Matonyok Children’s Home, Arusha, Tanzania (50 + Children)

Meet Matonyok Children’s Home Founder and Executive Director, Emmy Sitayo and Co-Founder Husband Ndemno

Meet Founder and Executive Director, Emmy Sitayo and Co-Founder Ndemno Sitayo

Emmy: In the early 1970’s Emmy was the only girl in her Maasai village to receive an education.  Educated to be a nurse, during her career working with special needs children, Emmy regularly came across children being abandoned either as a result of their disability or social/economic family issues.  She could not abandon these children in need.  So, she kept bringing them home and, as a result, Matonyok Children’s Home was born into existence in 2007. 


Ndemno: The son of a German missionary, Ndemno went to school as a child and ultimately became a District Accountant for the Tanzania Electric Company. In 1988, he joined Music College and in 1992 he traveled to Germany for a studies tour. While on the tour he visited several centers for the handicapped and older people and seriously studied how children’s rights are violated. When he returned home to Arusha, he became involved with Matonyok Children’s Home.

Matonyok Children’s Home

Matonyok in Maasai means "make the effort". The vision of Directors Emmy and Ndemno is to ensure children from difficult circumstances-- disabled orphans, neglected street children and children whose parents have died due to HIV/AIDS-- should be given the opportunity to achieve a greater degree of self- reliance and social integration in a dignified manner.  These are the children of Matonyok. 

Education is a priority, and the home engages their surrounding community to help provide their children with a basic level of education. As possible, they help families who can’t afford the cost of school fees. Day care is offered to keep children off the streets,  safe and educated.

Matonyok Children’s Home
Matonyok Children’s Home

Fifty-four children currently live at the home.  Over 100 children are enrolled and attend the small on campus school. Eight children have aged out and are attending vocational school. Overall, 30 children have been reintegrated with family members and 5 children have been adopted.

Currently Matonyok relies on financial support from the community and HOHI to cover food, housing, education, health and staff costs, though there are many efforts underway to become self-sufficient. Their sustainability efforts currently generate 14% of their monthly overhead.

How You Can Help

With your monthly support, HOHI can transition this home from surviving to thriving through ongoing support of their education, funds for psycho/social support and medical needs. In addition they receive ongoing caregiver training and will soon be receiving trauma care training. A new boy's home is also needed on campus to offer more personal space, restful sleep, and a place to study.  Please contact us for more information.


Raising Poultry: Eggs are used in meals; children learn responsibility, teamwork and communication in caring for the chickens.  

Biogas Project

Other sustainability programs include raising goats and pigs. Everyone pitches in to help where needed.

gardening farming

Garden Farming: Helping to clear the land to raise fruits and vegetables.

Our Blogs About Matonyok Children's Home

A Call to Action and Hope for Neema: A Life-Saving Mission

June 14, 2024

At the Matonyok Children’s Home in Arusha, Tanzania, a courageous 13-year-old named Neema is battling the severe challenges of HIV-AIDS passed to her at birth. Last October, her health took a drastic turn, leaving her unresponsive and in dire need of ICU care and dialysis-treatments far beyond the means of the orphanage. At this critical…

Neema’s Journey Continues

February 1, 2024

In the heart of Arusha, Tanzania, at the Matonyok Children’s Home, a story of resilience and hope unfolds. It’s the story of Neema, a brave 13-year-old girl battling HIV-AIDS. Last October, her condition deteriorated drastically, leaving her unresponsive and in desperate need of ICU care. The situation seemed dire, with the specter of hope fading…

‘God, give me energy to do this until the end of my life.’ – Meet Emmy: ‘Mami’ to 57 children in Tanzania

January 15, 2024

By Laura J. Gates You could say Emmy Sitayo opened the Matonyok Children’s Home in Tanzania “by accident.” She was working with disabled children and just kept bringing them home. In her community where resources are scarce, children with special needs are often seen as a burden. Tanzania is among the poorest nations in the…

Update on Neema’s Health, Matonyok Children’s Home

November 29, 2023

A single mother with HIV passes the deadly disease to her baby Neema, the father has already passed away. In the bush of Tanzania, though her other children were seen in the village, the mother hid the child away denying her serious condition. The rumor spread through the village about the child. Emmy the Director…

Empower Sustainable Cooking & Change Lives at Matonyok Children’s Home

November 1, 2023

One of the current issues the children and staff at Matonyok Children’s Home are facing is the high cost of cooking fuel, limited cooking surfaces, and a smoke-filled kitchen. The home relies on firewood and charcoal for cooking, which is expensive, and the air pollution is harmful to the staff and children. Additionally, the current stove…

Junior’s Inspiring Journey: Matonyok Children’s Home’s Compassion in Action

October 12, 2023

Junior’s life, once marked by tragedy, took a positive turn thanks to the compassionate intervention of Mary and the support of Matonyok Home for Children. Facing isolation after his father’s tragic accident, Junior’s health deteriorated, and his mother struggled to care for him. Mary, a kind Samaritan and single parent, discovered Junior abandoned on the…

Food Sustainability at Mantonyok—Engaging in Agricultural Practices

October 1, 2023

Matonyok Children’s Home is making a profound impact in the lives of orphaned children. The home offers them not only a place to call home but also access to education and holistic development. Recently they utilized 2 hectares of land in the immediate vicinity of the home for maize and beans cultivation. The results were…

Help Needed to Provide New Dormitory for Matonyok’s Boys

June 9, 2023

At Matonyok Children’s Home, our commitment to providing a nurturing environment for orphaned and vulnerable children in Tanzania is unwavering. We believe in offering not just care but also quality education to ensure these children have the foundation they deserve. Join us in a crucial mission as we embark on building a new dormitory for…

Boil The Water

June 8, 2023

Just $25 per child per month can keep their pantry full. The Matonyok Children’s Center, our partner home in Arusha, Tanzania, has faced recurring food crisis. Whenever the pantry is empty, the Director and Staff are always full of hope that the Lord will deliver. On multiple occasions, Emmy, the Director shared that she would…

From Surviving to Thriving – A Progress Report on Matonyok Children’s Home, Arusha, Tanzania

February 22, 2023

MATONYOK CHILDREN’S HOME – Arusha, Tanzania At Haven of Hope International (HOHI), our goal is to empower homes to raise their standard of care so that it will transform the lives of children at their homes. One of the homes we partner with is Matonyok Children’s Home in Tanzania, where we have been providing support…


About the Country of Tanzania

The largest country in East Africa, and one of the continent’s most politically stable, Tanzania is home to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. The city of Arusha is considered the gateway to Mt. Kilimanjaro and the safari capital of Tanzania, close to numerous national parks including Serengeti National Park.

Just over 60 million in population, Tanzanian children represent 51% of the population. The median age--18 years. Among the children, there are an estimated 1,300,000 orphans, having lost one or both parents to HIV disease.

Tanzania is among the poorest 15 nations in the world. More than two-thirds of the population live below the internationally recognized income poverty line of $1.25 US dollars/day. Its economy is heavily based on agriculture accounting for 50% of the employed workforce. Poor access to and knowledge about healthcare, insufficient nutrition, food insecurity, a lack of education, a high rural population and agricultural issues all play a role in Tanzania's poverty.

A Tanzanian child faces many challenges: mortality, malnutrition, lack of education and early marriage. Approximately 5% die before reaching 5 years of age, 32% suffer stunting from malnutrition, 40% do not attend school, and 24% are child workers.