Tanzania Porridge Program

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History of the Tanzania Porridge program

Holy Cross inherited the Porridge Program from a former nurse and Tanzanian Missionary from the UK, in 2014. For the last 10 years Holy Cross has been raising between $7,000 and $11,000 each year to provide a nutritional meal for malnourished students at St Augustine’s English Medium Primary School. In 2014, the program was supporting 250 children. That number has grown to 315 students. There are no plans to increase that number at this time. 

Public schools in the densely populated city of Dar es Salaam have student teacher ratios of around 250:1. Parents seek a private education for their children to set their children up for economic success later in life. Money goes to pay tuition, but that leaves little money left to feed their families. Without the program, many of these children would only get one meal daily, largely consisting of a small serving of rice. 

Much of Tanzania is poor, and that is certainly true in Dar es Salaam. The country is very much an emerging economy and is plagued by many of the ills of other emerging countries: a failing economy, poor literacy rates, lack of infrastructure including plumbing, roads and electricity. Internet access is usually done on phones. Wired internet is hard to come by and Wi-Fi is dial up via thumb drive, slow, and practically unusable. Further, corruption has infiltrated the government at every level. The Anglican Diocese of Tanzania suffers from this, too. 

Program Process

Each year before we begin our fundraising efforts, a member of Holy Cross reaches out to Alice Nalugwa, head mistress, to get information on current conditions in country and to project the cost of running the program for another year. The school does a health assessment on each student at the beginning of their school year. The 315 most malnourished children are selected for inclusion in the program. Funds are wired twice a year, directly to the school to avoid any issues with the funds being diverted elsewhere due to corruption. 

2023 Recap:

 We raised $7604 of the $11,000 goal. (Aggressive efforts were not made to meet the goal as there was money previously earmarked for the program already available. Tapping into those funds allows the fund to zero out each year, prior to raising funds again rather than carrying an ongoing balance as the program had previously done)

 We provided funds to feed 315 children.

 We provided $500 to help the school repair their stove.


Alice Nalugwa, the headmistress of the school, provides Holy Cross letter receipts acknowledging each funding increment sent, as well as copies of the school’s ledger pages documenting program expenditures. Copies are maintained by the Holy Cross Bookkeeper.



Anania’s son is not a Holy Cross success story. He is a success story because Penny paid for his school fees all the way through his primary, secondary and university education. It would be disingenuous for us to claim him. I do not have specific data on a success story and do not believe it needs to be included. A child going to bed less hungry and able to learn needs to be enough of a result. I would omit this section.