Children with cancer: there is still hope

Sunday September 8 2019


By Janet Otieno-Prosper @JanetOtieno

The second annual Tumaini La Maisha (TLM) Festival took place last Saturday at Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam. Tumaini La Maisha, which means hope for life, is an institute dedicated to reaching out and treating every child with cancer in Tanzania, free of charge and is based at Muhimbili National Hospital premises. The centre provides shelter to parents and their children undergoing treatment at the hospital.

The festival aims to raise funds and awareness about childhood cancer and the free treatment offered for all children in Tanzania through Tumaini La Maisha.

TLM works with Nafasi Art Space throughout the year to create joy and fun into the psycho-social programme for children’s wellbeing. They believe in treating the whole patient, and children’s psycho-social needs is very important.

The festival started with a ChapChap class facilitated by Nafasi for the children who were well enough to leave the wards for the day. Parents were then welcomed to take part in a yoga class. There was also Parents Skills Market under the guidance of teacher Prisca Dello. The parents sold gifts and accessories they make while living at the hospital.

A portion of the profits goes to the parents who created the craft, so that no one goes home empty handed. After an address from Tumaini La Maisha CEO and Paediatric Oncologist Dr Trish Scanlan, the Director of the board Mr Gerald Mongella and the guest of honour, Ambassador of Ireland to Tanzania, H.E. Paul Sherlock, the children’s art exhibition ‘Fruit Punch’ and ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ video were launched. To see these exhibitions, visit The festival also featured dance and music performances by the children and artists.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and marks the launch of TLM Piggy Bank Campaign. The Piggy Bank comes as a flatpack card and can be folded into a box in which change, cash and donations can be put. Email or directly message TLM on instagram @tlmtanzania to get yours and get going!