Ukoma Hutibika – leprosy is curable!

RTL_logo_Colour 250 x 250Rufiji Leprosy Trust is a charitable trust supporting the Kindwitwi Leprosy Care Centre in the Rufiji area of Tanzania.

The care centre assists in:

~ finding and treating people living with leprosy in the Rufiji area
~ supporting people all people affected by leprosy throughout the Rufiji area
~ promoting self-sufficiency of people living with leprosy and their families.

As leprosy is curable, many think the disease is no longer a problem, however it is listed as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) by the World Health Organisation, which means it is especially common in some of the world’s poorest areas.

The Trust prides itself on being totally managed by volunteer Trustees; the only paid employees are those who carry out the Trust’s work in Tanzania.

Please read on to find out more about our work, to make a donation or to catch up on the latest news.

Latest News

A sad farewell to Val - Trustee Update

After many years as a Trustee of Rufiji Leprosy Trust, Val Mead has decided it's time to step down. Even Val can't remember exactly when her involvement with RLT began. She became aware of the work of RLT when she helped her teaching colleague, Ernest Polack, work the photocopier to produce the RLT newsletter. She then helped with various secretarial duties before becoming a trustee herself after her retirement from teaching.

Val Mead sitting on a train
Val Mead - Former Trustee RLT

In the twenty or so years Val has been a Trustee she has contributed hugely to the work of RLT. She made many trips to Tanzania and was a vital link between Kindwitwi village and the trustees in the UK. The relationships she forged in Tanzania enabled the KLCCDA to be formed and laid the foundations for the current model where RLT provides the funds to a partner organisation.

In her role as RLT secretary Val was most definitely the life blood of the board.  Val collated copy and printed and posted out the newsletter for very many years. The fact that what Val did on her own producing the newsletter, is now shared across three trustees is testament to the many hours Val devoted to RLT.  For most of her professional career, Val was a teacher of Economics both in schools and at the University of East Anglia. She has worked for the GAP organisation, being responsible for preparing and placing volunteers in both South Africa and Tanzania.

The Trustees are particularly grateful for the personal support she has given them, her professionalism and attention to detail, all of which have enabled the smooth running of RLT. Val brought an energy and passion to the board that was infectious and uplifting.  There was always a lot of laughter when Val was at a board meeting and her stories and wonderful way with words will be a loss for us all. She will be very much missed, and we wish her and her husband well now she has retired from the role.

Val Mead
Val Mead- Former Trustee on a visit to Tanzania

Thank you, Val for all the time, effort and love that you put into RLT.  The legacy of your work will be forever imprinted in the Trust and in the hearts of the Trustees.

Click to read full story

Education and Sponsorship Update

Acheni- an RLT sponsored student

RLT understands that the consequences of leprosy are not just physical or psychological; it can have an impact on a family’s opportunities for generations to come.  That is why, through your generous donations, RLT is able to support young people, who are the children of Leprosy patients, to gain access to education through scholarships.  One of the young people that you support is called, Acheni.  She is in her third year of an electrical engineering degree and doing extremely well.  Recently, Acheni told us about the work placement that she has been doing with Tanesco, which is the sole provider of electricity in Tanzania.  She had the opportunity to develop new skills and really start putting her knowledge into practice.  Acheni really is a pioneer from Kindwitwi especially as it is not always easy for young women to work in this sector. Here is a selfie that Acheni took on a building site during her work experience that she asked us to share with you.

We remain very grateful to you; RLT supporters who enable us to support these young people from Kindwitwi to have these kinds of opportunities.  Through their hard work and dedication can thrive and be successful.

Click to read full story

Covid-19 in Kindwitwi and Leprosy Update

Covid 19 and its Consequences

Tanzania is suffering from Covid-19 as other places of this world. Currently, we are happy to share that Kindwitwi has no one detected with Covid-19 but we are still suffering from its consequences.  Like many countries around the world schools have been closed to try to stop the virus spreading.  All students have been at home since mid March and we do not know when they will go back.  This means that for lots of students it will be difficult to do well in their exams because they have not had the opportunity to study for a long time.  The Government has announced that it wants to open Colleges and Form six students in June but Kindergarten, Primary School and Secondary school O-level will have to wait.

Leprosy News

One new leprosy patient was detected. The person is male, he is adult with disability grade 2 at Ikwiriri Village.

Mzee Saidi

We would like to inform you that our long time patient Mzee Saidi has passed away.  He died on the 15th April 2020. His death was caused by old age. Mzee Saidi left 5 children who are now all grown up.  His smile and warm sense of humour will be deeply missed by all who know him.

The RLT Trustees would also wish to extend, on behalf of our supporters, our deepest condolences to his family.

Click to read full story