Updates on Veneranda’s funeral procession and burial service.

These updates are arriving from Juma Nzige, Clinical Officer with PIUMA via Vicky Ntetema in Dar es Salaam and Jackson Mbogela, member of the PIUMA Advisory Board in the Netherlands:

For more reporting (in Kiswahili) and photos, visit http://www.piuma-simba.org/site/

3:22 a.m. (EDT) I talked to Juma this morning and he sai yesterday night had a meeting with the oprhanage administration on bringing the body home, previously i had advised Juma to bring the body to the Oprhanage and then leave all the arrangement of the burial in the hands of the BLH/Oprhanage and PIUMA should attend the burial lik a close realatives to Ven. Juma told me that the Oprhanage admin did not agree with this idea and they have asked PIUMA to tke reposnsibilities of transporting the body and the burial. It has been very difficult for Juma he had been in this meeting to very late in the night.

The Orphanage will send some staff to represent them in the burial, I think may be some older children would like to be there. She was very loved by children in the centre.

The teachers and student from the Bulongwa secondary school are in Iniho already. Wema and Herode are in Iniho already, Juma, Anna, Witness are in Ikonda, Anna was with her in the hospital when she died she spent a night there. PIUMA members who are living in Iniho village has yesterday promised to show their support to Veneranda by attending the burial.

Bernard and friends in Ilolo are arranging themselves on the road to wait for Juma may be they will match with the body to Iniho.

It is real a sad moment. jm

5:15 a.m. (EDT) Juma says that they are approaching Bulongwa now on their way to Iniho. Pillar and some of them as jackson said are waiting by the side road to join Veneranda's journey to her resting place. vn

7:49 a.m. (EDT) Juma called to say that they are in church for the mass. When they arrived with Veneranda, the coffin was being made and the grave was being dug. He says a lot of people are attending the funeral in tears. My heart goes out to PIUMA. They must be very distraught. vn

1:30 p.m. (EDT) I have just spoken to Witness and Wema this evening. Juma is understandably knuckled. He is resting.

This is what they told me: Veneranda has finally been laid at her final resting place in Iniho. There were more than 200 people at the funeral. This shows how her life touched hundreds in and out of Makete.

At 1930 hrs they arrived in Lupaso from Iniho and were still in the office comforting one another before going to their respective homes.

Many PIUMA members who could be reached by phone attended the funeral, the majority from Iniho. As the vehicle that carried her body approached areas where some of the members live, some locals expressed their condolences and others joined in on foot escorting Veneranda on her last journey home.

From the orphanage the Head, assistant head and 2 carers were accompanied by four older children from Mwakauta Secondary School to the funeral. They went with the center's vehicle which also carried the Lutheran Pastor of the Diocese. The Yatima Center donated 20 kilos of rice, 5kg of sugar, 5 packets of salt and a burial cloth.

Veneranda's Bulongwa Secondary sent to the funeral about 50 students, 5 teachers and two cooks in a hired vehicle to pay their last respect. It was devastating for all of them. She was very popular! Students helped Iniho village leadership in digging the grave. The school donated 20 kg of rice, 5kg of sugar, 20kg of beans, cooking oil and a burial cloth.

Apart from the vehicle that carried Veneranda two more hired vehicles ferried people and food stuff to Iniho.

Sister Anne was informed about Veneranda's demise last night. She said, "Pole".

No representative from BLH and Bulongwa local authority.

PIUMA also got a burial cloth for their youngest member in the group. All three pieces were used to cover after she was dressed up in one of her favourite attires.

Witness said that Veneranda's death has reminded PIUMA about the importance of having their own dispensary. It has made them even more determined than ever to do whatever is in their power including spending more time on voluntary work to speed up the completion of the building. "She died because she was late in getting the much needed treatment," Witness said. "If we had our own dispensary Veneranda could have been with us today." vn