DOB – March 23, 2008
Came under Tumaini care, 2015.
The entire family, mom and six kids were living and starving in a one room tenement in the worst slum I have ever visited. There was not a bite of food . . . mom was so sick she couldn’t walk and we had to have her assisted to a hospital. It turned out Mom (also HIV+) had a TB tumour growing in her stomach and required immediate surgery.
Tumaini got the surgery for mom, rented a house and put all the school aged children into school. Mom would convalesce for a couple of months afterward, then began disappearing in the night, leaving big sister Hadija home alone to care for everyone.
About six months after mom’s surgery, one day, Hussein (we had put Hadija into boarding school) brought the younger children to Tumaini along with the keys to their house and informed us that mom had ridden away the night before with her mattress, on the back of a piki piki (motorcycle).
Swalehe is the older brother of Malki, Sumaya, and Rukaya, and younger brother to Hussein and Hadija. Unlike some of his siblings, Swalehe doesn’t like to grab your attention: he’d much rather wait a little while until he can get to know you and then come and ask to play a game or join you for a walk. Swalehe loves to spend time with his Tumaini brothers – playing checkers and soccer – and he loves playing card games with his little Tumaini sisters. He is a boy full of joy and is often seen as quiet and shy… and he is really anything but! He is an average student, but you can trust that his homework is always finished before he gets home from school. If he keeps up with good study habits, he can do anything in the world.
One thing about Swalehe that stands out: he is one of the biggest huggers at Tumaini! Every night when saying goodnight to the boys, he will jump out of bed and into your arms for a great big hug. He won’t stop at just one either: he’ll come back for a second, and a third, and a fourth! Swalehe has a very goofy side as well but rarely gets himself in trouble for a single thing. He’s an incredibly cheerful boy, and he is quite a gem here at Tumaini!