Visiting Dodoma’s blind beggers (2008)

I have spent today visiting a blind community in Dodoma. Unlike Buigiri, the village in which I am based, they get no support from the government or abroad. They therefore make their living by begging where they can expect to make between 20-70p a day (30c-$1). Many of them received their education in the school which I am based at – though as they couldn’t afford secondary education (primary is free, secondary is not) then their only option was to turn to begging in the city.

As they are extremely poor, their children will also miss out on education, thus creating a cycle. The guy I’m with in some of the videos is Mr Omar and he is the regional officer for the Tanzanian League For The Blind. His aim is to help these people wherever possible and to try and break them out of the cycle. He gets no funds though and so it’s a very tricky problem to resolve.

I brought them some rice, beans, onions, cooking oil, soap, sweets and fish which should feed them for a month or so. I hope to return early in the new year with clothes, maize and exercise books and pens for the children. I’ll be using a little of the money kindly donated by you guys for that.

Peter and his two children. He is blind.

The market where I buy my food.

The food for the families

Possibly the coolest hat I’ve seen. I told him so and everyone laughed.


About Imo & Tom Feilding

I'm in my 30s and work for the University of Bristol, I regularly visit Buigiri Village slapbang in the centre of Tanzania in East Africa. It is a very poor semi-desert area. I spend much of my time and money helping individuals improve their situation and I write about it on here.
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