A Tanzanian business man made a small building available for the housing of orphans. He asked the Sisters of St. Francis if they would be prepared to make one Sister available to look after the welfare of the children and they agreed to undertake this task. The Sisters' Convent had very little money available to make some improvements to the building and so they got in touch with Sr. Maria-Paula, the Matron of the Nazareti Leprosy Centre (see "Free Bread - Nazareti"). She asked the builders who helped with the erection of sheltered accommodation to do some work at the Orphanage.

However, the regular feeding of the orphans was a major problem and so we were approached by Sr. Maria-Paula if we would be willing to extend our Free Bread Funds to the orphans of Ifakara. Of course, we could not say "No", and since 2002 the children daily receive freshly baked bread and twice a month they also receive tea and sugar. The money for this is sent to Sr. Maria-Paula who in turn pays the bakery.


Unfortunately, the Sister who was in charge of the Orphanage died in 2005 but her young assistant from Ifakara agreed to carry on with the work.
When we visited Ifakara in 2006 we met up with Matron Rose who now looks after 18 orphans. The youngest is 14 months and the eldest 14 years. Ten of them go to Primary School. Attending school at this level is free since the 'Third World Debts" were written off in 2005 as the Tanzanian Government uses the amount they would have paid in interests to finance Primary School Education. However, any school material, such as exercise books, pencils, etc. have to be paid for.
When we visited in October 2006 we took them some crayons only to find they had no paper! We made sure they had some before we left Ifakara. It was touching to see how grateful they are for the daily bread they receive and Matron Rose told us how the children who go to school are progressing so much more with their studies as their attention span has increased since receiving daily bread.

A donor gave us some money for the orphanage after hearing the story of the "Free Bread Funds". However, she insisted that whilst two thirds of her gift should be reserved for the daily bread, the balance should be used for buying some toys, papers and pencils for the orphans for Christmas. According to news received, the children were so excited and happy at these gifts and we were charged to let the donor know of how much joy and pleasure she had given to these children.
Click below to see:
Hospital Nazareti Leprosy Orphanage Bethlehem Children Kindergarten