Update

We were incredibly busy last week. We finished shipping the bags through DHL, met with the new bag cooperative twice, met with KCMC to discuss an alternative healthcare program and preventative medical program for the children who are served by BCC, and visited 9 of the 11 centers to develop a plan to make each center safe, accessible, and child friendly. While we still have a few pieces to pick up this week, we are still very happy about our productivity last week.

The meeting at KCMC was incredible! Our contact through KCMC, Dr. Declare, was incredibly helpful at the meeting and throughout this process. Due to time confusion we were not at the meeting. We were told 2:00. We assumed that was western time because the meeting was rescheduled from 2:00 pm the day before. There is a little known fact that there is also an East Africa time. In East Africa time, the 12:00 hour is at 6 am and 6 pm, as opposed to noon and midnight. There is a 6 hour shift, so we have to clarify every time that is told to us. Apparently we forgot to do that this time. The BCC staff was also confused about the time (which shows how confusing the time is, even to Tanzanians!) and had to rush to the 8:00 meeting.

Unfortunately, we missed the 8:00 am (2:00 East African time) meeting. However, the BCC staff did an amazing job presenting the program to the KCMC Community Health Director.

KCMC is incredibly interested in working with BCC to establish both a preventative healthcare program as well as a fast-tracking program for the children served by BCC. Currently, most children served by BCC do not receive preventative medical visits. Also, if a child with disabilities is taken to a doctor’s office or hospital, they are forced to wait for longer periods of time than other patients due to the Tanzanian culture on disability. This has resulted in caregivers becoming disenchanted by the medical system.

The plan will need to be modified as things develop, but here is the general idea. KCMC will send doctor volunteers to each of the 11 BCC day centers twice a year. Those doctors will check height, weight, temperature, and other biometrics, and run lab tests on each of BCC’s 197 children. If a child is discovered to be ill, or if throughout the year a child becomes ill, they will be able to be seen immediately by a doctor and “fast-tracked” through their medical facility.

With current cost estimations, a year of preventative healthcare and 4-5 doctor visits should cost around $30 per child. We will finalize the cost of the program and pilot the program within a few months and then we will have an exact cost for each child for one year. We are working with Mosaic to develop a fundraising program, so if you are interested in assisting a child with healthcare for one year, either email us at john.melissa.tanzania@gmail.com or contact Mosaic at jaimie.anderson-hoyt@mosaicinfo.org.

In the blogs this week we will discuss our experience at DHL in Tanzania. We are learning that, even when the company is the same, businesses internationally and within our own country operate much differently! We will also talk about several children from the U.S. who have recently donated money to the BCC project.

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