Rufiji Leprosy Trust is a charitable trust supporting the Kindwitwi Leprosy Care Centre in the Rufiji area of Tanzania.
The care centre assists in:
~ finding and treating people living with leprosy in the Rufiji area
~ supporting people all people affected by leprosy throughout the Rufiji area
~ promoting self-sufficiency of people living with leprosy and their families.
As leprosy is curable, many think the disease is no longer a problem, however it is listed as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) by the World Health Organisation, which means it is especially common in some of the world’s poorest areas.
The Trust prides itself on being totally managed by volunteer Trustees; the only paid employees are those who carry out the Trust’s work in Tanzania.
Helping children attain the education necessary to break the cycle of poverty is high on our agenda which is why we not only fund schooling, but also help make life a bit easier for students to complete their studies.
Studying in the evenings can be difficult in Kindwitwi because it gets dark at 6pm in Tanzania and most houses in Kindwitwi don’t have electricity.
To help address this we funded a library with solar panels. Students living at home can study in the evening there without the distraction of family life going on around them. A library is actually quite unusual in villages such as Kindwitwi, particularly as we have a complete set of secondary school text books to suite the national syllabus.
Our Centre manager Abdallah Nguyu says there is quite a culture now of kids going to the library to work.
Kindwitwi also has the only pre-school kindergarten in the whole district. We funded the training for two pre-school teachers and thanks to donations from the International School of Tanganyika it has expanded. Volunteers from Parmiter’s School in the UK also built a toilet block with a hand washing facility last year.
This kindergarten bucks the trend of education for kindergarten children in Tanzania; according to the recent fifth Uwezo annual learning assessment report which studied the state of education in Tanzania in 2014, the participation of children in public pre-primary schools remains low with signs of declining enrolment rates in recent years. Click here to read the full story.
All Kindwitwi children receive primary education at schools in the neighbouring villages of Nyanda or Katundu.
Children from families affected by leprosy who pass the secondary school exam receive support from the Rufiji Leprosy Trust to enable them to have the best chance possible to complete their secondary education. This alleviates pressure of an already poor family trying to find the money to educate their child. most of these children go to Utete Secondary School. Some children live at home, but it is better if they board as it’s an 8 mile walk each way and the children do have to be mindful of local wildlife – which has on occasions included lions and crocodiles!
It costs £100 a year for a child to board.
When Fr Robin, the founder of Kindwitwi was living here, he was keen for children to be educated. Click here to hear him talk about the importance of education and schooling in the village.
Some of the books available in the libraryClick to read full story
In 1983, while working at the International School in Dar, Bill first led a group of students to do community service work in Kindwitwi. He subsequently became Chairman of the Kindwitwi Board of Management and then a Trustee of RLT.
As a trustee he did much to ensure the work of RLT ran smoothly and that funds were spent where they were most needed. He was supportive of the volunteers in the village and had a big space in his heart for Father Robin Lamburn.
When the frail, elderly Father Robin broke his hip in the remote village of Kindwitwi, it was Bill who managed to arrange for a medical plane to land on the rarely used airstrip and fly him to Kenya where there were facilities to operate.
Bill is pictured here at board meetings in Kindwitwi Leprosy Care Centre in 1987 and in the late 1990’s.
He will be very much missed.
Abdallah Nyguyu, current Centre Manager, writes:
"This is sad news to me and all other villagers in Kindwitwi who know him. He was very close to Kindwitwi when he was at IST in Dar. May God rest him in peace Amen.
Bill's career as a school educator has taken him all over the world, both as a headmaster and as a consultant; his expertise was in supporting the professional development of teachers, particularly in Africa.
To read more about his life and to send condolences please visit the Remembering William Powell Facebook page.Click to read full story
Families affected by leprosy often remain trapped in a cycle of economic disadvantage as their children are kept at home to look after their parents. In an effort to break this cycle, Rufiji Leprosy Trust sponsors the children of people affected by leprosy to board at the local secondary school.
By boarding, the child avoids walking 8 miles a day to and from school, fearful of lions and crocodiles which appear from time to time; and the child has electricity to study at night. It gets dark at 6pm every night in Tanzania!
It costs just £100 per year for a child to board.
Our Financial Trustee, Richard Luxmore, and his son Matthew are cycling from London to Paris via the Avenue Verte, to raise £5,000 to help us support 10 children go through secondary school.
Leaving London at 7am on Thursday June 9 they will cycle to Brighton and stop a few miles short of Newhaven.
They will then have an early start the next day to catch the 0830 ferry. They will have breakfast on the ferry and arrive in Dieppe at 14.30, with just a few hours to get to Forges-les-Eaux.
On Saturday they have a 60 mile ride through the Vexin, a verdant plateau on the right bank of the Seine; and a further 65 miles on Sunday where they will hopefully arrive at the Arc de Triomphe in time for dinner on the Champs Elysees!Click to read full story