On his own two feet



KIUMA paved the way towards a new life

Mpenda Said Abdala has a little car repair shop in the Tanzanian city of Songea. It is thanks to KIUMA that he is able to work as a trained car mechanic who cannot only stand on his own two feet but is even able to support his small family. Due to its own craftsmen school, the wortundtat partner provides the chance to get a vocational education – a rare chance in the South Tanzanian Bush.

Backward hinterland

Mpenda Said Abdala comes from Marumba, a small community at the border with Mozambique. People living there do not have very much. ‘Civilisation’ as we know it is unknown to them. For them, the fact that Mpenda grew up in a straw hut without being connected to water or electricity is as normal as are parents without education or a fixed income. Mpenda remembers: “We lived of what we could harvest on a little piece of land.” To ensure that it was enough for all he and his brothers had to help each day.

Learning a scarce commodity

For many people in Mpenda’s home country, education is a genuine luxury. By no means every child is going to primary school – and many can only dream of further education beyond the fourth class. Mpenda is grateful: his parents sent him to the local primary school and after that even to a secondary school in 50 kilometres away Mbesa. His favourite subject was mathematics and the hard working boy successfully graduated after completing the seventh class. Even then, he had heard a lot of positive things about the KIUMA Secondary School; however, says Mpenda: “It is even further away from home than the one I went to  – over 100 kilometres.” Therefore, with the permission of his parents, the young man only enrolled there to get his vocational education.

In Tanzania’s south, a job which is fun and feeds a family is like having won the lottery.KIUMA opens professional opportunities

Mpenda experienced to be accepted by the KIUMA Craftsman School as an important turning point – and a genuine piece of luck. The young man tells us: ”At the school we had good food and competent teachers who took a great interest in us.” Thanks to them, he is now a certified car mechanic in theory and practice.

New life – new experiences

His training created new professional perspectives. Mpenda knows: “Without KIUMA, I would never have been able to fulfil my plan of being self-employed.” But the young man learned even more at KIUMA: the warm-heartedness of the staff and the people who are behind the facility, have made a deep impression on him. Mpenda: “Due to their demonstrated charity they have awakened my interest in the Christian faith, which since then has kept me strong. ”Based on his new strength, he also redefines his own role: “Following the years when my parents did everything for me, I am proud to be standing on my own two feet.”

Even though his living circumstances are still modest, the young man has assumed responsibility for himself and his own little family, which consists of his wife and two sons.