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Current Projects

We provide Christian support for development projects where we see the need. In recent years we have focuses on Medical, Education, Agriculture and Water projects. All donations go directly to the projects and our representatives on the ground work hand in hand to ensure accountability and project success!


Arusha Medical Centre

2014 - Present

The Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at  the ALMC medical centre is dedicated to providing care for critically ill premature and term babies. Free and subsidised care is provided to babies in the NICU. At present, the facility provides the highest level of care available for critically-ill babies in Tanzania and is among the most advanced NICUs in East Africa. In 2017 the facility had their smallest survivor ever, baby Gracious, weighing only 670 grams (1 pound – 7 ounces) on arrival. This beautiful little girl was born 14 weeks premature, and along with her twin brother was discharged home after 2 months in the NICU. Both are doing very well! 

Future growth in the NICU depends on continued donations to support the costs of caring for these critically-ill neonates. It is worth noting that the annual NICU budget (caring for 250+ hospitalized neonates) remains less than the cost of a single newborn being hospitalized in a NICU in the United States for 2 weeks! 

You can see NICU videos online at vimeo.com/drswanson and facebook.com/savingbabieslives

In early March I started drafting this update, with the intent to share on the lives of our 3 kids, our community and hospital work, and an upcoming national Tanzanian neonatology conference that Steve was leading. Even at that time, the world was quickly turning upside down. Separated from friends and family across the world, we watched and prayed and discussed our own contingency plans. Inevitably, Tanzania's first confirmed Covid-19 case arrived, in our very own Arusha.  As everywhere else, everything suddenly changed. 

Over the past weeks, we have many long discussions with family and colleagues, weighed our evacuation options, and prayerfully reflected upon the reasons for which we came to Tanzania (in 2013).  We have  assessed the extremely limited healthcare options in Tanzania (should we get sick from Covid-19), the high likelihood that all borders may close and international flights out of Tanzania be cancelled, and the possibility of panic and increasing scarcity when the virus arrives in full force. And, we have decided to stay in Tanzania. 

As healthcare providers, providing medical care in a time of need is in our very DNA. It isn't exactly "shelter-in-place" and isolate, as both of us still have roles to play in the Lutheran hospitals here. The Tanzanian doctors that Steve works with look to him for support. Many in the community rely on us for healthcare.  The hospitals are still caring for patients, everyday.

We are in a period of great uncertainty. While the ELCA Global Missionaries has recalled all it's missionaries back to USA, we have their support to stay and still serve in Tanzania. The thought of leaving our Tanzanian colleagues in a time like this does not sit well in our souls. At the time that I am writing this, there are 12 known Covid-19 confirmed cases, but as we all know, this virus travels silently, and numbers are likely much higher.  We are all holding our breath.  It is hard to tell if things are truly quiet or if this is the calm before the storm. We are preparing, and doing our best to anticipate what we will need. And doing our best to be calm and intentional in our service.

We are encouraged that we are not alone. God is with us. I told this to Hannah as she was being evacuated out of Timor Leste, and traveled alone across the oceans to us yesterday.  So also, I tell myself. God walks with us. We pray for you, that you will be safe and you will be well, and that you will have peace. The peace that passes understanding.

With all our love,

Jodi and Steve

316 Babies, a remarkable Survival Rate, and the writing of an essential NICU Handbook.
Last year our NICU cared for 316 babies.  45% were premature, some weighing less than 2 pounds (<1000 grams).  85 babies (30%) from our poorest families were fully supported by our NICU Fund, and all remaining NICU babies received partial subsidization.

Among viable babies admitted to our NICU, 93% survived.  This has to be among the highest NICU survival rates reported anywhere in East Africa, and is a great tribute to the hard work of our entire team.  At present, we are in the midst of writing the first-ever neonatology handbook (300+ pages!) for use across all of Tanzania, and hope to publish it soon.

Though COVID-19 is occupying all of our hearts, our NICU remains full every day with vulnerable babies and attentive mothers.  We are taking precautions.  And we continue to need funds to help us care for these most vulnerable babies, especially in this time when the hospital faces financial uncertainty.  Please take a moment to watch our newest 3-minute video, "Every Baby Counts. No Matter How Small.", and consider giving.

Every Baby Counts

 

To date over £35,000 has been sent to this project

Familia Moja Clinic

2018 - Present

Life at the Medical Clinic in Tabora is hectic on a day to day basis. Not only do they have patients from the district but many are contacted through the Traveling Clinic which covers four villages many miles from Tabora. Dr. Ruth Hulser writes “Thank you for your generous donation to the Clinic. We are using the money to help children with Pneumonia survival."

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Familia Farm

2018 - Present

Familia Moja Farm is expanding all the time with pigs, rabbits, donkeys, cows and chickens.  Amara Aid provided the finance to buy 380 hens that produce 2,100 eggs per week and meat for Aids victim families who have been left without a provider.

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Water Storage

2016 - Present

Amara Aid has supported Familia Moja to construct underground water storage facilities that drinking water to be stored for up to six months in Tabora, Tanzania where rainfall is unreliable. 18 dams have been constructed to hold rainwater during the dry-season and allow breeding of fish.

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Polytunnel Project

2014 - Present

Amara Aid supported the construction of a polytunnel at the Arusha Modern School. Students have formed a business club called “Malihai Club” that produces vegetables for sale to the school and the local community. The produce has saved the school over $2,000 over the past 2 years.  Arusha Modern School's cateen is supplied by this project.

Arusha Modern School

2013 - Present

Amara Aid sponsors four teenagers who are currently studying A-Level education.

Africian Primary & Secondary School

2016 - Present

Amara Aid sponsors four teenagers who are currently about to finish their education in November '19.

Canaan Primary School

2017 - Present

Amara Aid sponsors two young children who are day students. Kennedy & Rose.

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