Fransalian Furaha Project for Blind People (Simba Clay)

There are a lot of blind people in Tanzania. However there are only very few schools or development projects for them. FOSTER came up with the innovative idea of establishing a self-reliant project for visually impaired people. The Bacher family from Germany played a very important role the execution of this great project in Tabora.

The project aims at empowering visually impaired young people to reach self-reliance. They will be made capable of working with clay to make pots, tiles and water filters in the villages, where they can support the ordinary people by giving them safe drinking water at a cheap price. In addition to this, these young people are given the rudiments of secretarial skills. They are taught typing and short hand. There is a close relationship between the Simba Clay and the other projects of FOSTER. The grown-ups of the SFS Children's Home work at the Simba Clay to support the blind as part of their social settlement programme. Some of the staff members of Simba Clay also work at the school or at the children's home.

The centre began its initial operations in July 2007. One of the first things to be done was to look for the proper clay for making the water filter. While the clay was being dug in one of the villages, the Bacher family visited the site, and the villagers thought, believed and argued that there was gold in the clay and the foreigners had come to steal it. And they demanded a lot of money. It was a tough job to convince the poor villagers the real intentions behind digging the clay.

The Fransalian Project for blind people was blessed by His Grace Archbishop Paul Ruzoka of Tabora on 2nd August 2007. At present there are around 10 staff members in different departments. There are already 8 blind boys and girls attending the programme. By February, 2008 we expect to have 20 in the project. They are given free education and accommodation at the Simba Clay.