The orphanage was founded and the first orphan registered in 1965. Even before that time orphans were often cared for by missionaries when their mothers died. It was Alma Stachowsky, a German woman, who started the official work with orphans through a partnership between the Anglican Diocese of Morogoro and VDM (Vereinige Deutsche Missionshilfe or United German Mission AID). She worked until her retirement in Berega.
In the beginning babies and children were brought up by Tanzanian ladies under the supervision of an expert from overseas. Later the Tanzanian government asked for more involvement of the children’s actual families. From 1989 onwards a new leadership team under Claudia Schwatlo tried to integrate the children into the family of origin when the child was around four or five years old. Problems of attachment disorder occurred, as well as the problem of getting back in touch with the extended family members. The children had difficulty getting used to village life and transitioning into the structure of their extended families.
In 1998 Ute Klatt started work as director of the orphanage. She tried to deepen the contact with the families and decided to reunite the children earlier to help with their adjustment to family life. In 2003/2004 the binti model was introduced. The family of an arriving orphan was asked to find a related young lady -- an older sister, cousin, auntie or even a grandmother -- who would come and live in the orphanage. While they are staying at the center with the child, they develop skills and learn about proper infant care, good hygiene, and nutrition and HIV/AIDS prevention. Very often the young girls from the villages have not had the opportunity to go to school and so this is the first opportunity they have to learn to read, write and do basic math. We also try to equip them with additional skills such as sewing and batik making. In addition to child care, the binti’s help out around the center doing laundry, cleaning, cooking and helping with meals.