Ruhita's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The Ruhita (pronounced roo-hee-tah) community is located in north-western Tanzania, about 90 km from Lake Victoria. Most of the land is dry, with short rains falling from September to December, and long rains from March to May.

92% of community members are subsistence farmers. Land is traditionally owned by the community government through communal law, with each household having 1 to 2 acres. However, land for cultivation is so scarce that productivity and income are low. Nearly 80% live on less than a dollar per day.

Homes are usually mud-walled, grass-thatched houses. Life is generally difficult for children, who often go to school without breakfast and face demanding chores after school like fetching water, collecting firewood, cooking food, tending livestock, and other farm work. Children who are no longer in school must work on the family farm or find work, usually in fishing, to earn income.
Child Protection
  • 120 community members learned about child rights and protection issues to help ensure children's safety and participation
  • 18 child parliaments are empowering young people to advocate for their rights and participate in community decisions
  • 20 people learned how to work with local authorities and influence decisions to improve services and child well-being
  • 240 young people are participating in community decisions and advocating for the protection and wellbeing of children
  • 38 spiritual leaders partnered with World Vision Canada to bring positive changes in the lives of children and families
  • 125 children are participating in health and sanitation clubs, learning and promoting healthy practices in the community
  • 2 schools were renovated to create a safer and stimulating learning environment for students
  • 5 health and sanitation clubs are giving children a safe space to develop new skills and have fun
  • 7 teachers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children
  • 80 children were trained in essential life skills such as critical thinking, self-esteem and communication
  • 1,010 women were counselled on how to properly care for themselves and their babies during and after pregnancy
  • 1,311 parents learned about proper feeding practices and how to keep their children well nourished
  • 114 malnourished children were enrolled in nutritional programs and monitored to ensure they are growing healthy
  • 120 malnourished have reached a healthier weight after participating in a nutrition program
  • 628 parents learned about common childhood illnesses and how to protect their children's health
  • 11 gardens are in place for community members to grow fresh produce, improving children's access to healthy food
  • 11 people received vocational, business and finance training, improving their opportunities to earn a steady income
  • 160 farmers learned techniques to improve crop and livestock production to better provide for their children and families
  • 20 savings groups are helping children and adults save money and access loans to grow businesses or cover basic expenses
  • 324 people are part of savings groups, helping them meet their financial needs and access small loans
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • 1 new water source is providing access to safe water, protecting children against waterborne diseases
  • 125 people learned about the importance of water safety, proper sanitation and hygiene to stay healthy
  • 16 new latrines are granting families better access to sanitation and helping to protect children from illness
  • 3 committees are promoting sanitary behaviours and managing water supply systems to ensure long term access to clean water
  • 840 children are benefitting from improved latrines and have better access to sanitation
*Results achieved from October 2017 to September 2018
Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Collaborate with the district health team to support health campaigns in immunization and malaria prevention.
  • Retrain community health workers to provide effective care, with a focus on child and maternal health.
  • Form nutrition groups to restore malnourished children to normal health and train families to prepare nutritious meals using locally available foods.
  • Train community members in disease prevention and management, as well as good sanitation and hygiene practices.
  • Establish ongoing health practices by holding community competitions, with awards for health, sanitation, and hygiene achievements

To ensure parents in Ruhita can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Train farming families in new, sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Support farmers with access to improved seeds and equipment.
  • Train families in food preservation techniques and post-harvest storage.
  • Educate farmers on improving soil fertility and environmental conservation to increase crop yields.
  • Organize farmers into associations in order to learn from one another, get better prices for their produce, and improve access to markets.
  • Establish community banking groups to build a culture of savings and give families access to loans for farming supplies and small business.

To combat the spread and stigma of HIV & AIDS, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Train peer educators to teach their classmates age-appropriate life skills to help them avoid contracting HIV.
  • Form anti-AIDS clubs to reach out-of-school youth and empower them with knowledge about HIV and AIDS issues.
  • Form community coalitions to care for and restore hope to orphans, vulnerable children, and people living with HIV and AIDS.
  • Train community counsellors and home visitors.
  • Support orphaned and vulnerable youth, as well as people living with HIV and AIDS, to initiate income-generating activities so they can lead self-supporting lives.
  • Increase the capacity of churches, faith-based organizations, and community groups to advocate for the rights of the community's vulnerable people.

Explore Ruhita

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Ruhita

Health Care
The major health issue in the Ruhita community is the high prevalence of death by disease. Eight of every 100 babies die before their first birthday, and seven of every 100 children die before their fifth birthday. 10% of mothers die during childbirth.

Malaria is the predominant disease in the area, partly due to the prevalence of mosquito-breeding areas near the community. In addition, there is dangerously inadequate knowledge and understanding of acute respiratory infections, pneumonia, diarrhea management, and nutrition.

The majority of community members in Ruhita earn their living from traditional farming, growing mainly beans, potatoes, banana, cassava, peanuts, and occasionally coffee. However, families struggle to have enough to feed their own children, let alone surplus to sell for income. They have very little land to live on and cultivate, and what they have is rocky and supports few crop varieties. In addition, inefficient farming methods and steep slopes contribute to high soil degradation. Production is minimal and post-harvest losses are very high, due to a lack of storage facilities.

HIV prevalence in Ruhita is 12%. This has put extreme stress on existing health services and impoverished families who must support orphans and sick relatives. Also, the local economy has been weakened by the deaths of many productive community members from AIDS.

About 3,000 children have been orphaned and live in desperate situations. Most are unable to access health services or primary education. Although the government has initiatives to address HIV and AIDS, and church congregations have mobilized to reduce stigma and provide care for orphans and the chronically ill, the disease is still an enormous challenge.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Ruhita,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.