Health Education and Medical Care Initiative, Tanzania (October 2022)

Project description:

In October 2022, a team of 12 D.R.O.P.S volunteers headed to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on a 3 day mission to improve health literacy within disadvantaged communities, while also addressing immediate medical needs to improve their overall quality of life.

Like many developing countries, Tanzania grapples with a high burden of infectious diseases, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, which are largely preventable. However, many individuals lack awareness of basic hygiene practices and disease prevention strategies. The burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer is also increasing due to various unhealthy lifestyle factors such as poor diet, physical inactivity and substance abuse.

These illnesses contribute to high mortality rates, particularly among vulnerable populations, due to the country’s lack of basic healthcare facilities and trained healthcare professionals. Health education initiatives to promote lifestyle changes and early detection are therefore essential to address this growing health challenge.

Day One:

Our mission began at Chamazi Orphanage, a shelter founded in 2001 by the esteemed former president of Tanzania, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, which is currently home to over 240 orphaned children.

Alongside Dr. Michael Kloep, our team of volunteers engaged in educational health seminars on basic hygiene, dental care, nutrition & exercise, equipping the children with the tools they need to lead healthy lives. Meanwhile, our medical practitioner, Dr. Janina Beilner, performed routine checkups and treatments to ensure the physical wellbeing of each child, addressing their concerns with expertise and compassion.

In between these workshops, we spent time playing with the children, igniting sparks of joy and imagination through various activities such as coloring, Lego building, face painting, and arts and crafts projects. These moments of shared laughter and creativity transcended the barriers of language and culture, forging genuine human connection and solidarity.

Next, we ventured to the Daniel Brottier Center (formerly the Dogodogo Street Children and Orphanage Center), a facility which provides education and counseling to vulnerable children, many of whom have been rescued from harrowing circumstances such as forced marriages, child labor and human trafficking. 

Here we engaged with 68 courageous kids between the ages of 6 and 18 years old, witnessing firsthand the transformative impact of education and emotional support in their lives. Despite the challenges they've faced, these resilient young individuals radiated hope and determination, eager to embrace opportunities for growth and empowerment. It quickly became clear that our presence was not just about providing temporary relief, but about nurturing a sense of possibility and self-worth that would endure far beyond our visit.

Day Two:

The second day began with a long bus ride to the rural enclave of Mazizi village, where the team was welcomed by 300 eager faces at the local primary school. Here, our efforts also encompassed the school's staff, as well as some of the children's parents and members of the village community. By embracing inclusivity in our outreach, we cultivated a spirit of unity and cooperation, magnifying the reach and effectiveness of our initiatives.

As we said goodbye to the children of Mazizi, our journey continued on to Watoto Wetu, an orphanage which is currently home to over 100 children between the ages of 2 and 18. The name "Watoto Wetu" means "Our Children" in Swahili, and comes from the belief that we should treat all children as our own, especially the ones who do not have anyone else to care for them. It serves not just as a mission statement, but as a reminder of the collective responsibility we bear in safeguarding the futures of the most vulnerable among us.

Day Three:

The final leg of our mission brought us to the doors of the Mother Theresa Charity Centre, a bastion of compassion nestled in the heart of Dar es Salaam, where we shared precious moments with 100 disabled children and elderly individuals, recognizing the inherent dignity and worth of every human being.

Throughout our mission, we also recognized the need for gender-specific health education, especially for adolescent girls. We held informative talks on women's health and family planning, and empowered over 100 young ladies with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their bodies. The girls were also each given a menstrual cup sponsored by Lunette, providing them with a long-term feminine hygiene solution, and with it, a newfound sense of agency.


In a 3 day mission to Tanzania in October 2022, the D.R.O.P.S. team visited over 800 underprivileged children in and around the city of Dar es Salaam. Our goal was to improve health literacy, raise environmental awareness, and provide essential medical care to those in need.

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