When people come together for a cause greater than themselves – to bring hope to others – good things happen.
In the midst of September storms and Midwest heat, hundreds of people gathered for a private benefit concert in Illinois to raise funds for the Sombetini Health Center in Arusha, Tanzania. Headlining the concert was country music star and Grammy award winning artist Darius Rucker.
Organized by New DAWN Africa and held on the grounds of a large family farm, the benefit concert was a huge success despite the thunderstorms and driving rain threatening to cancel it. Undeterred by the bad weather, Rucker and his band entertained the enthusiastic crowd far past his scheduled time. Rucker, who performed at MATTER’s 2016 Gala, energized the crowd and helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for the hospital in Arusha.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Tanzania faces many challenges around healthcare infrastructure, including chronic shortages of medical staff, and facilities that are underfunded and lack adequate medical technology. Maternal and pediatric care are especially lacking. Yet, even in the midst of this dire situation, there is hope.
The Sombetini Health Center was built in 2011 as part of the mission work of Sacred Heart Parish, a local ministry serving this impoverished community outside of Arusha. Constructed with funds donated by parishioners, the completed facility is now waiting for the medical equipment and supplies that will allow it to serve the people of Sombetini.
With the help of eager partners and generous donors, MATTER is excited to procure the equipment and supplies to facilitate the opening of the Sombetini Health Center. A 3-story, 60-bed maternity and pediatric hospital, it will specialize in advanced surgical procedures, maternal care and laboratory services. This will be the only hospital of its kind in the region to focus on maternal and child health needs.
The project will also include training on surgical procedures, EMR and infection control systems to expand outreach beyond the hospital to the greater population.
On a recent MATTER Insight Trip to Arusha, Suzanne Chochrek had the opportunity to tour the empty facility and see the potential impact it will have on the community in Sombetini. The visit left her inspired.
“Our family was overwhelmed and humbled by the enthusiasm of the parishioners of Sacred Heart of Sombetini. They have given themselves to building a hospital to care for their brothers and sisters and their progress shows what can be accomplished with that kind of dedication and faith.”
The Sombetini Health Center stands as testimony to the good that is accomplished when people come together for a cause greater than themselves. We look forward to the day it is a fully operational hospital serving the people in this community.
If you would like to see the project in Arusha and experience our impact first-hand, we invite you to join MATTER on an Insight Trip to Tanzania June 9-19, 2019.
We also invite you to join us for our 18th annual Night to MATTER Gala on October 13th. Join us for an incredible evening to celebrate the impact of MATTERnation and support our bold vision for a healthier world.
Together, we can continue to bring hope and health to people next door and around the world.