It is almost time for another GRASSROOTS team to leave for Tanzania. The trip dates are 7-20 November. We really want you to join us on this journey! We will travel to Mbeya, interview the 2300+ children who are currently on the sponsorship scheme. You can follow our antics every day on the GRASSROOTS BLOG – each day a team member will be writing up the happenings from their point of view. You are able to comment, leave encouraging messages or just read and pray.
Most of you know what we provide for the sponsored children, but gladly many of you are also very generous either through extra gifts or "alternative gifts". This has meant we have also been able to provide:
- 2 community wells.
- £500 worth of newly planted trees.
- Water towers in three schools – and we have also paid the water bills for 7 schools.
- Computers for schools. A great pile of school books – both text books and exercise books.
- One new school toilet block.
- Quite a few solar powered study lights for pupils and teachers.
- We have also bought land so we can start another centre. The cook house is being built and we will start the feeding programme in November. This is one of two new centres (in Iyela and Tukuyu) we are in the process of starting – which will bring us up to 10 fully functioning centres by the end of the year.
- Our farm is thriving. More cows have been added to the herd and they provide daily milk for pre school children. We have also been able to give loads of families chickens.
- In addition to all this we have been able to provide on-going care for children who are HIV+ or suffering from acute malnutrition – they are visited regularly by our community care workers and get extra food.
Thank you to all of you who have made these things (and more) happen. Thank you for cards made to raise funds, sponsored events completed, "sponsorship plus" added to your sponsorship standing order and all those one off gifts.
New website: We have recently launched a new website. Please do take a look. I think it is easier to navigate – if only sat navs were available for websites!
There is a new 6 minute video about the work in Mbeya. Take a look. I think is portrays the work really well. A full length version will be available very soon. This was made by Stuart Boreham who travelled with a small team in July.
Secondary Students: The number of sponsored children passing the required national examinations and gaining places at secondary school also rose this year. This is fantastic. We are now in the position of having many more secondary children available for sponsorship. If you are sponsoring a primary child and they move into the secondary part of the scheme it is possible to continue to sponsor them into secondary school, but you are under no obligation. If you cannot aford the extra money we will keep you linked to the secondary child until we are able to find a secondary sponsor and only then allocate you a new primary child. This could happen quickly or slowly.
University Students: We have had a number of students graduate from university this year. They have all got with good degrees! Nearly all have found work. As they finish tertiary education, others are starting! We have a handful of students starting at a number of universities scattered around Tanzania. Students studying law, teaching, nursing, journalism, engineering and medicine.
Mosquito Nets: We aim to provide all the children on the scheme this year with a mosquito net. The total cost of this will be around £4500 – but so many lives will be saved so we cannot really put a cost to on that!
Fabulous team: We have a fabulous, committed team in Tanzania! (picture of them below!) Without them we would never be able to help the children who are sponsored. Currently we have over 70 staff and volunteers. Each year they organised the preparation of well over 250,000 meals, run a weekly fun programme in 8 locations (10 soon), visit children in their homes, provide emergency transport to the hospital, visit families with HIV (often daily!), listen to sad stories, visit the schools and encourage/help those around them. They are wonderful people who are constantly going the extra mile. Support a worker today! Each year we like to give them a Christmas present of Christmas lunch with their family. Each worker receives a chicken. The cost of doing this for all 70 workers is £400.
Christmas is coming: Do take a look at our "Alternative Gift" page. Gifts can be bought for your specific child and will be delivered in time for Christmas. Last order date to be sure of them being delivered in time for Christmas is 5th December.
"Alternative Gifts" can be bought at any time during the year but are a great gift at Christmas time. We will send you a gift card (with envelope) on which will be printed the gift you are giving plus (if required) the name of the person you are giving it too. Many families include a gift card in each of their own children’s Christmas stockings.
Could this be the year you join us on a trip to Tanzania. The only real skill needed is a heart willing to do whatever is needed. Trips are busy (and not really a holiday!) but most people who join us come AGAIN! They say they are absolutely exhausted but refreshed and inspired in ways that nothing else can do. Watch a video of them talking about it here!
Sharon & the Team xx