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.