The incredible Courage House staff makes what we do possible. They turn the dream of providing a safe home, loving family and restoration of young victims of trafficking into a reality. A lot goes into this work: it’s not simple and it’s not easy. The Courage House staff is resilient, strong and wise.
(Pictured: CEO Jenny Williamson with part of the Tanzania Executive Team and two of the Board Members from Courage House Tanzania)
These qualities paint a picture of our Courage House Tanzania’s House Manager, Esther Urio. Mama Victor, as she likes to be called (many mothers in Tanzania are called Mama + the name of their oldest child), manages many things at Courage House Tanzania: from the staff and girls at Courage House Tanzania to finances and logistics. We are grateful for her reliability, wisdom and her commitment to Courage House!
Esther and her family love the girls at Courage House as if they were part of their family. Esther’s husband is a music teacher at Courage: leading the choir, giving music lessons and songwriting with the girls. The Courage House girls attend the children’s camps that Esther and her husband run, and always have transformative experiences there. The older girls at Courage House are able to take on leadership roles at these camps, giving them confidence and allowing them to help change the lives of others. Esther and her husband Mattias are a loving example to the girls of a great marriage and great family! Read more about Mama Victor below, in this interview.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and family?
I was born in Moshi, Tanzania. In secondary school, I studied business and wanted to be an accountant, but then studied community development in college because I wanted to help people in my own community. In my heart, though, I still wanted to be an accountant. Right after college, I got married and was pursuing business.
I have four children, one adopted and three biological children. Jane is married and is a teacher. Victor is 25- years-old, finishing his IT and computer science degree, and loves music and photography. El-Shaddai is 23-years-old and will be pursuing her medical degree to be a doctor. She loves to sing! Our last daughter is Shalom, who is studying to be an accountant.
My husband and I are passionate about children. We host camps for children in Moshi so they can learn more about God, receive wisdom, and have fun. We try to find their talent and encourage them to pursue that passion.
Pictured: Mama Victor at their children’s camp!
Before working at Courage House, I worked at New Life Foundation, a local organization that works with children to provide them education and a successful life, as a social worker and spiritual leader. I also worked at a small organization that supports trafficked women in the local community for a short time.
When did you start working at Courage? What do you do at Courage?
I started working at Courage in February 2017 as just a volunteer, but after two months, I was hired and became the House Manager. My responsibilities are coordinating and supervising Courage House, 25 girls and their children and 13 staff members; finance and accounting for Courage House, working closely with the auditor; and lastly, conflict resolution and counseling to some of the girls.
Pictured: Esther working with one of the residents of Courage House Tanzania.
What is your favorite part about working at Courage House?
Sometimes, the girls at Courage face extreme discouragement and they want to leave to go back on their own. My favorite part about working at Courage is counseling these girls, and the breakthrough that comes when they decide not to leave. Or, if girls do leave but they end up coming back with a changed heart. Their perseverance is encouraging.
What is challenging about working at Courage House?
Seeing any girl leave Courage House. Other challenges are minor compared to that.
Pictured: Esther counseling, loving and praying for one of our girls who came back to Courage after leaving and making some wrong choices. Now this girl is thriving in college.
What do you want people to know about Courage House?
Courage is a very safe place. The life of the girls has been changed in a very good way – you can see the success of the girls in college. The needs of the staff and girls are always met, and we have such a strong leadership whereby they care so much about the staff and girls. We work in a peaceful environment; there is no corruption, which is a very important thing.
People may think that trafficking is happening only to adults, but it begins as young as 5, 6, 8-years-old. These girls are smart and kind, and are forced to do things they do not want to do. We see a lot of this resulting from poverty, maybe the family needs money.
Pictured: Mama Victor (left) and our social worker Suzan (right) with a resident of Courage House.
We are so proud of our Courage House staff, because they are truly the best of the best. Not anyone can do these jobs, have such outstanding character, and such big hearts for our girls. We are so grateful for this team! When you support Courage House, you support our program of restoring the lives of trafficking victims, you support the livelihoods of the incredible staff members of Courage Worldwide, you support our mission of educating communities around the globe on trafficking and how we can put it to an end.
If you want to be a part of turning this vision into reality, press the Donate button below or mail a check to our office at 3031 Stanford Ranch Rd. Suite 2, #339 Rocklin, CA 95765.