Updates from Fr. Bruno
Earlier this year we had 30 new children join the UPENDO families. 19 to Ibumila, 4 to Uwembe, and 7 to Mafinga. All were homeless or have experienced severe hardships. 8 teens have graduated from the TOUCO program during that same time.
There are 9 matrons taking care of an average of 12 children per family unit. Total full time staff including the 3 Teresina Sisters, is 16.
TOUCO Ibumila UPENDO Village and wider area.
This year a big effort is being made to expand avocado production, with 20 Acres being added at Mafinga and Ikangasi farms. Also 100 acres of eucalyptus trees are being planted. A small bakery has been built and is operation at Ibumila. Many of the 2020 planned and budgeted projects have been completed, including the courtyard paving, carpenter’s milling machine, refrigerators (2) and washing machines (2). A dedicated children’s playground is underway.
Due to Coronavirus travel restrictions, the medical team has postponed the planned June 2020 follow-up trip. In lieu of visit, assorted basic medical supplies including children’s vitamins are being shipped to Fr Bruno to help keep everyone as healthy as possible, and a plan for best practices for prevention and guidelines for quarantine of sick if needed were communicated. All schools are closed across Tanzania, and best efforts are being made to isolate the TOUCO families from the wider communities, while continuing the necessary ongoing farming and self-sufficiency efforts.
Progress has been made to follow up the 2019 recommendations, I ncluding dental care to all the children earlier this year. See www.touco.org for more 2019 Medical Trip details and report.