I am surrounded by a bank of computers and people inputting the information gathered today when we were interviewing the sponsored children. Every few minutes arms flap around as we try to fend off the millions (possibly an exaggeration?) of flies trying to land on our faces. Horrible!
Today the team was working in two areas called Airport and Pambogo. At Pambogo we interviewed over 250 children already on the scheme. It was shocking (again!) to hear how many children have experienced the loss of a parent or sibling this year. There also crowds of people who sat for hours hoping that we would also be able to get their child sponsored. A lady (whose child we were interviewing and has been sponsored a while) grabbed my hand and told me that this help was vital for her and please do not stop! Not sure how I feel that only £42 per year is considered life changing for a family in Tanzania! Sometimes my Western economic superiority is hard to reconcile with what we are seeing here.
Pambogo Primary School is being used for the interviewing in their area. They were once again very welcoming. Pambogo is one of the schools that link with a school in the UK. It also hosts the feeding programme that happens each week for the sponsored children. Each week many extras (children who are not sponsored but are deeply hungry!) turn up and the team tries to make the food go further. The photographs for the children were taken under the water tank, the only shade to be found. Grassroots helps fund a number of water tanks, wells and water taps in the schools around the Mbeya area.
The team do not stop for food until we have finished the interviews. Then everybody (visiting team and local team together) cram into the Grassroots centre for lunch – or is it tea? Nobody cares! Over 50 of us tuck in to food. People are looking tired but happy. Not sure what time we will get to bed tonight but breakfast is at 7:30am. … Oh these flies!!!!
Thank you for your messages and encouragement,