It is almost a year since we last wrote to you to tell of the progress the Support Group has made working with the Anglican Sisters in Tanzania and Zambia. As usual, trustees have visited East Africa at their own expense to advise and help. Mother Dorothy, the Mother Superior, has visited England this year after Easter.
The reason for her visit was the need to meet and experience exchange with other Anglican communities also in Derbyshire and Yorkshire and to help the Sisters in Tanzania in the education and improvement of the health of African women and children and in the standards of nutrition and skills of their families.
Water Drilling for Irrigation project in Masasi
The Sisters last year had some test drilling done near their cow shed not far from heir vegetable gardens.
Now they have carried out further work and drilled finding a plentiful supply of good quality water.
This will help them to irrigate their garden and nearby paddy field, which should produce two harvests of rice twice a year.
This will be a great boost for CMM to have sufficient water as there have been very poor harvests this year, despite two plantings on the fields near Dar.
Most exciting, thanks to generous donations, has been the opening in 2015 of the Hostel for 20 girls attending secondary schools in and around Masasi. A Sister acts as Matron to supervise the girls to live and study in safe conditions and help them in learning domestic skills at the same time. You may recall from previous appeals that opportunities for secondary education for girls were few and those coming from outlying villages had to board in the town during the week. There was a high drop out rate and sometimes unwanted teenage pregnancies, at the same time as having to do long hours of domestic work in part-payment of rent, thus making school homework and reading difficult. The design of the hostel allows for further expansion when funds are available. Some of the furnishings were made in the carpentry workshop, where Luke (we reported about him last year) is placed. The Sisters had taken him in as an orphan, as his blind grandmother could no longer look after him. When we met him during our last visit, a confident young man stood before us wanting to help other orphans after his training as an apprentice.
The Sisters are also constructing a Mother and Child Health building in the remote Health Centre at Sayuni (the foundations are being dug out in the picture). HIV testing equipment for the whole area costing £30,000, paid for by the government, has been installed, showing the trust it has in CMM.
Dirk Juttner – Chair of Trustees
The trustees are very grateful for all the donations from individuals and from Church and other groups. A single donation last year for a sewing machine enabled one Sister to start making vestments again. Similar small sums make a great difference and you can tell us if you wish to direct your donation for a particular purpose. Alternatively look at the web site. There you will see more photos of the recent visits of the trustees and a further explanation of some of the Sisters’ needs.
We wish you a joyful Easter.
Sisters' self help
A small initial outlay can help a Community house to provide much better for its own needs. At Tanga an extensive farming project of 128 hectares at Pangani has been planted out with the help of the tractor and plough bought by the Sisters from the forced sale of land. The community forest at Kifanya planted with young trees on land bought by the Sisters in response to climate change is growing well. The planting of trees from seedlings grown at several houses will help the environment and provide a cash crop to harvest after 8 or 10 years.
Support for Orphans and for One-Parent families
The demand has increased in spite of improved health care, malaria and HIV/Aids prevention. There were a total of 120 such children being supported by the Sisters in the Masasi region. Other Sisters’ houses such as Sayuni and Njombe also support smaller orphan groups with uniforms, shoes, school meals, paper and pencils. Although primary education is free, each orphan costs the Community about £10 a year and secondary educ-ation fees and support present an even greater cost.
Two Sisters are taking diploma or degree courses, one is at university and another a medical laboratory technician’s course. Four Sisters are at secondary schools. The exam pass rate has been good. The trustees feel women’s education leading to greater self-sufficiency is important and, with others, have funded much of the fees and maintenance.
At Newala Hospital, another Sister has undertaken further training and uses portable ultrasound to scan her maternity cases and can perform pain relief with spinal anesthesia if needed.
Towards the end of 2015 work was well under way to provide a new house at Chalata in Zambia, which will allow more girls to join the Community. The brick building is now awaiting fitting out and the surrounding land has been planted with maize, sweet potatoes and groundnuts, which are thriving after rainfall in December.