Having been back to Tabora recently, Dr Ruth Hulser updated us on activities at ‘Familia Moja Itetemia’ our partner organisation in Tanzania. Things are progressing well and everyone is working very hard despite the many difficulties encountered due to the climate in that part of Africa.
Unfortunately, the rains have been the poorest for 10 years. Not only does this affect ground water levels and the availability of drinking water, but also reduces the harvests and availability of scrubland for livestock. The lack of the rain at the normal time has meant a failed rice harvest and a very poor maize harvest. The maize price had been stable up to March. It increased by one and half times in the following two months. So many who are dependent maize as daily food are already suffering.
This has already led to increased starvation for some and has led Familia Moja to support an extra six children from two different households. Kulwa and Dotto, 12-year-old twin girls, have kwashiorkor (severe malnutrition). Their father, a 69 year-old cow-hand who is HIV positive and an alcoholic, abandoned his wife and children when they were two years old. This family is typical of those that we aim to help – they are at risk due to extreme poverty and have no other source of help. Familia Moja is the last lifeline for many such families.
Suzanna and Maria [names changed], together with two other children, live in a household of an elderly distant relative; a lady of 65 who has no income. Their father [a causal worker] is also an alcoholic and has abandoned them. We learnt about them when they visited Mama Samweli’s neighbour every weekend. [The Samwelis are one the key families in Familia Moja Itetemia. They look after the children that form part of Dr Ruth’s ‘extended family’ in Tabora]
Mama Samweli suspected that there was a lack of food at their home and they had been sent by their relative to get fed at least once or twice. The children had a two-hour journey on foot each way. So on one occasion Familia Moja took the children back home by car only to discover that there was no food in the house and there were another two children all looked after by their emaciated elderly relative.
Familia Moja immediately stepped in to help. The girls [with their whole household] now eat 3 times a day and now have the energy to go back to school. Their 12 year old brother had never been to school as no one could buy him a school uniform. Familia Moja purchased school uniforms so they are allowed back in class and this boy is now getting tuition so he can catch up.
The support of individuals here in the UK is essential to allow the local staff of Familia Moja Itetemia to help their neighbours. Thank you for your help.
Becoming a Charity
We are still trying to set up the Familia Moja Community Project UK as a registered charity here in the UK. We put in our application earlier this year but it was rejected because we didn’t have a bank account. After several months of applying to one of the major high street banks we gave up with them and are about to apply to for an account with a bank that specialises in dealing with charities. Please pray that our application for the bank account will be successful and rapid this time and that we will then be able to put in another application to the Charity Commission.
Next time …
In the next edition we will talk ponds!