2014 Trip to Tanzania

I have just returned from my annual trip to Tanzania.  Each time I go I am reminded of a few very important things:

  1. I must go annually to oversee the projects, but more importantly to personally face the complexity of eradicating poverty.
  2. The guiding principles of Kuza Project are as true and relevant today as the day they were established.
    • Do not do for others what they can do for themselves.
    • Have a deep respect for the local culture (they do a lot of things right).
    • The ideas, projects, and initiatives must come from the area we serve, not our boardroom in the U.S.
    • Each project must pass the sustainability test as it is being developed – how quickly can it stand on its own and remain self-sufficient?
  3. Our focus areas of education, economic development, and health care have significantly improved the lives of the individuals we serve in Tanzania.

We have remained an all-volunteer organization in the U.S.  At the same time our processes continue to improve.  We measure areas of progress.  We continue to support an average of 20 births per month through our nurse midwife.  We also average over 50 pre-natal checkups per month, which has significantly reduced infant mortality.  The dental clinic is now serving over 100 patients per month.  

Preventative health care is a novel idea in the villages.  We continue to educate the villagers of it’s value.  Your donations still pay the salaries of the dentist and nurse-midwife, however the clinic is self-sustaining beyond that.  To remain that way there was a recent price increase in tooth extractions from 2500 to 4000 shillings. (1600 shillings = $1 US)  Check-ups with cleaning remains at 2000 shillings and no patient in need ever goes without care.

It was great to see so many families in new homes.  Before we support a new home the family must build and fire their own bricks.  This is a significant amount of work.  When they have completed their bricks we help them with other materials and skilled labor.  All of the children of our families are in school, which includes the families that have completed our three-year program and no longer receive monthly financial support.  The caseworker still meets with these families on a monthly basis to monitor their progress. Many of the children have graduated high school and have moved on to jobs and some are off to university.  I could go on and on about the projects, the women’s associations and the additional improvements your generous gifts have made, instead I invite you to call me so we can talk.

Thank you, without you none of this would be possible.

– Craig Swett