Posted on June 12, 2020
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Ngara is a district of Kagera, the furthermost region of Tanzania to the northwest. Kagera borders with Uganda to the north, Rwanda and Burundi to the west and Lake Victoria to the east. Rwinyana is a collection of small remote villages in Ngara, situated just 7 Kilometres from the border with Burundi and 10 kilometres from the border with Rwanda. Ngara became the most recent area of our operation when we started working there earlier this year and forms and the basis of our appeal to support 100 families in this community of about 12,000 people. Our appeal has so far raised 73% of the £15,000 we need for the work. We now need just over £4,000 to reach our target.
Conflict in a border region
The genocides in Rwanda and Burundi through the 1990’s brought a large inflow of refugees seeking a safe haven-into Tanzania. With them were bandits who sought to exploit the situation by spreading violence. Rape of vulnerable women and girls was not uncommon. The Tanzania government set up refugee centres around Ngara and it was from there that most of the refugees were dispatched to other parts of the country. Many, particularly vulnerable women and widows who had lost their husbands settled in Rwinyana. More recently further conflicts in Burundi sent more refugees into the area. The resulting conditions have led to high levels of poverty, human suffering and transmission of diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis.
A group of Christian churches from different denominations in Rwinyana had come together to find solutions to address the challenges the community is facing. They requested assistance from ACT to support sustainable livelihood for the families most in need and also educate the children so that they can reach their potential in life. These are typically women led households – widows, single mothers, grandmothers or guardians and include children led households –themselve barely teenagers who should be in school. Honoratus Ndaula who has worked with ACT in other parts of Kagera region and has seen the changes ACT can make is leading the challenge to heed the cry of the children of Rwinyana. As food and shelter is the priority for survival, education for the children is low down on the agenda. Children work as farm labourers and paid with food which helps to support households. Providing the children with opportunity of an education is the goal of the partnership.
12 years old Irene is one of the first beneficiaries. She lost her father in 2015 to tuberculosis and hypertension, a tragic story which is not uncommon in Rwinyana. Life for her mother Coldina has been all about survival and providing food for the family working as a farm labourer. Irene is attending the local primary school but the thought of going to secondary was not in their plans. Now this has changed.
Each child receives full academic scholarship and school needs (school uniforms, sweaters, shoes, stationary). The entire family is registered for the community health insurance scheme which covers hospital consultation and prescriptions, something so out of reach is now a dream come true. Each family receives a goat or pig for income generation. Offspring of these animals and goats’ milk produced is sold for income. Additionally, children attending secondary schools that are more than 5 kilometres from their village are provided with a bicycle. Re-windable torches are also provided to the chiildren to help them do their home work when it gets dark. Most homes have no electricity. Children receive home visits from our volunteer care team members , who also provide counselling support to the family. ACT is commited to supporting each child to completion of their education, up to university or other teriary level.
ACT is for the people otherwise forgotten
You can help us to reach our target of £15,000 to support 100 families by July. We are £4,000 short of being able to support these families and give children the opportunity to reach their potential in life. Please consider sponsoring a child or make a donation to ACT to heed the cry of the children of Ngara.
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