New Life Center Opening among Datooga People, Rural Tanzania
In a world of 24/7 television and news alerts, Facebook and Twitter, Blackberrys and iPhones, and all the other means we have to stay in constant communication, it’s difficult to imagine a people who have never tapped into the global conversation.
But such unreached groups do exist. Being isolated, they are often under-developed and suffer from extreme poverty.
One such group WorldServe has been serving is the Datooga people in Tanzania, East Africa. They number about 250,000 people in total, and live in small communities of 500-1,000. Their literacy rate is less than 1% and nearly 50% of children die before the age of five.
The Datooga have almost zero access to clean water and sanitation, and medical care is three days away on foot – several hours by car. Many have died on the way to visit a doctor or nurse, often from dehydration, others die from waterborne diseases or during childbirth.
In the midst of this heartbreaking situation, WorldServe saw the need for clean water wells and a nearby medical clinic. Now a new era of health and hope is beginning to dawn for these people who seem to live “at the ends of the earth.”
In October 2009, we will open the doors of the new WorldServe Life Center clinic among the Datooga. Making an investment into health care for this community is just one component of our 7-part Life Center strategy. The other six areas we prioritize are water and sanitation; electrical power; communications and culture; agricultural development; economic development; and education.
It began with the drilling of community water wells. President John Bongiorno shared the desperate needs with people who could help. James River Assembly, a massive, missions-motivated church in Springfield, Missouri, USA, was among the first to step up to the plate. By hosting the Puzzle Project fundraiser at their church, James River raised enough funds to drill a deep community water well in just two weekends.
(Check out our Media Center for some incredible video footage about clean water for the Datooga.)
Other generous sponsors, both individuals and organizations such as Hand of Hope / Joyce Meyer Ministries, have also helped us provide new long-term sources of safe water to the people in this area.
The clinic was generously sponsored in full by our parent organization, GOD TV, an organization that is committed to serving the poor through effective, sustainable projects.
The new clinic is being staffed by a doctor and a nurse provided by the government of Tanzania. It will also be stocked with vital medicines.
The clinic will be a tremendous positive improvement for everyone in the community. In some ways, it will be a special blessing to the women. The clinic will help childbirth become a safer process. Also, having a nearby clinic gives Datooga women peace of mind knowing they could get a child to the doctor quickly even when their spouse is far away. They might pay as little as $1 USD to treat their child. Contrast this to life before the clinic, when people could not get medical help until it became critical, they would often have to sell a cow to cover the enormous expense and death was still the result.
WorldServe International is pleased to open this Life Center clinic to serve the Datooga people with practical help and hope. We will continue reporting back to you on this incredible project as it begins serving the people.