Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project - Nsalaga

History and Background

The centre in Nsalaga started in 2006, after the church has seen the problems of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in the area of Mbeya. Many families are very poor with one adult in the house and several children. Some of the caretakers are sick or are HIV positive and depend a lot on the help of their children.  

Another big problem is education. Already in primary school many needs (uniforms, material) need to be covered. Many extra fees are added; especially in standard 7 with extra tuition which are almost a must for passing the exams with a good result. None of the care takers have a stable source of income – they all try with different small businesses to earn money. That is why the project supports these families by paying school fees, school material and uniforms. 

The centre is located in Nsalaga, Uyole area, where the church has a big plot of land. The children stay with their care takers and are visited by volunteers every month. Every Saturday there is a programme in the centre, where the children receive psychological support, food, tuition and are taught about the Bible. 

In 2014, two new centres were opened, in rural areas of the Mbeya region that is Ilindi and Chunya. The children get the same support like the children in Nsalaga, but they only meet twice a month because they live far apart.

The project is under the department for women and children and started the activities with 45 children. Currently about 350 children are supported in total number in all the three areas. Since the beginning of the centre, more than 568 children have been supported.


The overall aim is to improve the life chances of orphans and vulnerable children. As future outcomes, we want to ensure

  1. that the needs for primary and secondary education are met as it is an important investment for the future of the children
  2. that there is sufficient time for counselling and psycho-social support
  3. that the children will have their basic health needs met
  4. that the capacity of the centre increases with offering activities on several afternoons per week
  5. that the issue of HIV/Aids is treated
  6. that the children get life skills training

The above defined outcomes lead to the following activities (output):

a.       Education

  • Provide sufficient support for primary and secondary education, and vocational training through assisting with fees, uniforms, school material
  • Rising the academic performance or the children, i.e. by organizing extra tuition in the centre for standard 7, form 2 and 4 and by providing homework aid

b.       Counselling and psychosocial support

  • To make sure that every child gets at least one home visit per month by a volunteer living nearby
  • Ensure that individual counselling is conducted at the centre, i.e. through introduction of counselling hours
  • Providing psycho-social support at the centre through suitable activities and methods (i.e. bible lessons, children’s club, memory work, storytelling, children’s rights and child abuse

c.       Health

  • Providing a nutritious meal and clean drinking water on the days, the centre is open
  • Registration of all children in the CHF (health insurance)
  • Carrying out regular medical checks of the children at the centre (2-3 per year)
  • Teach the children about hygiene and providing them with the necessary equipment

d.       After class activities in the centre

  • Games and sports
  • Drawing, singing, drama

e.       HIV/Aids

  • Conduct Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) for the children
  • Carrying out prevention work through sexual education and sensitizing about sexual abuse for teenagers

f.       Life skills training

  • Teaching about child abuse and children’s rights
  • teaching about income generating activities like planting, gardening, keeping chicken, husbandry and entrepreneurship 

The purpose of this centre is to help the children to be self-independent in the future through access to education and learning about life skills in the centres.

As mentioned in the history of the project, the church took the initiative to assist the neediest children. Concerning the future of Nsalaga within the church the tendency is seen to strengthen the centre and increase its activities and services. This should be combined with income generating activities for Nsalaga.



There are different areas in which sustainable work is done. As far as the budget allows, all children are receiving support for school. Before or shortly after the beginning of a new school year or term, the children who need help, report their needs to the leader or one of the volunteers. Children are supported from Primary school to University.  Students who don’t pass their exams can also do a 2-year-training in vocational training centres like MVTC, VETA, Kakozi. This will allow them to start business-life early and to be independent when they are adults. If they are able to take care of themselves, it will also be beneficial to the community.

Health and nutrition

The project makes sure that the supported children get a meal when they come to the centres. Part of the own food is grown in Nsalaga and therefore planted and harvested by the children of that centre. The food is prepared by the children themselves. Like that they learn important skills for the future.
The children receive the needed material to take home; this can be rice, soap, sugar, salt, tooth brush, tooth paste etc. Children who live in child headed households get additional support. This is important because if they wouldn’t have enough food, it would influence their ability to study well.   

Psycho-social support

The children have the opportunity to share their struggles when they come to the centre or when the volunteers do home visits. The children who attend the centres receive life skill teaching, Bible lessons and have the chance to meet each other. This helps them to become confident, make good decisions and be self-dependent.


The main donors are the following:

  • Church members within the province 
  • Community members from outside the Moravian Church
  • Church friends from abroad: Mission 21, Church district of Muehlacker, HMH

Our target group is most vulnerable children. Many of them are orphans; children who have lost one or both parents. Some of the children live with one of the parents (in most of the cases with the mother), grandparents (in many cases the grandmother) or relatives such as aunts or uncles. Only a very few are living on their own together with their brothers and sisters.

Also, their caretakers will benefit from a relief with regard to care and, later on, from the Secondary Education of the child. In the long run, the whole society will benefit.

Project leader Bahati Mshani (mid) with Project Assistants Phoebe (left) and Silja Riedmann (right)

Moravian Church in Tanzania - South West Province
Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project

P.O. Box 377

Phone: +255 753 024751
Email:   bahatimshani@yahoo.co.uk