The congregation at Christ Church, Harrogate has been raising money to provide 166 Parish Workers in the Diocese of Kagera, Tanzania, with bikes to enable them to reach vulnerable people, many of them Aids orphans.
At the weekend a cheque for £11, 620 was presented to Dr Susan Wilson of the Tunaimi fund which cares for around 20,000 orphans. The money will be used to buy a fleet of bicycles, each costing £70, which means the parish workers will be able to care more effectively for those living in difficult to reach communities.
The push to raise money for bikes for Tanzania was started by former curate, Revd Helen Bailey after she had visited the country to see the work of the Tunaimi Fund.
Pictured are representatives of Junior Church and congregation presenting Dr. Susan Wilson, MBE, Chairman of The Tumaini Fund with the final cheque at the All age Service.
Perhaps even more remarkable, the target was reached while the church has been in a vacancy, after both Helen had left to a new role (as Vicar of Minchinhampton with Box and Amberley) and Christ Church was without a vicar.
Church warden, Kath Barff said, “Personally, I’ve been overwhelmed by all the support, encouragement and the way that Bikes for Tanzania have been taken into our hearts. We’ve knitted (lots), we’ve bought raffle and tombola tickets, we’ve baked, we’ve eaten and drunk, we’ve dressed up and some of the retired clergy have even sold pints! This has brought us all together as a congregation during the time of vacancy at Christ Church. Helen knows that we have reached the target that she left us with. She is delighted and sends her love and thanks.”
Tumaini is Swahili for hope and the fund was started after the genocides in Rwanda and Burundi. The incidence of HIV, which has risen from 2.8% to 28%, has left approximately 200,000 orphans in the Kagera area of Tanzania. There are no orphanages in Kagera as orphans are cared for by their own people. The Tumaini Fund provides the means for this caring society to support its own orphans and tries to ensure that the head of a child-headed family is at least 16 years old. Most of these orphans live out in rural areas where there are no roads, so access to them is by walking – a very time consuming operation – or by bike.
Because of the bikes, parish workers will now be able to reach many more people who are thinly spread across a wide area. More children are getting into education and the sick will be visited more often, saving lives.
More information at www.tumainifund.org.uk
Pictured above handing over the cheque are (left to right): Abbi, a member of Junior Church which raised money for several bikes, Ann Eaden, who's knitting also benefitted the fund, Kath Barff churchwarden, Dr Susan Wilson of the Tunaimi Fund and Caris,a member of the Brownies.