First steps

Monica Brunner, Anna Angst and Monique Stammbach signed the incorporated papers for the Tuwapende Watoto Foundation on 16 December 2004 at the notary’s office in Winterthur. On 17 March 2005, the Foundation was listed in the ledger of companies at the Office of Commerce of the canton Zurich. The establishment of the NGO in Tanzania was done on 2 February 2005. 
The Tuwapende Watoto Foundation has been under the federal Swiss oversight committee supervision as of 9 December 2005, and has been officially tax-exempted since 8 December 2006 by the Zurich cantonal tax office. Donors of the Tuwapende Watoto Foundation may deduct their donations from the taxes.

First rental contract

It took some time before an appropriate housing property was found. On 14 November 2005 the rental contract for the Tuwapende Watoto children’s home in Mbezi Beach was signed for five years. The domicile was large and conveniently located in a safe area with a playground offering many recreational opportunities.

The first move-in

The building was officially taken over on 11 January 2006 and the first renovations were commenced. In April 2006 the children’s home was furnished and set up. The Tuwapende Watoto Mother Bea, her son Jackson, and the first Swiss volunteer moved in.

Concessions and the first children

On 11 May 2006 the Tuwapende Watoto Foundation received the concession to conduct a children's home by the social and health authorities of Tanzania. On 19 May 2006 the Foundation was allowed to take in the first orphans. Fabian, Martha and Maria, all 3 1/2 years old found a new home at the Tuwapende Watoto Foundation and they settled in very quickly without any difficulties.


More children and staff members

In July and August 2006, three more abandoned children, Emmanuel, Bahati and Didier came to the Foundation. They easily integrated into the Tuwapende Watoto family. At the same time, the family was complemented by the security guard and gardener Festo.

In 2007 Tuwapende Watoto family grew with the orphans Prisca, Francis and Julius and the abandoned children Kelvina and Zawadi also joined the Foundation that year.

Cecilia, Petro and later Eliza became a part of the growing family in 2008 and 2009.

To ensure the supervised care of the children the Foundation hired Mama Selina and Mama Prisca in January 2008. In August Baba Ima was added. Mama Joyce complemented the team in December 2009 and in 2010 Mama Merina was hired and also joined the team.

In 2011 Gloria, Nancy, Irene, Vanessa, Nevius, Peter and Gabriel were enrolled and accommodated, and in 2012 Aisha, Kevin, Christopher, Baraka and Loveness joined the Foundation.

Since 2014, baby Ema lives in the Tuwapende Watoto family. He enjoys being spoiled by all siblings.

In December 2015 the Mashimbi family decided to take over the children Prisca, Francis, Fabian and Irene. Prisca's school fee for attending the university in Dar es Salaam is still being taken over by our foundation.

Since June 2016, Luqman, an eight-year-old boy, whose parents died in a car accident, lives in our orphanage.

In October 2016 Baby Gloria joined the family. Baby Gloria is the current favorite of all siblings.

At the end of April 2017, we took over two-and-a-half-year-old Samson and four-year-old Nasry from the children's home of the Msimbazi Center in Dar es Salaam. This orphanage has been run by the religious community of the Baldegger sisters for over 30 years.

Relocation to the Foundation’s new orphanage

In 2008, the Foundation bought in Bunju B, a suitable plot of 12'000m2. The property is located between Dar es Salaam and Bagamoyo in a quiet beautiful location. The construction work for the home and nursery school began in July 2008.

In January 2010, the Tuwapende Watoto family moved into the newly built orphanages and children's home. These were conceptually designed and built according to the Foundation’s plans. Currently, it is the home of 27 orphans and abandoned children, four mothers and two technician/driver.

Opening of the Nursery and Primary Schools

A year later, the Foundation opened the doors of the adjacent Tuwapende Watoto Nursery and Primary School.

The construction of the school was progressing as planned. Since mid 2010 two nursery classes, the bathroom facilities and the administration building strated their operation. The administration building was used for the the first, second and third level classes. This was the start of our own Tuwapende Watoto school.

School with nursery, 4 school buildings, administration, dining and school kitchen

In mid-2012, we moved into the first school building. The large dining room with school kitchen started their operations and by the end of 2012, the other three school buildings were ready. This campus includes the nursery playground, a large school playground and an amphitheater which were completed in December. By January 2013, the school children were able to have access to the entire school.


Solar system


The pride of the Foundation is the solar system based on the latest technology and donated by the state of Luxembourg. It provides energy for the operation of the orphanage and the school plant. This system illustrates the importance of the sustainable and careful use of resources that we employ throughout the Tuwapende Watoto Foundation.


Water treatment system


In addition to the solar system, we have a modern water treatment system on all buildings with water connections. All water is heated by the sun, thus sterilized and prepared as hot water for the two kitchens, showers and laundry facilities for the orphanage as well as for the school. This is an example for a meaningful use of available solar power.



The panoramic image gives an overview of our entire school system. The facility includes a house with two nursery rooms, four school buildings, each with two classrooms, a building with a school kitchen and dining room, an administration building with two offices, a staff room with a storage room, a library with computer tables, and two teacher's restrooms as well as a handicap accessible restroom.


New land for the expansion

With the purchase of the neighboring land from our school ground in 2013, we ensured that our school could continue to grow to meet the high demand from the many new families. We started the construction of a first school building with three classrooms in spring 2014 and were able to surrender the new classrooms at the beginning of 2015. We then planned and realized the construction of the first two-storey building with six classrooms and an additional toilet facility. Since the beginning of 2016, the entire school system has been completed and comprises 19 classrooms, an administration building, a school kitchen with dining room and two toilets.

Vegetable and fruit garden and apprentice workshop

With the acquisition of Dr. Mkumbi's plot about 200 meters east of our campus, we will have the opportunity to operate a vegetable and fruit plantation for use of both the school and the orphanage. 

In the coming years, we also plan to build an apprentice workshop for girls and boys. If we secured the funding and will train young people from our school as well as other children in the area. We will cover another important need in the training chain of young people and enable primary school graduates to prepare for professional life. We are planning training courses for the following job profiles: tailors, gardeners, builders, painters, masons, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, welders, wood builders, etc.


Vocational education and training center


In order to build a vocational training center, the foundation council decided in November 2012 to buy the 44,000 m2 site near the existing school (5 minutes walk). There are plans to build several buildings with three classrooms for the operation of an apprentice workshop. By 2020, we plan to build five school buildings. The size of the property allows us to create additional buildings if necessary.

The Tanzanian state is not in a position to provide the primary and secondary school leavers with sufficient training places. Unfortunately, there are only a few vocational training centers in Tanzania. The existing apprentices' workshops are well organized, but the number of institutes is too small to meet the immense demand.
There is a lack of everything - school building, money for books and finance for the teachers' salaries. Also the families are not able to pay the costs for the school. Above all, the girls remain without education.

With the current projects, the Tuwapende Watoto Foundation is making an important contribution to the positive development of young adults in the field of vocational education and training. We want to help pupils who can not attend secondary school for financial reasons or due to insufficient school performance. We want to promote their skills, teach them technical understanding and also teach general knowledge such as computer skills, accounting, English or marketing.

The professional know-how gained through the training and the extended general education will help the absentees to have more success on the labor market. Within our project, we also want to support the graduates with the supply of tools and / or microcredits. This would enable them to become independent and build their own business.

In 2016 we realized the first step of the vocational training center with the construction of the first two school buildings, the toilets and the gatehouse. In the six classrooms  , since the beginning of 2017, we   have been training two vocational school classes for tailors, a class for bakers and a class for gardeners. In summer of 2017, we will start construction of the third building with three classrooms and start operation at the end of the year.

During the apprenticeships, the apprentices will undertake the maintenance work for all our buildings, planting and harvesting necessary vegetables and fruits for the school and the orphanage, baking the bread for the schoolchildren and the orphanage, as well as sewing clothes for the school uniform.

The proximity to our school has the advantage that we can use existing facilities such as the school kitchen and dining room also for the apprentices and the teachers of the training center.