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We met nine-year-old Elias when we found him on the streets of Dar es Salaam – he had run away from home as his mother, Nia, couldn’t support her family.

She was struggling alone with Elias and his three-year-old brother Albin but we have been able to take Elias back to the family and help them stay together.

Thanks to your support, our business grant meant Nia was able to launch her own small food vending business and she has worked hard to make sure it is a success. With your help we provided Elias with the uniform, bag, books and pens required so he could go back to school and he has been thriving in grade three.

But then COVID-19 arrived in Tanzania and everything changed.

We visited the family, knowing they would be vulnerable, and found that most of Nia’s customers no longer came to buy food as people limit their movements and Elias was back at home all day while schools were closed.

The family were struggling even more than before but we’ve been able to help keep them safe.

With our support Nia has been able to find extra shift work at a factory nearby until her food business can support her again and we’ve helped give advice and guidance about the pandemic. We have supplied the family with handwashing equipment, face masks and sanitizer so they can protect themselves from infection and taught them how to look after themselves and each other in this crisis.

Nia is hoping the situation is only temporary and that their normal life can return soon, with work and school as before, but in the meantime she said:

Now we can make sure we wash hands regularly and use sanitizers and masks wherever necessary. I also ensure my children avoid others and stay at home. Thanks to you, my children and I feel safe now.