As a church we are passionate about serving the poor not only locally but also globally. A growing partnership with a Youth With a Mission (YWAM) base in rural Tanzania that supports local children, many of whom are Aids orphans, is one way we do this.
The church has an ongoing link with a YWAM base in Arusha, Tanzania. We have raised over £11,000 for a school run by YWAM which serves a Masai community in rural Tanzania. Members of the church also sponsor Tanzanian children who are living in difficult circumstances.
In 2009 a group from St Barnabas visited the base in Arusha and helped out on various projects there. This included running an Alpha course for local churches, helping in the school and visiting the outreach project to the Masai Community. We were also able to see the school being built and meet the children who will be attending it. All of us who visited Tanzania found it an enriching and rewarding trip.
Our last visit to Tanzania was in the Spring of 2012. A team from St Barnabas stayed at YWAM Arusha and continued to develop the relationships that have been established during our past visits in 2009 and 2007. This is a long term partnership and it is a privilege to see the projects that we support grow and develop. Our most recent trip saw further foundations laid for another 3 classrooms at Enkikaret in Masai land. The school is fully registered with the government and is fully staffed by YWAM and other local supporters. St Barnabas also teamed up with our local primary school Ashgate and Key stage 1 who donated their old clothes to the Masai kids at Enkikaret.
The orphanage located just outside the YWAM base in Arusha is now completed and has 9 children already placed enjoying the love and care provided. In 2012, we were able to provide and install water tanks to the orphanage so that the children have clean water all year round. YWAM also serve around 50 to 60 children who live around the base where one or more of their parents has died. Life is tough when Mum or Dad are not around hence the value of individual sponsorship set up with YWAM enabling the children to meet basic needs. We continue to raise funds through organised events such as a Ladies Clothes Swap in October 2013 which raised over £400. This money along with other donations has now enabled a house to be rebuilt for one of the children we support that was leaking and falling down. We remain in regular contact and really value the links that have developed that also bring life to us at St Barnabas.