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Turn to Jesus (Article)

A Gift for Tanzanian Children
Semper Altius Foundation of Italy supports children from the Mkuza community with funds for a school.

Tanzania 1
Sole Ferrer with students from the St Joseph Day Care Centre, directed by the Sisters of Mercy of Verona.

November 28, 2010. Kibaha, Tanzania (Africa). The Semper Altius Foundation of Italy has begun a project aimed at supporting the Mkuza community in Tanzania’s Kibaha district by raising funds so that construction on the second building and the chapel of the Fransalian Mission School can be completed.

In early November, consecrated woman Sole Ferrer and Minerva Dibildox, an Integer employee, visited Tanzania so that they could gain more firsthand knowledge of the project, study different alternatives for support, and prepare the volunteer program for the summer.

They were received by the priests of the congregation of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales. They also participated in the confirmation of 120 children from the Mkuza parish, and in different school activities.

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The school (left) and the recently completed building (right).
Ferrer shares her impressions of the trip:

On the first day, they invited us to come see the school and the progress that has been made in the construction. But to our surprise, they had prepared a welcome for us. The children put on a presentation for us with songs, poems, and a play. They also gave us the typical welcome by dressing us in a kanga, and by giving us sweets to give to each student. They all came to school in their uniforms, with their hair neatly combed and always clean.

The poverty makes a deep impression on you, and it hurts to see it… but both the children and the adults are happy, carefree people—not without problems, but they live joyfully and simply. They are always dignified and smiling.

The children come up to us to play and to touch us… They sang and danced for us (they have rhythm in their blood) and also taught us some words
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Girls from the parish on their confirmation day.
in Kiswahili.

The Missionaries of St Francis de Sales priests gave us a witness of self-giving, humility, and apostolic zeal. They know the culture and respect it, but they don’t stop working to bring their souls to Christ, to give them economic aid and a better standard of living.

After this trip, we have decided to begin the “sponsors” project, looking for scholarships for 10 children who have difficulty paying their tuition.

For me, finally, it was a double experience. On the one hand, it was a chance to discover once again God’s love for his souls, how he loves each person with totality and wants the best for them, and always puts people on their path to help them find Him. On the other hand, it was a chance to discover the goodness of people, the simplicity, how they are happy without anything… But not only that, they are happy with what they have, they enjoy it. They spend hours in the afternoons singing, talking, helping… They are goodhearted people. When they smile, especially the children, their faces light up and you can see the purity in their eyes.

God willing, I hope we can help them economically, but above all, let ourselves be helped by them to learn to be happy with everything.

“Asante ni sana, Mungu akubariki (Thank you very much, God bless you).”



Related links

Altius Foundation
Catholic World Mission
Helping Hands Medical Missions
St Rafael Guizar y Valencia Missionary Center

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