Compassion started working in Tanzania in 1999. Today, there are over 99,000 children registered at program centres run by 477 church partners.
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mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births
of people live below the poverty line
lack access to improved sanitation
Tanzania has been spared the internal strife that has blighted many African states. But domestic stability has not translated into economic prosperity and many Tanzanians still live in poverty.
The modern nation was formed in 1964 when Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the United Republic of Tanzania. The constitution was amended in the 1990s to allow multi-party politics and Tanzania has enjoyed relative political peace and stability ever since.
Despite that stability, many Tanzanians live in poverty. Most of this group live in rural or semi-rural places and work as small-scale farmers. They remain personally vulnerable to poverty because large sections of the country are vulnerable to severe weather events. In 2019, a late onset of seasonal rains meant crops were reduced—and then flooding in some regions wiped out crops entirely.
So, while the economy has been growing, agriculture is growing slower than other sectors, meaning that the majority of families living in poverty aren’t benefiting as much as others.
The country’s poverty rate has come down from 34.4 per cent in 2007 to 26.8 per cent in 2016, but the absolute number of people living in poverty has held at about 13 million, due to high population growth.
In 2015, John Magufuli was elected President on a platform of economic reform and a promise to tackle corruption. As a former minister for works, he had earned a reputation as someone who could deliver big projects and manage budgets with a tight fist. As President he drew criticism for his approach to the press after he shut down several newspapers for publishing articles that were critical of the government.
Many of the poorest Tanzanians in rural and regional areas struggle to access basic services, including safe water and proper sanitation, adequate healthcare and good education. The government’s efforts in many of these areas have been undermined as the population has grown faster than services and infrastructure.
This will be a key challenge for decision-makers as the next federal election approaches in 2020. Meanwhile, local churches across the country are working hard to nurture and protect vulnerable children, to ensure they have opportunities to develop and experience a hope more powerful than poverty.
Dear Sponsor, Greetings in the name of Jesus. I am Agnes Hotay; I have been the Country Director of Compassion Tanzania for the last three years, but I joined the ministry 14 years ago. I have been married for 15 years and my husband and I are blessed with three children: Hannah (13), Joshua (10), and Caleb (5). My best moments are during praising and worshiping God. I love singing, especially leading worship songs.open_in_new Read full letter
Ombaja never met his father, who died before he was born. When he was just two years old, his mother died, and he has no memory of her, either. Like other orphaned children in his village, he was left to live with his grandmother. His future looked dire.open_in_new Read more
These photos are a fascinating, and at times confronting, insight into the lives of children around the world in Compassion’s program... Read more
On the day his church launches a partnership with Compassion, Pastor Godfrey Yona looks forward to the mission of releasing children from poverty in his community in Tanzania … and explains why he takes it so personally... Read more