Some information on one of the operations under the Diocese of Kagera. Rob has been assisting workers there with computer issues.

Tumaini - the Swahili word for Hope - is a charity seeking to alleviate the terrible suffering of the AIDS widows and orphans in Kagera, the North-West province of Tanzania. Figures are unreliable but average life expectancy there is 43 years and HIV carriage is thought to be 28% with possibly 1 in 3 Mother’s delivering babies being HIV positive. A subsistence farmer will earn in the vacinity of US$100 each year with which to support an average of 6-8 family members. There are an estimated 200,000 orphans in this region.

Tanzania is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world as measured by most poverty indices. Most of the wealth is concentrated around Dar es Salaam, the largest city, on the east coast of the country. The province of Kagera, being in the far North-West (bordering Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Lake Victoria, with Congo close by), is furthest from the source of wealth so is one of its poorest regions. AIDS widows and orphans in Kagera are the poorest section of this community.

Subsistence farming is not a good way to survive especially with climate change and unpredictable rain. Education is the only way to get out of this hand-to-mouth existence. Primary schooling is free in Tanzania but children cannot enrol unless they have school uniforms, books and pencils which prices education out for a lot of subsistence farmers’ children and makes it impossible for sick widows’ children or children in child-headed families.

Children are called AIDS orphans if one parent has died from AIDS as the other parent will, by definition, be becoming ill themselves. Tumaini tries to lengthen the parents time with their children by improving their health and life circumstances. The children just want to have their Mum or Dad with them for a bit longer and, as Tumaini works with the family, the parent will come to know that, after their death, their children will be supported. At the death of the parent, Tumaini promote the children’s rights to their parents’ small-holding and support the family as a child-headed unit.

Tumaini supply each AIDS orphan with a school uniform, books and pencils. This enables the childen to attend school. In addition, everyone in the household gets 2 sets of clothes and a mosquito net for Malaria prevention. Malaria is the biggest childhood killer in Sub-Saharan Africa. Repeated episodes of malaria threatens the lives of immuno-compromised parents.

13,000 orphans are now supported by the Tumaini Fund. Tumaini employ local workers in Kagera to carry out the project which is monitored by the Anglican Diocese. Tumaini aim to find support for all the estimated 200,000 orphans.

Tumaini workers assess specific needs in orphan families and initially supply food needs, blankets and grain etc. There is a programme to re-build derelict family-houses and support establishing “chekacheas” and nursery schools for younger orphans. The programme also encourages churches to assist with this programme.

Secondary Schools are all fee-paying. Costs are about US$80 per year. This cost is prohibitive for most of these families’ budgets. Completion of Secondary Education will assist to lift the entire extended family out of poverty!

Tumaini has a child sponsorship programme enabling people to sponsor a family of AIDS orphans. For approximately US$2 per week a Kageran child can be fed, clothed and educated.

The work is inspired by Jesus. His Holy Spirit is willing this work forward and has enabled all that has been achieved so far.

For more information please visit http://www.tumainifund.org.uk


Time Difference

The rich get richer, the poor get the picture.~

Midnight Oil
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