UMC #GivingTuesday Gifts Aid in Sanitation for Nursery in Tanzania
By Judith Santiago*
Emmanuel Center Nursery School, a ministry of Gamasara United Methodist church in Tanzania, needed to have appropriate sanitation facilities before it could be a registered school with the Tanzanian government.
When UMC #GivingTuesday donations arrived last year for the Emmanuel Center for Women and Children in Tarime, Tanzania, Advance #3021924, they allowed for the construction and installation of toilets and sanitation facilities that were standard for schools. The gifts also supported the purchase of materials to dig a new well in the surrounding community, giving residents access to safe water.
As construction began, Emmanuel’s teachers focused on providing holistic education that helped students understand the risks of open defecation, a common practice in the area, and learn how to prevent illness.
Hygiene practices such as handwashing, proper toilet usage, and the drinking clean water were underscored at school. Teachers encouraged the students to share what they learned with their families.
The matching funds we received by UMC #GivingTuesday allowed the schools to practice much-needed holistic care,” said Eric Soard, a missionary with Global Ministries. “This included providing the students with a three-month supply of deworming medicine, so they could stay in good health.
According to Soard, many of the children were constantly getting ill because of the contaminated water they were consuming. Typhoid and parasites were common illnesses that kept children from school and other healthy activities.
Children’s education becomes a priority
UMC #GivingTuesday donations provided sanitation facilities and introduced hygiene practices at Emmanuel Center Nursery School that is helping to reduce the risk and spread of disease. Photo: Courtesy of Eric Soard.
Emmanuel Center Nursery is located in a very poor area, and communities have not placed a high emphasis on education, mostly because they cannot afford the school fees. When students began sharing with their families what they were learning in school, parents and community members started to appreciate the examples of healthy living and education that Emmanuel was providing. Families who did not normally send their children to school, began sending their other children to the nursery.
“One little girl, age 6, refused to eat for two days until her parents returned her to school,” said Soard. “Prioritizing children in the school, and all of their needs, is helping the community to also prioritize their children.”
Emmanuel Center Nursery School successfully opened earlier this year. The school currently serves about 48 students in both the preschool and kindergarten grade levels. Next year, Soard hopes to build two new classrooms to add a first grade class and split the preschool and kindergarten classes, which are currently meeting together.
UMC #GivingTuesday is Dec. 1
On Dec. 1, United Methodists will once again come together to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. And once again, every gift made online through The Advance at www.umcmission.org/give on Dec. 1, 2015, will be matched up to $1 million.**
Download and share UMC #GivingTuesday resources.
*Judith Santiago is the Content and Editorial Coordinator for Global Ministries.
** Global Ministries will allocate matching funds, dollar for dollar, up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 1, 2015, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. CT. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. An individual project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.