LUNDY FOUNDATION'S WORK WITH VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN EAST AFRICA -- (Extensions of Remarks - July 14, 2004)
Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the Lundy Foundation (Colorado) for its work, in partnership with Africa Bridge (Oregon), Godfrey's Children (Tanzania) and the Executive Council of Idweli (Tanzania), in building and operating a Children's Center in Idweli, Tanzania.
Idweli is similar to many rural villages in East Africa in that a significant portion of the population consists of children affected by HIV/AIDS. In fact, more than one-third of Idweli's children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. As their top priority, the children of Idweli identified building a children's center where orphaned and vulnerable children can feel loved and cared for. The Children's Center has now become a reality. The Center will provide temporary shelter for children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as provide adequate food, healthcare and primary education for orphans and other vulnerable children.
The Idweli Children's Center complex will consist of a small hall with a kitchen, dining room and a space for community gatherings, two dormitories that will provide housing for 48 children and four adults, two lavatories and space for recreation, health care, and education. There is also land available for cultivating vegetables and other crops. Skilled laborers in the village are building the Center by hand. All land used for this complex was donated to the Children's Center by the village of Idweli.
While $70,000 in private funds has been raised for construction and operation of the complex, $81,000 is still needed to complete the project. A matching grant of $35,000 has been pledged, if $50,000 can be raised from other sources. Additionally, grants have been submitted to the Tanzanian government and USAID for matching grants to cover ongoing costs of operating the Center.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is particularly serious in Africa as millions of children and adults are living with the disease without adequate support or resources. I would like to commend British Airways and First Data Western Union Foundation for their support of the project and expression of social responsibility. It is vital that public and private funding from the United States continues in order to slow the spread of this epidemic in Africa, while ensuring those infected with the disease receive proper care.
I would like to praise the Lundy Foundation for its tremendous efforts in East Africa. It has not only financial resources to the project, but also project management and organizational development expertise. Through its work, the Lundy Foundation has been able to support the partnership in managing change, resolving conflict, and encouraging effective communication, as bridges are built between two different cultures.
The Lundy Foundation has achieved a great deal not only in East Africa, but throughout the African continent. I know that the Lundy Foundation will be successful as it continues in its quest to make the world a better place.