By Lake Zone Watch Writer
Barrick North Mara Gold Mine has donated USD 10,000 (more than 20m/-) as assistance towards the Musoma-based St Justin Children with Disability Centre.
North Mara Gold Mine General Manager Apolinary Lyambiko yesterday handed over the donation to the centre’s supervisor, Sister Juliana Kitela, during a ceremony attended by workers and the recipients who are under special care.
Lyambiko said the gift came from a non-governmental organization, NVEP, established in 2010 by the Barrick President and CEO Dr. Mark Bristow, to solve some of the challenges impeding development in African communities.
“NVEP’s thrust is to look for funds in order to help the needy such as women, children and other vulnerable groups,”he said.
NVEP has devised a system whereby every quarter a year it channels assistance to the needy for socio-economic development. So far, 12 Tanzanian NGOs have benefited from the project, according to Lyambiko.
“Today we are handing over USD 10,000 to St Justin Children with Disability Centre, knowing that these children need special care and treatment as envisaged by NVEP. This centre values the lives of these children,” he said.
Receiving the gift, Sister Kitale praised Barrick North Mara Gold Mine for the timely assistance, saying it would greatly minimize the shortage of funds and enhance the welfare of the children.
St Justin Children with Disability Centre cares for children unable to walk, the mentally retarded and the deaf. It provides such key services as food, housing, education, medical treatment, training in carpentry and tailoring.
“We thank Barrick so much. This shouldn’t be your last gift; you should continue to remember us as these children have many needs as they grow,”remarked Sister Magreth John, the founder of the centre.
Similarly, Sister Regina John, who submitted the request to Barrick pleading for assistance, thanked the North Mara Gold General Manager and the Barrick North Mara Community Relations Manager Mr Francis Uhadi, among others for their cooperation.
On behalf of fellow children, Ernest Mwita was lucid: “Thank you our visitors. God bless you.”
St. Justin Children with Disability Centre was established in 2006 and is being run by Moyo Safi wa Maria Sisters and the Roman Catholic Church, Musoma Diocese. Thecentre has 25 workers and 110 children.
North Mara is one of the country’s gold mines, which is run by Barrick Gold Corporation in partnership with the Tanzania government through Twiga Minerals.