Unitas Charity – Children Home
(Upendo Wa Utatu- Nyumba Ya Watoto)
CHRS Charity has joined Father Paschal’s mission to help these children. Projects that CHRS has funded include building a new chapel, supplying electricity to the home, providing essential needs for all the children for the past two years, and providing gifts and meals at Christmas time.
Please join CHRS Charity in helping these children. They still have many needs and your donation will go a long way in helping us fund other projects for them in their village. Below is a letter from one of the priests from Songea explaining how the Unitas Charity came to be.
Unitas Charity is a Children’s Home which is located in Songea District, Southern part of Tanzania, East Africa. It was founded by a Catholic Priest, Fr. Paschal Mbepera, C. M, from the Congregation of the Mission – Vincentians. Fr. Paschal is doing his mission as a Pastor of Saint Vincent Parish which is in the nearby Diocese, about 240 Kilometers away. The Unitas Charity is located in Sanangula village, which is about 30 Kilometers from Songea town.
Being a Priest from Vincentian Congregation, Fr. Paschal was inspired by Saint Vincent De Paul to help and take care of the children in need. He has been trying to gather together some boys and girls who have either lost one or both of their parents, or those children who are not happy and cannot find peace living with their relatives or parents. Fr. Paschal has managed to build average buildings where the children are living. In the compound there is also a small chapel that CHRS Charity helped us complete. The children now get to pray together in the chapel.
Fr. Paschal began this ministry in 2007, and since then children have been going to school from this house. He has been paying for their tuition, buying them clothes, shoes, books, pencils, pens and many other items needed for their studies and life. Right now there are 10 children who are staying in the house. Some of the children are leaving Unitas Charity Home after they graduate from their secondary education.
There is a Matron who takes care for these children. She is a Nun from Unitas Congregation of Sisters. She volunteers to take care of the children all day long. She supervises everything for the children. The children have become her children, and she does everything to make sure they get something to eat everyday.
Around the compound they have small field where they grow maize (white corn) for food. This work is done by hands because it is expansive to find a tractor for cultivation. Sometimes they pay some people to cultivate.
Ugali (made from white corn), beans and vegetables are the main dishes. When they get money they sometimes provide rice, beef and chicken.
Money is the biggest challenge of Unitas Caritas Children Home. They are living in unfinished houses, they don’t have good water supply. If they had a well and pump, they would have enough water supply. They have still a lot of work to do to make the place their home.
Essential Family Needs
To fulfill its mission, CHRS makes every effort to respond to families needing help with essential needs. CHRS’ response has included the purchasing of food for families who can not afford it and the provision of monetary assistance with utility bills in an effort to keep the heat on during winter months. As with the other programs, these needs are brought to the attention of the Board of Directors who makes a decision as to whether to provide assistance and the exact allocation of funds.
Those who are helped by CHRS are from lower economic families in Omaha, Nebraska and surrounding areas. They have limited or no financial resources. The children often have no coats or shoes and only very few articles of clothing. By providing basic essentials for these children in need, CHRS fosters an environment of hope.
CHRS has been working with a specific public school, Field Club Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. Field Club has a large population of children in need. CHRS has been providing food, clothing, shoes, and other similar necessities to these children and their families.
Requests for clothing, shoes, and coats are received through Needs Assessment Forms that are completed by teachers and staff of Field Club Elementary School. The Needs Assessment Form identifies the specific recipient and his/her clothing, coat and shoes needs. If any siblings are also in need, the form is also used to communicate those needs. The forms are delivered to the CHRS Board of Directors. The Board evaluates each request and determines the number of funds to be allocated. CHRS volunteers purchase goods and deliver them to the staff of Field Club Elementary School. School staff members make home deliveries.
An exciting change will be taking place in this program for the 2010-2011 academic year. CHRS will maintain a space at Field Club known as Christopher’s Closet. An inventory of children’s’ clothing and shoes will be maintained within Christopher’s Closet, allowing for a more timely response to individual needs. Allowing access to and stocking of the closet will still be the responsibility of the Board of Directors. It is our hope to expand this program to other schools within the community as resources allow.
CHRS sponsors activities that promote social welfare. The following types of activities are approved at the discretion of the Board of Directors: soccer camps, outings to movies, in-school parties. Such requests are delivered in person or in writing to CHRS. The Board evaluates each request to determine whether it is appropriate and feasible for the request to be fulfilled by CHRS. If approved, CHRS staff members work with the requesting organization to plan and conduct the activity. CHRS Foundation staff members stay actively involved throughout the process to ensure that CHRS funds are used appropriately. Examples of recent activities include the provision of lunch each day for a week-long soccer camp for underprivileged children and a quarterly celebration for Field Club students exhibiting good attendance.