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How FISCH began, in Rich and Lissie Gercke’s words…

Often in life we are privileged enough to get the opportunity to make a difference to someone. In that moment we have a choice to do something or let it pass by. 


In 2007 we were living in a town called Iringa in Tanzania. We were really challenged by the street child problem that existed there, and in particular that there was no obvious aid being provided to these children. There was one established group of about 30 children. We learnt that within the group there were issues with substance abuse and mild violence between children but also that the children were very vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse whilst sleeping on the street at night.

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We would stop and chat to the kids that followed us around the market and would regularly buy them lunch but we were very aware that this would have a limited impact on their long-term future. 


Jesus had stirred our hearts, and out of a desire to make a difference to these children, we prayed and asked God to show us how. Very quickly afterwards, opportunities began to open up for us. A donation of £500 provided the initial funding to start a weekly feeding project at the local welfare hall, which the Municipal provided free of charge. We did this together with a Tanzanian Pastor and his wife, Mote and Atu Magomba, who had been close friends since we arrived in Iringa, and shared a similar heart for these children. 


We started by meeting with the children on a Saturday at a large hall where we would meet up with 20-30 children and play a game of football, teach a bible story, offer some form of hygiene help and provide a good lunch. It was decided to call the project FISCH which stands for Future for Iringa Street Children. 

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Since that day in 2007 FISCH has grown to care for over 300 children and counting. 


The project has grown and developed with a fantastic team of local staff in Tanzania, overseen by us four founding members. We have seen many children’s lives transformed, with some becoming self-employed and others making it to university. 

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We encourage you to take a look through the website at all the different ways in which FISCH is making a difference to many so many children Sign up for our newsletters, become a supporter and join us on this journey! 

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