TCFD was founded in 1993 in the U.K. by Gordon and Phyllis McCormick to do God's work in Tanzania. Work began in Tanzania during September 1993 on what is now a 300 acre site in the village of Ndevelwa near Tabora. Tabora is approximately 750km(462miles) in land from the capital Dar es Salaam, located in the central region. This property was mostly forest and was allocated by the government for the development of a school to teach agriculture and other trades.
Welcome to TCFDT(NI) - Background Info
- To build a farm compound
- To build a school
- To develop improved breeds of animals
- To develop vegetable growing
- To teach people land use skills and animal husbandry
- To build a Childrens Home
- To teach by example
- To evangelise and teach the wider community in the Christian faith
Progress during the past years has seen many of the above aims implemented. The farm has accommodation for a missionary family and farm workers. There is also housing for animals. A large store has been erected to store food for the local people and also store food for the animals.
The site is large and provides us with raw materials for building, e.g. rock, sand and timber. The one shortage was a water supply. Well digging proved futile as the water table is below rock strata that would not yield to hand digging. A surface dam was proposed and work began in 1995 to cut out a pond, clear the catchments area and build a wall with the sub soil.
On Boxing Day 1995 the dam wall had its first test when a severe storm struck. The water level rose to near the top of the unfinished wall. There was no damage done, although the water drained away through two 4 inch pipes for two days even after the rains had passed. The situation proved that the dam site is receiving an underground supply from a wider area than that cut for the pond. The rains at the end of 1997 completely filled the dam and it maintained that level for several months. Although the water level is lower during the dry season, the dam usually retains some water until the rains return. In addition to the water supply there is a large quantity of fish in the dam.
Goat breeding is continuing and our aim is to obtain a cross breed which will produce 1 litre of milk per day. This is many times more than the yield of the local breeds. This work began with the sanaan breed but we are now trying to breed with Nubian. Progress is slow as we are gaining very few female offspring, a large percentage of the kids born are males.
Work with pigs began in 1995 with 1 sow and 2 young females, breeding commenced when a boar was located in September 1996. The work with the pigs has progressed well. There are around 10 breeding sows and 2 boars. The total number in the herd would reach 60 with other sows soon due to pig. The pigs are accommodated in four separate buildings with ample space for expanding in the future. Feeding the pigs is relatively easy as much of their diet is rice husk which is mainly dumped as waste in Tanzania.
Many experiments have taken place with growing different vegetables in varied conditions both during wet and dry seasons. Many of the young plants are raised in the tunnel house which protects them from the strong sun and the numerous insects. The project has now a good supply of vegetables for most of the year from its own plot.
The first school building has been erected. This provides accommodation for 24 students, facilities for sleeping, washing, cooking and eating. There is one additional room which can be used as a temporary classroom.
A large building was erected as a workshop and awaits the installation of equipment, most of which has already arrived from the UK.
When completed, the workshop will be used to teach trades such as, furniture making and mechanics. In 1997 a large generator (60 KVA) was donated to supply the whole compound including the workshop. It has been recently installed and is now supplying the projects electricity needs. A source of income is essential to run this machine and ways of generating this finance within Tanzania are being investigated.
We plan to be involved in some business activities to do with agricultural produce which will help raise some of the income locally. This would also provide work in the area and set an example in hygiene. Being involved in such ventures helps relations with local people and most importantly with the government of Tanzania.
Development in business has begun with the purchase of an old dairy property in Tabora. The dairy was owned by the Government and closed in 1995 after going into receivership. Our offer to purchase the property was agreed at the end of 1998. During the next couple of years we acquired equipment and also the funds to refurbish the property. At the beginning of 2002 the finishing touches were put to the dairy. It is now known as the New Tabora Dairies. A team of local people have been trained to work the new equipment. The first milk was processed at the end of March 2002.
Meat processing is another avenue which was investigated. A butcher from England kindly gave of his time and went to teach a few of the workers the trade of the different cuts of meat. In April 2001 a small factory building was erected in the village on the farm site and meat production began.
Kazima Childrens Home
After much prayer and consideration we have agreed to provide a Children's Home for Tabora. This decision was confirmed after receiving a request to consider the provision of an Home from the Teacher's Association and Education Authority in Tabora. Due to the increase of Aids and other diseases the number of orphans is continually rising. Medical care for people in Tanzania has become very expensive and many cannot afford to pay. This situation leaves many mothers seeking help outside of the medical profession usually from their parents. Many of those parents live in the villages and bush areas. When the mothers are ready to give birth it is common to hear that complications set in and some mothers die leaving difficult situations in caring for their babies.
A 10 acre site was acquired by TCFDT at the village of Kazima approximately 5 miles north of Tabora town centre on the main road to Nzega. The site had easy excess to both electricity and water supplies which have now been connected. The reservoir which services most of Tabora borders the village of Kazima. Kazima has resources of stones, sand and moram for building. Using these building supplies from the village will provide work and an income for the local community.
The first phase has been completed. This included animal housing. We have moved some animals from the Ndevelwa farm. The planting of some fruit trees and vegetable plots have been carried out. This will build up food supplies for the future. We purchased 12 cross bred cows which need zero grazing. The good water supply from the reservoir would help provide excellent fodder feed for zero grazing.
The second phase started with the laying of the foundations and setting the concrete boxes for the erection of the steel work for the main building for the Children's Home. In 2007 a team from Northern Ireland went to help with the erection of the steel work and also help build the main building and made a start on a staff house. This left the buildings ready to be equipped for the different uses of sleeping, washing, cooking etc.
Use of the Jesus film began in 1995 after the donation of this film in the Swahili language and all the necessary equipment to show it.
There are many opportunities to show this Jesus film. The local Churches are eager to present the gospel to others by this medium.
Viewing numbers of 200 and over are regularly attained both near and far with many showings reaching as many as 500 people in the bush areas. Most of these bush areas have no Churches or workers available near them. Some Churches have been planted through this ministry and others continue to grow as we work together. A new Church building was erected in November 2001. This is a large concrete structure and will hold around 200 people. It was built on a site opposite the farm project and is a beacon to the community.
This began in January 1998 when we were given funds for this purpose along with the donation of a 20ft container filled with tinned food.
The need for food came about after heavy rains destroyed most of the crops in many parts of Tanzania and the price of maize and rice rose extremely high, making it impossible for local people to purchase. The funds were used to purchase mainly rice and maize which was distributed with the tinned food from the container to the elderly in three villages surrounding the project for three months. Afterwards we supplied food for a further four months to the local primary school where about 350 children attended. Again aid has been given each January through to April. The extent of the aid depends on the funding available. The latest development in this area of aid is the opening of a shop to supply the basic food needs of the village. The food is sold to the villagers without a profit, this was a request of the village it was approved and arranged through the Government Officials in Tabora.
In August 1998 we were granted registration for the work in Tanzania. It is now recognised as Tanzania Christian Farm Development Trust. Also in 2000 we received charitable status with the Inland Revenue in the UK.
Training the People
There are currently people from the local community working on the projects. The general lack of understanding of mechanical and electrical principles makes the breakdown of equipment a regular occurrence, and the progress of getting the work done much slower than expected. We need wisdom in the selection process of future students with genuine aptitude to the tasks and technology that our projects need. Future training courses have the potential to raise the standard of life for the whole community.
Contact with our village neighbours has continued well. The maize milling machine offers a regular meeting point and you see the need for aid of various kinds.
The potential areas of friction have been minimal and the only on-going problem is that of theft from the compound in our absence on mission work. This has reduced by employing day and night watchmen.
The Future - Workers Required
To fulfil the plans of the future, people are needed, those called by God with the necessary skills.
With the second phase of the Children's Home completed staff are been recruited and trained to work with the children.
We are seeking a husband and wife team who would have a desire to serve the Lord in Tabora. They would take up the role of managing the Children's Home for a period of two years, setting up and training the Tanzanian's for this same task. We feel that this is very necessary so that we will be able to give the children the best possible start in their little lives. We currently have 29 children.
One couple to oversee the farm project, a background in animal husbandry would be helpful as the position will involve working with goats, pigs, poultry and cattle. Also the ability to deal with general maintenance work. Experienced person in mechanics to work with diesel engines.
Experienced person in the butchery trade to help develop the meat processing.
For further information contact:
Mr. John Tuff (Chairman)
Tanzania Christian Farm Development Trust (NI)
Accepted as a charity by the Inland Revenue Under reference XR35927