Tag: Tanzania

Mariam harvests vegetables from her garden. The vegetables are her only source of income.
Mar 18 2015

Urban farming in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city, with more than 4 million people calling it home. As the country’s main urban center, Dar es Salaam might not seem like the most obvious choice to make a living as a farmer. But for a handful of families in the Unbound program, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Though much of the city is crowded and land is limited, some have etched out space along river banks and in the swampy areas of the city to plant vegetables.

Mariam, whose daughter Sauma is sponsored through Unbound, is one such enterprising individual. Her husband’s income isn’t steady, and with three children to raise, it can be difficult.

So Mariam started a vegetable garden.

With Dar es Salaam’s climate, she’s able to grow produce all year round. The vegetables she plants typically take 3-6 weeks to mature, giving her a steady source of income.

Parents like Mariam are finding ways to use their environments in innovative ways to support their families and take steps toward lifting themselves out of poverty. Donations to Microfunding help support these goals and give a good idea the extra financial boost it may need to get started.

Jun 14 2012

Naomi and her family in Tanzania get electricity

A dimly lit lantern used to be the only light by which 15-year-old Naomi, sponsored through CFCA in Tanzania, could do her homework.

This work strained her eyes, and she developed an eye problem that caused her to visit the hospital several times. She was forced to wear eyeglasses to help her sight.

Naomi, CFCA sponsored youth in Tanzania

Naomi, CFCA sponsored youth in Tanzania. This 2011 photo shows her finishing school homework.

Naomi’s father, who is a farmer, watched as his daughter suffered.

“I longed to get electricity in my home, so that my daughter would have an easy time studying at night,” he said.

Naomi’s family is not alone.

Local CFCA staffers estimate about 1,000 families in the Hope for a Family sponsorship program lack access to electricity. (CFCA serves about 2,000 sponsored children and aging friends in Tanzania.)

A family typically pays approximately $2 US a month, or 3,000 Tanzanian shillings, for electricity, according to CFCA staff members.

The lack of electricity meant that Naomi couldn’t iron her clothes and school uniforms with an electric iron. She had to use a coal iron instead. Read more

Apr 26 2012

Gladness in Tanzania finds hope through sponsorship

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

Through Hope for a Family sponsorship, children are given the opportunity to attend school and break the cycle of poverty in their families.

Gladness, CFCA sponsored youth in Tanzania Virtually every sponsored friend in our program has a life story full of obstacles countered by hope through sponsorship.

Here’s the story of Gladness, a sponsored youth in Tanzania.

Tell us about your family’s life before you were sponsored through Hope for a Family?

My family did not have enough income because both my parents were unemployed.

My mother used to sell vegetables (she still does) and my dad used to depend on odd jobs to earn an income (her dad is now a truck driver).

The source of income was very low. My parents could not afford to meet the basic needs of the family.

For example, it was difficult to get food, clothes and school uniform.

What is your family’s situation like today? Read her answer

Jan 12 2012

The gift of clothing to boost self-esteem

Gladness, CFCA sponsored youth in Tanzania Think back to your high school days when all you wanted to do was to fit in and make friends with your classmates.

Now imagine going to school with a badly worn, patched-over uniform because your parents couldn’t afford a new one for you.

Gladness, a sponsored youth from Tanzania, faced this situation every day. But no longer, thanks to some help from a CFCA social worker, her mother’s diligent budgeting and a tailor’s magic touch.

Read the rest of Gladness’ story.

Sep 30 2011

Girl power: They deserve an education, too

Lucy, CFCA scholar, and Rabuna, a sponsored childIn patriarchal societies, like those in many Tanzania communities, sponsorship enables girls to pursue their education.

The Hope for a Family program in the Dar es Salaam project is aiming to level the playing field in a culture that typically gives boys priority in education.

Girls who wish to continue their education may receive help through sponsorship, providing alternatives to early marriage. The CFCA Scholarship Program provides additional help for older female students.

In a place where most young girls only finish primary school, the CFCA program in Tanzania offers another possibility for them to accomplish their dreams. Lucy is an example of a young woman benefiting from this opportunity.

Read Lucy’s story.

Aug 12 2011

CFCA in the blogosphere

We’re grateful for the beautiful testimony thatCFCA blog CFCA sponsor Lynn Woolf posted to her blog this morning about her two sponsored children, Flora in Tanzania and Christian in Honduras.

Here’s an excerpt …

You know the TV commercials for charities helping children in poverty? ìJust $1 a dayî is all thatís needed to†change†a childís life. You know what? Theyíre right. You can change a childís life with $1 a day. But thereís more. Much more ñ†at least with one organization called†Christian Foundation for Children†and Aging†(CFCA).

For my family, itís $1 a day to reach across the world. $1 a day to learn a new culture. $1 a day to feel love for and the love of someone you will† never meet or even talk to on the phone. $1 a day to remind us to stop complaining about what we donít have. $1 a day to teach our kids about the†rewards of charity.

Read the full blog post here

Dec 4 2009

Health care around the world

By Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

As the health care debate in this country rages on, I began to wonder about insurance and government-run health programs in the countries in which CFCA works. Do they have insurance at all? What do government-run programs look like? Are they working, and is there anything that we can learn from them?

The British began large insurance companies in India back in the 1800s to cover their nationals living there. In 1870, Bombay Mutual Life was formed as the first native insurance provider. Since that time, the government-run programs have been by far the largest provider of health insurance. However, since 1999, government deregulation has allowed for more private companies to enter the market. Only .2 percent of Indians are covered by insurance.

A CFCA clinic in IndiaAccording to Dan Pearson, CFCA director of program development and operations, ìThe cost of health care tends to be a lot lower in some countries. When we lived in India, we took my son to a private clinic for stitches. They put him under with anesthesia and everything, and the whole bill was under $40. Even those prices are way beyond what most of the CFCA families can afford, so they let injuries and illnesses go untreated, unless they are life threatening. Preventive health care is not even on the radar for most of the families.î However, CFCA mothers groups in India use their shared resources to respond to familiesí medical needs.

In hearing from many of our families in various projects around the world, not only is insurance not an option for them, but the government-run hospitals and clinics where care is more affordable are of very poor quality.

This is certainly true in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. There is a mandated government-run health care system of which most CFCA employees are a part. However, the care provided is often sub-standard.

Surprisingly, one bright spot in the health care struggle is Madagascar. According to USAID, the agency gave a grant to the government of Madagascar who began five community-based insurance programs in five counties. This was started because often those living in rural communities will have an influx of cash during the harvest and have more ability to attend to health issues, but will be cash poor later in the growing season.

Members of the community make an annual contribution to the insurance fund that can be paid in cash or crops. All of their health care expenses are then covered for that year. In 2005, the child mortality rate in these areas dropped to an astonishing 5 percent because of access to preventive health care and immunizations. The program has been so successful the government is expanding the program across the country.

Clearly, without sponsorship money most of the CFCA families around the world would be without health care benefits. Fortunately, because of sponsorship and special funds like Healthy Communities Fund and Project Needs Fund, CFCA field staff are given the flexibility and resources to help families in times of medical emergencies.

Aug 11 2009

August isn’t back-to-school month for everyone

As U.S. students prepare for the onset of school, students in other countries have already taken mid-terms.

That’s right. For students in many countries where CFCA works, school does not start in August or September.

The school year in Central America started in January or February. Those lucky children are only two months away from the end of school. Schoolchildren in India and the Philippines are already into their third month of the school year. And students in Kenyaówell, they follow the British system and attend school all year, with long breaks at the end of each quarter.

Find the school calendar for your friend on the graph below.

School calendar

Related links
Time for school

Jul 2 2009

Celebrating freedom

On the Fourth of July, Americans will gather to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, parades and picnics. Although the United States and the countries CFCA partners with do not celebrate independence on the same date, we share many customs and events.

In Central America, most countries celebrate their independence on Sept. 15 with parades and music. The running of the Central American Freedom Torch from Guatemala to Costa Rica, taking a total of 14 days, reenacts the news of their independence spreading through Central America.

South Americans celebrate with large celebrations, flying flags, parades, fireworks and feasting. In India, all cities have Flag Hoisting Ceremonies run by politicians and other officials. Indian schoolchildren gather to sing songs and watch the hoisting of the flag.

Under colonization, Haitians were forbidden to eat soup, a meal reserved for the upper classes. Now on Independence Day, it is traditional to eat soup to demonstrate the equality of all citizens.

People of the Philippines celebrate their independence with ceremonies, historic exhibitions and memorial events. Festivities begin with a flag-raising ceremony and parade in the historic city of Cavite, where Filipinos first proclaimed their independence.

We would like to encourage you to research how the country your friend lives in celebrates its independence. And from all of us at CFCA, we wish you a safe and wonderful Independence Day.

The Independence Days of the countries CFCA partners with are listed below.

Jan. 1
Haiti
Feb. 27
Dominican Republic
May 24
Ecuador
June 12
Philippines
June 26
Madagascar
July 5
Venezuela
July 20
Colombia
July 26
Liberia
July 28
Peru
Aug. 6
Bolivia
Aug. 15
India
Sept. 7
Brazil
Sept. 15
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua
Sept. 16
Mexico
Sept. 18
Chile
Oct. 9
Uganda
Dec. 9
Tanzania
Dec. 12
Kenya

 

Updated July 1, 2011

May 1 2009

Breaking rocks for a living

Today, much of the international community is celebrating Labor Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. Labor Day recognizes the social and economic achievements of laborers. Though much has been accomplished for workers, including safer working conditions and representation through labor unions, workers like those in Tanzanian rock quarries still labor under very difficult conditions.

Mary Dawn Reavey, the Dar es Salaam project coordinator in Tanzania, gives us a look at the working conditions of people who break rocks for a living.

Story by Reavey, and video by Freddie (sponsored) and Emma (formerly sponsored).

Freddie, Emma and I interviewed and filmed some guardians of sponsored children who break rocks for a living. Because many parents die from AIDS, their children are often raised by guardians such as uncles, aunts, brothers or sisters.

At a quarry outside Dar es Salaam, workers break rocks near the road to be more accessible to potential customers. To protect them from the blazing sun, the workers construct a covering with sticks and old flour sacks.

They pound rocks for at least eight hours a day, starting around 6 a.m. to avoid the intense midday heat. CFCA is helping many of these guardians start small businesses, allowing them to significantly reduce the time they spend breaking stones, or stop altogether.
Read more