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[Music: Tanzania by Bagamoyo Players & Mradi Group]
Welcome to BREAD - Berega Relief Equipment And Development Trust.
Let me start by introducing you to Berega
Berega is situated between Tanzania's two major cities Dar Es Salaam and Dodoma
It is some 6 and a half hours by road from Dar Es Salaam
It lies some 10km off the main road and is reached over unmade mud roads, which are sometimes impassible during the rainy season.
As you look around you, you will see that it is a rural area of mainly subsistence farming but it does have growing numbers of livestock
A place where each family is trying to grow enough food for their needs on small farms which are called Shamba's
The village has a few basic shops selling simple everyday items and locally produced food
every Monday sees a lively market selling everything from salt fish to shoes
Over the years Berega has grown and is now the main hub in this rural area.
It is home to a hospital with a school of nursing, a lively Anglican Church and a Kindergarten
It has an Orphanage and a recently started English Medium School.
And in the surrounding area are state-run primary and secondary schools.
Since its formation in the year 2000 BREAD has concentrated manly in capitol funded projects in Berega,
We work closely with the Anglican Diocese of Morogoro, who are responsible for all the main establishments in Berega.
Initially these projects were concentrated on the hospital under the direction of one of our founder trustees Dr Noj Northway.
Berega hospital is at the heart of the village and sees lots of coming and going throughout the day and the night.
It has a daily Out Patients Department run by Assistant Medical Officer and a pharmacy that sells the drugs prescribed by the Doctors
These drugs are sold at just above the purchase price, to keep the cost to the patient as low as possible.
And Because it's a rural area, people often have to travel for many hours to be seen at hospital.
The hospital has five main wards, including specialist maternity and children's wards.
It can house up to 150 patients and is most full during the malaria season.
Unlike here in the UK families have to provide all the food for the patients while they stay in hospital and they have to pay for any medicines they require.
Rainwater is a wonderful source of unpolluted of water.
BREAD has recently funded the installation of rainwater collection tanks to the main wards,
this is to take advantage of what water is available freely during the rainy seasons.
For the hospital it means that for some weeks of the year they have a good clean water supply and this helps to relieve the demands on the struggling hospital bore hole.
Death of mothers during the delivery of their babies is common in rural Tanzania and was big a problem here in Berega.
It was often due to the large distances women have to travel and the cost of staying in the village prior to confinement.
They have seen a great improvement in maternal mortality rates since the opening of the Maternity Waiting Home, which is situated in the grounds of the hospital,
The home was built and furnished with donations from BREAD
Here Mum's with known birthing problems can be on site prior to the birth of their babies, so that help is there when it is needed and not delayed by the potentially fatal journey to hospital.
Another way of improving clinical outcomes was discovered by one of our trustees during a visit to Berega in 2011
Mike Mytton was shown a set of rusty operating instruments that were still in use for cesarean operations. This triggered BREAD into action
We were able to replace these dilapidated cesarean kits and also able to purchase much needed laparotomy kits as well.
Now in its third year the School of Nursing At Berega or SONAB as it is known, will complete its first three year diploma of nursing course.
Trained nurses are in much demand throughout Tanzania and even more so in rural areas like Berega.
To encourage students from the local area around Berega, BREAD has agreed bursaries for three students to study for their Diploma Course.
It is planned that they will stay on at Berega, for at least two years, once they are qualified
This will help to raise standards in the Hospital and bring much needed support to the remote village clinic at Tunguli which is managed by the hospital.
Under the management of hospital directors Dr Noj Northway and now the Rev Isaac Mgego along with his all Tanzanian staff, things have progressed well but as always there remains much to do.
Funds to complete the computer room and third classroom at the School Of Nursing have run out.
thus jeopardising the potential of all three years running consecutively in the same campus.
Since the failure of the existing incinerator, medical waste has been disposed of in an open fire pit.
As it is impossible for the pit to reach sufficiently high temperatures toxic fumes drift over adjacent accommodation and dangerous waste materials are left outside, untreated.
Funding from the government to build the morgue has dried up, leaving this half completed shell of a building and it is not known when the money to complete it will be available
For the last two years the Government has failed to pay the salaries of the all the qualified staff at Berega
This creates large shortfalls in the budget. The promise is for money tomorrow but who know when tomorrow will come?
These are just a few of the issues that face the hospital, day by day, but they carry on providing a fantastic service to many thousands of people in the surrounding area, saving many lives under difficult conditions.
The building of the Kindergarten was funded by a partner Church organisation and it is used for many village activities
not least of which is a Swahili speaking pre-school and a recently established English Medium Pre-School.
The English medium school currently has only two forms due to the lack of classroom space, so for it to grow to it's full potential there will have to be a building programme to provide classrooms and other materials.
We all know just how important education is and it can be the key to escaping the poverty cycle in Berega.
Children in Berega greatly value their education. All they need is a chance.
At the new English medium school they are always looking for primary school teachers to go and help them.
It will be a wonderful opportunity to help them if someone could go for perhaps a term or two but even a few weeks can be a great help
Bringing new ideas and teaching methods and imaginative use of materials to a people for whom schooling is a privilege that is greatly treasured.
The Diocese of Morogoro has established a training centre here in Berega for the training of Lay Pastors and Evangelists.
Men and women who after training will establish Churches in the remotest parts of Tanzania, caring for the people in those far flung places.
BREAD is pleased to have been involved with the centre by providing funding for new houses for the centre's director and for his assistant
We have also raised funds to provide additional new accommodation blocks for the students, this enables the Centre to house up to 80 students at a time.
As mentioned previously, maternal death is still all too common in Tanzania, hence the need for an Orphanage, such as this one, here in Berega
Here the new born babies are cared for, usually by a relative of the family supported by the orphanage staff. They usually stay in the Orphanage up to the age of about two or three at which time the children are repatriated to their family and home village .
BREAD has been privileged to help with various building and renovation work in and around the Orphanage alongside Ute, the German missionary who runs it.
Bread & water is often associated with punishment but here it means access to life-giving water for the community of Berega
Water, or the lack of it, is always a challenge for the people of Berega
Too often the twice yearly rains are too little or sometimes fail completely
At the end of the village is the river
This is often hard to recognise as for most of the year it is dry and villagers have to dig holes in the river bed to get to the vital water.
Villagers, most often women and young girls, have to walk for miles to fetch buckets of polluted river water for the family to drink, cook and wash with.
This polluted water is the cause of many diseases which can lead to death.
BREAD along with other sponsors is trying to do something about this
We have recently refurbished 3 disused wells around the village which now serve in excess of 1,000 people.
This is a source of cleaner water that is only used for drinking and cooking, with river water being used for washing.
Here you can see the construction of a large 60,000 liter rainwater storage tank. This is another Church partner project to provide water for the staff an students at the Lay Training Centre.
It won't alleviate water poverty completely but it will make the most of what is available.
As we provide more tanks like these around the village so the dependency on polluted river water and water from hard pressed bore-holes will be lessened and the subsequent health related issues improved.
So what is BREAD?
B is for Berega, a small remote village in rural Tanzania
R stands for relief, when things are desperate then we will help with buying flour and seeds for the next seasons planting
E is for equipment, capitol projects that we hope will help for the years to come
D is for development, we are now looking at more and more projects that will be self sustaining and work towards self sufficiency. Our ambition is to do ourselves out of work and not to foster a dependency culture.
The word philanthropy means the practical expression of love towards humanity
So will you join us and help make a big difference to a people in a small place, a small place called Berega?
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