Before I received my correspondent child from Tanzania, I had absolutely no knowledge of the country. As I did some research and read letters from my boy there, I learned just how beautiful and amazing the country is. My boy is from Northern Tanzania which has many families that are part of the Masai tribe, which is a very traditional tribe that's existed for a very long time. My boy Emanuel draws many pictures of men and woman from this tribe.
Since I've been talking about so much, meet Emanuel:
Emanuel lives outside of the city of Arusha, very close to the border of Kenya. Like I mentioned earlier, this area is home to the Masai people. Some lives on the Tanzania side of the border and others live in Kenya.
In the past, the people of Northern Tanzania lived mostly in wide open, rural areas. However, over time, the land grew more and more harsh and surviving in these areas became very difficult. Natural water sources have been drying up and the soil is becoming infertile. Also, as education is being seen as important, families need to live closer to the cities to be near enough for their children to attend school. Sadly, though, with so many families flocking to the cities, living conditions for the poorest families are slum conditions. The contrast in this area is striking. Next to a big, modern, bustling city:
Large slums can be seen:
However, the Masai tribes are still strong in Northern Tanzania. These families live a very traditional, simple life. The style of home is often made of clay and grass. In this photo, you can also see the traditional tribal clothing represented.
In the city slums, there are no modern conveniences. No electricity. No modern kitchen. No modern bathroom. Most of all, no running water. Gathering water becomes a very taxing, very time-consuming task, which typically falls onto the women and children. Families can travel for miles, multiple times a day just to have enough water for drinking and chores.
Since water collected from local water sources is often polluted or riddled with bacteria, Compassion provides each family they serve with a water purifier, so children will remain healthy to attend school and to grow.
Food security is often a worry for families here. Some days, there is only enough food for one meal a day. Thankfully, children enrolled in the local Compassion project receive healthy meals at the project and also get to bring basic food supplies home to their family.
Compassion also makes sure that every child in their project is enrolled and attends school. Public education in Tanzania is free, but uniforms and school supplies are often too expensive for families to buy. In these cases, Compassion also provides these items.
Older children are also encouraged to learn a skill to help provide them with talents for their future. Some of these skills include working with computers, making jewelry, making bags, making baskets, and sewing.
Of course, there is always time for play!
Compassion Northern Tanzania has the following prayer requests:
- Pray that caregivers in the urban slums can find good, steady jobs so that they can adequately provide for their children.
- Pray for children's safety in the hazardous environment of the city slums, especially those who are left unattended by their caregivers during the day.
- Pray that children will stay in school and excel in their educational pursuits.
Will you consider sponsoring a child in Tanzania?