Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Support Mothers and Children Living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Sr. Maria Gaspara, a Missionary Sister living in Zanzibar, Tanzania, in East Africa. There, Sr. Maria directs an outreach program that provides basic necessities for single mothers living with HIV/AIDS and for their children. Quite simply, without the help that Sr. Maria and her staff provide, many of these mothers and their small children might not survive.


I want you to know how essential your generosity and prayers are to the ongoing work of our Missionaries. The donations that you send — whether through the mail or electronically — enable many in our missions across the African continent to have the food, water, shelter, medical supplies, education and pastoral support they need. Without the financial donations we receive from friends like you, many of the poor men, women and children in our missions would be forced to go without basic living necessities. You help make our work possible!

A young mother receiving much needed cooking oil from the Outreach Center.

As I write this letter to you, summer is just about over and — for most of the U.S. — the season for growing vegetables is coming to an end. Our gardens have produced all that they will. Fortunately, though, in this country, we can often still find fresh produce in our local grocery store. For the poor living in many parts of Africa, though, life isn’t so easy.

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Sr. Maria Gaspara, a Missionary Sister living in Zanzibar, Tanzania, in East Africa. There, Sr. Maria directs an outreach program that provides basic necessities for single mothers living with HIV/AIDS and for their children. Quite simply, without the help that Sr. Maria and her staff provide, many of these mothers and their small children might not survive.

“We help single mothers who are living with HIV /AIDS live as independently as they can,” Sr. Maria writes. “Unfortunately, though, because they are stigmatized as a result of their infection — their ability to get jobs or to support themselves and their children becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible.”

“Our center helps teach them skills as well as grow their own food — which they might not otherwise be able to purchase at the market. Some of the people in the local community have been willing to help the young mothers as well, but there are still those who refuse to have any interaction with them. As a result, going to a market to buy food, or getting a job to do even the most menial tasks, can be extremely difficult.”

Women learning to make soap

“While the government has passed a law making it illegal to discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS, the stigma still exists. Our center is working to educate the community about the issue, but young mothers and their children still need our support. We help them with small gardening projects that provide fresh fruits and vegetables. A number of them also work at a poultry project that provides food and a small income. I am hoping that you can help us continue to give these young mothers and their children the food and support they desperately need!”

Young mothers after attending an educational program.

As I read Sr. Maria’s letter, I could not help but think about those in our own communities who need our support but often go unnoticed. For this reason, please consider making a donation of canned goods to your local food pantry. You could also offer to take a meal to someone who lives alone. Studies show that people living alone, feeling isolated, may not ask for help when they cannot afford food.

I also hope that you will send a donation to help provide food and other basic living necessities for the young mothers and children in Sr. Maria’s mission in Tanzania. While I am hoping that we can raise at least $25,000 for this and other projects in East Africa, any amount you can send will make a difference in the lives of those in need. In helping the poor, we are showing the love of God through our actions. For this, I cannot thank you enough. God bless you for your kindness!

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development