African SMILE History

Answering a call to help revitalize Iambi Lutheran Hospital, a group of dedicated Christians from the Pacific Northwest travelled to Tanzania in 2003 to spend a month sharing their faith, skills and experiences to help address the needs of the hospital.  A year later, this group formally incorporated African S.M.I.L.E. as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and began a concentrated program to promote the principles of Christianity while providing the resources necessary for Iambi Hospital and Nkungi village to become self-sufficient.

In the 9 years since it began sending volunteers to Tanzania over 137 individuals have shared their faith and skills with the people of the Singida region.  With each volunteer spending on average from two to four weeks in the region the number of volunteer hours is countless.  By raising or covering their own travel expenses they have contributed in excess of $650,000 to the cause.  Volunteers with construction experience are charged with training the locals to perform the necessary labor.  Medical volunteers work alongside local personnel to treat the sick in the outer villages, while other volunteers help out in the local schools.  The primary goal of the volunteers is to share their faith and skills so the people of Singida are able to work towards self-sufficiency.

Through the generosity of the Moris Foundation over $600,000 has been spent directly on materials, supplies, equipment and local labor to further the work of African S.M.I.L.E.  With volunteers covering their own travel expenses, all monies raised by African S.M.I.L.E. are spent in Singida for the betterment of their community.

It has been a great joy and blessing for African S.M.I.L.E. to be able to work with the Singida people and accomplish so much in nine years.  We give thanks and praise to our gracious Lord for making all of this possible.  We thank retired Bishop Sima and his staff for their cooperation and help. We thank Dr. Ngowi and his staff for their overall direction and appreciation for the work completed at Iambi Lutheran Hospital. We are also very grateful for the skills and hard work performed by the nationals hired who have made the projects become a reality. And finally we express our gratitude to those whose generous donations have made this all possible.