An update from our Executive Director’s recent visit to CCBRT in Tanzania.
Whenever I meet with partners or supporters of Kupona I always stress one thing: seeing really is believing. There is nothing like seeing the impact of the funds raised through Kupona in real time. The smiles; the children playing in the (remarkably clean!) hallways; the fistula patients gathered under the thatch-roofed banda, singing (it’s part of their therapy!); the relief on the faces of parents whose children will have the opportunity to live life without a disability – smiles restored after a cleft lip surgery, children born with clubfeet who will now be able to walk, run, and earn a living; the HOPE and PROMISE of a brighter future. It’s indescribable. Until I discover a way to transport everyone to Dar es Salaam, I’ll share a report of my recent visit to CCBRT with the hope that a first-hand account will inspire you to continue to support our work.
It was a whirlwind week of building partnerships, developing new ideas, and celebrating milestones of success. The site of the new CCBRT Maternity and Newborn Hospital has transformed. The structure is taking shape, and the facility remains on track to open at the end of 2015. The CCBRT Disability Hospital was also thriving, with crowds of patients waiting to receive consultations and treatment every day that I was there.
CCBRT doesn’t settle for simply providing quality care in its own facilities. During my visit, CCBRT received official accreditation from the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) to become an international training center for fistula surgeons. Now, our three highly qualified surgeons will be able to guide and inspire the next generation of fistula care providers and ensure that women living with this debilitating condition across the world will receive the quality of care they need and deserve.
A particular highlight for me was my first ever visit to Tim’s Corner, CCBRT’s family planning unit. With a kiosk and a clinic, Tim’s Corner provides confidential family planning advice and services to staff and patients at the CCBRT Disability Hospital. Watching people come and go from the kiosk, I reflected on all of the donations that were made to Kupona through CrowdRise in memory of Tim Manchester, a good friend to CCBRT and strong advocate of family planning. Incredible. Nearly 250 individuals and groups gave through CrowdRise since May 2013. You made our vision a reality.
This update is only scratching the surface. In just one week, I was incredibly inspired by so many people, partners to CCBRT, patients, doctors and caregivers. The women in training at Mabinti Center always bring a smile to my face. (See late June posts for more photos on our Facebook page). These interactions motivate me to keep building support for CCBRT, and to invest more time in sharing the personal stories, successes and challenges to inspire you to support our cause, like us on Facebook, follow us @KuponaFdn, and help us build an even stronger network. We are delivering high quality services to tens of thousands of people every year. Your support makes it all possible. Together, we are changing lives.