Our Project

In Tanzania CanaDares works in partnership with a Tanzanian-registered NGO, the Vijaliwa Vingi Society (VVS): "vijaliwa vingi" roughly translates from Kiswahili as "God's many little gifts". CanaDares is the primary funding agency for VVS's "Extended Family Empowerment Project". In 2004 the Society was able to acquire a 20 acre plot at Msongola, near Mlandizi town, where it has since built a centre with two houses and various out buildings. The Project has Five Programs:

  1. The Residential Program (see below): will fully support children (primarily girls) up to the age of twelve when accepted, who come from hazardous circumstances. This program has been operating and evolving since November 2003. The participants range in age from five to eighteen years, up to the completion of their education, and potential acceptance into the Graduates program. All participants are strictly required to abide by the House Rules and to be excellent Role Models for the younger participants.
  2. the Outreach Program will support, assist and educate registered beneficiary families living with orphaned and/or disadvantaged children. Initiated in early 2006, this program seeks to support families through various workshop and seminar programs, developed and run through needs assessment and local input. Material support may also be distributed through the various projects, depending on independent funding.
  3. the Medical Program will provide services and programming to beneficiaries and the general public through the centre in Msongola. The first project expected to be offered will provide support for AIDS victims already on ARVs. Other programs will address issues as identified by Outreach and other participants. It is anticipated that a dispensary class facility to support the local community with full time staff and full medical amenities may be initiated.
  4. the Educational Program: will assist the government in the education of students in the community, and programming will be developed to such an end. Plans to develop a program to invite volunteer teachers from abroad are underway. The volunteering teachers will be asked to participate for up to six months, living at the centre and working at the local schools, as well as potentially offering English proficiency courses to local adults at the centre. Plans are being drawn for an international school which might be built at the centre, which might offer two streams, with half of the students coming from various regions in the country, and half coming from the Residential and Outreach programs. The two streams would be fully integrated, with no differential between those students whose parents have paid full fees and those parents have not. All students would board at the school, studying, working, eating and living together. Volunteering teachers from abroad would work hand in hand with Tanzanian trained teachers. An alternative to the construction of the school might be to collaborate with a nearby secondary school, to support and supplement it's staff, and to implement some of the ideas of student integration and volunteer teachers as above.
  5. the Graduates Program: will support the participants of the residential program after they have completed their education or after they have reached the age of majority. Applicants to the program must have “graduated” from the residential program in good standing to qualify for this program as either students wishing to complete their education under the Society's financial support, or as volunteers or paid staff. Continuing students will support the staff in caring for the children and environment in exchange for their education. As youth who have completed their studies up to the level of their ability, applicants may be invited to return as live- in volunteers if there are no suitable paid positions available at the time. Others may return as paid staff: caregivers, outreach workers, nurses, doctors and teachers in our on-going activities.

Additional programming will be developed and either incorporated into the above-mentioned or added as independent programming. In short, CanaDares and Vijaliwa Vingi are engaged in Community Development at the foundational stage and grassroots level.

Residential Program for Children

It started as a pile of bricks!Construction of the Vijaliwa Vingi facilities was begun out in 2004/05, consisting of the first residence. The second residence was completed in 2009.

Funds from CanaDares have also allowed the construction of a secure generator building, a chicken coop, a water tower, a recreational soccer field, goat stables, a full open-air kitchen and the planting of fruit and nut trees.

The children live with us with the permission of their next of kin or the Village Elders. Only one of our children in residence is living with AIDS. Some of the children have no parents or they have one parent who is unable to care for them. We currently have five sibling families among the 22 children in the residential program.

The finished first houseThe children attend the 'free' local government elementary school or a local secondary school which requires tuition. Two secondary school students live away in boarding schools, but come "home" to us during school breaks. They are provided with food and clothing and given basic health and medicalcare, time for play and for worship. They also receive English language instruction.

The children are well cared for by our team of caregivers: Rachael our Matron, Zainabu and Merina our cooks, Azifu our nurse and Christopher our Patron and groundskeeper. Ditrick, our Residential Manager, is responsible for the smooth operation of the home, and is present on-site every day, though his duties often take him to town. Two night watchmen are on duty each night to protect the VV property.

Our New Multi-use BuildingOur most recent building project is the completion of a multi-purpose project and community-use building on our 20-acre site. This building will provide a much needed meeting place for the surrounding village, as well as serve as a facility for our outreach program training, medical dispensary and as a volunteer residence.