Remembering Fr. Martin

 Fr. Martin with the multipurpose room dedication plaque before it was brought to Tanzania

Fr. Martin with the multipurpose room dedication plaque before it was brought to Tanzania

Today (April 18th) marks the one month anniversary of Fr. Martin's passing. While we were saddened by our loss of a beloved priest, friend, supporter, and co-founder, we know Fr. Martin is experiencing the joy of being in the presence of our Lord in Heaven.

Fr. Martin's faith and passion to help the poor led him to, among other things, co-found The Village Angels of Tanzania with Sr. Dativa. Through Assumption Church in Morristown, NJ, Fr. Martin provided the seed money to start The Village Angels of Tanzania. More recently, Assumption's Endowment for the poor, an initiative also began by Fr. Martin, provided funding for eye assessments of our elderly in Tanzania (see previous blog post).

Our multi-purpose building at our site in Tanzania is dedicated to Fr. Martin (see our July 5, 2017 post). Upon learning of his passing last month, Sr. Dativa and our youths gathered around Fr. Martin's plaque in the multipurpose room to pray for him. Even though the youths never met Fr. Martin, there is a strong spiritual connection due to Fr. Martin's generosity and passion co-founding The Village Angels with Sr. Dativa.

 Praying for Fr. Martin while facing his plaque in the Multipurpose room

Praying for Fr. Martin while facing his plaque in the Multipurpose room

 Even those who never met Fr. Martin were saddened by his passing

Even those who never met Fr. Martin were saddened by his passing

On this one month anniversary Fr. Martin will be remembered at a special Mass at Assumption Church in Morristown this evening, and, I'm sure, in many other places by the people he touched throughout his life.

 

In Memory of Joseline Nsekanabo

Joseline Nsekanabo was a tiny lady, only 4 feet 7 inches tall and 81 lbs. She had one son and six grandchildren.  She lived by herself in a small hut, ate two meals a day that she prepared for herself. Though she suffered from chronic leg pains, she always produced a sweet smile when you spoke to her.  Josephine died on March 30, two days before Easter.  She was 79.  She died in peace and with dignity.  

The mission of The Village Angels of Tanzania is to care for the elderly poor in their own homes out of love for them and for God and to support them until death.  While we mourn the loss of Joseline, we are grateful to her for the happiness she gave us and allowed us to give to her.

Pumzika kwa amani. Rest in peace.

Lenten Fish Bake Fundraiser

The Assumption Church Men's Group (Morristown, NJ) is holding their annual FISH BAKE Fundraiser on Friday, March 16, 2018 to support The Village Angels of Tanzania. This is a fun event with good food, drink, and entertainment. If you are in the area, please try to attend (those of us local to this event can use a fun night out after the recent storms!). Thank you to the Men's Group for all the hard work that goes into making this a very successful fundraiser.

Fish_Dinner_Email_v7 - Invitation 2018 FB.jpg

DISCOVER TANZANIA ... ON A SAFARI

Tanzania is home to some of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in Africa: Serengeti, NgoroNgoro, Lake Manyara. Sergio Burani, board member of The Village Angels of Tanzania, Inc., is planning to lead a safari excursion to Tanzania this coming June. The activity is a fund raiser for The Village Angels. The safari company has agreed to make a donation for each participant. 

This is a wonderful opportunity for your trip of a lifetime, while helping our cause. To learn more, visit Sergio's website. If you have questions before signing up, do not hesitate to call Sergio at 973-452-1908. Please, share this post with anyone who might be interested in this event.

Welcome New Staff Members

We recently welcomed three new members of our Village Angels of Tanzania staff. Sr. Veneranda replaces Sr. Esther as assistant to Sr. Dativa. Our other two new staff members join our youths in the program. Oliva Josiasi, who enjoys sewing and farming, and Alan Joseph David who likes farming, sewing, and playing football (soccer). We welcome them to our team and wish them all the best as they continue to meet new people and learn new skills.

 Sr. Veneranda

Sr. Veneranda

 Oliva Josiasi

Oliva Josiasi

 Alan Joseph David

Alan Joseph David

Motorcycle

A generous donor in New Jersey wanted to give our Village Angels a Christmas Present, so she donated the money needed to purchase a motorcycle. It has arrived and is ready to serve our needs. The motorcycle will be used for emergency transportation, when our truck is not available, and to deliver food to the most remote of the villages we serve. It will indeed go faster than the bicycles that each of our youths currently ride. 

Faustin Kisuka, our youth supervisor, is the only designated driver. The most daring of our elders has already been taken for a ride.

In the slideshow below, you can see how excited everyone is to have the motorcycle. Doran, one of our "daring" elders, is enjoying her ride.

Our Village Angels are praying for our donor and for her deceased son, in whose memory the donation has been made. Thank you!

Chicken Coop Update

Construction of our Chicken Coop is complete. Now all we need are the chickens! The plan is to populate the coop with 100 hens and several roosters. Our Youth are learning how to properly care for the chickens when they arrive - yet another new item to add to their repertoire of skills acquired as a result of The Village Angels of Tanzania program. Once we have the chickens, we plan to supply our Elderly with eggs each week in addition to the other food. This will add a much needed source of protein to their diet. Below are a few pictures showing the construction of the Chicken Coop. As you can see, there is an indoor area for nesting and protection from the elements, and a fenced in outdoor area where they can roam freely.

 

A Christmas Party at Rauscher Hall

On Dec. 26, the day after Christmas, our Village Angels, both youths and elders, gathered at Rauscher Hall for a communal celelbration. There was food for everybody. Our youths sang for the elders. Simple entertainment. Lots of socializing. At the end of the day everybody went back to their huts, with a little bag of food and hearts filled with joy.

Sister Dativa, our youths and our elders took the opportunity to pray for peace and to wish our many supporters and donors a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you all!