New Series: African Unsung Heroines and Heros.
One of the great privileges of going to Africa is the opportunity of meeting some extraordinary local people who work very hard to make a difference and improve the lives of many. They refuse to accept the status quo and try to effect change. They often work tirelessly in the background, make things happen and they have very little time to promote themselves or their work to a greater audience.
Tanuja Walli from Mombasa is one of them. I met her during my last visit to Mombasa last February. I quickly realized that this very attractive unassuming woman was the local backbone of MEAK‘s pediatric heart mission in Mombasa. Tanuja Walli left behind a career in fashion and with some concerned friends formed the Paediatric Support Group in 1998 at the Aga Khan hospital in Mombasa. Their mission was to help poor children suffering from congenital heart disease find proper and effective medical care. It became clear after talking to her that despite the very substantial contribution MEAK is making, there is still a huge need for more funding and local support. I thought then that I might be able to help by getting the word out to a greater audience. We sat down one sunny afternoon and she told me how she came to be so involved in helping children with heart disease and she described her work.