a family in severe need, interacted with the local community and spent true, quality time with the orphans.  Our desire is that this was the first of many to come.  The vision of the Mwangaza Foundation is to make a better life for the orphans in Songea.  They plan to meet their basic needs, to shield them from abuse and to nurture them.  If these children have more opportunity and are given a reason to hope, they will develop the skills to build a better future for themselves.

 

As stated earlier, Mwangaza means “self-reliance” in Swahili.  It sincerely stands for the principles of hard work and empowerment that Flora and her family consider to be central to this effort.  Also central is that the Foundation’s work is motivated by Christ’s love for the poor children of the world and his commands for us to follow His example.  Some guiding verses for the Mwangaza Foundation are:

 

James 1:27  “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

 

Matthew 25:40  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

 

Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 
Mwangaza is a Swahili word meaning "Vision". Mwangaza Foundation provides a vision that will guide the children through their efforts to achieve "Self-Reliance".
Connect with us; Mwangaza Facebook