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A few words about Tanga House in Tanzania

Tanzania, Dom dla dzieci z albinizmem

TANGA family, like every family, has a “father”. He is Fr. Janusz Machota, a missionary from the Association of African Missions who built the TANGA house to help the most needy children with albinism – to give them a sense of security, a chance to develop in a family atmosphere and to provide them with a solid education so that they can make a decent future life for themselves.

S. Amelia has been involved in the creation of this work from the beginning – overseeing the construction, finishing works and taking care of the first five residents of the house since January 2020.

S. Barbara joined her at the end of November 2020. Seven new children also arrived there almost at the same time. Almost all of them came from various governmental centres for albinos. The exception was Asha – brought in by her dad who was looking for help. She stayed exclusively in the family home and did not go to school until she was 13.

TANGA House provides shelter for children from incomplete, broken or large families and those whose loved ones are unable to provide access to education due to poverty. In addition to its day-to-day care activities, it provides extensive outreach, education and integration activities for people with albinism in the Lake Victoria area.

Albinism is a genetic disorder that causes a lack of pigment in the skin, eyes and hair. People have white skin colour and lack of any protection from the sun and severe vision problems. When a white child is born to black parents, they are often rejected and stigmatised by their family and community, sometimes hidden and sheltered – with no chance of going to school. Many parents have surrendered their albino children to special government centres to keep them safe, as there are popular beliefs in Tanzania that albinos have magical properties and assaults still occur to obtain parts of their bodies for shamanic rituals and potions. However, these centres are overcrowded and dysfunctional – a process of phasing out their activities is currently underway.

On a day-to-day basis, albinos struggle to cope with the vulnerability of skin cancer and the difficulties in school and everyday life caused by their visual impairment.

We undertake a wide variety of work here, the list of which is quite long:

  • meeting the daily needs of our children and young people,
  • involvement in educational issues,
  • English and maths classes run at various levels for both our young people and our neighbours,
  • running day care activities for neighbourhood children,
  • English and maths courses for the Masai in Malambo.

Working at full speed

Other difficult challenges include cooking, shopping (which in a world without fixed prices means constant haggling in a language that is foreign to us), dealing with official matters, accompanying the children to medical appointments and dealing with relationships with schools.

Our community is also absorbed in the search for funds for the house’s activities – writing several projects and corresponding with our benefactors and sponsors.

There are new tasks to fulfil every day. Construction work is underway around the house – building a road and fence, outbuildings for the animals and storage. In 2022 a large hall for workshops and activities with neighbours was built.

A large fruit and vegetable garden has also been established and livestock breeding has begun – poultry, goats, sheep, cows – all so that the house will be more self-sufficient in the future and not depend so much on donations.

We visit schools, parishes and go to villages where we hold meetings about albinism.

This multifaceted activity has one aim – to spread awareness of the problems of people with albinism and to seek support for them by the missionary activities.

Currently, sixteen children and young people live in Tanga. We fund the education of several other children and we provide ongoing care for three students. We are like a family – we pray, work, study, eat and rest together. We believe that the Tangi family is embraced by the Loretto charism of the House of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

We thank the Lord God for the immense human kindness that surrounds us and we ask for everyone’s prayers.


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