Compassion International Child Development Center: TZ452 Olkolili, Tanzania

$60,000: Funded Dec 24, 2011, Completed May 2012.

Your recent support of a water project has literally revolutionized life in Olkolili, Tanzania. By bringing dependable, clean water to this small village for the first time, you have provided health and hope to hundreds of people and removed a significant barrier to overcoming multiple forms of poverty in their lives.

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Project Director Seraphine Mayila demonstrates how to water the garden.

A Problem on Many Levels

When the Pentecostal evangelism Fellowship of Africa (PeFA) olkolili Church established its Compassion-assisted child development center in May 2010, the needs of area children were quickly identified — all of them related to a lack of water. In this remote village of 2,300, where the nearest water sources were unprotected swamps and wells two-and-a-half miles away, children often helped their families spend many hours each day fetching water. In doing so, their educational opportunities were limited. The filthy water brought suffering to many in the village via waterborne diseases, worms and skin infections. Sanitation was virtually unheard of. This resulted in even more risk of sickness, especially among children, due to improper disposal of human waste and the inability to clean themselves or their food. The food supply, too, was limited without a dependable water source nearby, hindering adequate physical growth among children.

Running Water: A First For Olkolili

When you answered the call to share God’s love through your generous gift, you set in motion a carefully planned water project. This process included obtaining permits and paying experts to locate a dependable water source. Contractors then designed and drilled a borehole well and installed two reservoir water tanks, a generator, a pump, three water taps and plumbing that deliver water to bathrooms and kitchen facilities. The project and follow-up testing came in on budget and, according to the region’s district water engineer, the well can supply clean, safe water to twice the intended beneficiaries. People from every part of olkolili were involved in this project, which took place February through May 2012. They are unified in gratitude for your investment in bringing running water to the village for the first time. The residents are committed to ensuring the well and its systems are protected, maintained and kept accessible to the intended beneficiaries.

More Than Just Meeting Needs

Thanks to your generosity, now the child development center is able to share clean water with the entire community, help bring down the rates of waterborne disease and raise awareness of the need for sanitation. All 250 registered children and at least one adult caregiver for each child, as well as another 80 children who attend the church regularly, access the water tap. In fact, this tally is conservative – most families are not limited to one child and one adult. the full effect of this well is likely felt by everyone in the village. one child said, “We are now in a town like those we read about in books!” The Compassion tanzania staff reports the children now feel life is worth living. Center workers say the overall learning environment is improved and encourages the children to attend the Compassion program. Now that they have adequate water supply, the center’s staff members can teach registered children not only about the importance of using water in restrooms, washing their hands with soap and water, and safely preparing food, but they also enable the children to practice these procedures while at the centers.

A Change That Makes an Impact

Seraphine Mayila, project director of the PeFA olkolili student Center, says the water system already makes a major difference on a number of levels. Water from the well is used to irrigate vegetable and tomato crops tended by registered children. these crops are used to feed the children during regular center activities, and the surplus is sold in the community. the center also makes water available to the entire community for a small fee. the funds raised by these income-generating activities are invested in much-needed classroom items and playground equipment at the center.

Beyond meeting present needs, the gardening and irrigation activities teach children valuable skills they can use throughout their lives. “Planting vegetable and tomatoes has reduced the cost of these items for our children here at the center, and the community can get vegetables nearby rather than before as they used to travel to buy them.” Seraphine says. As the ample water supply turns olkolili green with leaves from vegetable and tomato plants, these new food sources are already improving health and brightening the future. “The impact of this work is great,” says Mathew Nanyaro, a 35-year-old father of a registered child. “The activity will yield many beneficial outcomes. The perception of many individuals concerning vegetable planting has improved for the better, and others are already preparing their own gardens for more profit.”

Another parent, 28-year-old Neema Julius, shares this optimism: “the bible saying ‘whoever does not work should not eat’ has become very relevant to me. In the future, both the children and the youth in the community will grow into hardworking men and women who are sensitive about vegetable planting and selling them to people. “I am now full of hope that the family health conditions and income will improve, and I believe that domestic needs will be handled,” Neema says.

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Thank You

Thank you for your support of this important intervention. your kindness will have a tangible and lasting impact throughout the entire village. Mathew’s thoughts encapsulate olkolili’s reaction to the scope of your investment in this project: “I am grateful to the donors of Compassion, and I would like to assure them that what they have started is a revolution and a movement to help most families reach their daily needs.”

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