Origin of Madiro

Madiro is the Shona word for “Desire.” Shona is one of the main languages spoken in Zimbabwe. This name was chosen for our first funding initiative as a tribute to Desire.

Desire was a beautiful little boy whom Gillian met at the orphanage where she worked in Harare, Zimbabwe. Desire was not an orphan. His mother was suffering from AIDS dementia and could no longer care for him. Gillian was there when he was first brought to the orphanage. He spent the first few days heartbroken at the separation from his mother: inconsolably crying and refusing to eat. He soon became ill and was admitted at a nearby hospital. Because he was all alone, Gillian visited him every day after work and they quickly developed a close bond. The other caregivers on the ward took to calling Gillian “Mai Desire,” meaning mother of Desire. Devastatingly, with Gillian at his side, Desire passed away on June 2, 2001.

Desire will never be forgotten. We hope that the Madiro Fund will help prevent other children from a similar fate and allow them to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

In Memoriam, Desire: August 24, 1999-June 2, 2001




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