Neema Village, formally Neema House Arusha, is a rescue center.
Currently Neema Village consists of a rented property in town which is housing 48 abandoned, orphaned, or at risk infants, toddlers, and children under the age of 5 as well as two single mothers and their children.
A plot of land of almost 10 acres has been purchased and construction is ongoing for a hopeful move in June 2016! This property will include the baby home that can sleep 60 for children under 3 years. Two (eventually four) family style cottages for older children who grow up at Neema and cannot be returned home for a variety of reasons like the child or their relatives health, or disabilities. A widows and single mothers home, where mothers can get back on their feet and learn a new trade. And eventually a Mothering Center where young mothers at risk of abandoning their children can receive support, encouragement, and job training.
Tanzania has very strict adoption laws with a residency requirement of 3 years. This means international adoptions are out of the question. There is an ever-increasing number of Tanzanian families looking to adopt and we work with the local social welfare officials to make that happen. Only fully abandoned (no known family) babies can be adopted. If a child has family and that family is unable or unwilling to take care of them they will remain in the care of Neema Village until they are able to move on their own. However the goal of Neema Village is not to institutionalize children and we seek to reunite families as often as possible.
My role with Neema Village is primarily photography for sponsors and our facebook page, as well as pitching in with day to day child care, and various administrative tasks.