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Our Story

1959-2008

Dr. Louise Jilek-Aall and the roots of Provision Charitable Foundation

 

Dr. Jilek-Aall, after taking a diploma in tropical medicine in 1959, worked for three years as a physician in Tanzania in the Mahenge mountains of the Ulanga district. She discovered that the people suffered from a compulsive disorder called Kifafa, a disease we know as epilepsy. Those who had epilepsy never received medical treatment and suffered greatly from severe seizures. Believing that the seizures were caused by evil spirits the epileptics were feared and shunned even by their own family members. Epileptics came to the clinics often for help, not for epilepsy but for the burns and injuries suffered when they had seizures and fell into the cooking fire. They faced severe neglect and discrimination amongst their own people and lived lives of disgrace and humiliation. Subsequently, it was determined that the level of epilepsy in this area was 10 times the expected level in other countries. 

Seeing the incredible misery of these patients, Dr. Jilek-Aall in 1960 founded the Mahenge Epileptic Clinic. Patients and families began to receive education about epilepsy and its treatment.  But Dr. Jilek -Aall had to leave Africa after three years. However, she remained faithful to this work throughout her whole career, returning often to Tanzania, working to promote education research and medication for these people. During these years, Dr. Jilek-Aall publicized the problem in the Mahenge area, organized research trips to the area to try to determine the cause, and also worked tirelessly to obtain proper medication and promote education.
 

 

 
 
Ken and Nancy visit Mahenge

 

 

In 2009 Ken and Nancy Morrison, inspired by Dr. Jilek-Aall's dedication, travelled to Tanzania with Dr. Jilek-Aall and her daughter Martica. After visiting the clinic and the epileptic patients, it was decided that the next stage of education is to show that treated people with epilepsy can successfully be employed. Ten treated epileptic patients were employed to be involved in vegetable gardening and reforestation. The standard of living, the status in the community, and the self-esteem of these people improved dramatically.

      

​In 2011, Ken and Nancy Morrison travelled to Tanzania for a second time to review the results of the first two years of the employment program and to discuss other needs that could be addressed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Provision Charitable Foundation Begins

 

In 2011, it was also decided that education should be a priority and therefore the first university students were supported. Sister Anunsiata was assisted with the costs of her education degree, and Sharifa Chenga was also supported in her studies. Sharifa has now completed Masters in Human Resources. Provision continues to support various younger students to complete early school years. 


Provision trained the first group of beekeepers, at Kasita in 2013, and now has trained beekeepers at five locations in the Kilombero River Valley. The plan is to develop a processing centre at Ifakara and expand the beekeeping project.

 

The Kilombero river valley is unique in that the geography provides a year-round supply of water unlike other areas of Africa. However, while the water is available the problem is both accessing the water and transporting the water to where it’s is needed. Provision has funded the drilling of wells at Ifakara, Luhombero and Kwiro to ensure a year-round supply. Provision has also assisted with water distribution and irrigation by supplying pumps,  storage tanks and irrigation hoses and sprinklers. At Kwiro the underground water pipes installed in the 1930s were collapsing so Provision funded the upgrade to the system required to provide water to the local farmers and villages.


Provision also started supporting medical students at Saint Francis medical school. The medical school has a five-year general practice program and intakes students from the poorer rural areas of the country. Many are unable to fund their own education. Provision provided a combination of loans and grants to students who had successfully completed the first year of medical school and were having to drop out for financial reasons. The students were to be equally divided between women and men. By 2020, Provision had helped graduate 21 doctors, ten women and eleven men.

Provision become aware of the desperate need for oral health and dental health care in 2015. Ken and Nancy Morrison and Dr. Jeff Hackett, a dentist, travelled to evaluate whether there are possibilities to assist in the chronic oral and dental health needs of this country. It was determined that the need is so severe that without medical assistance many Tanzanians are simply unable to lead healthy, normal lives. In 2016, Dr Ken Stones travelled to Tanzania to prepare for the arrival of the first dental team, which arrived in Tanzania from Canada later the same year. In 2017, Kelly Antosh and the first Oral hygiene team travelled to Tanzania. In September 2019, the second dental team travelled to Tanzania. 

Provision then began to assist with the development of a maternity ward at Kwiro. The basic construction was completed by 2019 but still needs equipment, supplies and staff to begin the operations. 

Engineering Ministries International is commissioned to complete a master plan for the future development of St. Francis University College of Health and Allied Sciences, Ifakara (SFUCHAS). The construction of an on-campus women’s residence began in September 2018, and the residence was opened in October 2019.

In 2019, Provision also committed to begin construction of schools at Luhombero and Tunduru. Engineering Ministries International was commissioned to develop a master plan for the Tunduru girls’ school. The Luhombero primary school construction began in 2020 with the opening scheduled for January 2022.

In 2020, we could not travel to Tanzania because of Covid 19, but Provision began supporting three graduate doctors in speciality programs: Emanuel in Obstetrics, Eveline in Orthopaedics and Dan in Public Health.

 In 2021, Provision started the Community Dental Health Worker Program. The same we also committed to supporting Oliver, a female student in law school, with the objective of championing women’s and children’s rights after her graduation.

 

 

 

 


 

Dr.Louise in Tanzania 1959
Dr.Louise Jill-Aall with Fr.Placid Kindata
Dr.Louise in Tanzania
Dr.Louise, nurse, and Nancy

2009-2011

2012-2021

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