The Tanzanian government has set up centers throughout Tanzania in an attempt to protect children with albinism. Parents leave their children at these centers out of fear for their safety or because they do not want them. Many of the centers, while providing guards and concrete walls with razor wire to keep potential attackers out, are overcrowded. For three and a half years, SHADE served these children at a center in Shinyanga.
SHADE launched two preschool classrooms in 2015 at the center after seeing education for the youngest as one of the greatest needs. In our classrooms, we provided education and supplies like books, clothes, and uniforms. We brought healthy food to help supplement the children’s diet. We sang with them and taught the love of Jesus through the Bible. In these practical and tangible ways, they received hope for their future and felt loved.
In 2018, after a policy change at the center which meant that preschool-aged children were no longer accepted, SHADE concluded our preschool services. While we were sad about this change, we are thankful that many preschoolers have had the opportunity to be prepared for entering primary school and that they have been holistically cared for and loved for the years that SHADE was able to serve them. When SHADE began our preschool, we knew that this would only be a temporary program.