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

Spring news from Kindwitwi

Read the latest news from the village, written by Salum Kipoloya, our specialist shoemaker in Kindwitwi.

Update on Leprosy, village visits

"I travelled from Kindwitwi to Mloka to make and distribute protective footwear to the people affected by leprosy. During my visit, 12 people have been seen at different villages. Among them was Issa who lives at Ngorongo village."

News from the village

"The Anglican Church people from Kongowe- Dar es Salaam came at Kindwitwi to visit Kindwitwi people. They brought some gifts like maize flour 50kgs, pigeon-peas 20kg, clothes and 5l of cooking oil."

Sad news

"It has been one year since Muharami Ndete was killed by crocodile at Katundu swamp. The same problem appeared again in 13th January this year when Abdullah Seif Kimbwi from a nearby village called Katundu was killed by a crocodile early in the morning when he went to wash his clothes. Although fellow community members were able to chase to crocodile away Abdullah sadly died of his injuries. As is the custom, Abdullah Kimbwi was buried in the evening of that day."

Good News: Rajabu’s Secondary School Results

Rajabu image by Kirsty Smith

"I am pleased to inform our readers that the student who was sponsored by the Rufiji Leprosy Trust (and therefore from your generous donations) from Form I to Form IV at Utete Secondary School has passed his Form IV exams.

Rajabu will now go on to join Form V and then VI. (the school years IV and V in Tanzania are academically equivalent to first and second year sixth.)

He is one of the three students at Utete school who attained a Division II level pass. Rajabu is very happy to pass his exams; his dream is to study further until he becomes a medical doctor. Rajabu would like to thank the Rufiji Leprosy Trust for their support to date and is grateful that they have been able to commit to supporting him to study for the next two years."

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Celebrating women in Kindwitwi - part 2

This young lady, Acheni, has worked hard and has overcome many challenges as she works towards her dream of becoming an engineer.

Acheni's four grandparents came to the village many years ago when they found out they had leprosy; they were ostracised from society and had no hope and no aspirations.

On arrival in Kindwitwi, they found support and acceptance and were able to set up homes and have a family life.

Acheni attended the local school and excelled in her studies. Recognising her abilities, her parents have worked hard to ensure she could continue her studies.

This young lady has overcome many things - stereotypes stigma, and the challenge of studying for exams whilst living in a village with no mains electricity!

We are delighted she is currently in her first year studying an Electrical Engineering degree at Dar es Salaam University.

If you'd like to help young girls (and boys!) like Acheni, please donate to our dedicated education fund and give every child in Kindwitwi the opportunity to follow their dreams and to be the best that they can be.

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Celebrating women in Kindwitwi - part 1

A young Mrs Nguyu pounding maize Image credit to Mel Bu

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

In Kindwitwi, there are many remarkable women who have overcome adversity in their lives – the stigma of leprosy has been one of them!

Over 50 years ago, Mrs Nguyu arrived at Kindwitwi having been diagnosed with leprosy. Because of her diagnosis, she’d been ostracised by her village and had to leave with her child.

She already knew about Kindwitwi as her brother had moved here a few years earlier after he was diagnosed with leprosy. Here she found a safe place, where no-one was shunned and people could live their lives.

At that time there was no cure for leprosy; it was just controlled with drugs like dapsone. However, in the 1980s, Mrs Nguyu was able to have multi drug therapy and she was finally be declared fully cured from the disease.

As well as being cured of leprosy, in Kindwitwi, she also found a new partner and had several more children.

A young Mrs Nguyu working in her field Image credit to Mel Bu

Today we celebrate women like Mrs Nguyu, who overcame the stigma of leprosy and worked hard in her fields through her life to provide for her family.

She gave them a home and encouraged them to follow their dreams. With our help, her children went to school and some even went to higher education – one of her children is our centre manager Abdallah.

Mrs Nguyu now too frail to work, and she is cared for by Abdallah and his family.

She still enjoys village life and seeing her family.

Mrs Nguyu now, relaxing in the sunshine outside the family home.

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