Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thank You Ottawa!

Gord Bredyk and Evelyn Voigt have organized some Ottawa, Canada-area fundraisers for the projects here in Mufindi over the past few years, and we’d like to give them special thanks for all of their hard work! They have even started a website helping to spread the word about what Foxes’ NGO is doing in Mufindi district, Tanzania: They are at it again this weekend, so we wanted to explain all the good work their funds have done so far.


To date, funds from these fundraisers have helped staff key health professionals at the Mdabulo Health Facility, as well as a groundskeeper who has changed her life with the income from her employment. This has improved health services for the community in a way that is difficult to measure, but is the type of assistance that makes a difference everyday.
Mdabulo groundskeeper Upendo Mahimbi pictured here with
Foxes' NGO/Peace Corps Volunteer Stacey Droll

Upendo Mahimbi is 31-year old, HIV+ single mother of 5 children who had gone to dangerous lengths to support her family in the past. Upendo asked for a job in 2009, just when the NGO needed a major land-leveling job to be done to start construction of the functioning wing of the facility. She did a tremendous job, and has been working various contracts ever since. She has been an exemplary patient at the Mdabulo Care and Treatment Clinic for HIV, advising others to be tested and know their status, and she continues to work at the facility as the lone cleaning staff member for the entire Mdabulo grounds. She has been working so hard for her family, and we are very proud of the progress she has made for herself.

Catherine Mbata has been working for over
two years at Mdabulo running the entire
 laboratory at the facility

Catherine Mbata is a Laboratory Attendant that is in charge of the entire laboratory functions of the Mdabulo Health Facility and CTC. Perhaps the most important job she has is maintaining and caring for the CD4 machine- a device that dictates what type of HIV medication is to be given for patients. This Machine is used hundreds of times each month, and Catherine has been personally responsible for its maintenance as well as communicating with various stakeholders across the country in attempts to acquire more testing reagents to keep the machine in use. Catherine is a vital part of the Mdabulo team. We are lobbying that her salary will soon ‘picked-up’ by the Government of Tanzania if funds become available, but in the meantime funds from the Ottawa fundraisers have raised enough to pat her salary for nearly two more years.

A look to the future

In the most recent fundraiser, donations were collected to go towards the construction of small clinic to be located at Igoda Children’s Village. The staff positions being filled at Mdabulo Health facility will be a temporary, but vital necessity, but will eventually be taken on by government funds. Meanwhile at Igoda Children’s Village, Dr. Leena Pasanen will be ‘retiring’ to Mufindi in October this year, and she will be thus working full time at the Children’s Village. When Dr. Leena holds clinics in the village, often over 100 people come for her services. The clinic will not only give her a place to see patients, but it will be the first health facility ever for the village of Igoda, and only the third facility in all of Luhunga ward (5 villages – population 10,000). Many children from the Igoda Children’s Village come to the center due to malnutrition, and need extra medical care. This clinic will give the leaders and guardians at the Children’s Village an onsite facility to bring their children when illness strikes.
Clinic Progress July 2013

 Good luck this weekend!

We are all excited and encouraged by the people of Ottawa, and we wish them luck this Saturday, as they embark on another fundraiser to support these projects in Mufindi! We are sad we couldn’t be there in person, but from all here in Mufindi- Asanteni sana! Thank you all so very much!

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