Thursday, April 28, 2011

September 2010 (2 years in 20 days continued)

Pictured: Some of the items sent out from the UK via container! Special thanks to Marion Gough and team for all the hours of hard work needed to get this project accomplished!

The children’s village has been introduced to some families this month that are really exemplifying what it is to be great parents in the face of the immense adversity that faces these impoverished families. Two mothers have brought there infant children here and are staying with them for a short time to learn proper nutrition and how to care for the children. Another Mother has brought two of her children (Ashim, 9, and Boniface, 13) for a short time while she build a home for her family. She is following the example of her neighbors from the same area who will be welcoming back four children this year who have lived at the Children’s Village while they have earned an income leveling the ground at other NGO development projects. The money that these parents have earned has gone towards building a new home and the family will be ready later this year to have their children return home.
Finally, a child named Joshua, 12 months, has been welcomed here after his mother passed away at the beginning of this month. Joshua’s father (Evaristo, 23) has pledged to welcome the child back home after he is employed and will be able to care for the child when Joshua is three years old. Evaristo is currently looking for employment, and the NGO is planning on giving him work on some of our development projects going on at the Children’s village.
We are excited about this new use of the children’s village and we feel it helps give the project a sense of momentum towards ultimately being taken over by the communities themselves.
Ongoing projects at the children’s village these days include the difficult task of clearing the massive stones from orphans’ home site number one, construction of orphans’ home number two, construction of a manager’s house to enable more volunteer housing, and construction of a social center that will ultimately be the heart of the children’s village and the NGO itself.

Another container has arrived in Mufindi! Right at the beginning of the month we had our work cut out for us as we unloaded all of the contents neatly organizaed and packed away by Marion gough and her team in the UK. This is the fourth container sent out by Marion, and it’s filled with countless useful items. It was clear to see the hard the work that had been put into loading the container as everything was neatly labeled, nicely organized and well packed to the brim of the container before shipping! Hospital equipment, computers, printers, copiers, clothes, and loads and loads of materials for a sewing project hopefully to start in the coming months were just a few of the items sent this time around. Again we’d like to thank Marion and Rod Gough and everyone who helped on this for their truly tireless efforts, and we only hope Marion’s efforts can be replicated by committed volunteers right around the world!

Community Outreach
A big project in medical treatment occurred this month through the Community Outreach program. 10 patients with various ailments needing surgical attention were sent on a bus to Dar es Salaam to receive treatment. The ordeal was a great success in terms of community outreach at its purest form. The expenses however further exemplified the need for local Health facilities to be improved. The Mdabulo Hospital project is needed so that this community can get the health care services they deserve, and so that everyone may have access to health care with their own means.
The ten patients had various ailments such as Fistula, clubfeet, cleft palates, and others, and were all taken to a Hospital in Dar es Salaam called Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Tanzania (CCBRT). By a great stroke of luck, Dr. Leena Pasanen had retuned to Tanzania just as these patients were recovering and she was able to check in on all of the patients before she left for Illembula. Dr. Leena will be joining us again on the 20th of October.

Blantina’s House
On one of Dr. Leena’s village visits she met an amazing woman named Blantina. Blantina is a woman with an unfortunate infliction where her bones are very weak, and she has had corrective surgery a few times and she now stands just over three feet tall. She is doing all that she can to raise her children and send them to school, and in fact she is one of most important leaders in HIV prevention education as she visits homes of neighbors and friends on her own time to discuss testing and treatment options in the area. Unfortunately her home is slowly deteriating as the thatch roof is falling completely away. A Canadain donor has responded to this story and has donated the $2000 needed to build Blantina her own “Bibi’s home.” Construction was completed this month all the way to roof level, and the house should be ready by the end of October. Blantina helped make the bricks, and clear the land and carry the water for building during the whole process and she is very grateful for the helping hand that has reached out to her and her family.

Health Care
Mdabulo Hospital
Construction has continued past the ‘ring beam’ level but has stalled before installation of the roof. We are waiting on specific funds for this project before continuing. Plans are in place to complete a comprehensive proposal that will include a detailed budget each building project that will be necessary to complete this project. We are hoping that by sharing this vision it may help in getting more people aware and involved with this cause. The completion of this project will mark our biggest single project and our hope is that if funding is procured more rapidly building can continue accordingly as opposed to the more slower pace we are forced to continue with in order to stay within our means.

Igoda Community Hall
Events at the Igoda Community Hall seem to be getting more and more productive with each experience. This month we had a seminar entitled “Pombe ni Sumu” (Alcohol is poison). The seminar was filled with various leaders in the village who shared thoughts and experience regarding alcohol in the community. Alcohol is specifically detrimental to the development of communities in this area due to the high HIV prevelance in the area. One of the most important reasons for having the Community Hall in the village was to give the community alternative entertainment options for family oriented fun. This seminar was the most engaging seminar thus far as everyone seemed to have an opinion as the floor was opened to all visitors for discussion. Over 481 people attended, and many people, and village leaders expressed a desire for another similar seminar to be had as soon as possible! The event was the ideal

Luhunga Secondary School
Geoff Fox, Chariman of Foxes Community and Wildlife Conservation Trust (FCWCT), was given a special honor this month as he was invited to give a speech as Mgeni Rasmi (honored guest) at the Form 4 graduation ceremony on September 24th. This was a very special event, as it was the school’s first Form 4 graduation celebration. Mr. Fox spoke about the importance of this step in education being the foundation on which more growth could be had, and he also stressed the need for students not to forget where they come from. The final point was made that Tanzania needs educated people to help develop the community, as does Mufindi, as does Luhunga. It was a great honour to have the NGO represented at this important event, and we are all grateful that such a poignant message could be given to students at an impressionable time.

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