Dormatory fire in Iringa, Tanzania kills 12 students
This letter was originally sent to friends of the Shepherd of the Valley, Apple Valley-Tungamalenga Partnership.
We have received sad and shocking news from our dear friends in Tungamalenga, Tanzania. Pastor Naftal Ng'amillo reports that around midnight on Sunday, a fire swept through the girls' dormitory at Idodi Secondary School, killing twelve young women and severely injuring over 20 more.
News report describing the fire as Tanzania's worst in 15 years>
Apparently the fire was started by a candle that ignited bed linens as one student stayed up late to study.
Idodi Secondary School is a community school in Idodi village, within the boundaries of Tungamalenga Parish. There is a preaching point (small village congregation) at Idodi, and the strength of that congregation has been to start mission congregations in several nearby villages. Because of Idodi's proximity and the school's record of high academic achievement, many students from the Tungamalenga region attend their first four years of high school here. Currently, about 40 of Shepherd of the Valley's sponsored students attend Idodi.
Pastor Naftal reported a horrific scene as families from neighboring villages gathered early Monday morning at the school to check on their children.
Funerals for the students were to be held at Idodi early Tuesday morning. News reports indicate that Tanzanian President Kikwete will attend.
We have been in contact with our friends in Iringa at the Bega Kwa Bega office and are seeking additional information about the students who have been harmed in the fire. We have received conflicting reports concerning which particular students were harmed.
We ask that you hold our dear brothers and sisters in your prayers during these difficult days of shock and grief.
With gratitude for your deep love and concern for our partners in their time of great need,
SOTV - Tungamalenga Partnership Coordinator
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
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