Saint James Fordham is happy to have over fifty members each of whom has pledged to contribute fifty dollars a year for five years in support of children living in the Diocese of Central Tananyika. Saint James has been linked with Dabalo Parish in Dodoma, Tanzania.
Dabalo is located approximately 85 kilometers from Dodoma, mostly on an unpaved road. Main crops for food include white and brown millet and maize. Cash crops include groundnuts (peanuts), sunflower and simsim (sesame seeds). There are at least five hand pumps near the center of the village. Those who live on the outskirts of the village must travel to the center to collect water from the pumps, or collect water from other temporary water sources in the village. These temporary water sources include shallow wells which dry up during the dry season. Water-borne diseases like typhoid and cholera are common in the village because safe water is not always available, particularly for those who live on the outskirts of town. There is a large pond near to the village which is used for washing only because the high salt content of the water makes it unusable for drinking.
Transport between Dabalo and Dodoma is regular but the road is very bad. During the wet season it can become impassable. In the last (very) wet season, one road to the village was impassable for three months.
There are four elementary schools in the area and one high school. Most of the students at the secondary school are day students because the boarding facilities are insufficient for all the students to be able to stay on campus.
One health center with three health workers serves the entire village.
Until 2001 there was an area development program running in the parish. The program worked in three main areas - nutrition, agriculture and education. The nutrition work focussed on educating villagers about nutrition, and ways that they could improve their nutrition, the nutrition of children and of pregnant women. The agricultural work involved the sale of ‘improved seeds’ to farmers to increase crop yields, distribution of farming equipment and ways to treat their cattle and other animals for disease. The education component of the program involved the distribution of school materials to children at the primary school.
The extent of HIV/AIDS in the parish is still limited. This is in large part due to the isolation of Dabalo from main transit routes. HIV is spread primarily multiple spouses, casual sexual relationships, poverty that forces women into prostitution to provide for their children, and an increasing number of businessmen who travel to Dar es Salaam and who use prostitutes before returning to their village all contribute to the problem. As a result, the number of children who are affected by this disease is also growing. Praise God for The Carpenter’s Kids program
Carpenter’s Kids selection complete
We are pleased to confirm that the Parish Committee and the central Screening Panel completed their assessment of the most vulnerable children in Dabalo parish on 17 May 2007.
All of the selected children were measured for shoes and uniforms and photographed, (both individually and with their guardians) on Saturday 19 May 2007.
Uniforms, shoes and school supplies were distributed to the children on Saturday 26 May 2007. The photos show some of the Carpenter’s Kids and their guardians receiving school uniforms, shoes and school materials.
We hope that over the coming years The Carpenter’s Kids will be as much about building inter-parish and cross-cultural relationships as it is about the material needs of the children and families that are involved in the program. It is our hope that through the regular exchange of messages between our parish and our link parish that both parishes will grow in their understanding and love of the other, and uphold each other in prayer over the coming years.
The Carpenter’s Kids has a website that makes regular inter-parish communication possible. The website address is: www.thecarpenterskids.org