Birthday: August 9
Catherine is a lovely young lady with a quiet temperament. Her gentleness does not betray the tremendous amount of loss she has experienced in her 14 years of life. Her father died when she was very young and her widowed mother married a fisherman. They lived in a rural village surrounded by sugar cane plantations. Just when it seemed like her life was becoming stabilized, her mother died, leaving her alone with her stepfather.
Eventually, her stepfather remarried and had two daughters, Lucy and Justina with Catherine’s new stepmother. When the baby, Justina, was just five months old, Catherine’s stepmother died as a result of AIDS. This was the third parental death that Catherine had experienced in a six year period. At that point, Catherine’s devastated stepfather took her to a local orphanage with the hope that she would be helped to attend school. He then took his infant daughter, Justina to the government welfare authorities, because he was unable to care for her properly, having been diagnosed with HIV himself. The welfare officials placed Justina with Treasures of Africa. Only his daughter Lucy remained with her father because his sister lived with him and was willing to take care of the toddler.
For four years, Catherine lived in a very humble orphanage that was later shut down by the government because of reported improprieties. When Catherine’s stepfather’s health began to deteriorate, it became harder and harder for him to travel to visit Catherine in one orphanage in the rural village and then to the town of Moshi to visit Justina who was at Treasures of Africa. So when he asked if Catherine could be moved to Treasures of Africa to join her step-sister Justina, we were happy to help reunite the girls. We recommended that he bring his five year old daughter Lucy to TOA as well, because he was essentially homeless and we were concerned for her welfare. The three step-sisters were finally reunited when Catherine came to live at Treasures of Africa on September 14th, 2009.
Catherine has experienced the security and consistency of love and care at Treasures of Africa Children’s Home for the past four and a half years. As a result, she has blossomed into a quiet yet confident young lady who enjoys school and does well in her studies. She is currently attending a private English - medium Secondary School called Northern Highlands in Moshi. She enjoys math and dreams of one day becoming an accountant.
But a recent visit by Andy Langeland from our Media for Missions Project, captured Catherine’s imagination when he allowed her to “assist” with the videography and now she is contemplating the possibilities of becoming a filmmaker. She has lots of time to make her career choice but we are very happy to help expand her horizons and encourage her dreams.