It is some time since we last wrote about the progress we have been making in support of the work of the Sisters of St Mary in Tanzania. A lot has been happening and we thought you might like an update.
Education for women is being given a higher priority by the Government. For girls, however, to attend one of the day secondary schools, which in rural areas are far apart, it often means they have to live away from home and find a way to board. The Sisters at Masasi have been delighted to obtain funding through us to build a hostel where girls can sleep overnight in safety and have a place to study under supervision. We have recently heard ‘the roofing is now complete and they are now fixing the door and the window frames. On Monday they will start electrical installations then the plastering’. The hostel will soon be ready for girls to move in but there will still be a need for furnishings and other items to make the interior more comfortable.
The Sisters give help to boys as well as girls. Luke was found in Masasi after his parents had both died.
He was being looked after by his blind grandmother but spent most of his time on the streets as the old
lady could not really care for him. He was given clothes and schooling was organised for him with the
help of money from the Support Group.
He expressed a wish to be trained as a carpenter and so now with the Sisters’ help he will be able to
learn a trade.
At Mtwara Sister Mary has had success in applying for a course in 2015-2016 for a teaching diploma
in primary education. The Support Group was able to make this possible.
At the Tanga house, in the north of Tanzania, the Sisters received Tsh 800,000 (£2912) from us to dig a new well. Previously it
was a long walk to fetch the water from the nearest available supply. Now all they have to do is use a hand-pump.
Sister Agnes at the Kwamkono house writes to say that the supply of water was always a problem there too but, with the
Tsh 1,000,000 (£364) sent out by us, a new rainwater-harvesting tank has been installed. You may remember that, in 2011, connecting the health centre at Sayuni to a source of clean running water was the first stage in its development. The sisters helped from the beginning, digging and burying the long water pipeline underground to reduce the risk of damage. As a result of improved facilities and other support, a medical officer has agreed to start work at the health centre, something that had been previously lacking. Two of the CMM Sisters there are training, one as a nurse and one as a laboratory technician for the centre. None of this would have been possible without the clean water, especially for the busy Sayuni maternity unit.
Sister Aneth Oliver, after completing her university course in Religious Studies and Administration, now has a well paid job in administration. At Newala Government Hospital Sister Debora, who qualified as a maternity nurse in 2010 with the help of the Support Group, is in charge of the two wards. As many as 12 babies may be born there in one day. These Sisters and others paid by the Government hand over their salaries to help fund the running costs of the Community. A number of Sisters are currently going through secondary school in preparation for training for similar jobs.
What you can do
We are always looking for more donations to the African Sisters of St Mary (CMM) Support Group. We hope you have been interested in hearing about just a few of the many things for which help was asked. The Trustees are meeting in May to look at what grants we can make this year.
•The Sisters have been offered 10 acres of land, with four year old trees, costing £1,500 if we can raise the money. After another four years they will be able to start harvesting the timber. Buying 10 trees and planting them costs £5.
In Sayuni last year the tree project enabled the Sisters to buy a lorry as well as making furniture for the dispensary and the chapel.
•Several of the Sisters make clerical vestments and other clothes. They would like a sewing machine with special stiching (cost £260) saving
a huge amount of time.
It would be good if you could help us.
We wish you a joyful Easter.