Canaan Children’s Center
The project of the Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha started 2013 from humble beginnings, yet seven years of hard work and dedication paid off – with visible and astonishing results.
At present, Executive Director Dr. Alex Victor Lengeju together with his wife Caritas, and supported by experienced, dedicated staff take care of 46 children. Most of them are HIV-affected, 20 of them are infected.
Besides providing the children with a safe, clean shelter, a stable diet, medical care, schooling, and – the most important of all – lots of TLC (tender loving care), the Center now also attempts to become entrepreneurial.
Surplus organic vegetables, rabbit-meat, free-range chicken and their eggs are being sold to the local community. Though, that’s not the end of the story: last year, 20 beehives brought a harvest of 30 kg of honey and the newly developed pig breeding is quite successful. Starting out end of 2018 with one boar, three quilts and one sow, the pig herd grew to 62, with 11 pigs ready for slaughter, 20 piglets ready for sale in February, and of course good pork for children and staff to enjoy. The animals live in airy pigsties, are healthy, the meat is purely organic and sells well in the villagers and parishes. With the plan to acquire two dairy cows, the little paradise of Canaan will be (almost) self-sufficient.
Dr. Alex and Caritas Lengeju are true professionals in their field, with Alex having served as the founding Village Director for SOS Children’s Village in Dar Es Salaam for 7 years. Following a call from the then Archbishop, they took on the challenge to create a homestead for HIV-affected children. And that the children are happy there, is for everyone to see. So, what’s the secret of their success?
“That the children are not isolated”, Dr. Alex points out. Not all are orphans, some of them have still at least one parent, although often sick, or extended family where they also spend the holidays. They go to school, mingle with the children in the village. Their families are also free to visit any time. The children are between three and sixteen years old, a social worker helps to deal with “teenage problems.” The overall goal is that the children become independent adults with good jobs to support them.
Of course, the lack of sufficient funds is always an issue. If you’d like to support the Canaan Children’s Centre or one child individually, please get in touch with Dr. Alex at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more detailed, and entertaining, information we invite you to watch the video with Dr. Alex Lengeju at http://www.canaanchildrenscenter.com/