Last Updated: 03/23/2021

Following the deaths of 10 prominent citizens, Tanzania’s president reversed course and advised citizens to take precautions against COVID-19 and wear face masks. The government has not released information on numbers of COVID-19 cases since last spring and has no plans to accept vaccines. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, however, Tanzania is at Level 4 status, meaning transmission of the coronavirus is "high or rising rapidly.” Compassion child development centers are open and holding normal activities. Hygiene kits and multiple hand-washing stations are available at every center. Classrooms and playground equipment are regularly sanitized. Staff members continue to educate children on COVID-19 prevention.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, they have been able to distribute over 61,000 food packs and 105,000 hygiene kits to families and provide medical support to almost 28,000 individuals

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Tanzania?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Tanzania, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Centers in Tanzania have reopened and are holding normal programme activities. Staff members carefully clean and sanitize the centers. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 61,000 food packs and 105,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

Letters are currently being delivered in Tanzania, although delivery to and from your child may take a bit longer than normal. We encourage you to continue writing your child, as all children need words of hope and encouragement now more than ever before. Thank you for your ministry!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Tanzania. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

Names in this story have been changed for privacy.

From a young age, Gabriel was exposed to the challenges of living in poverty. Every morning while his mother left in search of work, he and his sister Light would go to the dump to search for food and newspapers.

“We lived in a house made from mud. The roof was rusty, and it had holes everywhere. There was no light and we did not own a stove. So, the newspapers that we picked up, we would use them to light the fire and cook,” says Gabriel.

After years of suffering, life changed when Gabriel was registered into the Child Sponsorship Program. “The day I got registered was the best day of my life. I got the chance to know God ... and the staff was always there for us,” he says.

Five years ago, though, life took another turn. Gabriel’s mother and stepfather were both diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. For years they worked to rebuild their health, but when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, everything was again at risk. Food and proper nutrition were critical to their strength, and Gabriel grew increasingly scared as the family moved again toward starvation.

That’s why the day the child development center staff showed up with bags of groceries rivaled Gabriel’s registration at the center as his best day ever. Compassion’s church partner has continued to check in with the family and provide food baskets throughout the pandemic.

“I am so happy to know my children will never sleep hungry if I don’t have money," says Gabriel’s mother. "The center has always been there for us."

How can I pray for Tanzania?

Pray that God will encourage and empower Tanzanian pastors as they serve and care for the people in their communities.

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