Maternal and Child Health

Women Making It Happen in Tanzania

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate women across the globe who are inspiring change in their communities. At Kupona Foundation, we are lucky enough to meet and work with women like this every day as we pull together to improve access to quality healthcare for vulnerable people in Tanzania.

Their dedication, endurance, and compassion are changing lives, building stronger communities, and creating better futures for other women and families in Tanzania.

Mama Millinga: A beacon of hope and support for Tanzania’s most vulnerable women

Mama Millinga:  A beacon of hope and support for Tanzania’s most vulnerable women Photo credit: Sala Lewis
Photo credit: Sala Lewis

Mama Millinga works with our partner, CCBRT, and is responsible for the full spectrum of rehabilitative care for obstetric fistula patients at CCBRT’s hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Utilizing various techniques, including physiotherapy, art, music, group and individual counselling, Mama Millinga addresses not only the physical effects of fistula, but also the emotional and psychological impact of years of loss, rejection, and marginalization.

“When I see women who have been abandoned or beaten by their husbands, excluded by their families, it hurts me a lot.”

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Esther: A story of endurance and recovery

Photo credit: Erin Keating
Photo credit: Erin Keating

Esther arrived at the health center in Tanga, Tanzania as a 24-year-old expectant mother and businesswoman, with a supportive family and a bright future. She returned home with a healthy baby, but also a devastating condition that threatened to diminish that future. Obstetric fistula.

When asked what message she would like to send to other women in Tanzania who are living with fistula, she replied: “Fistula is treatable. When you have fistula, go to CCBRT [Kupona’s local partner] for treatment.”

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Patricia Potts: Compassion that knows no distance

Photo credit: Janet Blackwood
Photo credit: Janet Blackwood

When Pat visited our partner, CCBRT, in Tanzania, the stories of thousands of children whose families struggle to afford high quality treatment really resonated. As a mother, she felt compelled to do more.

“It was humbling, and I am so fortunate. If I could not assist these mothers who do so much for their children, how could I, as a mother, reconcile my good fortune of merely living in the U.S. and accept their hospitality?”

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These women are evidence that major improvements can happen for women, because of women, and they are happening now. Inspired? We are too. If you would like to learn more about Kupona Foundation, how we work with our partner CCBRT, or how you can get involved with the life-changing work we are doing in Tanzania, please visit our website:, or contact us directly at

Written by Abbey Kocan
Executive Director, Kupona Foundation
Follow us on Twitter: @KuponaFdn, or Facebook

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Category: Maternal and Child Health
Tagged with: CCBRT    Fistula    Kupona Foundation    Maternal Health    Obstetric Fistula    Tanzania    Women Inspire