Global Volunteers’ Ipalamwa General Clinic (IGC) was built as the centerpiece of the Reaching Children’s Potential Program (RCP) in the Ukwega Ward of Tanzania. The nucleus of professionalism at IGC is a staff of nine: the clinic manager, doctor in-charge, medical doctor, medical laboratory technician, two midwives, pharmaceutical technician, well-baby attendant, and a receptionist. All work under the direction of Tanzania Country Director Nayman Chavalla and Reaching Children’s Potential Director Andrew Philbrook. Learn more about these nine dedicated staff members here.
Clinic Manager Anna Victor Mwenda
As Clinic Manager, Anna oversees the clinic staff and non-medical functions to ensure an optimal environment for clinic patients, staff, and international volunteers.
Anna grew up in Dar es Salaam. She was born the third of three daughters in a small town in the Iringa District, and when she was eight years old, her mother passed away. Anna was sent to Dar es Salaam to live with her aunt. There, she earned a certificate in records management from Tanzania Public Service College and trained with the Community Bible Study (CBS) to obtain a certificate to teach children and youth. Before joining Global Volunteers, Anna was an insurer with Prighose Insurance Agency and also worked for the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development as a record manager. Anna was hired by Global Volunteers as an RCP caregiver in March 2017. Shortly after, she became the Global Volunteers service program team leader, and in 2018, she was promoted to her current position.
Anna says her passion is “to help people who are in need, especially children.” She says she strives to provide women and children quality services. One of her favorite things, she says, “is to see pregnant women deliver their babies safely, witness how Global Volunteers improves the lives and health of many children who were stunted, and personally get the chance to hear many women speak about how pleased they are with the services they receive at IGC.”
She continues, “Most families we work with can barely provide one meal per day on their own. Most children and families face the problem of stunting due to their economic status. And even when they get that meal, it is not sufficient for the whole family or doesn’t have enough nutrients to support child growth. Global Volunteers helps to facilitate the elimination of stunting, and works to improve child health. I enjoy very much being a part of these changes in people’s lives.”
Anna enjoys spending time with her beautiful daughter, Gabriella, as well as singing, dancing, cooking, reading Bible stories, and playing games.
“Most families we work with can barely provide one meal per day on their own. Most children and families face the problem of stunting due to their economic status. Global Volunteers helps to facilitate the elimination of stunting, and works to improve child health. I enjoy very much being a part of these changes in people’s lives.”– Anna Victor Mwenda, Clinic Manager
Doctor In-Charge Benjamin Makafu
Dr. Kakafu oversees patient care and the clinic’s daily medical activities. He ensures that all the treatment reports are filed and sent to the government every month as required.
Benjamin was the first-born of three boys in his family. He was raised in Dar es Salaam, where his father, a retired officer in the Tanzanian Peoples Defence Force (TPDF), and brothers still live. He studied medicine at People’s Friendship University of Russia in Moscow. He joined the RCP medical team in 2018 when the clinic was opening. In 2020, his mother passed away shortly before he married Elkana Valence, an RCP Caregiver.
Benjamin says he’s seen the clinic grow, “just like a baby,” over two years. It’s very rare for a medical doctor to choose to work in a rural area in Tanzania. “Global Volunteers is ensuring that villagers are seen by medical doctors directly and receiving quality medical care,” Benjamin asserts. “In this way, Global Volunteers is a very welcomed helping hand.”
He invites volunteers to contribute to the Reaching Children’s Potential Program. “I believe there are many misconceptions about Africans and Africa. This is a big opportunity to learn about the continent and help people living in rural areas with many challenges. They can see how the community improves and grows in this beautiful and peaceful backdrop of nature.”
Benjamin says he enjoys the instructive part of his job. “My favorite part is to educate patients and see them learn about the cause of their ailments and then watch them get well. That is very fulfilling.” In that regard, he says delivering babies is the best. He continues, “It is a lovely feeling to help kids get nutritional food and proper treatment when they get sick. Also, educating mothers and children on the need for hygiene and living healthy in a rural environment is very satisfying.”
In his free time, Benjamin likes to swim, visit parks, museums, and historic sites, and travel with his new wife.
“Global Volunteers is ensuring that villagers are seen by medical doctors directly and receiving quality medical care,” Benjamin asserts. “In this way, Global Volunteers is a very welcomed helping hand.”– Dr. Benjamin Makafu
Medical Doctor Silas Sethiel Mosha
Silas is engaged in daily patient care and medical treatments, and provides health education and awareness as Primary Care Physician.
Silas was born and raised in Moshi in the Kilimanjaro region. He earned his MBBS degree from Guangzhou Medical University in China, where he studied from 2011 to 2017. Upon returning to Tanzania in 2017, he completed a one-year internship at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center and earned his medical license in 2018. He joined the RCP medical team that same year.
“Taking care of people physically, mentally, and spiritually is my passion,” says Silas. “The vision and mission of Global Volunteers aligns with my dreams of caring for communities, especially their children, in impoverished villages and providing them with quality health services.” He strives to empower community members “with health education that can improve the quality of their children’s lives and build a better community with a bright future.” He enjoys spending time with patients every day, listening to them, and “walking together with them on a journey of solving their health problems. The most beautiful part is when I see a smile on my patient’s face as a sign of relief as a result of our work.”
This is the experience he enjoys sharing with volunteers. “It is my belief that any volunteer with any background or walk of life can offer their talent in this community. Spending a week or two here not only impacts the people you meet and spend time with, but will also leave a lasting impression in your heart. You will also learn so much from the people in this community. Your expertise, knowledge, and friendship are a treasure to the people here, lighting a spark of hope in their hearts.”
In his free time, Silas likes to listen to music, play guitar, garden, read books, and travel and explore new places with his family. He says, “I love my family. They are my joy and my peace. Spending time with my parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and other relatives, whether for a short or extended time — every single minute with them is a treasure to me.”
“It is my belief that any volunteer with any background or walk of life can offer their talent in this community. You will also learn so much from the people in this community. Your expertise, knowledge, and friendship are a treasure to the people here, lighting a spark of hope in their hearts.”– Dr. Mosha
Medical Laboratory Technician Anyasime Brown Mwaipopo
Anyasime manages the IGC laboratory – collecting specimen samples from patients, conducting routine tests and analyses of samples, performing internal quality control to document laboratory results and maintain a sterile work space.
Anyasime was born in Tunduma in the Songwe region, and at the age of six his family moved to Tukuyu in the Mbeya region to live with his grandparents. He earned a diploma in Medical Laboratory Sciences from the University of Dodoma in Tanzania and is licensed as a Health Laboratory Technologist by the Tanzania Health Laboratory Practitioners Council (THLPC) under the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
Anyasime says that as a healthcare provider, he was impressed by Global Volunteers’ efforts to eliminate stunting, and wanted to become a part of the effort to change the future of his country. “Since I came here, the weeks and the moments working with volunteers have been remarkable,” he professes. “They’re eager to help the community and do a great job here. Their heartfelt volunteering, through the health and social education they provide, has brought great change to our community. It has also enhanced the IGC staff’s knowledge as we have been sharing a lot with them concerning what we do in Tanzania and what they do in their countries in the health field.”
Moving to the remote Ukwega Ward to work with the Reaching Children’s Potential Program presented some challenges. Never having worked outside an urban area, Anyasime took time to adjusting to rural life. “People in this community speak different local languages from mine and some of them don’t know Swahili, which is a national language. That makes communication difficult,” he explained. “But I am getting used to it. The Reaching Children’s Potential Program has been of great benefit to me, giving me much exposure to how important the fight against stunting is.”
In his free time, Anyasime enjoys visiting friends, going to church, and watching movies.
“Their heartfelt volunteering, through the health and social education they provide, has brought great change to our community. It has also enhanced the IGC staff’s knowledge as we have been sharing a lot with them concerning what we do in Tanzania and what they do in their countries in the health field.”– Anyasime Brown Mwaipopo, Medical Laboratory Technician
Midwife Zahoro Mlekwa Sakala
As a registered midwife, Zahoro Sakala is responsible for providing focused antenatal care and culturally sensitive care during labor; assisting deliveries; providing comprehensive, high-quality maternal postpartum care; and caring for children from birth to five years of age. He was licensed and registered by the Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council (TNMC).
Zahoro was born and raised in the Shinyanga region of Tanzania surrounding Lake Victoria. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Midwifery from the University of Dodoma. “From my childhood,” he says, “despite other interests and hobbies, I always dreamed of becoming a competent healthcare worker to serve my community and the world to the fullest of my ability. It is true and I’m proud that today I serve my community as a registered midwife.”
“I’m proud to be part of a team that brings and paves the way for happiness, hope, satiety, and a bright future for Tanzanian children and families by seriously fighting against stunting and diseases.” Zahoro says his favorite part of his job is when a pregnant mother enters the clinic and then “comes out safe with her newborn alive in her hands. This is really gratifying.”
“For me, the RCP Program is like a portal through which children, families, and the community will definitely flourish to their maximum possible potentials,” he asserts. “It is my firm belief that if this program is widespread in the country, it will produce very tangible cumulative outcomes in solving issues of malnutrition both in pregnant women and children.”
In his free time, Zahoro likes working in his vegetable garden where he grows onions, tomatoes, spinach, and more, a hobby he has been interested in since childhood.
“For me, the RCP Program is like a portal through which children, families, and the community will definitely flourish to their maximum possible potentials. It is my firm belief that if this program is widespread in the country, it will produce very tangible cumulative outcomes in solving issues of malnutrition both in pregnant women and children.”Zahoro Mlekwa Sakala, Midwife
Midwife Selemani Salim
Salimani provides prenatal, natal, and post-delivery care of mothers. He and Zahoro also work with RCP families in health education and making decisions about their health and reproductive issues. He earned his bachelor’s degree in midwifery from the University of Dodoma and completed a one-year internship at Temeke Regional Referral Hospital in Dar es Salaam.
Selemani says, “I love my work with Global Volunteers because it allows me to share my knowledge and skills on health issues directly with the community and improve their health outcomes.” Smiling broadly, he adds, “My favorite part of my job is seeing a pregnant mother who came with labor pains and left my delivery room with a bright smile after a successful delivery.”
RCP, he claims, is “like a dream come true for me. I love being a part of these changes in this community.” He’d like the program to expand to all regions of the country, “where pregnant mothers can have access to free medical services from the best medical service providers and their children. So they don’t worry about their health since they have a free access to nutrients and food from the program right at their doorstep.”
In his free time, Selemani likes to visit his family and two-year-old daughter, Yusra, in Darajani village in the Tanga Region.
“I love being a part of these changes in this community. I would like to see a program like this across the whole country — where pregnant mothers can have access to free medical services from the best medical service providers. So they don’t worry about their health since they have a free access to nutrients and food from the program right at their doorstep. ”– Selemani Salim, Midwife at Ipalamwa General Clinic
Pharmaceutical Technician Tazamia Jofrey Nzogela
Tazamia supports all the clinic’s pharmacological services by stocking, assembling, and distributing medication; maintaining pharmaceutical inventory; and ensuring the pharmacy complies with procedures, rules, and regulations for a safe and clean facility.
Tazamia was born and raised in Kilolo in the Iringa region of Tanzania. She earned a diploma as a Pharmaceutical Technician from Ruaha Catholic University. She is registered and licensed by the Tanzania Health Pharmaceutical Council under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
Tazamia says she enjoys working with volunteers because she appreciates sharing new ideas and each other’s cultures with them. They’re helping younger generations realize their dreams, she says, and their presence has brought about many positive changes in the community, especially hygiene. In her free time, Tazamia loves watering the RCP Center EarthBoxes.
Well-baby Attendant and Clinic Manager Assistant Veronica Kiwola
Veronica assists with many aspects of the day-to-day clinic operations, such as checking in patients, managing RCP child measurement spreadsheets, monitoring clinic supplies, and answering phones when necessary. She also helps take accurate and timely measurements, and performs minor initial patient screening and other well-baby procedures for RCP moms.
Veronica earned a certificate of nursing from Ruaha Emergency Care and Home Nursing school and worked as a nursing attendant at Mission Clinic for five years in St. Charles Borromeo. She was born and raised in Ipalamwa. The first-born in a family of five children, she has three sisters and one brother, and is mother to two-year-old daughter Pretty Issa.
Veronica says she most enjoys taking children’s measurements and educating mothers about the importance of tracking their children’s growth. “It is very lovely for me and mothers to see children get nutritious food and receive treatment when they’re sick.” That’s where Global Volunteers helps out the most. “What impresses me the most is their intention to help the community and care for the workers. I believe having volunteers in our community is helping us a lot and providing opportunities for cultural exchange.” Then she adds, “And we have fun with them.” In her free time, Veronica likes to perform traditional dances and play netball with her family and friends.
Clinic Receptionist Herman Mtengela
Herman welcomes and admits patients, checks their vital signs, identifies who needs emergency care, and directs them to where they wait for their medical appointment.
He earned a certificate of laboratory technology from Mafinga Huruma Medical Training Center in Iringa, Tanzania and worked in the laboratory of Cardinal Rugambwa Hospital in Dar es Salaam for two years. He was the first-born in his family, and raised in Ipalamwa with two brothers and two sisters.
“It’s a lovely feeling to help especially children grow up with good health both mentally and physically,” Herman says. “I love working with volunteers in my community – where I was born and raised – to ensure mothers and children receive adequate nutrition and to provide hygiene education. It’s so needed here. Global Volunteers’ program in Tanzania is the best because it helps people by providing education to the community that improves their lives.”
In his free time, Herman spends time with his family, studies the Bible, does agricultural work, and exercises.
“I love working with volunteers in my community – where I was born and raised – to ensure mothers and children receive adequate nutrition and to provide hygiene education. It’s so needed here. Global Volunteers’ program in Tanzania is the best because it helps people by providing education to the community that improves their lives.”– Herman Mtengela, IGC Receptionist
The IGC staff members pour their talent and concern for patients into their work every day to ensure the excellence of care that has become the clinic’s hallmark. They eagerly and warmly welcome you to learn and serve alongside them in beautiful Ipalamwa.
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