From CMF International - Tanzania Widows Project + Child Sponsorship Program
Walking toward the kitchen on a Saturday morning, I see a girl approach me with a smile. It takes a moment to register, but then I realize with astonishment, this is Nemaoi! Once a scrawny and sickly girl, she now looks healthy and happy, her smile no longer seems like a pained expression. Nemaoi was known for having chronic illnesses and malnourishment, for which her destitute mother could do little. She became sponsored last Fall and, in combination with receiving health care and educational funding, has been receiving nutritious meals at her local church every Saturday thanks to IDES.
I hadn't seen her for the first three months of 2015 as I was in America on furlough, but in that short time, her changed appearance and demeanor were captivating.
We appreciate IDES partnering with us to transform lives and communities in Tanzania!
In January 2015, IDES began donating $900 per month toward our Tanzania Widows Project and Child Sponsorship Program. This money is distributed to 4 locations each Saturday to provide nutritious meals to the women and children in our program. I work with 12 established CCCT (Community Christian Church of Tanzania) churches in the Matale and Engarenaibor regions of northern Tanzania. The people are of the Maasai tribe, traditionally nomadic herders.
Established in 2012, our program seeks to work alongside the local church to provide for the least of these in their communities. Pastors identified the neediest widows and orphaned or impoverished children in their area, and we have been working with American sponsors to provide:
One Saturday every month, all the women and children come together for spiritual and health lessons and then all the other Saturdays of the month, the children meet for tutoring lessons. With the monthly support of IDES, we are able to provide everyone with a nutritious breakfast and lunch each Saturday. Breakfast is a wholesome porridge (called uji) comprised of corn, wheat, barley, millet, sorghum, soybeans, rosella, and peanuts. Lunch is a nourishing combination of corn and beans (called makande); vegetable stew with kale, carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes, and onions; and fruit varying from watermelon, oranges, avocados, and/or bananas. In addition to the great food each Saturday, IDES also provides the funding for each of the 134 children and 33 widows to take home a large packet of porridge mix each month to provide good breakfasts for their families.
Each Saturday, the cooks pile my plate high with food that is not only nutritious but also tastes delicious! Usually I cannot eat it all and prefer to give the extra to boys and girls who may still be hungry and desiring seconds. Last year, nearly everyone would have been happy to receive some more, but now, I find myself wandering around to find someone, anyone who is not full - what a beautiful problem to have!