Seeing is Believing.

There is no better way to grasp the challenges and opportunities in our work than seeing our programs in action. This March, members of our Board were able to do just that. Bob, Mira and Jameel accompanied our Executive Director, Abbey, on her latest trip to Dar es Salaam to see the impact of high quality, accessible healthcare on the lives of the people and communities we serve, and to gain a deeper understanding of the most pressing needs on the ground.

L-R: Jameel, Abbey, Mira, and Bob from Kupona Foundation, with Radha from the CCBRT External Affairs Team, enjoying the sunset at Dar Yacht Club

Abbey and Bob arrived first, and spent some time deep diving into sustainability at CCBRT – touring CCBRT’s new Private Clinic, learning about the transformation of CCBRT’s Eye Outpatient Department as part of CCBRT’s lean journey, and meeting with CCBRT’s new Technical Advisor for Training and Capacity Building, who will drive forward plans to establish CCBRT’s new training centre. Over the weekend, the team took a fantastic tour of the city with Afriroots. Visiting homes, markets and cafes in local neighborhoods gave Bob, Mira and Jameel an opportunity to see the ‘real’ Dar es Salaam, away from tourist destinations, and get a sense for the challenges that CCBRT’s dedicated staff and clients face every day.

Left: Mira meets a child recovering from cleft lip surgery. Right: Abbey and Bob taking a tour of the CCBRT Private Clinic construction site with Pierre, Director of the Private Clinic, and Erwin, CEO of CCBRT

Tours of the CCBRT Disability Hospital, as well as one of the Health Centers where CCBRT is improving the quality of maternal and newborn healthcare, demonstrated the scale and comprehensive nature of our work in Tanzania. Meetings with clients currently recovering from treatment for obstetric fistula and cleft lip, and receiving artificial limbs from the physical rehabilitation department, showed the impact high quality healthcare has on the lives of the people we serve.

There is no substitute for seeing the work first hand. There is so much you can’t digest until you’ve seen it. I was impressed by how efficient and modern the hospital was compared to others I’ve seen in developing countries. CCBRT is also very resourceful, grabbing every opportunity to eliminate waste where they can. I left with a huge sense of optimism. There are clearly significant challenges to providing safe, affordable, quality care to such a high volume of patients. Now we need to find a way to mobilize as much support as possible to help address these challenges. – Jameel Farruk, Member of the Advisory Board since 2012

Tours of the CCBRT Maternity and Newborn Hospital and the CCBRT Private Clinic construction sites showed the progress of CCBRT’s initiatives to bring quality care closer to the people of Tanzania, and also the scale of CCBRT’s goals for the future.

The people we met at CCBRT are impressive, dedicated and hard working. The level of services exceeded my expectations. I was clearly aware of the efforts in maternal care, fistula and eye care, but the range of services offered and the size of the CCBRT campus were very impressive. There is a lot going on at CCBRT and the needs are clearly apparent; it’s important that Kupona’s support is targeted in the most effective and efficient way to have the greatest impact. It’s going to be a challenge, but one I’m looking forward to tackling. – Bob Schwed, Member of the Board of Directors since 2015

Abbey with members of the CCBRT Maternal and Newborn Healthcare Capacity Building Program

The visit concluded with a trip to The Mabinti Centre, CCBRT’s socioeconomic empowerment project for women recovering from obstetric fistula treatment. Ladies at the Mabinti Centre have all been treated for obstetric fistula at CCBRT, and are currently undergoing vocational training as they continue their recovery. During the visit, Mabinti trainees showcased their latest designs, and passed on the secrets to screen-printing!

The women at Mabinti welcomed me with warm smiles and open arms. They are confident women who take pride in their work. I was amazed at the transformative effects of holistic treatment for fistula. What a remarkable contrast compared to the women I met in the fistula ward of the CCBRT hospital! I saw first hand how the post-operative care provided by CCBRT and the Mabinti Centre radically improves lives.” – Mira Dewji, Member of the Board of Directors since March 2017

Rhoda, a former fistula patient and Mabinti graduate, teaching Mira to screen print

We are so grateful for our dedicated Board and Advisory Board members, and for the support of our friends and partners who empower CCBRT’s life changing work. If you are interested in visiting our programs in Tanzania, please get in touch.