My child’s community
In East Africa, Tanzania is bordered by the Indian Ocean, Kenya, Rwanda, Congo, and Mozambique. Tanzania’s geography is very diverse and includes the island of Zanzibar, Mount Kilimanjaro, vast savannahs, and the Great Rift Valley. Many tourists come to see the diverse landscape and magnificent wildlife throughout the country. Swahili is the national language, although English and Arabic can be heard in the cities. Many tribal languages are also spoken in outlying villages.
In northern Tanzania live the Maasai tribe – an extension of the Maasai in Kenya to the north. Their language is Maa. They live in a very rural area, called “the bush,” in traditional round huts made of mud and cow dung. They wear distinctive brightly colored clothing and beaded jewelry, and are known for their unique styles of dancing and singing. The Maasai are cattle herders. Many children do not go to school due to the cost and because they often are expected to herd the family’s goats or cattle. Illiteracy is around 80 percent. Other difficulties in the villages include unsafe drinking water, drought, famine, and diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. As a result, there are many orphans living with elderly grandparents, alone, or in sibling groups.
Although traditional religions still exist, the local churches are reaching out to their communities through Community Health Evangelism (CHE). Individual lives are being changed through food distribution, mobile immunization clinics, farming education, and child sponsorship. Most importantly, entire villages are being transformed as new believers place their hope and trust in Jesus Christ.