Tendo’s Wish: A ‘pay it forward’ kindness story

Tendo’s Wish is a circle story, meaning that it comes full circle. A ‘Pay It Forward’ book is a book about kindness.  In this book, each character does something small for the next one, they did something small out of what they could give.  The last one, the shoe cobbler, is the Mzee of “I know an old Mzee who swallowed a fly” and notice he is swatting flies.  The Mzee was helped by the nurse.  He was also missing his now grown son and so does not need the shoes he just repaired, so he gives them to Tendo.  But Mzee does not know about all the other characters in the village and their kindness.  Each character only knows about the one before them and the one after them.  Ask the question:

Who did Tendo think was kind in this book?  (All of the characters but he only knew about Mzee)


You never know when you are a part of someone’s story: After reading the story note the last page of Tendo running and turn back to the first page of Tendo running – notice how he is running past all the characters of the book.  Tendo does not know that they are going to play a part in him getting his wish at the end of the day.  And the other characters did not know about being a part of Tendo’s wish- they were just being kind for kindness sake.


Wishes/prayers and being faithful in the small things:  When Tendo made his wish in the morning he did not make a deal with God, he just made his wish and then continued being kind.  We do not know how many times Tendo has been making this wish and waiting for his shoes.  Sometimes it takes a long time to have an answer to a wish/prayer.  We do not know all of the other things that need to happen for us to get our answer.


It can be turned into a drama – see this link for a drama presented at Heritage International School.

See this link for ideas how to present it as a drama.


Mapping skills:  use this link for a black and white pdf of the map of Tendo’s Village and this link for directions of what to find.  Hint: on the map the story starts in the top left corner- use this link for the answers.

Read the story once then pass out the maps and questions and go through the story again- showing illustrations- students must be observant.  They can color it once done.


Community unituse this link to get the last page, all the characters faces.  See if the kids can name all of the characters and the jobs they did.  What other jobs do you find in a small town or village?


Welfare of children unit:  The first page shows all the jobs a child in the village in Uganda must do before school.  Compare this to children in an urban setting, or an international setting.  Children in the rural areas usually bring firewood twice a week to school.  The school cooks then typically prepare porriage for a mid morning break, and then posho and beans for lunch. (porriage and posho are both made of maize flour)