This article examines practices and ideologies that underline the social construction of the “disabled child” in Tanzania. In doing so, it questions the way in which both local and international social actors define certain categories – such as “disability” and “care”; as well as the relationship between those categories and the development policies. The Tanzanian government tried to keep up with global policies to the benefit of disabled people in vain. Therefore, private individuals and NGO sectors filled the void. What does this mean for disabled children and their families? This is the question behind the fieldwork. The paper follows case studies that allow highlighting how local beliefs and practices are questioned when the disabled child attends school or when an orphanage takes care of a child. Ethnography let us to critically ponder over the agency and vulnerability experienced by the subjects involved, including minors, even when their own lives are at stake.