Geography & Climate
- Tanzania’s mainland is bounded by Uganda, Lake Victoria, and Kenya to the north, by the Indian Ocean to the east, by Mozambique, Lake Nyasa, Malawi and Zambia to the south and southwest, and by Lake Tanganyika, Burundi and Rwanda to the west.
- Tanzania is a tropical country with diverse geographical features, including mountains, highlands and coastal areas.
About 40 percent of the Tanzanian population is engaged in agricultural production, working either as independent subsistence farmers or as paid laborers on larger farms.
Urban residents typically make a living by buying and selling in markets.
Nearly 90 percent of Tanzanians struggle to survive on less than U.S.$1.25 a day.
The country has few exports, and agriculture is the primary source of income. Many regions, however, are plagued by drought.
On the coastal areas near Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean, families make their living fishing and taking tourists to some of the country’s parks and reserves.
Even as Tanzania has seen growing tourism and prosperity, the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen.
Children at Home
Most Compassion-assisted children in Tanzania live in the city, in abandoned buildings with no electricity or running water.
Their homes often are just a few feet away from raw sewage, and crowded living conditions aid the spread of disease.
The squatter houses are poorly built and many of them collapse during heavy rain or storms.
Issues and Concerns
- The roadways of Tanzania are lined with deep ditches filled with stagnant water, a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
- Malaria can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women and young children. In fact, malaria is the primary cause of death among Tanzanian children.
- Mothers who contract malaria during pregnancy run the risk of having low-birth-weight babies, stillbirths and premature babies.
- Every year, more than 60,000 people in Tanzania die from malaria.
- Nearly 9 percent of the population has AIDS or HIV, although some studies say the rate is even higher.
- AIDS has orphaned nearly a million children, and thousands more must assume adult household responsibilities in order to care for ailing parents.
Local Needs and Challenges
Food prices have doubled in recent years. This has triggered an influx of young people from rural to urban settings in search of work.
Lack of clean water and sanitation
In the villages, finding potable water is a daily struggle, and sanitation is poor.
The country’s education system is overloaded, and many children leave school early.
Schools and Education
- The government now requires primary education for children, and enrollment rates have increased in the last five years.
- Higher enrollment, however, has led to crowded classrooms of up to 60 students each.
- Secondary school attendance remains stagnant, with only 20 percent of students moving beyond primary education.
Compassion Tanzania works to ensure that every registered child is able to attend school, and we provide additional support, including tutoring, at the child development centers.
At the Compassion Child Development Center
Child development centers are a place of safety and security for registered children.
While their parents spend their days harvesting and selling in the market, Compassion-assisted children attend health classes, tutoring sessions and Bible studies at the center.
They also feel the love of a sponsor who helps provide for their daily physical needs.
What Compassion Sponsorship Provides
In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing help and hope to Tanzania’s children in need, providing:
- regular nutritious meals and snacks
- health checkups and medical care as needed
- the support needed to attend school
- resources and learning opportunities to overcome poverty
- a curriculum of holistic child development, adapted specifically to the culture and needs of Tanzanian children and delivered by caring Christian adults who encourage children to work toward a brighter future
- extra tutoring at their Compassion centers, which keeps them motivated and excelling in their studies
- counseling for caregivers to help them understand the importance of children’s education
- help for caregivers to overcome alcohol addiction, a widespread problem that often leads to domestic violence and child abuse
- the love and hope of Christ