About Us

Background

Jambo Tanzania is a nonprofit humanitarian organization of volunteers founded in Western Massachusetts in 1998 by DR. Mary Banda and Mr. Richard Pelland. Its mission is to serve as a lightning rod for critically needed health care and educational initiatives in he village of Bukoba and the Kagera Region of Tanzania.

The region has been hit hard by the AIDS epidemic, leaving large numbers of children orphaned. Their poverty, and that of the remaining adults is unimaginable, and their needs daunting. Our volunteers that with our donors we can make a difference. Our volunteers travel to Tanzania at their own expense to staff the Clinic and provide hands on care. Until 2008, care was carried out in a pre 1900 building with a single room with no means of providing privacy. In addition, conditions were less than clean and bats resided in the ceiling. In 2008, after 10 years of fund raising , we were able to construct the first phase of the Health Center with individual exam rooms, a pharmacy and rooms for patient education.

Upon our arrival in 2000, it was clear the school in Gera was substandard. Thatched roofs leaked water onto dirt floors making education a challenge. In addition there was no secondary school for the children to attend upon completion of their primary education. With money donated by individual volunteers the entire primary school has been rebuilt with waterproof roofs, concrete floors, a teachers room and the first library in the area. In addition, upon seeing our progress, the Government of Tanzania constructed a secondary school nearby, thus allowing continuation of education for all children.

In 2008 we met with the Minister of Health and received recognition for our efforts from Parliament. We reached a combined goal of having our Health Center serve as the regional center for the Kagera Region.

Our Vision

To establish a Health Care Center in order to provide primary. Longitudinal health care, health education, immunizations and coordination of tertiary care to the 2 million residents of the Kagera Region of Tanzania.

At present The Health Care Center consists of a Reception Area, Individual Exam Rooms, a room for injections, a Dispensing Room/ Pharmacy, Storage Room and private Toilet Facilities. An enclosed area is available for health care education. In order to complete the Center, we plan to build a second building with a Minor Surgical Suite, Labor and Delivery room, Maternity Ward, Female, Male and Pediatric Inpatient Rooms, Administrative and Staff rooms and an incinerator. At present electrical power is supplied through a single solar panel, but it is our hope to add multiple additional solar panels and have an electrical line run to the facility.

In order to attract qualified and committed medical personnel, we anticipate the need to construct nearby housing. This will assure the presence of staff on a 24 hour basis.

In regards to the primary school, we hope to continue to supply daily multi vitamins to all school children, and monitor their growth and educational performance. We intend to monitor ongoing developments in the need for specific nutritional needs and supplements and incorporate them as necessary. We intend to supply the newly erected library with new books and educational tools to enhance the students education. Clearly access to the Internet is crucial to a balanced and diversified education. Enhanced access to electricity will help us lobby for computers and software for the students in Gera.