Much of the money which is spent on the projects I write about on this site is raised by a couple of schools in the UK. Occasionally, during the year, friends also kindly give a little. There is always so much that needs doing, that it can be hard to pick who to help. If anybody reading this feels the urge to get involved then please get in touch with me. I send money out each month and if it is small I can tack it on to that and if it is more substantial then I can do my best to get photographs and provide a more detailed breakdown in how the money is used (although I can’t promise pics as it is not always easy to get digital photos sent from the village). I receive constant requests for food, building homes, medicine, school fees and dozens of other needs. Below is a small report on how £200 has been spent which a friend handed me last month. It has been dictated by Omary who is a local leader and blind himself. My bits are in the square brackets.
Here is a photo of a boy called Mohamed Mubarak. He lives with a parent in a village called Baura which is near Kondoa Town [approx 4 hours north of Buigiri]. He has low vision. The money I offered them helped them to go to CCBRT Hospital in Dar es Salaam [children need to have paperwork to show they have had their eyes tested by a doctor who can verify they are low vision and that nothing practical can be done immediately to resolve the issue]. He will join the blind school in July because his sight is very low. His family has treated him in using traditional medicine for a long time and still his parent believes that he can recover with only traditional medicine [there is often a battle between using local witchdoctors and western-style doctors].
There are photos of Mr Phelemon Masumega and his wife. I visited them at their home which is at Ilolo area in Mpwapwa district [2 hours east of Buigiri]. You can see me in the photos [Omary is wearing the hat. I also met Phelemon and his wife this year and they are in a photo in this update]. They slaughtered a chicken in my honour. It was special for me for that day. Maybe it is because of what I sent them or perhaps it is just their kindness. I told you earlier that he is an entrepreneur. I gave him 200000tshs [£80/$120]. He makes and sells bricks. He will use the money to buy more materials and tools which will enable him to support his family.
In the photos are Magreti, her husband and Vumilia who is studying at Mvumi Secondary School. She is in Form 2. They lives in Kawawa village. I hope you remember Magreti, she came to visit you in March with another woman when you were here. It is this family which takes care of Vumilia nowadays since her mother passed away. Vumilia has been at home since March 28th when the school closed for half-term because there was noone to pay for her transport to school. She has uncles and aunts but no one is ready to help her. Magreti and her husband volunteered to stay with her despite the fact they are too poor to support Vumilia with anything more than only food. I decided to give them 100000tshs [£40/$60] IN ORDER to help the girl go back to school.
This is all I have for today. Thank you. There remains 100,000tshs [£40/$60] to be used for Nasma [who is in a similar predicament to Mohamed] but she lives very far.
Regional Co-ordinator for the Tanzanian League for the Blind
Of all the areas I have been involved in over the years, I am most proud about helping young blind children in to education. Too often they are kept at home, deprived of the opportunity to learn and are forced into becoming a burden on their family. I have witnessed firsthand the children being terrified at the prospect of leaving their home environment but then within a short time absolutely loving life at the blind school where they get to learn, play with friends who understand about visual impairment, and where they get three meals a day and a bed to sleep in.