Meet Mama Shama, House Manager of Courage House Too!
Get to know Flora Urio, also known as Mama Shama to everyone here at Courage House! Read this interview with Mama Shama who has worked with us for four years now. She demonstrates strength and wisdom, and is a wonderful example of a strong woman and mother to each one of the girls at Courage House.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’ve worked at Courage for about four years now. I heard about Courage from my young sister, Mama Victor. First, I was a House Mama at Courage House for about two years, then I became the House Manager of Courage House Too/Courage Leadership Academy.
I am a single mother. I have four daughters – two are already married and two are in college. I have supported my children on my own because my husband left and hasn’t supported us at all in many years. God helped me to find the strength to do that, through prayer. It is only God – I couldn’t have done it myself. Every day, I look to God instead of focusing on this situation, and every day, things go on well. My daughters know this situation and have never complained. They stay in peace and cooperation, and they encourage me.
My background with my four girls helped prepare me for working at Courage so much. To advise them, to know their tricks.
Mama Shama (left) with her younger sister Mama Victor, our Campus Director of Courage House Tanzania (right).
What is your experience working with the girls of Courage House?
Before working at Courage House, I worked with women, survivors of trafficking, as a manager at another NGO in Moshi.
My mindset has shifted a lot since working at Courage. Before, I didn’t even know about trafficking, this “business of bodies” and the abuse that happens.
It is hard for me to accept the situation of many of our girls. Girls even 9 years old can be trafficked and abused. It is so hard to think about. But I know that they don’t want that – it’s the family situation.
In the beginning, working with the girls was difficult. I wanted to discipline them like my daughters, but it didn’t work because of their background and their nature. So, day after day, I learned the best way to work with them, how they are. Even now, I am still learning.
I love these girls like my own daughters. Every time I look at them, I see my daughters. The girls have taught me many things. Even in their past life, living independently at young ages. They show a lot of strength.
Also, all of the girls change a lot. They have completely changed their lives. If I teach them something, they listen and they take action. They will even thank us for advice and corrections because they want to change their lives.
How is the staff and work environment of Courage House Tanzania?
First of all, I like Courage House because there is love and peace. Especially from the bosses, Mama Stephanie and Baba Joel. I like the way they treat us. You know, they don’t treat us like bosses at other places who make you feel fearful. In fact, I am peaceful and comfortable when they are around.
Also, I like the cooperation of all the staff members. The Executive Team, we are united. That is because of the leadership from the top. They set a good example on how to treat others with peace and love, which comes down to us and then on to other workers. We work well together.
When I go to another staff member, like Mama Stephanie, with a difficult personal issue, they take it as if it is their own. She feels my pain, advises me, and comforts me. Now, I do the same for others even that I supervise.
Even how Courage House pays us, it is good. It is on time and reliable.
I thank all the supporters for supporting us. We are praying for you. We hope God will continue to help you for business, families – we pray for all of that. We hope God will bless you for what you are doing for us.
Mama Shama & Courage Worldwide