On Thursday, October 10th, we celebrated Kupona’s 10th Anniversary at The Penn Club in New York City and raised over $37,000 to support our partner CCBRT in Tanzania.

Kupona Staff, Board, and Advisory Board Members (photo credit: Todd Plitt)

You — our Kupona community — should feel tremendous pride in what you’ve helped us achieve over the past ten years, especially if you consider this: 

  • 18 million people die annually due to surgically treatable conditions, and millions more suffer with preventable disabilities.
  • In Tanzania, 830 women do not survive due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth EVERY DAY. An estimated 80% of these deaths are preventable.


Help us reach our goal of raising another $10,000 with a life-saving gift today

Why is it that being born with a correctable impairment like  pediatric cataracts, or safely giving birth – things that happen all over the world – are so challenging and so dangerous in Tanzania? The following three challenges are among the greatest drivers:

  1. There is a shortage of trained surgeons and skilled surgical and medical teams able to provide the services needed. For its population of over 55 million people, the World Health Organization recommends 10,700 specialist surgeons – and Tanzania has only 177.
  2. There is a lack of awareness. Many people don’t know that their child’s impairment can be treated, or don’t realize that a laboring mother may not be able to safely deliver her baby at home. Myths and misconceptions about the causes of disability create social stigma.
  3. It is very difficult to access treatment. For many families, the time and cost of traveling to a health facility to seek treatment for themselves or their child will be at the expense of putting food on the table or educating their children.  

In the past ten years, Kupona has helped CCBRT conduct over 100,000 surgeries in Tanzania, and we’ve helped launch a maternal and newborn healthcare program that has increased a mother’s chance of survival by over 40% in the Dar es Salaam region. As Dr. Brenda shared, “Fistula is 100% preventable, and that’s where the CCBRT Maternal Health team comes in. We give women the right to a clean and safe birth and a healthy baby.” 

The numbers are impressive, but when you consider that they represent lives, families, children, and healthcare professionals, they carry a whole new weight. CCBRT CEO Brenda Msangi brought the numbers to life:  “We’ve done over 100,000 surgeries…this is not just a number, this is seeing a little boy smiling for the first time after a cleft repair, or seeing a woman with fistula who has been leaking urine for 8 years, being dry after surgery, and going back to her community and being accepted by her community. This is a little toddler taking steps for the first time using her prosthetic. This is the real impact that we are privileged to see at CCBRT.” 

CCBRT CEO Brenda Msangi and Maternal Health Leader Dr. Brenda D’mello (photo credit: Todd Plitt)

Thursday’s celebration included a Tanzanian dance performance by Curious on Tanzania, and gave guests the opportunity to cast their vote to direct a $9,000 grant from the Johnson & Johnson Foundation to one of CCBRT’s high-impact programs. The winning program? Maternal Health & Obstetric Fistula. Thanks to Johnson & Johnson and all of our generous event sponsors for their support. You can check out more photos from the event here.

We are so grateful for this community, and to everyone who has donated, volunteered or partnered with us over the last decade. A special thank you to our 10th Anniversary Host Committee for their generosity and for helping mobilize such an incredible group of people.

We invite you to stay involved with this work. Why? Because it’s your support that is changing the lives of thousands of people in Tanzania every year. Here’s how you can help:

Curious on Tanzania performance (photo credit: Todd Plitt)

Silent Auction of photographs from Board VP Betsy Zink’s visit to Tanzania (photo credit: Todd Plitt)

  • Donate today! We have a goal of raising another $10,000 to celebrate 10 years of changing lives.
    • A gift of $300 will provide sight-restoring surgery for a child born with congenital cataract, enabling him to see the world around him and get an education. 
    • A gift of $615 will equip 15 health workers with advanced training at the CCBRT Academy. 
    • A donation of $5,000 will provide critical start-up operational funding for five safe C-sections for mothers and babies in our new Maternity & Newborn Hospital.
  • Visit CCBRT: Reach out to express your interest in joining us for a “Seeing is Believing” trip in 2020 or 2021.
  • Learn more: Read about your impact in our 2018 Annual Report.
  • Stay in touch: Follow us on social media or sign up for our mailing list We’re on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Spread the wordShare this post or tell five friends about the event, and invite them to help us reach our goal with a life-changing gift. As Betsy shared in her opening remarks, we can each “Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.” 

Thank you all for your generosity and support over the last ten years.