Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Give Generously to TOUCO

I have a couple of links to some programs Gina and I like to support: Catholic Cross International Outreach and Salesian Missions. Both of these organizations are excellent, and we trust them to use our donations wisely. However, a new link will be going up shortly for a project that is near to our hearts.

First, let me tell you about my spiritual director, Fr. Bruno Denyutali Mgaya. He came here from Tanzania to complete his doctoral studies in sociology. While he worked on his dissertation, he took a position at a parish in our diocese. He very quickly became a much-sought confessor, and it is not unusual to see long lines of people waiting outside his confessional on Saturday afternoons. (Fortunately, spiritual direction also provides ample time for confession.)

Fr. Bruno was orphaned when he was 13 and had to work to finish school and seminary.  His experience formed his sense of mission, and he has since been looking at how to develop homes for orphans that allow for children to grow in an atmosphere of dignity, mutual support, and self respect. And so the concept of TOUCO was born.

Currently, the project consists of three homes with 10 to 12 children each and a Mama Mkubwa (typically a widow or single mother recruited by the local villages). Support currently comes from outside, but the aim is to help each home become self sustaining. Fr. Bruno believes strongly that it is not just to ask people (meaning those of us here) to simply take on the support of others who are not willing to work and grow to support themselves. Consequently, the children learn how to do things that most of us don't (like digging their own wells for water or terrace the landscape for farming). They will be learning how to expand their own homes, plant and harvest their crops, market their produce, and more.

If you'd like to know more about the project, or perhaps to help support it financially, please go read more at Tanzania Orphans' Upendo Community.

Fr. Bruno (now Rev. Dr. Bruno) is returning to get some new building projects started, and eventually he will leave us permanently to return and continue his work there. I hope someday I can travel there and contribute whatever talents I have. Until then, I'll be here asking for your support for TOUCO.

And please pass a link to this post along to anyone who might be interested.
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