Since our last letter a year ago our charity has progressed well with your support, which was clearly demonstrated during my visit to Tanzania late last year.
The girls hostel is full with a group of 20 happy girls who enjoy security and comfort. The Sister in charge has a very positive influence on them and cares with a listening ear and open heart. She teaches them domestic skills and sees that they spend their free time studying and learning to think independently.
As is said in Africa:
“You educate a woman you educate a family.”
So let us give these girls a better chance in life.
Some girls come from subsistence farming families who can only pay a small part of the fee of £20 per month. The girls also have to walk for an hour to school often without breakfast. Therefore, we are hoping to start a bursary to help meet these needs. As a first step we are trying to collect enough money for the Sisters to buy a cow so that, in addition to produce from the garden and eggs from the chickens, they can get money for the milk.
The education of the CMM Sisters is continuing well. Two are awaiting their diploma results from last year and others are progressing with their studies. The changing pattern of the rains is having a detrimental effect on agricultural income so the trustees feel that it is important to put more emphasis on their education. In this way they can give better help to women and children and become more self-sufficient themselves.
The new well at the convent in Masasi will make a great difference to the sustainability of the Sisters. The water will help them increase food production and also achieve their aim of becoming more self sufficient in the face of the increasing threat of drought. They have planted many mango, orange, avocado and passion fruit trees and would like to irrigate these with soaker hoses. They also plan to start a rice paddy. Once they have these funds from the sale of their new produce it will enable them to harvest the rice and some vegetables twice a year.
The trees at Kifanya plantation continue to flourish and add to reducing environmental impact on the climate. At Sayuni a serious fire damaged a number of trees but replanting was possible through the tree nursery there which produces young trees ready to plant before the rainy season.
“A river went out from Eden to water the garden.”
The first water from the new well at Masasi.
The medical work at the dispensary in Sayuni is going well, although the status of Health Centre has not yet been granted. This is because the government requirements have been hugely increased. The Sisters are, however, hopeful that this can be achieved next year. The three Sisters who are trained as nurses and midwives continue their essential work in nursing and maternity care. Another Sister is completing her training as a medical laboratory technician. One Sister, working at Newala General Hospital, has recently completed a hospital management course and has also used her experience to give a presentation at the National Midwives Conference held at Morogoro. This presentation was based on her use of ultrasound in diagnosis and confirmation of pregnancy in those attending the clinic.
There is an ever increasing demand to give assistance to orphans. The Sisters currently provide school books and uniforms to well over 100 children in schools in the Masasi area. In their nursery school at Newala they have 9 children and in Njombe 19 are catered for.
In addition to all these demands the Sisters look after these lively orphaned twins!
“Let the children come to me.”
The community in Zambia tells us that they have had good rains compared to Tanzania. They are now looking forward to a reasonable harvest. They are still struggling to complete the work on their new home in Chalata.
We wish you a joyous Easter.
Chair of Trustees