Rain is Desparately Needed....

The several week delay in the rainy season has been detrimental to our crops. As you can see in the pictures below, our crops are dying. Hand watering with water fetched from a source several miles away is not enough to save the crops. If we could get a good crop, it would mean more nutritious food for the elderly (we currently have to try to make up the difference by purchasing food) Please continue to pray for rain.

If we could bring water to our site, it would make a huge difference - but that is the subject of another blog....
 

 

Waiting and Praying for Rain.....

WE NEED RAIN!

The success or failure of our crops depends on the rainy season. This year's rainy season has been delayed and the little rain that has started to fall is not enough to water the crops. There is no source of water on site. What little hand watering can be done is dependent on fetching barrels of water from a distant site. Our crops are in peril. Please add you prayers and good wishes to ours as we hope and pray the life-giving rains will arrive in Benaco soon.

 

As you can see, there is barely any rain falling in Benaco. Although the rainy season has begun in parts of Tanzania, it has not yet reached our little corner of the world...

As you can see, there is barely any rain falling in Benaco. Although the rainy season has begun in parts of Tanzania, it has not yet reached our little corner of the world...

A Virtual Tour of our Headquarters in Benaco, Tanzania

You are invited to a virtual tour of our home!

This video, in less than a minute, will show you The Village Angels of Tanzania Center. It’s quick, but you will see: Rauscher Hall with our truck parked in the front, the 400-tree banana plantation, our original building (too small for our current needs), the gazebo, a few beehives in the distance, our youth working the land and finally the hut where our youth cook and eat breakfast and lunch.

Enjoy!

Chicken Coop Indiegogo Fundraiser from Mendham (NJ) Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of the Mendhams (Mendham, NJ USA) recently completed an Indiegogo Fundraising Campaign for our Chicken Coop. On Wed, Sept. 27, 2017 the club presented Johanna and Sergio Burani with a check for the $1840 raised in this campaign. While this does not cover the entire cost of the chicken coop project, we can now begin the building phase of the project as additional funds are raised. We are grateful for the continuing support we have received from the Mendham Rotary Club. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the Chicken Coop Indiegogo Fundraiser. The eggs from our chickens will provide our elderly with much needed protein in their diets.

Sergio and Johann Burani with Mendham Rotary Club Member June Cioppettini, who spearheaded the Indiegogo Fundraiser.

Sergio and Johann Burani with Mendham Rotary Club Member June Cioppettini, who spearheaded the Indiegogo Fundraiser.

Donor Story: A 100-day Biking Challenge

Gloria Saltzman is a 65 year-old, hands-on “Grammy” to four grandchildren, a recent retiree from the Dial-a-Ride transportation company. Something else that defines Gloria is her bike:  she loves to be on it!

Gloria is a “softie” for the elderly.  She drove local elderly clients to their medical appointments for more than 25 years, going that extra “mile” with a helping hand whenever needed.  When she learned about The Village Angels of Tanzania she became an instant donor.

She got an idea one day of how to help in a special way: she would ride her bike 100 days for one hour.  If she succeeded, she would donate $100 to the program.  Although she told almost no one, she acquired 3 sponsors who backed up her efforts.

August 31, 2017 was Gloria’s 100th biking day.  Despite remarkable physical problems and severe weather conditions at times, she did it!  She said, “I pedaled (800+ miles) to make a difference in the lives of the elderly poor in Tanzania.”

The money raised by Gloria’s selfless endeavor will feed 27 elders for one month.  That is quite an impact!

If you would like to recognize Gloria’s achievement by making a donation in her name, please CLICK HERE.

Asante sana (“Thank you” in Swahili).

Gloria Saltzman with her bicycle ready for another ride.

Gloria Saltzman with her bicycle ready for another ride.

The Village Angels Newest Task: House Repair

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have recently decided to create a House Repair Fund for our elderly. The Fund is already being used. In both cases below, materials have been purchased with money from our newly established fund.

Sania Said, 72 years old, has been evicted from her current house. A relative offered her a piece of land and our youths are currently building a new hut for her (see slideshow below)

 

Goldiana Kazingo, 73 years old, lives in a house where mud walls have been washed away by rain. Our youths are fixing her hut in time for the upcoming rain season. (see slideshow below)

Sewing Classes

 

Sewing classes for our youths began in early August, under the expert guidance of Sr. Magdalena, FSSB, in the Sewing Room of Rauscher Hall. Initially, the students became comfortable with the machines by working on heavy cardboard, then progressed to fabric. Almost all of the youths have expressed an interest in learning this new skill, which will be used to create clothing for the elders and some household items for sale at the local market. 

Sr. Magdalena teaching one of the young men how to sew straight lines.

Sr. Magdalena teaching one of the young men how to sew straight lines.

One of the young men practicing sewing while another observes.

One of the young men practicing sewing while another observes.

Another young man diligently practicing sewing straight lines.

Another young man diligently practicing sewing straight lines.

One of the young women perfecting her new sewing skills.

One of the young women perfecting her new sewing skills.

Beacon Article

There is a wonderful article about The Village Angels of Tanzania in the Aug. 17, 2017 edition of The Beacon (a weekly publication of the Diocese of Paterson, NJ). The article focuses on the dedication of the multi-purpose building as Rauscher Hall, as well as information about how Msgr. Martin Rauscher helped to found the organization. The article also speaks about the work that is being done in Tanzania.

Image of the front page of the August 17, 2017 Beacon.

Image of the front page of the August 17, 2017 Beacon.

Working The Fields

Our youths' most important weekly chore is to visit the elderly and deliver food, supplies and companionship to them. Next, come their responsibilities in our farm: preparing the land, planting and watering the crops and harvesting them. Here our youths in the fields surrounding Rauscher Hall, working on crop cultivation.

One of our youths with newly harvested bananas

One of our youths with newly harvested bananas

It always amazes me how they can carry heavy loads on their heads. Here are two of the young women carrying buckets full of items to and from the fields

It always amazes me how they can carry heavy loads on their heads. Here are two of the young women carrying buckets full of items to and from the fields

Several of our youths clearing and preparing a field. It's hard manual labor without modern farm equipment that we take for granted.

Several of our youths clearing and preparing a field. It's hard manual labor without modern farm equipment that we take for granted.

Muganyzi Geofrey

He is one of The Village Angels of Tanzania youths and has been with the program from the beginning. He is soft spoken, fun loving and a hard worker, especially in our fields. He has volunteered to be our chicken farmer when we will start operations.

You can help us fund our chicken project by donating to our Indiegogo fundraiser at:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fresh-eggs-as-protein-for-the-elderly-in-tanzania-africa#/


He is very happy to be in the program. In recognition, he and his wife had a baby daughter 18 months ago and they named her "Angel".