Street Children at Iringa, Tanzania
FISCH = Future for Iringa Street Children
Effects of Lockdown and its Release
The Tanzanian government has announced that Universities will open at the beginning of June, and that sports activities such as football leagues will soon also be able to restart. Schools and training centres are expected to open up sometime in June or early July.
At the moment FISCH activities have been largely reduced to providing food, as the families of FISCH kids are affected by the economic hardship that's resulted from the slowdown due to the virus.
Sunday Church continues and has been booming.
The sewing business had chosen a location by the university in order to attract students; however, shortly after they started, the universities were shut, so it has been hit hard. FISCH hopes that business will pick up once they are open again.
Football boots were purchased, although instead of the full 32 pairs, the team decided to use some of the money on other equipment such as footballs and shin pads. They are now kitted out to a suitable level for playing in the league when it opens, hopefully in June. This will be the first year that FISCH Utd has been eligible for playing in the official league, thanks in part to the provision of items by Natalya's Fund.
Vocational training courses for four of the youngsters had been paid for before the vocational centres had shut. FISCH hopes the training centres will open again soon. When they do these young people will begin their courses, and FISCH will be able to pay for and start the remaining six courses too.
Covid-19 Affects All of FISCH, Including Football
Here is an array of football boots FISCH has bought with money we provided. There is a lockdown in Tanzania but it is not as strict as in the UK - the FISCH United teams cannot play other teams, but at least they can still train.
All schools are closed, but small businesses are still operating as normal.
As of 19 April there have been seven deaths from Covid-19 in Tanzania; that is equivalent to 12 March in the UK.
The students that began their vocational training have had their courses put on hold. However, the sewing business has started. Youngsters in school and university have all returned home and will continue their courses once government restrictions have been lifted.
FISCH will continue to provide food, shelter and support for these vulnerable children. It is also adapting in many ways to this situation, including enhancing facilities for hand-washing and sanitising, and purchasing additional, basic medical supplies.
We have suggested that in the circumstances FISCH may redirect any of our funding to their Coronavirus response if needed.
School, Vocation, Start-Up ... and Football
January - March 2020
We sent a cheque for £4,683 to FISCH to enable 67 children to attend school, ten to receive vocational training, three girls to begin a sewing business together, and 32 kids to play in one of the FISCH United teams. Part of the money paid for provision of uniform and stationery, without which children could not take up their free school places (ten secondary and 57 primary). The vocational training is to provide opportunities to become taxi drivers, electricians, mechanics, and other trades. Football boots will enable the kids to play against other local teams.
The sewing group made the school uniform - 238 items in all - shirts, skirts and trousers. Adelina, Johari and Lucy have now started their business.
Thank you so much for your donations, which have enabled all this to happen!