As you know by now, this September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the launch of our first TLM Piggy Bank Campaign. Support from individuals, businesses and schools was overwhelming and inspiring, but one person stood out among all Piggy Bank fundraisers. Tanzila showed leadership, compassion, drive and dedication by advocating for children with cancer and distributing Piggy Banks among her family and school friends. Today, she turned 16, and we are delighted to share her own words with you below.
"It all began when my mom told me about Tumaini La Maisha and how they collect funds for the cancer medicine so they can treat every child in Tanzania for free. It is difficult to reach the needs of all the children since they come from different parts of Tanzania and need all the basic necessities plus treatment from Muhimbili. But there is so much to worry about! Things like the medical supplies: machines, drugs, how they will pay the doctors etc., along with that they also have to consider how the children will pass free time and have fun.
Tumaini La Maisha is a locally based NGO here in Dar es Salaam, supporting children’s cancer services in Tanzania. They work with the National Children’s Oncology Centre at Muhimbili National Hospital and the Tanzanian Ministry of Health. Everything is offered free of charge to the families. These costs are shared between TLM and the government of Tanzania.
The TLM team call me the Piggy Bank Champ after I helped with the first Piggy Bank Campaign for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with my school and friends. There are two main reasons as to why I’m trying my level best to collect money for the kids. One of them is that my younger sister passed away because of cancer. I’ve seen the horrible, scary things cancer can do to anybody and I respect and salute all parents and children for not giving up and for continuing to fight. The other reason is that they deserve a fighting chance. No child should leave this world because of a financial reason of not being able to fight against cancer. Each and every child deserves treatment, and TLM is trying to reach all the children in different parts of Tanzania. Ireland help the children and tlm a lot too hosting fancy fundraising events all the time.
Normally, I greatly dislike children, but I’ve met the children TLM helps. They are the most amazing, sweetest and smartest that I’ve met. The first time I met the children was when I volunteered to help distribute some small gifts to the children at Muhimbili. My mom met one child and apologised because she felt like the gift was small and weren’t enough to make them happy. But, the child said ‘maybe for you it’s small, but for me it’s really big’. Can you imagine a young child being so grateful? My mom was touched.
I conclude by saying BRAVO TLM for doing the best they can with helping the children in any way possible and I’m glad I got to help."
From all of us Tumaini La Maisha we wish you a very happy birthday and thank you for being our Piggy Bank champion!!!!