Report on Mission Trip - August 2010
Mwanza Street Children
The trip was very successful. The oprhans in Mwanza are being fed regularly and several have been returned to their families. About 20 have been moved to a care facility run by Roman Catholic nuns. One of the local pastors told us that some girls have begun coming to the feedings and have been for several weeks. This week there were 7 girls, from about 10 to 14 years old.
We had the opportunity to visit the street children in Mwanza and participate in their feeding. The Cathedral in Mwanza is continuing to feed the orphans twice a week. Along with the feeding they have a Bible study and are given soap and take a bath in the lake. The number is reduced slightly from when we first started feeding these children. This is a good thing since the reason for the decrease is that there are more organizations looking out for the street children and there are more places for them to go and get food. There are also groups that are helping to educate them and give them shelter.
We visited a group that is housing over 100 of these street children and educating them in a school. We went to visit them because they had contacted us about helping them to feed these children and another 250 children that attend their school. They were operating a very Christian school, but we found that it was to big for us to be able to help them. Their annual budget was over 110,000 US dollars and they were needing more help than just to feed street children. They were receiving help from a large organization in the United States and our funds wouldn't have been ear marked for feeding the children that they would have just gone into their general fund.
We visited the Compassion school that is located in Shinyanga and visited with the children in the school and the volunteers that are feeding them. They have an enrollment of 140 students and an average attendance of about 105. We are now able to feed these children four times a week and hopefully we can increase that to five days a week. They teachers have told us that now that the children know that they are being fed on a regular basis their concentration has improved and they are doing better in their studies. Many of the children have completed their studies here and are now prepared to go into the regular school system.
New Program - Bariardi Orphans
A visit to the District of Bariardi was very fruitful. We met Sister Ana there who has taken on the role of Social Worker for children, 105. of HIV/AIDS families and does an interview with the families to be sure the children are being cared for. She is their advocate to be sure they are not mistreated and if they are of school age to be sure they have uniforms and essential supplies. Due to limited funds she has only been able to give them a light snack once a week. We are going to be able to furnish them a hot meal once a week to start with and see if the program will grow. As always we never take on any program that we can not continue.
This trip we had three people who have never been to Shinyanga or Mwanza so we did an orientation trip as well as the regular feeding programs. One of the main reasons for Mike Briggs and Sally Young to join us on this trip was to see a clinic at Solwa that they they have been instrumental in supporting for the last several years. While we were there they had the opening of the Maternity wing at the clinic. Right now there probably aren't enough babies born there to justify a separate maternity wing, but the births have been increasing each year and for once the Africans seem to be planning for the future. The clinic only has a Doctor on a part time basis, but they have several nurses and mid-wives on a full time basis. While we were there one day they had over a hundred patients and the other day there were only a few. The Missionary house is roofed and the interior walls are up, but they are still waiting on funds to be able to compete it. We visited with the health department while we were there and there and some questions were raised about bathrooms in the Maternity wing. They said we needed bathrooms, but we don't know if that was a suggestion or a requirement. Still waiting on confirmation.
Our visit to the Water Department was very good, we found that we can get fresh water delivered to the clinic, if we raise the funds to run the underground water line. Water borne diseases are one of the major causes of deaths in Africa. It is especially important to have fresh water at the clinic since people there are already ill and don't need to be exposed to any other potential problems. Another find was there is a company in the Florida Panhandle that is building a water purification system for the military that can purify up to 100 gallons of water a day and will run on battery power. I'm going to visit them in January and find out if that will work for us in Africa. This would help getting fresh water to remote areas where they only have ponds and stream beds to get their drinking water.
Our team to Tanzania this year consisted of Jake Gatch, Sally Young, Mike Briggs, Robyn Priest, and Bob Priest. We are planning another trip to Tanzania in August of 2011 if any one is interested please contact us at True Awakening (972) 234-1031. We have a lot of work to do there and could use all the help available.
Hopefully many of you will have an opportunity to meet Bishop Charles Ngusa and one of the Priest's Father Fred Ochieng. They are scheduled to visit North Texas in late September or early October if Visas can be arranged and all the other details worked out. More information as it becomes available.
WE HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY MACY'S TO BE A RECIPIENT OF THEIR SHOP FOR A CAUSE PROGRAM. EVERY CHARITY THEY APPROVE IS GIVEN DISCOUNT CARDS TO SELL, WHICH WILL ALLOW THE RECIPIENT TO GET LARGE DISCOUNTS ON ANY SHOPPING DONE OCTOBER 16, 2010. As a 501(c)3 IRS approved charity they have allowed us to participate in this program, it is nation wide. If any of you are interested in getting some of the discount coupons please call us at the number below.
Bob and Robyn Priest
Co Founders of True Awakening