Unexpected Tanzanian Connections

Unless you know that Mt. Kilimanjaro is the largest mountain in Africa and is located there, have followed Jane Goodall’s studies about chimpanzee behavior, or know that the country has some big game preserves, you probably don’t know much about Tanzania. You might not know that Tanzania covers more land than Egypt, has a population of over 47 million people, and its largest city — Dar es Salaam — has over 3.4 million people.

Of special interest to me is the fact that the vast majority of the people in Tanzania are impoverished with annual incomes of only $520 — as measured in U.S. dollars (according to the Operation World reference book). Most people are impoverished farmers seeking to improve their lives. AIDS has hit the country very hard. So has lack of medical care, clean water, sanitation, improved food supply, and many of the other things described on this HelpingWorldwide website.

In the past decade while my website has been online, I have had numerous inquiries about finding things. As often as possible, I try to respond (as long as the inquiries are in English).

Four months ago, I heard from a Tanzanian pastor (Rev. Alabasha Hume) who has been in Minneapolis for nearly two decades. He added that another pastor from Tanzania (Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Kigwilna) has been living in the Atlanta area and elsewhere in the U.S. for about that long. Together they are trying to help get a clinic they established just outside of Dar es Salaam outfitted with medical supplies and wanted me to help provide some advice. I suggested that they go to the “Medical Supplies and Medical Technologies” category of my website and see which organization or organizations might be of most help. I also added that I am more familiar with World Medical Relief (www.worldmedicalrelief.org) in Detroit than any other. After some additional contacts, they decided to apply for two 40-foot containers of medical supplies from WMR. They came here so that on June 12, 2015, I could take them and two other people there to make the arrangements to get the supplies and then to a nearby place to arrange for shipping. The first of the two containers is expected to sail within a month.

Although I know many other African people, I don’t recall meeting anyone from Tanzania before. When I started with my website, I had no idea that I would be hearing from anyone there — much less meeting them in person. Now I am happy to say that has become a reality. I don’t expect to ever go to Tanzania, but at least I feel that the medical supplies that I helped arrange to go there will make difference. To learn more about what my Tanzanian friends and their colleagues are doing, go to www.lia-tanzania.org (LIA stands for Love In Action.)

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