Latest update

One of the biggest issues facing children and families in Tanzania is child marriage. Nearly two out of five girls in Tanzania are married before they turn 18. In some rural areas, children get married as young as 11-years-old. Compassion advocates for vulnerable young girls by offering a safe place for connection, community and mentoring at the centre. Staff members also provide home visits and educate parents about how vital it is for girls to receive a complete education.

Watch the video update below to hear more from our Tanzanian neighbours.

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Country update

Crisis Reports from Tanzania

  • update icon

    Flooding in Nyumba Ya Mungu, Tanzania 22 Jun, 2022

    The situation

    The homes of 31 Compassion-assisted children have been damaged due to heavy rainfall in Tanzania. Ten serious injuries have been reported. Compassion staff have been relocated to a temporary office while repairs are being made to the Compassion office.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 1

    Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 32

    New information

    Compassion is working with local church partners to support impacted families. Temporary shelter, food and household items have been provided as needed. Repairs are beginning for the local Compassion centre, and children will be able to return shortly.

    Prayer

    Please pray for those who have been seriously injured by the disaster. Pray also for peace for families who have had their homes damaged by the heavy rain.

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    Flooding in Tanzania 06 Jun, 2022

    The situation

    Flooding in Tanzania has caused major damage to the community including destroying classrooms at the local Compassion centre. The heavy rains have impacted 26 Compassion assisted families, with many shelters destroyed. One serious injury has been reported.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 1

    Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 26

    New information

    Our local church partners have found alternative shelters and are providing further support for impacted families.

    Prayer

    Please pray for continued safety for all impacted families.

How is Compassion currently operating in Tanzania?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Centres in Tanzania have reopened and are now holding normal program activities.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters are currently being delivered in Tanzania, although delivery to and from your sponsored child may take a bit longer than normal. We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope.

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Tanzania. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to caregivers, where appropriate. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children, families and local workers in Tanzania.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for peace for Ibrahim as he prepares for a hip replacement operation.
  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they treat Furaha’s malaria.
  • Pray that God would help Haisam, his family and the local staff to discover all he can do with hypochondroplasia.
  • Pray for wisdom for doctors treating a malnourished mother with HIV/AIDS.
  • Praise God for allowing four new Tanzanian child development centres to open in March 2022.
  • Pray for peace and confidence for secondary students as they prepare for exams.
  • Pray for God’s comfort to be with the families who recently lost loved ones in a car accident.
  • Praise God for His continued wisdom and guidance for the National Office team as they make decisions for the future.
  • Pray for peace and strength for the women who are expecting their babies to arrive in the upcoming months.
  • Pray for the continued health and safety of the people of Tanzania.
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Please note: Centres in Tanzania have reopened and are now holding normal program activities.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Tanzania

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 5 visit the Compassion centre for six hours on Saturday.
  • Children aged 6 to 11 attend for six hours on Saturday and two hours during the week.
  • Students aged 12 to 18 attend for four hours on Saturday and four hours on a weekday.
  • Students aged 19 and older attend the centre for four hours during the week.
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Compassion Program Activities in Tanzania

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Compassion assisted children in Tanzania typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays, as well as a couple of hours after school during the week. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Tanzania.

8:00am - Breakfast and a time of devotion. When they arrive, children are usually given tea served with a snack, usually an egg, bread or buns.

9:00am - Spiritual lessons, when children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch and social time. Children usually share in a meal that comprises rice and beef, beans, ugali (stiff porridge) and fruit. Local staff aim to increase children’s protein intake.

1:00pm - Health lessons, in which children learn practical health and hygiene tips. Example topics include how to prevent malaria and HIV transmission.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Children are encouraged to join in activities such as sports, games, camping, and tree-planting and cleanliness activities in the community. They also participate in public celebrations such as AIDS Day, the Day of the African Child or Uhuru Day. Additionally, parents and caregivers are offered parenting classes.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Tanzania

524

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

26%

of people live below the poverty line

49%

of people lack access to improved sanitation

The modern nation was established 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.

But domestic stability has not translated into economic prosperity, and many Tanzanians still live in poverty.

The most affected 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 benefitting as much as others.

The country’s poverty rate has come down over the past decade from 34.4 per cent in 2007, 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.

Yet access to basic services—including safe water and proper sanitation, adequate healthcare and good education—is an ongoing struggle for millions. The government’s efforts in many of these areas have been undermined as the population has grown faster than services and infrastructure.

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.

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