16th October 2017

Caring for the Elderly and Disabled

An initiative from CSI staff to support Dar es Salaam’s most vulnerable

In May 2017, 30 members of the CSI team piled into a van with bags of beans, rice, maize and sugar, and weaved their way through the hot midday traffic to the Nunge Centre for the Elderly and the Disabled in Kigomboni. The journey was the initiative of CSI’s Quality Control Manager, Deogratius Ngimbudzi and all part of a larger effort by the CSI family to support vulnerable local communities.

The Nunge Centre was built in 1936 to care for those infected with leprosy. Over the years, as leprosy has been controlled, the centre has morphed into a unit to support the elderly and the disabled. In 2016, the majority of the residents left the centre, as part of government efforts to reintegrate the vulnerable into local communities. The 15 people remaining, however, did not have relatives alive or were too fragile to be rehoused, and live on inside the bare grey concrete walls of the centre.

“This is the oldest public home facility in Tanzania,” Deogratius explains, “and as you can see, conditions for the residents here are extremely basic. There is electricity, but little money to pay for it, and the main hall is bare aside from a table, a few mats and some wooden benches. But this is the only place for these 15 elders at the moment: the only roof that is available for their heads.

Many of the residents here have severe disabilities: some are blind, others have lost fingers and toes to leprosy, and others are very unfirm. Life is hard for them, and there are few luxuries. For the past week, for example, they have lived in darkness, as there was no money to top up the electricity. These contributions from CSI will, therefore, make a great difference to the centre.

From  Monday to Friday,” Deo continues, “the CSI staff members here are installing electrical infrastructure at Dar es Salaam airport’s new terminal 3, so this day has been quite different for us, and it’s very humbling to see the condition in which these mababu live. We are very happy that we have good jobs with a good income and are be able to provide food and toiletries and some money to support the running of the centre.”

Veronica Msanjila, the coordinator of the centre, said that the supplies and money from CSI would help improve meals, provide essential healthcare for the residents, and keep the centre clean and hygienic.

CSI continues to support local communities both through ad hoc staff initiatives as well as through the CEG Foundation, which was set up in early 2017. For more information on the foundation’s work please feel free to look through our other pages or contact us directly.

CSI contributions to the Nunge Centre included 80 kg of rice, 50 kg of both maize and sugar, 40 kg of salt, 15 kg of beans, one carton of tea, 25 kg of soap powder, and 120,000 Tanzanian shillings.