Meet Tanisha

From February 10 – March 27, join the Hands at Work family around the world as we pray for 40 Days on behalf of the most vulnerable children in Africa and our work to support them. Tanisha represents one of thousands of children being cared for by volunteer Care Workers across the communities Hands at Work supports. Read her story and join us in prayer by downloading the 40 Days of Prayer Guide.

 

Apatuku Community, Nigeria

Tanisha* has been living in Apatuku, a rural village outside the bustling city of Ibadan, for four years. Sent by her mother at the age of six to live with her grandmother, this move shifted Tanisha into a very vulnerable position, just like thousands of other girls across Nigeria. Her ailing grandmother cared for the young girl and appreciated her help as she was struggling to cook, clean, and do errands alone, but unfortunately was unable to send her to school. Together, they live in a small rented room, sharing a bed and the meager belongings the grandmother had collected. Tanisha, obedient and caring, worked hard to ensure she cared for her grandmother well, but inside she was deeply troubled. Tanisha desperately missed her mother and wanted nothing more than to go to school.

Mama Taiwo, a Care Worker from Apatuku Community Based Organisation, learned of Tanisha and her situation. Immediately, she shared Tanisha’s story to the team of Care Workers who agreed Tanisha would benefit in many ways if she was brought into the Apatuku ‘family’. Thankfully, Tanisha’s grandmother, a devout Muslim, agreed for her to join the program even though the teachers at the school and the Care Workers were openly known as Christians who were spreading the love of Jesus. From that day, Tanisha started receiving Holy Home Visits from Mama Taiwo and other Care Workers in her area. She was also able to start school, a rarity for many girls in Nigeria, where she receives a hot meal every day. 

Now, 4 years later, Tanisha is 10 years old and in grade 3. Though from a Muslim family, she unashamedly sings and prays to Jesus as if He is her best friend. She loves school, especially mathematics and when she speaks about her teacher, Seun, her smile lights up the room. However, Tanisha still continues to face heartache and challenges. In late November, her mother passed away suddenly. This not only compromised her grandmother’s financial stability, but it also threatened to damage the relationship Tanisha had with her grandmother. Unwilling to tell Tanisha about the passing of her mother due to cultural beliefs, Tanisha’s grandmother needed support from Apatuku Care Workers. Going against their own culture, in pursuit of spreading a new Kingdom culture, Mama Taiwo and Toyin from the Hands at Work local office in Lagos, took the time to sit with Tanisha’s grandmother to help her understand the importance of being open and honest with Tanisha. They suggested that withholding this information for a long period of time would harm Tanisha much more than it would help her. Boldly, they sat with the grandmother, held her hand and prayed she would understand this was the best way for Tanisha to find closure and healing.

Through this kind of support for both Tanisha and her grandmother, there is every hope they will continue to grow in their relationship with one another, and with the Apatuku Care Workers. The Care shown by Mama Taiwo and the other Care Workers has the potential to bring transformation and healing to the entire community of Apatuku.

*Child's name has been changed

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