A CONTAINER of supplies will soon be heading to Tanzania to help thousands of orphans.
Guernsey-based charity The Tumaini Fund has been collecting supplies to send out to the country where it supports 20,000 orphans. Now with the help of Rihoy & Son, Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission and Alderney Shipping, the container will soon be on their way.
‘Rihoy & Son has very kindly provided us with a container, which is the fourth one they have sourced and funded for us, the Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission is paying for it to be transported to Tanzania, Alderney Shipping covered the cost of shipping it to the island and R&R Removals has helped move some of the heavier items,’ said Susan Wilson, chairman of The Tumiani Fund.
‘We are absolutely delighted because what we send out makes a real difference to so many lives. It would be impossible to do that without the help of local companies and so we want to thank Rihoy & Son, Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission, Alderney Shipping, R & R Removals for their invaluable support.’
The Tumaini Fund aims to send a container each year to Kagera, the north-west province of Tanzania, which is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world.
‘Our aim is to alleviate the terrible suffering of the Aids widows and orphans in the region, which is very poor in comparison to the areas around the capital of Dar es Salaam where the wealth is concentrated,’ said Dr Wilson.
‘The figures are very unreliable but we believe that average life expectancy is just 43, around a third of the population are HIV positive and a subsistence farmer earning around £55 each year and supporting up to eight family members.
She said that education was the only way for the youngsters to escape what was a hand-to-mouth existence
‘Primary schooling is free in Tanzania, but children cannot enrol unless they have school uniforms, books and pencils, which often makes it impossible,’ she said.
‘Just seven percent will go onto secondary education and so our aim is to raise the bar and give these youngsters the chance to compete with those who are privileged enough to go to private schools and give them the opportunity to get work and support their families. We are currently supporting over 8,000 secondary school pupils at a cost of £250,000 a year.’
The container will contain 200 computers donated by HSBC, medical supplies donated by the Princess Elizabeth Hospital and doctors surgeries, educational supplies given by schools, chemistry equipment donated by Blanchelande School and sports equipment from Fletchers Sports.
‘We then fill every nook and cranny with blankets and clothing which are made by hundreds of Tumaini supporters. We have also just collected 70 kilos of blankets and clothing from a church in Canada thanks to the support of Aurigny who allowed us to travel with extra luggage allowance,’ said Dr Wilson.
Once the container reaches the region, it will remain there to be used as a store.
‘Every single penny which is given goes to supporting those who need it. All our supporters given their time for free and we are given so much by local companies and individuals. It is wonderful to know that we have people we can rely on to help those who rely on us.’
Rihoy & Son managing director Gavin Rihoy said the company was more than happy to help The Tumaini Fund.
‘Dr Wilson and her team are inspirational and work tirelessly to help those less fortunate. Our donation is only a small part of a huge organisation but we are delighted that our support will help improve the lives of the thousands of people in Kagera.
Deputy O’Hara, chairman of the Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission, said that the commissioners had been delighted to help ensure that the container and its contents could be dispatched to Tanzania as quickly as possible.
‘This is an excellent example of the States, working in partnership with the local community and Guernsey businesses. It is something the Commissioners are keen to develop,’ he said.
‘We recognise that sometimes a few thousand pounds of public money is needed to release many thousands of pounds of fundraising and corporate and individual donations. I would encourage any other charity in a similar position as Dr Wilson was to contact me or the commission’s secretary, Liz Dene, and we will do our best to help where and when we can.’
Tumaini Fund volunteer Denise Mabire is travelling to Tanzania this month and hopes to be there when the container arrives. She said that she particularly wanted to thank Jean and Milton Carre who give time up each week to pack the items donated.