Africa Bridge Gains USAID Grant for Development Work in Tanzania

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Africa Bridge, a non governmental organization, has been awarded a United States Agency for International Development grant to expand its programs for assisting small Tanzanian farmers, who care for orphaned and vulnerable children.

Africa Bridge announced that it has received a grant as part of IMARISHA, which means “strengthening” in Swahili, a five-year program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The program strives to mitigate the huge economic costs faced by individuals and families coping with HIV/AIDS and helps them to build better household safety nets.

Africa Bridge is an Oregon nonprofit that assists vulnerable children and children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in rural Tanzania villages. In some villages, more than 40% of children are orphans or otherwise are vulnerable due to the disease. The funding will be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of dairy cow cooperatives in providing sustainable livelihoods for subsistence farmers in remote Tanzania villages.

“Africa Bridge and IMARISHA share the same goal to strengthen sustainable economic livelihoods of children and their families most impacted by HIV/AIDS,” said Barry Childs, founder, Africa Bridge. “Since its inception in 2000, Africa Bridge has helped nearly 6,000 children in Tanzania, along with their guardians and whole villages. With this grant, Africa Bridge will be able to establish co-op groups in five villages in the Mpombo Ward of the southwestern highlands in Tanzania.” The Abbott Fund is also supporting this project.

The grant-funded project provides immediate co-op membership for 60 families who care for vulnerable children. Each family will receive a hybrid cow - milk production about three times higher than indigenous cows - along with intensive training in animal husbandry, business skills, and entrepreneurship. In return, they will donate a calf to the co-op so that more families can join every year.

Capital and training for farm co-ops are a core element in the development efforts conducted by Africa Bridge in the rural villages of Tanzania. Additional projects include school scholarships, micro loans, livestock care, classroom and medical clinic construction, and support for Tanzania's Most Vulnerable Children Committees (MVCCs) that deliver psychosocial counseling and paralegal support.

About Africa Bridge

Africa Bridge is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 2000. Centered on the needs of orphans and other vulnerable children, Africa Bridge promotes family self-sufficiency, empowers women, and bolsters whole villages in rural Tanzania through integrated, sustainable development programs. See: http://www.africabridge.org for more information.

Media contacts:
Ellen Worcester or Gary Grossman
503.936.1945/ 503.568.5251
eworces(at)gmail(dot)com

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John OLear
Africa Bridge
+1 (503) 699-6162
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