Street Children at Iringa, Tanzania
FISCH = Future for Iringa Street Children
For archive see here.
Going to School - a Christmas Present!
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
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.
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.
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
Two for the Price of One!
All 193 school uniforms will be made by the seamstresses. See below for why that means two for the price of one.
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!