Nurse from Tanzania recently visited Wilkes

Nurse+from+Tanzania+recently+visited+Wilkes

Alyssa Mursch, Staff Writer

With a scarce amount of available health care and limited resources, over 30% of children have been left orphaned by HIV AIDS in Tanzania. It is Zebra Communications’, a student-run public relations firm,  intent to help provide for these children.

Over the past four years, Zebra has raised over $13,000 to help provide orphaned children in Tanzania with basic necessities, such as food, shelter, but they also help pay for their education.

“It costs about $1,100 a year to provide housing, school, books, shoes, and food for one of the children,” said Dr. Jane Elmes-Crahall, the head of Zebra.

To raise money, Zebra has held many fundraising events such as a dodge ball tournament a formal gala, and many other silent auctions and events.

Currently, Zebra is sponsoring four children through the nonprofit organization Embrace a Child.

By sponsoring the children, they are able to further their education.

“We have so many resources here compared to the possibilities for people there,” said Dr. Linda

Winkler, special assistant to the Provost and director of Global Outreach. Winkler originally brought the idea to Zebra.

After sponsoring these children for several years and following their progress, receiving biographies and pictures, many of the students working with the campaign say they have become  emotionally invested in them.

“We hold this process close to our hearts,” said Haley Adam, co-manager of the Embrace a Child account team. “Not only are we helping other people but it’s nice to know we were a part of  something like that.”

On April 12, Zebra will be working with the Wilkes’ Student Athletic Advisory Committee to put together a Charity Challenge. At the cost of $5 per person, both members of the community and Wilkes’ students can compete in teams of four. This event will incorporate several sports, including some of Tanzanian origin. Proceeds from this event will be shared among Embrace a Child, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Special Olympics.

One of the students Zebra has sponsored, Kahinga, has utilized this program to its fullest, as he just finished the equivalency of community college and will be taking a test in February in hopes of moving on to a university.

“It’s amazing what these kids are doing with their lives,” said Adam.

Those involved say the children show immense gratitude for the efforts that Zebra puts forth, portraying just how much of a difference this program is making in their lives.

“They make a point of thanking us,” said Elmes-Crahall. “Kahinga doesn’t have access to computers often, but when he does he will email. They [the emails] always start with ‘thank you so much for what you do.’”

Maria Nassola, who is a nurse from Tanzania, recently visited Wilkes. She works as a midwife while also giving health lessons over the radio, which plays a large role in advocating proper health care in her community.

Nassola spoke of the need for education and medical training in Tanzania, stating that there is only one hospital that is split to accommodate two districts, both of 700,000 each. Not only are they understaffed, but only a handful of workers know how to do many of the procedures, and they are severely lacking in technology advancements.

“We’re providing hope, providing possibilities, and creating capacity for individuals who wouldn’t have an opportunity otherwise,” said Winkler.

For more information about the upcoming fundraiser, contact Dr. Jane Elmes-Crahall at [email protected]