On January 4th, 1999, proud mother Maria gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She named her precious child Pendo, meaning “Beloved.” Pendo, an only child, was dearly loved by both her mother and her father, Thomas. The family lived together in a small home in the remote village of Songea, Tanzania. Tragically, the family would soon have to part ways.
When she was just a toddler, Pendo lost both of her parents to HIV/AIDS. Orphaned, she was sent to live with her grandmother to start a new life. Her grandmother, however, didn’t have the resources to properly care for Pendo on her own.
When Pendo was seven years old, she was accepted into Chalice’s sponsorship program, and chosen by a sponsor quickly afterwards. Pendo, who had grown up lonely, was touched by the support, love and care she received from her sponsors in Canada. They wrote her frequently, and she felt proud and confident that someone deeply cared about her and prayed for her well being.
With the support of sponsorship, Pendo was able to continue her education at a wonderful local school. Her grades improved significantly as she started to have hope for a better future. Pendo also discovered many new friends and hobbies, and found joy in playing netball on her school team.
Presently, Pendo is finishing up her high school education and is preparing for university. She’s an excellent student, and holds the second highest grades in her class. She wants to study to become a doctor, and is looking forward to the day that “Doctor Pendo” can help those facing illness in her community.
Pendo’s grandmother recently passed away, and she’s now living with her aunt and uncle. She firmly believes that she wouldn’t have come this far if it weren’t for the support of her sponsors. “Sponsorship plays a major role in the lives of children who live in the remote villages of Tanzania,” says Sr. Mary Grace, our Neema site director. “Education helps many come out of the dark places in life. Pendo is a living example of a child who now has a bright and better future.”