For the very poor of Tanzania, poverty leads to bad health, and bad health leads to poverty – a vicious downward spiral. This is particularly true of those living with HIV/AIDS. There is some good news in that many of the AIDS sufferers in Tanzania are now able to receive the medicines needed to help keep them alive.
However, people are living in such substandard housing (even by Tanzanian standards) that their health and even their lives are further threatened. Despite the medicine, it is not easy to survive AIDS, tuberculosis and more if you are wet, cold, and sleeping in the mud or dust.
To address this need the Houses for Health program was established to build homes for specially targeted individuals: those with severe health problems that are further threatened by their seriously substandard living situation; those who are extremely poor; and especially those whose death would leave behind more orphans. About 75 percent of recipients have HIV as a base health issue, but homes have been built for those with orthopedic, mental health and a wide range of health challenges.
The houses are typical, very modest two-room homes that provide a better quality of living through protection from the elements. Through better housing, people have the promise of better health. The houses are built using 100 percent local labor and 99-plus percent local materials and are a boost to the local economy. Depending on the site and the weather, a house can be built in as few as five or six weeks. The cost for building a House for Health is approximately $4,000.
The Nebraska Synod, ELCA is partnered with Alegent Health and its commissioned missionary Bob Kasworm to deliver this ministry program onsite in Tanzania. If you, your congregation or group would like to support Houses for Health through the Nebraska Synod, or would like more information, please contact:
Stephanie Lusienski, Global Missions Coordinator
Nebraska Synod, ELCA
4980 South 118th St., Suite D
Omaha, NE 68137