Handbook of the Orphan Ministry

at the LBS Mwika (HUYAMWI)

paper 5: Statistical report and evaluation 2004

Released  30.5.04 – Author: Rev. Dr. Martin Burkhardt

The following data is based on the following information: The Masters-thesis of Rev. David Lyamuya (Makumira 2003); the UNICEF report “Children on the Brink” published in 2002; the statistical material of four congregations from September 2003 (Kisamo, Rau, Lole, Msae); the evaluation of visiting 39 families with orphans in Kisamo and Maringa in 2004.

A full detailed report (including footnotes and bibliography) is already available in German and will be translated by the Author later to English.

A) Evaluation of statistical Material

I)              Statistic material provided by the congregations

Population: 4840 children  between 0-18 years,  most of them in rural area.

Average of orphaned children in rural area around 8,5%

Average of orphaned children in urban area up to 25%[1]

Average of all orphaned children: 9,7%

Estimation of UNICEF for Tanzanian children 0-14 years from 2001: 12 %

Estimation of total number of Lutheran orphans in the Northern Diocese: about 16.000.

26% have lost both parents. (UNICEF estimation for 2001 14,9%)

Age-groups: 0-3 years: 1,9%; preschool-age: 12,8%; primary-school 65%;  14-18 years: 22%. Comparing with the normal number of children in each year, the children in the primary school are most affected (Normal percentage of children in primary school 44%).

Our statistics include all orphaned children. UNICEF estimated that 42,3% are orphaned by AIDS

II)            Statistical material from home-visits

Population: 39 families with 92 children ( the material is not completely representative)

Average of 2,35 children per family ( 8 families with more than three children).

Caretakers: 14 grandfathers (35%),  6 grandmothers (15%),  4 fathers (10%), 13 mothers (33%), 2 other relatives (5%).

Gender-index of caretakers: females (mothers and grandmother) 48% (other research mentioned by Lyamuya: 51,7% with a population of  756 orphans), average 50%

Income- clusters: 27 families under 200.000 TZS per annum / 12 above 200.000 TZS per annum.

Poverty-indicators  (percentage of low-income cluster vs. high-income-cluster): female caretaker (62,9%/ 6%), houses in need of repair (25% /0%), more than 3 children in a family (22%/16%); bad condition of the banana field (14%/0%); cattle and pigs (33%/66%);  fields on the mountain and in the plain (30% /58%).

Gender –poverty-  index: 89,4% of all female caretakers belong to the low income cluster.

Estimated poverty -index for all orphans: (Gender-index X Gender-poverty-index): at least 44,7% of all orphans belong to the low-income cluster, that may be about 7200 orphans in the Northern diocese.

Data of the inheritance was only given by 7 families, this is only 17 %. Lyamuya is estimating, that 80% of the orphans have no information of their heritage.

B)  The needs of the orphans

I)              Needs mentioned by UNICEF

-       greater responsibility of the orphans for income generating, food production and care for other family members.

-       Traumatic experiences by the illness and death of their parents.

-       No ahead planning causes additional trouble after the death of the parents

-       Isolation and discrimination because of the HIV-status of their parents

-       Loss of inheritance of widows and orphans

-       Stress caused by division of orphaned siblings to different families

-       Sexual abuse, exploitation and child labour.

II)            Estimated percentage of orphans affected by specific needs.

100% psychological Trauma and spiritual needs

80%  luck of knowledge of their inheritance

53,5% not fully content with their guardians (Lyamuya), this is almost identical with the number which have not been taken care of by their fathers and mothers: 57%, other research quoted by Lyamuya 53,9%.

45% (and more) serious financial needs

11% need repair of their homes (poverty index X percentage of needed repairs in the lower income cluster, see above)

10-20% estimated number of orphans who have serious problems with their guardians.

Below 10% (estimated) need to change their guardians.

C)  Orphans a challenge to the Tanzanian society

In the traditional African society orphans were absorbed by the extended family. Due to the raising living expenses orphans are now  considered to be an additional burden. Furthermore the social network of the extended family is undermined by the on going urbanisation. Therefore the growing number of orphans not being absorbed by the extended family become a problem to the Tanzanian society.

Without help many of these orphans will be street children, decreasing the security of the country and increasing the cost to fight criminality (e.g. expenses for police-force, security services and insurances).

By the loss of their parents many of the children will drop from the middle-class into the lower class. The decreasing of the  middle –class is a danger for democratic and peace-full development of Tanzania.

D) Overview of the available help

I)              Help from the Government

The Tanzanian Government has developed a national policy to help the orphans (“Guidelines and strategies for Orphans’ rearing” 1993).  It has exempted all orphans in primary school from contributions and it has established a scholarship-program for orphans being selected for secondary education by the government. However these plans are not yet fully implemented down to the grass-root-level or only a few orphans are the beneficiaries.

II)            Help from the Lutheran Church

We know only a few Orphan projects in other dioceses (for example HuYAWa in the Northwest-diocese, compare also to  the LMC Joint Plan 2004-2006, Rev. Version page S,154 f mentions only a few orphan projects, mainly orphanages)

Besides some local activities  in the Northern-diocese we have only the information about the plan to built an orphanage in Machame by the ushirika wa neema, and the plan of an American sponsor to install day-care centres in all districts of the diocese.

On the parochial-level the orphan ministry is not yet developed. Lyamuya found out, that pastors pay little attention  to care for  the orphans. A result which HUYAMWI can verify from the daily work with its pilot-parishes.

III)          Help from NGOs

Because the church was only  doing the orphan ministry in small  scale,various NGOs have entered into this type of ministry. Lyamuya has examined the work of KIWAKUKI, KINSHAI and MKUKI, all organizations which offer services in AIDS-prevention and care for orphans and widows. Most of them are channelling a lot of  money provided from outside of Tanzania (for example KINSHAI is helping 2266 orphans), even outnumbering the church in budget and available wages.

However the task remains to coordinate the efforts of the different organisations. Therefore the church may offer the different organisations a platform to exchange data and to harmonize their efforts.

E)  Who may care for the orphans?

I)              Orphans , extended families and local communities as the frontline to face the orphan-crisis

UNICEF sees the orphans themselves, their extended families and the local communities as the frontline to fight the crisis caused by AIDS. Facing the huge number of orphans, a other type of solution is not acceptable.

Orphanages are much more expensive, than to support the care in foster-families ( UNICEF estimates 20 to 100 times). Therefore orphanages can be only a interim solution, until a proper foster family is found.

District-centres may  only support, not replace the local orphan ministry, as many orphans can not afford the fare to reach these centres.

So available help must strengthen the capacities of the extended families and local communities to care for the orphans also including orphans to be a part of the solution. For  example older orphans can be the guardians of  younger orphans etc.

II)            Support of the local activities by umbrella-organisations

However the local frontiers will need the support from umbrella-organisations to backbone their activities concerning training and financial resources. This  is the main concern of most NGOs, including HUYAMWI. The church has  the advantages, to use an already existing widespread infrastructure, where as the NGOs need first to establish it.

However big organisations like the church seems to have only little emphasis to help the orphans even down to the parochial-level, because they are kept busy with so  many other issues. Therefore  we recommend a symbiosis of small active groups  with the congregations. These small groups can be parochial committees or even  local groups of an NGO. The congregation can profit from the groups emphasis and efforts for the orphans, where as the group can use the infrastructure of the congregation (like buildings) and its official meetings (like church services) for a platform to launch the orphan ministry.

On the diocese-level the Lutheran church may seize its opportunity  to help many orphans quickly and effectively using the existing parochial structure. A team with one or two full-time worker supported by volunteers may develop a plan and test it in small pilot –projects. The initial costs will soon pay off, because a reasonable plan will be surley supported by funds from overseas.

However the target of a policy of the diocese must be to support the diaconic  ministry in the congregations.  The foundation of further  diconic centres will kill the ministry on the parochial level, if the congregation will be forced to support these centres financially , because then the parishes will see no need to offer for their own diaconic efforts.

F)  How to help the orphans?

I)              Counselling and advise

As almost 100% of the orphans are facing a trauma and a deep change in their live counselling needs to be done by doing home-visits, arranging selfhelp-groups and seminars. (See also the conclusion of Lyamuya). The expenses for this type of ministry can be afforded by almost every congregation, furthermore every congregation has some trained counsellors.

II)            Advocacy

Almost 80% of the orphans were not informed about their inheritance. The church must ensure the security of the inheritance by training the clan elders or being present on the meetings after the burials. By visiting all orphans regularly the church must ensure the quality of the guardianships. In most cases local intervention will help, but in some case the church must cooperate with advocates to take  those to court, who have broken laws.

III)          Financial help

More than 45% of the families of the orphans have financial problems. Not in all cases a sustainable help is possible, for example if caretakers are infirm grandparents, or the number of children  is too big.

 In Uganda a sophisticated system of loan giving was  introduced, by which members of a small group were only getting further help if all sponsored private projects in the group were successful. By this system the sponsored private projects were also supported by the advice and the help of the group.

IV)         Education

Schools are a stabilizing factor in the development of orphaned children. Therefore first of all the participation of orphans in primary education must be ensured. Even the participation in the pre-schools is helping to lower the burden of the extended families.

Then those orphan must be supported who were selected by government for a secondary school, but were not chosen for public scholarship.

To avoid costly private secondary education, the emphasis must be to give scholarship for Vocational Training Schools or Technical Secondary-schools.

Also informal education, like trainee-programs, evening-classes, short-courses for tailoring, handcraft or farming etc, will help the orphans who finished primary education to cope with their situation and to gain a perspective for their future life.



[1]  The Statistical material is not yet sufficient to give  accurate data for the urban area, but the percentage may be much higher than in rural area.