SIP is run by volunteers in Canada which means approximately 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to Igoma
In May of 1998, a team of 13 people from Stouffville travelled to Igoma, Tanzania, in East Africa. They built a building that they believed would one day become a medical clinic. In May 2003 another team returned to refurbish the clinic building, and sent a container with medicine, clinic furnishings and medical equipment to get the facility established and working in the community. A board of directors for the Urafiki Health Clinic was established in country, and by August of 2003, a doctor was hired and working with other staff to offer medical services to the people of Igoma.
Back in Stouffville, a presentation was made to the town council to adopt Igoma as a “partnership” town. The idea was that Stouffville would find ways to support and build connections with the town of Igoma. The council approved the project unanimously, and in September of 2003, the Stouffville Igoma Partnership (SIP) began.
The project was publicly launched on December 28, 2003, at a nondenominational church service where over 1,000 people were in attendance. In January 2006 SIP, a humanitarian effort, was approved as a Registered Charitable organization incorporated under the laws of Canada. The SIP Committee is making presentations to service clubs, schools, businesses and other groups where they are invited to show what we are trying to accomplish and how Whitchurch-Stouffville residents can play a part.
Canadian Board of Directors
Justin Kerswill – Chair Marcus Gordon – I-CARE Director/Vice Chair Michael Kennedy – Treasurer Judy Wideman – Secretary Mark Leonituk - Member Kaitlin Richardson - Member
SIP Members must be at least 18 years of age, be a Canadian citizen, be able to attend and vote at Annual General Meetings and Member meetings, and undertake/assist with fundraising and/or other special projects. Members vote in Board of Director individuals for two year terms. If you are interested in becoming a SIP Member please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a Membership Application Form.
Population – 70,000 people Average household income – $300 / year (primarily work in agriculture) Unemployment rate – Approximately 80% Social services – none Utilities – sporadic electricity Water – unclean
Each school has approximately 2,000 students, with as many as 100 – 120 students per class. Classes often have dirt floors and 3 – 4 students share a single desk. One quarter of all students have to sit on the floor. Children are required to wear a uniform ($10 cost). Without funds and a uniform they can not attend.
SIP’s goal is to encourage local Stouffville schools to participate by being pen pals or providing financial assistance for uniforms and sports equipment.
Secondary education is virtually impossible due to costs. It is estimated that less than 20% of primary school children will attend secondary shool.
One medical clinic is available – built and operated by SIP. It is operational 24 hours a day and recently built on the property is a mother child facility whereby mothers can receive proper care, support and education regarding their new born babies. The biggest killer in Africa is Malaria. An estimated 3,000 children die daily with over half under the age of five. SIP can save lives by buying and hanging $6.00 mosquito nets! Since 2003, SIP has purchased and hung approximately 500 mosquito nets per year.
Igoma’s water is pumped in from Lake Victoria at two stations at the outskirts of town. The supply is sporadic and unclean. A water purification system (sand & stone filter system) has been installed in the medical clinic. Several Poly Tanks have also been set up outside the clinic and at schools to catch rain water. SIP will continue to partner with others like Elephant Thoughts to install rain water catch systems at schools and around the village as funds become available.
How SIP is Helping
SIP has been taking on projects in Igoma since 2003. Its focus for the past 3 years has been the expansion of the Urafiki Health Clinic (UHC). In March 2019, the building of a minor surgical theater was completed. In the coming months equipment will be purchased so that the UHC will be able to offer a greater range of health care services to the people in Igoma, Mwanza.
SIP is constantly undertaking projects to help our friends in Igoma. The extent to which SIP can help is directly dependent on money received through fundraising and donations. Recently Completed Projects & Initiatives
Clinic renovations and repairs (2010)
Ongoing purchase and delivery of mosquito nets
Installation of reverse osmosis water purification system
Clinic is now operating 24 hours/day, 7 days a week
Installed wireless Internet at the Urafiki Health Centre
Purchased and installed a water purification system for the Urafiki Health Centre
Improved laboratory facilities at the Urafiki Health Centre
Purchased land and built a clinic expansion to increase storage space and provide Mother Child Infant Care Centre services (completed March 2008)
Provided an ultrasound (delivered in December 2006) and medical supplies
Continuing to improve laboratory facilities at the Urafiki Health Centre
Providing Mother Child Infant Care Centre services
Providing basic hygiene instruction
Investigating water purification options for Igoma residents
Furnishing our newly constructed minor surgical theater (see right)
Obtaining additional much needed medical equipment
Eye and dental clinic services
AIDS/HIV training and compassionate assistance
Installing 3 – 5 water purification stations in the town, estimated to cost $500 – $1,000 per station
Providing a facility for education expansion, including community health and micro businesses
Providing needed medical equipment and supplies
Providing VETA scholarships that include tuition, meals, board and tool kits
Supporting a Secondary School Tuition program
Working with local (Stouffville) and neighbouring businesses, service clubs, churches and residents for financial support and assistance with fundraising initiatives