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Letter from the Project Director

 
It’s Fall in beautiful BC, and the days are cool and grey. Talk at the dinner table invariably includes the weather, which is something that one simply does not chat about in Tanzania (not much need to do that, except for the noticeable climate change patterns).
 
I am reminded of the many things which make life at the project in East Africa so very different: the decided lack of four seasons, which goes along with the unchanging twelve hours of daylight followed by twelve hours of darkness, and the little-changing “room temperature” which remains constant inside and out. It is the physical differences are easy to talk about. The social and psychological differences are more difficult to discuss, and those are my direct concerns.

Take for example, our “Breaking News”: we received nine new children into the Residential Program in November. (Pictures and story to follow.) All nine are from the same semi-nomadic tribe which follows tribal traditions, herding cattle and goats in the lowlands of the river valley not terribly far from our village.

All nine were removed from their parents for “Education”. The two eldest girls, not related, were each being used as “junior wives” by their fathers. The youngest seven - aged five to ten - shared one father, who was killed in a conflict over land-use. Their three mothers (barely adults themselves) are now unable to provide for their children. There is no school there.

This is the work that we do: take in children from dangerous situations to provide a safe healthy living and learning environment for them. We try to help them to learn that there are alternative ways of living, that the traditions that they experienced in their families of origin might be left behind and replaced with a new way of life.

It’s a fine line to draw, teaching new life skills without criticizing beloved family members or honored tribal traditions. I have learned not to use the words “good” and “bad”, but rather talk about how to adopt behaviors and traditions which could improve the participants’ lives. At our project our staff, teachers and care givers try to be positive role models for all our children and for the community surrounding us.

It’s a privilege to be able to make a difference in the lives of so many, and I thank you for your support which allows us to help make that happen.

Many seasons blessings to you all,


Lynda
 
As the winter season approaches, you may wonder how our kids spend their school vacation. Well, the daytime high will be close to 40°C, with the nighttime about 25°C. School will be finished for the year on 6th December. No snowball fights!
 
Our village is home to a Muslim majority, and our beneficiary children likewise. But on Christmas Eve, our whole family will go to church for singing and drumming and joyous happy making. On Christmas Day, there will be a feast with a roasted goat, traditional pilau rice dish, and a bottle of soda. Each of our children will receive a gift of one article of clothing – brand new!
 
On behalf of all our beneficiaries in Tanzania, large and small, we wish you a blessed and peaceful year end season!

Breaking News!

The social welfare officer brought us Mnira on November 5th. She is a
16-year-old girl of the Man’gati tribe of semi-nomadic herders. On the 7th, the officer returned with Sara, aged 15, and seven siblings from a single family: sisters Sophia, Kenika, Dauda, Shamira, Sakina, and brothers Hussein and Mohamed. Sophia is around ten years old, and the rest range down to five or six. None have ever slept in their own bed and we are quickly working to build their bunk beds. Bunk beds and mattresses will be a very foreign concept to them, as they have slept on dirt floors their whole lives.

Psychologically, this group (all from the same tribe) will have much adjusting to do in order to fit into our collective family. The fathers of the older girls, Sara and Mnira, have each been charged with sexually assaulting their daughters. Their family business has traditionally been witchcraft. Now that the girls are safely at the project there is much de-traumatizing to undertake. Both girls should be in secondary school, but at this point, it’s difficult to tell whether either has finished grade seven. We will have some negotiating to do with the Education officer.

The younger siblings, as far as we know, have never been to primary school. This will make it easy to enroll them in our school. When they arrived, none of them would have known the Swahili language! I’m certain that by now they will have picked some up from our other residential children. In time, they will also be learning English, as we do teach in both languages in our new school.

The seven siblings are facing the death of their father and the loss of their three mothers. The father was killed in the age-old war between herders and farmers. The mothers, whom you can see are all young, will be assigned new husbands within the tribe.

In addition to the adjustments for the new children, there are several challenges that our staff will be facing given these additions. The older two will be helping with the youngsters, and so adding staff will not be an immediate issue. The bunks are being built, clothes rounded up, and the meals stretched. The House Rules must be introduced to them- some of which will be so foreign to the nomadic nature of their tribal norms.

I (Lynda) look forward to returning to the project on January 2nd, and anxiously await being able to hug the new children and showing them that they are all loved!

(Pictured Below L to R: Sara, the seven younger children with their mothers, Mnira)

 

The seven younger children with their mothers.
Mnira                                                             Sara

Dairy Initiative

Enock and Isaya, from last newsletter, are busy preparing for the arrival of two Holstein-crosses which will start an income-generating dairy production on-site. This initiative will provide milk for our children, a source of income for the project and salary for Enock. Isaya will begin trade school in January 2020.

The New School Expands

Classroom 5 and 6 exteriors completed!
The interior of classroom 5. The beautiful mango tree windows are in! They let in a wonderful cross breeze. Now the room awaits lighting fixtures, desks, teaching materials, bookshelves, and all other wonderful things that make this a fun and safe place to learn.
The new banks of boys and girls bathrooms for classrooms 5 and 6 are going in.

Giving Tuesday: December 3rd

 
For several years now, charities have been promoting Giving Tuesday. CanaDares has been participating in this new tradition, which was conceived as an antidote to incessant seasonal shopping - a symptom of consumerism which is so prominent at this time of year.

Each year end, CanaDares Society has always published a “Wish List” - a list of things that our children in residence need or would be thrilled to have. This is how it works:
 
Donate to CanaDares Society * on behalf of your children, grandchildren or any other special people in your life.
 
In exchange for your donation, CanaDares will give you a colourful printed gift card, with a picture of what the funds from that donation will “purchase”.  You fill in the name of the person for whom you have made the donation, sign the card and gift it.
 
Last year, our Wish List focused on items that we needed to outfit the classrooms in our new school, like story books, desks, window coverings and swing sets. You can still donate towards any of those items, as we are continuing to expand our school. The latest two classrooms are being finished for the start of the new school year in January!
 
This year we have a dairy project which we are undertaking as an income-generating initiative. Your gift could go towards the purchase of a (pregnant) milk cow, milking equipment like buckets and stainless milk jugs, or the renovation of our cow barn.
The nine new children will all need shoes, clothes, school supplies and bunk beds.

Please watch for our separate mailing which will arrive on December 2nd, and give generously.
* Please send your donation to
CanaDares Society
 #702-3633 Mount Seymour Parkway
North Vancouver BC, V7H 0A9.
 
Indicate which photo card(s) you have chosen, and we will mail them to you so you may complete and gift.

Donors Corner
OUR SINCERE THANKS

 
Your donations are so very much appreciated. The work we do is important. We don’t merely house and feed orphans. We save children. We offer them the chance to learn the tools with which they will be able to build a bright future for themselves. We encourage and promote quality education, we provide good nutrition, proper health and medical attention. We provide a safe and happy living and learning environment, where sports and games are daily activities, and household chores are a responsibility, not a punishment. Our after-dinner activities include drum and dance, singing, drama, cards and storytelling. In short, our project is a busy and happy home!
 
Without your help, we couldn’t possibly continue the work that we do. We couldn’t take in seven siblings - and those seven children would have had to have been split up and sent to separate orphanages if they couldn’t have come to us. The two teenagers (Sara and Mnira) would have been left to their own devices.
 
So, thank you. Thank you for participating in an important and very much needed project. Your monthly donation allows us to meet the challenges of feeding our growing family. And your annual year end donation allows us to purchase those much needed “extras” that make our home so special.
 
For those of you who would like to begin participating, Welcome! You will find the form for pre-authorized debit donations by clicking on the button below. 

 
Pre- Authorized Debit Agreement
Happy Holidays from all of us at CanaDares!






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CanaDares Society for Children in Tanzania · #702 - 3633 Mt. Seymour Pkwy · North Vancouver, BC V7H 0A9 · Canada

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