On the East African Island of Zanzibar, the Mazizini Children’s House Orphanage houses and supports around 30 children as young as the age of one. But when orphans turn 18, they must leave the Tanzanian orphanage they’ve called home and learn to live on their own.

The Daraja Foundation hosted A Brighter Future Gala on Sept. 14, 2018 to raise money for orphans in Zanzibar.  Produced by Rosemary De Souza. 

On Sept. 14, 2018, The Daraja Foundation hosted A Brighter Future Gala, where funds raised from sales of tickets and auction items contribute to the development of a place for orphans to stay. The gala raised over $67,000 during the event.

“We are trying to avoid lack of motivation, education, support, psychological challenges that will affect their livelihood and the possibility of getting into poor living habits and poor living situations,” says Arsheen Dhalla, founder and managing director of the Canadian charity that operates in Calgary and Zanzibar.

“We want to encourage independence, self-reliance, self-esteem and help them integrate safely and successfully,” says Dhalla.Gala AttendeesIn Calgary, a crowd gathers at The Baron in the northeast area of the city to support orphans, listen to their stories and learn more about the foundation that supports them. Photo by Rosemary J. De Souza.

Khadija, an 18-year old from the Zanzibar orphanage believes in the importance of the foundation’s project.

“My mother was living in difficult life conditions and could not take care of me,” she says. “Now that I am 18 years old, I will have to leave any time soon.”

Khadija 18 CJournal Pull Quote

“I am scared every day that suddenly I will be asked to leave,” she says. “I am not sure where I can go, and I am scared because I don’t know what to do outside of the orphanage.”
Khadija says, “As any young adult in the world, we all need support in order to find a job and make a living.”

In memory of Dhalla’s dear friend, Florence Markin, the Foundation, Livelihood and Opportunity (FLO) House will be a place for orphans to live and learn how to cook, manage finances and prepare for work until they are ready to live independently.

To donate and learn more about the Daraja Foundation, visit their website.

Editor: Robyn Welsh | rwelsh@cjournal.ca

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