Compassion UK

Releasing children from poverty

Compassion UK is a Christian charity passionate about empowering all children to overcome the obstacles poverty puts in their way. They focus on one child at a time, linking them with one sponsor who releases them from poverty.

Each sponsor makes a monthly payment to their chosen child in a particular project identified by Compassion. These projects are worldwide and the one that the 4U Team currently has a relationship with is in Tanzania where we sponsor 23 children. Each programme is run in conjunction with local churches because they understand their communities better than anyone.

This sponsorship helps to provide each child with education, food, clothing, healthcare, love and care; it helps them to grow up healthy in both mind, body and spirit and gives them a much better chance of being employed as adults, becoming leaders in their community and entering in to further education.

This sponsorship changes lives every day.

There are still children waiting to be sponsored so if you are interested and would like to know more please contact Liz Kendall-Jones.

A small contingency of people are visiting the project in June of this year with a view to a further visit for any sponsors wishing to visit the village and meet their sponsored child in 2019.

The project

Preject: Deeper Life Msitu wa Tembo Student Centre

Location: Msitu wa Tembo, Moshi, Kilimanjaro

The community

The community of Msitu wa Tembo is situation on flat plains and is home to approximately 4,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, mud walls and corrugated iron roofs. The primary ethnic group is Pare, Chagga and Maasai and the most commonly spoken language is Swahili.

Education: Secondary school is the highest level of education available in Msitu wa Tembo and the majority of the children are literate. The public school system is poorly resourced and chances for Government secondary school are so limited. Fortunately, girls and boys are able to attend school equally and get an education due to past national and governmental intervention.

Employment: Msitu wa Tembo faces an unemployment rate of 65%. Adults tend to work as plantation workers, herders and subsistence farmers. They earn the equivalent of £30 per month. The population would benefit from training in income generation skills that they might become self-employed.

Health: The community environment is healthy. They have access to public health services and hospitals with professional and specialist doctor within a few kilometres. However, individuals can face medical conditions requiring medication which far exceeds their level of income. They need health insurance and nutritional education to both address and prevent that.

Social Issues: The majority of the population are migrant workers that come in season to work on the sugar plantations. They would benefit from social service facilities and a vocational training centre.

Environment: Msitu wa Tembo is a rural community situated on a plain with a mild climate. Rain normally comes in the months of March and April during which time many of the farmers will plant their crops. Harvest season is between June to August.

The church

There is a need to speak truth in Msitu wa Tembo through Bible teaching, seminars and retreats as many of the community are pagan and Muslim. Deeper Life Bible Church serves the community through its Compassion-supported project, Deeper Life Msitu wa Tembo Student Centre, addressing the spiritual needs of children living in their community. Church services are held in Swahili. The church owns its own building and the land it is built on, and they have access to both internet and electricity as well as a water supply.

Project activities

Each Compassion church partner seeks to meet their community’s core needs in a way that is appropriate and Deeper Life Msitu wa Tembo Student Centre has devised programmes tailored to the children it serves.

In order to ensure that children develop physically, Deeper Life Msitu wa Tembo Student Centre provides nutritious food, medication, healthcare, dental screening, hygiene classes and safe drinking water.

The children are also encouraged to participate in organised sports. Children registered at the project come from a variety of religious backgrounds.

The staff and volunteers seek to share the gospel with them in sensitive and appropriate ways and encourage their spiritual growth through Bible stories, Bible studies, memory verses, dramas, singing, Sunday school, discipleship and age graded workshops.

Project staff members supplement the children’s schooling with educational materials, school uniforms, life skills training, computer classes, creativity clubs, tutoring and mentorship. They are also encouraged to grow emotionally and socially by having group play, cultural and birthday celebrations, community service, leadership training, counselling and team building camps.