Walk in Love Tanzania (WIL) is a small non-for-profit organization located in Arusha, Tanzania, founded in 2012 by Aubree Packard.
Aubree’s first trip to Tanzania was as a volunteer in 2005 where she was living at an orphanage and teaching at the government high school in Buswelu, a small village outside of Mwanza. Long story short, she fell in love with Tanzania and knew one day she would live there. Several trips back and forth to Tanzania eventually led to the ‘big’ move to Arusha with her husband, Jason, in 2012.
Aubree, who holds a degree in Child and Family Development, started volunteering as a Preschool teacher at several of the Western run orphanages. At this time she realized that the majority of the children at the orphanages were not orphans at all; they had families. They had families who desperately wanted to be reunited with their children. After speaking with the orphanages about trying to work together to help reunify and ideally keep kids out of the orphanages all together, she was told that there were too many obstacles involved in trying to keep children in their families. They stated their only job was to care for the children that came to them. With this information, Aubree decided to start her own NGO with a mission to keep children in their families by providing home based support. With that, Walk in Love Tanzania was founded.
Walk in Love Tanzania’s first Community and Daycare center opened in early 2013. This was the first Daycare center of its kind and a very foreign idea in Tanzania, but Aubree knew it was at least part of the solution to keep families together. The center grew to include a preschool, women empowerment classes, vocational training, small business loans and a sponsorship program to ensure all the WIL kids would continue their education at a good, Private school once graduating from WIL.
In 2017, Aubree was joined by Matthew and Kelly Erdman. Matthew and Kelly moved from central Texas to Arusha, Tanzania in 2013 to work as the on-site directors of a local orphanage for children ages 0-6 years. After four years of working with the orphanage and seeing how many of the children were there because of obstacles to family reunification, the Erdmans decided to
change the focus of their ministry to family based care. The Erdmans realized that what was desperately needed was a program to provide the resources to overcome the barriers to family unity and outreach to prevent children from being institutionalized in the first place. They dreamed of a project where childcare, family strengthening, education and advocacy could all be incorporated to care for not only vulnerable children, but the entire family unit. Partnering with Walk In Love Tanzania was the perfect fit.