What started as a fundraiser for the St Stephens Anglican Church building project in Whangaparaoa has evolved into a campaign to help evangelists in Tanzania.
For the past five years, Helen Hardcastle, wife of the vicar of St Stephens, has been making jam and chutneys, and selling them to parishioners.
“I’m really just piggy-backing on the idea of one of our elderly parishioners, who raised $1000 towards the church building project by selling jam and marmalade,” Helen says.
“Not long after the church was finished, my husband Ian and I were at a conference in Matamata where Bishop Given Gaula, from Tanzania, was a guest speaker. We invited him to preach at our church and the congregation was so impressed by what he was doing they donated $4000.
“He said it cost $240 to support an evangelist in a remote area for a year.”
Helen launched the Jambo (‘hello’ in Swahili) Jam project to support the work, and has been raising around $2000 a year.
Most of the fruit is donated, a lot of the jars are reused and others in the community are coming on board to help.
Helen has visited Tanzania four times and is encouraged to see the jam money being put to good use.
“It inspires me to continue. It is also an example of how one community can work together to help alleviate poverty in another community.”
Helen says her most popular jam so far has been plum.