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Street Children at Iringa, Tanzania

FISCH = Future for Iringa Street Children
Iringa Updates

August 2021


It's great to hear that the children are thriving. With our supporters' help we have contributed to the FISCH community in various ways, including those mentioned below.

The Sewing Class and the Sewing Business

The sewing class (also known as the Sewing Club), with its daily sewing training, continues to grow - now with nine students, a mix of boys and girls. They have been making and repairing uniforms for FISCH Children as well as face masks for the FISCH community. Their teacher Eva also set them the challenge of designing their own uniforms, and some for the FISCH Choir group.

Meanwhile the sewing business has been making great progress. Lucy and Adelina left and it was just Johari for a while, but now Adelina has returned, and Harriet, another girl who has completed her training at FISCH, has joined them using Lucy’s machine. The business is growing and they are doing sufficiently well to cover their material costs and support themselves. FISCH continues to cover the rent, but over the next 18 months they will taper this so that they become fully independent.

Great Progress at School for Street Children

Concerning the 193 children who could take up their free school places because we had helped pay for their uniform and stationery, Rich Gercke, FISCH UK Chairman, writes "Although I can’t talk for every child we’ve supported back into school because I do not know every situation, I can be sure that these uniforms have made a fantastic impact and that for many of these kids, once they get the chance to gain an education they grab it with both hands. That’s why we have seen so many coming through to be accepted into higher education these last couple of years."

Journey to Self-Sufficiency

April 2021


Thanks to our supporters for helping street children make the transition from vulnerability to self-sufficiency.

The Sewing Class - a Material Benefit!

The three sewing machines we funded in 2017 have been working hard in the hands of the sewing class, which last year made over 200 uniforms - and has now recruited seven new members. Eva, who runs the class, got her new students to make their own uniforms, which you can see in the gallery opposite. She herself was once a street child, but with FISCH's help has become self-sufficient.

One of their next projects is to make face-masks for both the FISCH children and the adult helpers.

Vocational Training for 10 Street Children

The 10 street children whose vocational training we funded last year have all been working at their various courses, and indeed some have finished. Among them are trainee mechanics, a trainee electrician, and drivers. The drivers have qualified, which allows them to offer a public transport service using minibuses, motorbikes and Bajajis - a Tanzanian-made tuk-tuk (a minibus derived from a motorbike).

Going to School - a Christmas Present!

January 2021


With the lockdown biting deeper in the UK, and most school children at home, we are appreciating more fully the immense value of education. Our children are missing school, in more than one sense.

However, the coronavirus does not seem to have taken hold in Tanzania, and education resumed in the summer after only a brief lockdown in the spring. Since then it has been continuing as normal.


So it is with great joy that we have enabled 193 Tanzanian street children in both primary and secondary levels to go to school. This was possible through our supporters, who helped us attain our target of £3,828. Our Advent appeal raised £2,751, and we had some money in our Where Needed Most Fund to add to it. With the money FISCH had raised, the total was enough to provide all the required uniform and stationery.


In anticipation of reaching our target, a number of children who used to be on the streets have been very busy making all the uniforms required. For their efforts they receive a fair income and are encouraged in their business ventures. As for the stationery, FISCH is ensuring each child gets the items he or she needs, depending on whether they are at primary or secondary level.

For each of those children it all adds up to a wonderful Christmas present.

Giving Street Children a Helping Hand

November 2020


A need has recently been brought to our attention and we have just decided to go all out to raise the money required. In Tanzania the school year begins in January, and the government there provides free school places for all children. However, students must supply their own uniform and stationery, and that is beyond the street children. Last year we said that we didn’t want any child to miss out on school just because they didn’t have their uniform and stationery, and were able to pay for these items for 67 children who had not yet received that help. This year, in spite of lockdowns curtailing activities, FISCH has raised almost half of the sum required. Their team in Iringa has identified 193 students with school places waiting for them, and has checked every child to find out what s/he needs. (Some items they received last year may still be good for this year, e.g. maths sets.) Part of the money FISCH has already raised can buy material for the seamstresses so that they can be getting on with making the 193 uniforms. However that leaves a shortfall of £3,828. If we are able to cover that before the end of December, no child will need to miss the start of the school year.


Whilst in the UK uniform and stationery might not be at the top of a typical child’s Christmas list, in Tanzania it means such a lot! It will be a wonderful Christmas present for every child who receives it!


One church has kindly offered its Christmas Day collection to this appeal, and we will be participating in their celebration over Zoom on 13 December.


Advent Calendar

We have also devised an Advent calendar, which you can download above and to the right (or below on the mobile site). It doesn't have windows to open, unfortunately! However, it gives the costs of each item we are funding, along with a few examples of our past achievements. The exciting thing is that a small sum of money can make a big difference. For example, 34p will buy a set of five pens. There is no point in having exercise books if there are no pens to write with, so a gift of 34p will enable one student to do his/her schoolwork. 

'Gifts for a Future' Gift Cards

For an alternative Christmas gift we will post a gift card to you, for you to give to a loved-one. Priced from £20, each card bought will pay for some or all of the items needed for one child. Your gift card will be sent to you in a blank envelope so that you can add your own message before giving it as a present. For further details see here.

Internet Shopping

Finally, if you are shopping over the Internet, 'Easy Fundraising' will donate to Natalya's Fund a percentage of your payment, at no cost to you. We receive those donations not just from online shops but also for things like switching energy suppliers. Until the end of the year we will add that money to this appeal. For details see here.

Gifts for a Future  - no longer available

Advent Calendar

The calendar can be downloaded in two parts below - the inside and outside are separate files. We suggest you print on either card, or paper of at least 100gsm.

Inside of calendar

Outside of calendar

Two for the Price of One!

November 2020

All 193 school uniforms will be made by the seamstresses. See below for why that means two for the price of one.

May 2020

It hasn't escaped our attention that part of the money we gave to FISCH has been used twice, meaning that twice the benefit was achieved! First of all it bought uniform to enable children to attend school. But some of the uniform was made by the three FISCH girls who set up the seamstress business, so the same money then paid their bill, supporting their venture and contributing to their income.

So the result was two achievements for the price of one!

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