Boma La Mama
COCHRANE, CANADA (Cochrane Eagle) - There’s a new charity in town with the bigger picture in mind.
Boma La Mama (meaning ‘home of the mother’) is a registered Canadian charity and incorporated society with the goal of providing Tanzanian women safe maternity care and birthing centre facilities, as well as midwifery eduction and training.
The brain child of Cochrane couple Leesha and Lawrence Mafuru, Boma La Mama is in its first phase and is in the process of applying for grants, fundraising, networking and above all, creating awareness in the Cochrane community about plans to have the centre up and running in the next five years; the centre will be partly funded by the Mafurus’ Boma Africa Foundation, a non-profit outreach tourism organization, as well as fundraising.
“The government of Canada has made a commitment to improve maternal-child health globally and Tanzania is one of the countries they’ve chosen,” explained Leesha, who recently moved back home to Cochrane, with her Tanzanian husband, Lawrence Mafuru (who became one of the fastest climbers to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2009), and now five-month-old daughter, Oasis Mafuru.
Educated as a midwife in Canada with a bachelor’s degree in health and sciences, Leesha left for Tanzania in 2010 to join her then-fiance, Lawrence, where she worked as a midwife with women of the Maasai tribe. They brought modern health care and educational practices to a largely tribal people, while still respecting their cultural traditions.
Leesha said she and Lawrence wanted to do something that would create not only a safe maternity clinic and birthing centre in her husband’s native Tanzania, but to create an education program for midwives, so that the centre would eventually become self-sustaining.
“I’ve always had an interest in international aid and after working there and having a baby myself, it really magnified the need for something like this for the women and babies in Tanzania,” said Leesha, explaining that the level of care and lack of resources in Tanzania puts the birth mortality rate at an alarming one in 10 (Canada’s is less than one in 200).
Boma La Mama team member, Noel Carmichael-Mzese, is an American who has been living in Tanzania with her family for four years, working in the nutrition and education sectors.
“I believe very much in what Boma La Mama is aiming to do because I see the desperate need for these services and the desire of many young professionals in the health sector for quality training,” said Carmichael-Mzese; other Boma La Mama team members include Dr. Jorge Virchez and midwife, Marie-Eve Lord.
Leesha and Lawrence, who are also involved with the Cochrane Rotary Club, hope to be able to purchase the land in the next two years to start facility construction. To donate or learn more, visit bomalamama.com or email email@example.com.
Copyright 2013 Cochrane Eagle
Updated 445 days ago Article ID# 1523777
Boma La Mama