What is STOW?

Supporting Tanzanian Orphans and Widows (STOW) is a registered charity founded by a group of people in Suffolk in 2005. Its aim is to relieve the poverty and advance the education of children who have been orphaned by AIDS and also other vulnerable children in Tanzania. It works through Tanzanian charities in Tanga. STOW has also created links between local Suffolk and Tanzanian schools.

How did it start?

Marie Adams, who founded STOW, was born and brought up in Tanzania and went back there with VSO in 1998. She worked with a women’s group in Tanga who were helping AIDS orphans to go to school. Re-turning to the UK in 2000, Marie continued to help the group and founded STOW in 2005.

How are the orphans helped?

STOW raises funds for vulnerable children to attend school. Our Tanzanian partners use these funds to provide school uniforms, shoes, books, pencils and school fees.

We also provide bedding, mosquito nets and emergency food parcels as we find necessary during our annual monitoring trips to Tanzania.

How are the widows helped?

STOW provides loans to widows to help them start small home-based businesses and also funds follow-up meetings and support.

How does STOW raise money?

In addition to the money raised by membership subscriptions, sponsorship and donations, STOW raises money through events such as sponsored walks, barbecues, garden parties, wine-tastings and film evenings. We make sure that the serious job of fund-raising is also fun and a way of making new friends.

What has STOW achieved?

For almost a decade we have been supporting up to 200 vulnerable children a year throughout their schooling.

Once we take on a child, we endeavour to continue our support for their education as far as their abilities can take them. Some of the ones we first started helping in 2005 have gone on to graduate from university. Many others have been enabled to study for GCSEs and A-levels and others have been supported in vocational training in areas such as electrical installation, construction, car mechanics, tailoring and so on.

We have also seen many successful businesses launched through our micro-credit loans to widows.

How is the work in Tanzania monitored?

STOW is in frequent contact with our Tanzanian partners with whom we have a formal agreement. During the one or two monitoring trips made every year to Tanga, our Trustees visit the schools where our supported children are studying. We talk to their teachers and look at their school reports. We also visit the homes of many of the children, carefully recording their progress and wellbeing and producing reports for their sponsors. We also hold a meeting for all those people who have received a loan to share experiences and knowledge.

You can help by:

becoming a member: your annual £12 membership subscription is crucial to the long-term sustainability of STOW;

giving a small donation: £5 will buy a school uniform and a pair of shoes for a child;

giving a larger donation: £50 will enable a widow to set up her own small business;

sponsoring a named child: £25 a year pays the expenses of a pupil in primary school; £168 a year will pay the school fees and expenses of a student in secondary education. Sponsors, who must be members, receive annual reports on the children they support.

Donate now online. So STOW can know who and why a donation is being made please email STOW to let us know:

  • The event eg: donation for …………’s run/bike ride on …..(date)
  • Name ……………………… (optional)

If you would like to donate by cheque, become a member of STOW, or sponsor a child, then please download a donation form.