COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Tanzania

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Tanzania

Last Updated: 04/12/2021

Following the death of late President John Magagula in March, the Tanzania government appears to be reversing his policy of denial of the danger of COVID-19. The Ministry of Health website now contains science-based guidelines for treatment of the coronavirus, including the use of personal protective equipment for health care workers and masks for patients. The Magagula administration stopped tracking COVID-19 cases a year ago, but there have been persistent reports of people hospitalized and dying with symptoms consistent with COVID-19; credible sources have reported that Magufuli died from the disease, though the official cause was heart disease. Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in on March 19 as the country's first female president.

Compassion child development centers are open and holding normal activities. Hygiene kits and multiple hand-washing stations are available at every center. Classrooms and playground equipment are regularly sanitized. Staff members continue to educate children on COVID-19 prevention. Since the beginning of the pandemic, they have been able to distribute nearly 63,000 food packs and 105,000 hygiene kits to families and provide medical support to over 30,000 individuals.

COVID response in Tanzania

A Message From National Staff

How Is Compassion Currently Operating in Tanzania?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Tanzania, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Centers in Tanzania have reopened and are holding normal program activities. Staff members carefully clean and sanitize the centers. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute nearly 63,000 food packs and 105,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in Tanzania

child reading IconStory From the Field

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Compassion Tanzania's 500-plus church partners have worked tirelessly to make sure the more than 100,000 children under their care are safe. They’ve given out hygiene kits and food, paid rent for the vulnerable, and given capital to caregivers to save their struggling businesses. In this dark cloud, the church is a beam of hope.

Eli, a caregiver who lost her business to a fire during the pandemic, says, “In my life, I have suffered two losses. First I lost my husband, and then my livelihood. And on both occasions, the church was there to help me. My talks with our pastor help me remember that God's plan is always perfect. The first day after the fire, I felt lost, but the center restored my hope.”

Mary Lema, Compassion Tanzania's national director, says, “The work that Compassion has been doing in our country has changed people’s lives greatly. We have seen a lot of families get out of poverty and be able to venture out and become entrepreneurs. We had made progress in helping the families, but the pandemic set them back. A lot of families lost their livelihoods. Seeing that, as a country, we decided to focus on improving the families’ livelihoods.”

Through vocational training for all children, Compassion's church partners want every child to have a skill that can earn them a living. By encouraging caregivers to join savings groups, the goal is for them to be able to obtain affordable loans for their small businesses.

“With the plans that we have, I am excited to see families comfortably meet all their needs. I believe every parent takes pride in providing for their children on their own,” says Mary.

How can I pray for Tanzania?

Please pray that God would give Tanzania’s new president wisdom as she takes on leadership of the country and its response to the pandemic. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Tanzania
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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