In 2010, MRI, took a medical team to Maswa, Tanzania, which has a population of around 1.5 million people, who have little or no resources available for medical and dental care. During that time, we identified a young woman who showed tremendous leadership ability, who also had a desire to further her education in the field of dentistry. MRI made the decision to sponsor Dr. Ashley Lucas, who after 5 years of training earned her DDS degree.
Property was then purchased in Maswa, and funds were raised to begin building the Barikiwa Health Center. A well was dug, and water began flowing in 2016, concurrent to the groundbreaking of the beautiful 5,000 square feet facility. Completion of the Health Center will be in three phases:
- Phase 1 - Build the 5,000 square feet clinic. This phase includes digging a well which gives 7,000 liters of fresh water per day.
- Phase 2 - Surgical theater for more complex surgeries, to be performed by visiting surgeons to train local physicians.
- Phase 3 - Community Center for tutoring, vocational training, etc.
The Tanzanian government has sent representatives to visit the compound, and the people are excited about the quality, low-cost care for those who could not otherwise afford it.
Although major donors have made it possible for the completion of the first phase of the health center, funds are still needed to completed the next 2 phases, as well as fund the ongoing administrative costs.