Mwangaza Tanzania

4330 North Oakley Avenue , Chicago, Illinois 60618

Children born with disabilities or medical problems in remote villages of Tanzania face a bleak future, made worse by prejudice and poverty. Rex grantee Mwangaza Tanzania(“Mwangaza” means “beacon” in Swahili) seeks out these children and matches them with the best medical resources. They also conduct health education classes to address preventable diseases and medical problems. 

Mwangaza Tanzania, a registered Tanzanian non-governmental organization, is directed by its founder, Ms. Paula Gremley.  This organization offers physically disabled children in isolated, rural villages their first medical referral service. Paula and her staff of Tanzanian professionals conduct “outreach safaris” to remote villages, where they hold clinics to locate and assess disabled children. They connect the children with programs and facilities that can provide the medical services they need, which may include corrective surgery, interim care, and rehabilitation. Using culturally sensitive intervention, Mwangaza Tanzania works with families and village leaders, providing health education and helping the disabled to become contributing members of their communities.

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For many children with disabilities in Tanzania’s remote villages, Mwangaza (“beacon” in Swahili) is a lifeline to essential medical services. Founder/director Paula Gremley and Amiri Bakari take their  Land Cruiser (funded in part by grants from Rex in 2003 and 2004) on “outreach safaris,” seeking out seriously ill children and those with correctable deformities. Once they’ve located these children and assessed their needs, they work with medical and other aid organizations in the area to transport the young patients to the Tanzanian city of Arusha for treatment and corrective surgery.