Tanzania is currently ranked as the 36th poorest country in the world. With a population of 44 million people, an estimated 1 out of 10 people is an orphan. The extreme poverty is aggravated by a lack of social services, education, and infrastructure. For example, the doctor to patient ratio in Tanzania is 1 doctor for every 220,000 people. In the USA that ratio is 1 doctor for every 250 people. (Source: UN Human Development Report)
Mwanza is the second largest region in Tanzania, hosting the city of Mwanza, where over a million people and over 100 different tribes coexist. Urban Africa attracts the greatest concentrations of widows, orphans, refugees, disabled, and chronically ill people. These people flock to the cities in search of life, but find overcrowded streets void of opportunity. Mwanza is especially attractive for such people because it is located along a water source, Lake Victoria – the second largest freshwater lake in the world. The concentration of orphans and vulnerable children in Mwanza is evident as the streets are flooded with homeless children. Mwanza is the prime location of Kwetu Faraja’s outreach efforts.
The village of Kahunda has a population of over 10,000 people, most of which are children. The village economic activities are agriculture and fishing. Kwetu Faraja’s choice in building a campus at Kahunda was strategic because it allows us to interact with another extremely vulnerable population – children who are the product of the migrant fishing industry. Kahunda is a major hub for migrant fishermen who live and work on the islands of Lake Victoria. The fishing industry is associated with a higher prevalence of HIV infection and as such there is a higher concentration of children orphaned by HIV. Kwetu Faraja hopes to begin outreach efforts to these fishing communities in order to identify additional vulnerable children in need of care.
Kwetu Faraja is a Tanzanian Registered Non-Governmental Organization and an American 501(c)(3) Public Charity with Tax Exempt Status.
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