What We Did in 2014

Posted · Add Comment

 GRA_tree_SQ  WHAT WE DID IN 2014

Rural Water Supply

  • Completed 18 successful community wells with drilling equipment funded by Irish NGO Gorta.   This brings the total number of wells completed since inception of the Maji Mengi (Abundant Water) program in 2009 to 99 – serving approximately 35,000 people, mostly in Mara’s least developed district, Rorya.
  • With the help of UK volunteer Ben Hargreaves, designed and installed our first solar submersible pump system. We’re scheduled to install a large solar system in collaboration with US non-profit Engineers Without Borders in January, 2015 at SHED Foundation (Shirati Health, Education & Development) and another system at a secondary school funded by US non-profit, One Ball, One Village.
  • Completed the demanding Underground Water Surveying and Drilling license processes of the Tanzanian Contractors Review Board which will enable us to contract directly with local governments rather than subcontract as in the past. The solar pump business and contracting licenses will both enhance the project’s financial sustainability.


  • Continued developing the Kinesi Village permaculture project with the local villagers on 8 acres of land donated to GRA by the Village Council to grow food for 35 families caring for orphans. This plot grows hundreds of trees for food, lumber and habitat, staple foods like corn, beans, sweet potatoes, sorghum, cassava and peanuts, a variety of vegetables and plants for medicinal purposes.
  • Invited permaculture expert Julious Piti from Zimbabwe back to Kinesi for a month of evaluation and dialog with all parties involved to see what could be improved in the project to meet the needs of the beneficiaries in the most effective way possible.
  • Hired UK permaculture expert, Helen Carey, to spend six months in Kinesi Village to teach and help implement permaculture projects and enhance the development of family plots.
  • Hosted interns and volunteers from around the world as well as Tanzania to spend weeks or months learning about permaculture, exchanging their work for food and accommodation in the staff housing and getting to know local members of the community.

Tree Planting

  • In collaboration with Belgian NGO, WeForest, GRA distributed more than 113,000 trees for carbon offset/social responsibility purposes on behalf of large European corporations. This brings the total number of trees planted since inception of the project in 2010 to over 350,000.
  • Maintained a team of two trainers and four permanent workers to operate the tree nursery on the 8 acre permaculture plot in Kinesi Village and planted more than thirty different kinds of trees in the nursery including fruit, medicinal, timber, ornamental, fencing and nitrogen fixing trees
  • Trained individuals, schools and community groups to plant and care for trees. Free trees were given to those individuals and groups that prepared holes to plant the trees. This year we have continued to focus our efforts on educating children to plant trees at their school grounds. Most schools have a good track record of keeping the trees alive providing care on a regular basis.
  • Celebrated the planting of WeForest’s five millionth tree (worldwide) in Kinesi Village with regional authorities, the District Commissioner and local community members. The event was televised on East African TV.

Herbal Remedies

  • Continued to grow, produce and sell herbal products at affordable prices to treat all types of tropical diseases including malaria, parasites, malnutrition, yellow fever, amoebas and tuberculosis and distribute moringa/grain amaranthus supplements that greatly enhance the wellbeing of people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions.
  • Provided free remedies for the people most in need like orphans, elders and the poorest of the poor. GRA herbalist Lucy Ndege also offered home visits for those too ill to come to the office.
  • Some of the most popular remedies produced at GRA herbal department are: Artemisia capsules, moringa superfood, neem drops, de-wormer, aloe vera capsules, mosquito repellent, eucalyptus tooth powder, neem fungal cream, comfrey cream, eucalyptus cough syrup, anti-ulcer juice etc.
  • Trained over 200 workshop participants to treat malaria and other tropical diseases using Master Mineral Supplement (MMS) with outstanding success

Support for Orphans

  • Completed the 11th consecutive year of the Tumaini kwa Watoto (Care for the Children) program that provides 72 orphans living with foster families in the Musoma area food, healthcare, school supplies, school fees for secondary school students, clothes and weekly activities at the GRA-Tz office compound.
  • Continued support for 75 families caring for orphans in Kinesi Village. The program provides some supplemental food, clothes, health care, school fees and mattresses for these children. About 35 of the families are involved in growing their own organic food at the two GRA-Tz permaculture plots. Also continued providing support for the development of family plots for the families involved in the project.
  • Hosted the 10th annual Serengeti Safari in August for 17 kids from the two GRA orphans programs and several volunteers from Deloitte Belgium who funded the event in 2014.
  • Provide after-school English, math and computer tutoring program for orphans several days a week thanks to funding and computers provided by Mara Kids, a Belgian NGO founded by Deloitte Belgium partner Benoit Vanderstichelen.
  • Provided continuing scholarships for all 9 of the kids from the two orphans programs now enrolled in colleges and universities. Two more have already graduated and found good jobs.