This is "Mamee." Now 45, Mamee grew up with Sister Crispina Mnate and their extended families in their home village on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. In 2000, when she learned of Sister's call to save abandoned and orphaned children, she decided it was her life's work to serve Sister's mission. Mamee left home to follow Sister to the Arusha district. She decided never to marry or have children of her own. And she has since been cooking, cleaning, washing, feeding, loving and caring for the now 48 children...ages 1 to 25... who life at the St. Joseph's Orphanage. Here below, just one of countless stories that illustrate how and why Mamee is so critical to Sister's mission:
In 2008, a newborn baby whose young mother died during the child's birth was brought to Sister wrapped in a tattered blanket by a Good Samaritan on a motorbike. When Sister received the ~2 lb. bluish-colored, cold and tiny orphaned child, no one expected a good outcome, instead everyone was anticipating last rites. However, Sister, with her ferocious faith and professional training as a nurse, believed differently. Immediately she baptized the baby " Irene," and gave her to Mamee to love, feed, bathe and just hold close in a secluded room to avoid any cross contamination. Day after day Sister brought fortified milk and porridge and ministered as best she could to Irene while Mamee patiently held the child and protected the space. Many times it was unclear whether Irene would survive, but remarkably, after three long secluded months, Irene was not only alive but thriving.