The Absolute Truth

27 Jan

Memory has a way of embellishing, omitting, and altering life events, and as with any reflective writing, the absolute truth can become skewed. Sophia and the other girls in classes 4 through 6 recently worked with our Full Circle Director to write down their stories as they recalled them.


Sophia beautifully and bravely shared her recollection of her past. In doing so she stated that her father was stabbed to death and her mother was killed in a car accident.

Upon reading Sophia’s story, Fratern, our Managing Director, called the guardians who care for Sophia during the school holidays and verified that her father died of natural causes and her mother fled. We cannot know how Sophia’s grandmother explained her parents’ absence to her. We do, however, know that Sophia’s past—as with all of our kids—was difficult and tragic. We could have omitted those “inaccurate” details from Sophia’s writing, but we chose to leave them. It may not be the absolute truth, but it is Sophia’s truth. Conversely, we also want to make sure that we remain honest with you on this blog.

This also brings up some important questions:

What is the best way for us to help our kids cope with their past?

How can we best address our kids’ complex emotional needs?

What do inconsistencies in stories about our pasts reveal about ourselves and others?

Baba Juma greets Sophia as she returns home for the July school holiday

One of our main priorities in 2012 is to help our children emotionally. All of the kids TFFT supports have been through a lot, and we will never know for sure the exact complexities of some of their pasts. Meghann will spend her much of her time in Tanzania next month meeting with individuals who are experts in this field. We will search for a social worker who will then work with our kids on an individual basis.

Nicemary comforts Neema because she's feeling sad

We will keep you updated on our progress in finding the right person to work with the kids. Meghann leaves for Tanzania tomorrow, so let’s wish her safe travels, “Safari njema!”


5 Responses to “The Absolute Truth”

  1. Amy January 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I attended the community discussion on women’s mental health today at the Mental Health Center at Mt. Meru Hospital. I had never been there before, but it seems like they are wonderfully kind and well qualified individuals. Robin Peterson may be a good person for Meghann to chat with? Or Dr. Joey Banks at Selian. She led the discussion today and I was very impressed. I would love to hear what she finds out about support available for kids here in Arusha. You guys support so many great kids that are also survivors. Keep up the good work.

  2. Sari January 27, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Meghann —

    Safari njema! Asante sana for everything you do! One year ago this February, Isabel and I flew out to see you, see what TFFT does in TZ, visit the orphanages and school, meet so many incredible people who changed our lives forever, and we ran the Mt Kili Half Marathon with you and team TFFT. Wow! What an unbelievable experience. I wish I was heading back again this year, but I know in my heart my next trip over there is just around the corner. Send my love to the kiddos and your whole office in TZ.

    Much love to you,

  3. Adam January 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more that the emotional needs of the kids are the upmost priority, I’m both excited and anxious to see someone in charge. Kila la heri Meghann, it will be so crucial to find a qualified person to become involved in this process and I can’t wait to see where this can take TFFT. I think this process of having the kids tell their stories helped them open up and understand, and taught us what it’s going to take to meet their needs emotionally.

    p.s. another incredible photo of Sophia by Anne favorite one of the bunch :)


  1. Telling Our Stories « TFFT's Blog - February 24, 2012

    […] interesting and important. Last month we published Sophia’s narrative and then followed that with this post addressing the importance of honesty. We plan to post more student narratives here over the next […]

  2. Meet Rosemary « TFFT's Blog - March 8, 2012

    […] narrative here, and please remember our discussion on the truths revealed through writing here. We are so proud of all our young girls and the confident, compassionate, talented women we are […]

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