Distribution Day!

Greetings, Friends.

It was a very exciting and joyous weekend here in Tanzania because Saturdays are Distribution Days! As background, in case you don’t know already, the Tanzanian Government provides free schooling in Primary School. Students provide their own uniforms, shoes, and school supplies, much as they do in America. In the Anglican Diocese of Central Tanganyika (the name for Tanzania before it was peacefully joined with Zanzibar), for whom I work, there are approximately 40,000 vulnerable children, primarily orphans.  Carpenter’s Kids is a partnership between DCT and their friends in the US and other parts of the world. (More on the history and reach of CKs later.) The Carpenter’s Kids Program provides some of the most vulnerable of these children, determined by local committees, with a uniform, a pair of shoes, school supplies, soap, and breakfast every school day, all for $80 a year.

chitelela not cks 1

A tremendous effort is on-going in preparation for Distribution Days- measuring children, getting and individually labeling their uniforms and shoes, procuring all the other supplies. On Saturdays, the CK team delivers these items and spends some time with the children in their villages and the adults who support and care for them. Pastor E and Noel went to three villages on Saturday; Pastor N and I went to three others. The villages are varying distances from Dodoma, and quite removed from the lifestyle of the city.  The need varies from village to village, but is consistently stunning.  The children and their caregivers are consistently joyous, faithful, sincere in their happy gratitude for their lives and for our presence there.  (It feels odd to be revered for simply showing up, but more on that later perhaps.) I was given the privilege of giving the children their uniforms,shoes, and supplies. There is a wonderful way of receiving here, that happens in other African countries as well: anything given, whether it’s clothes or a cup of tea, is received with both hands open.  To take something with one hand is to appear not to care or to be ungrateful, as if you can’t be bothered to put out both hands. (Shaking hands also requires both hands, which is tricky because I find I often have something in one hand or another. Thus, I am learning to keep both hands free, which is itself very freeing.)

ilindi group two better

After they receive their uniforms, the children run eagerly to change clothes and show us.  Then, excitedly, they put on their new socks and shoes. What they have received will allow them to go to school, something they all very much yearn to do. Many of the children and adults share with us just what it means to the children and their communities for them to have this opportunity which is taken for granted or even disregarded in so many other places.

mundemu ledman

This young man is Ledman and he is the only male CK in the village of Mundemu (usually it is very evenly male and female). He stole my heart! All the children do, of course. I hope one day many of you can come here and meet these beautiful, worthy children! Peace from East Africa!

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3 Responses to Distribution Day!

  1. Lauren Salminen says:

    Judy, I am loving your blog. It makes me feel as though I am there right alongside you every day, which of course I am in spirit. It is a constant reminder of why I do this work and why I bring people on pilgrimage every year. Thank you for all of your commentary and pictures. It makes the program come alive for others! Please give my love to everyone there. They are an amazing staff and I have been blessed to have their friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fr. Patrick Ward says:

    So thankful that you are there!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mimi says:

    Your Dad and I wish we were there with you!♡♡♡♡♡♡


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