The primary purpose of the Kilimanjaro Children's Fund is to provide financial support and assistance to the children in the Kilimanjaro region who were members of the now closed Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre or who are at risk because they are orphans, homeless, sick or living in extreme poverty. This activity involves grant assistance for school placement, medical assistance and interim housing help between semesters for those children we support. We primarily work with children. Grants are awarded on an individual basis after insuring that financial accountability and oversight are in place. Our secondary goal is to educate the American public to the cultural, social, educational, medical and economic needs of the children of the Kilimanjaro region.
Greg retired from full time Emergency Medicine practice in Northern California in 2003. He began doing remote clinics in East Africa with Project Helping Hands from Portland. In 2007 he went with a high school group from Haines, Alaska to Tanzania to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. On that trip he met a guide who had started a preschool in Moshi. They formed a relationship and Greg began to go back and forth to Africa to help with projects that benefited this preschool. During this time, the preschool founder established a small orphanage named the Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre. Six months after the starting of this orphanage, Greg returned and fell in love with the 30 children that had been placed there. He went back to Alaska, placed his things in storage and then moved to Moshi in 2009 where he lived until 2016. This Kilimanjaro Children Fund was established shortly after this move with the help of friends in California and Alaska who wanted to be involved with the mission of caring for these children. While living in Moshi he would travel to nearby countries to help with remote clinics primarily done by Project Helping Hands. This work took him to Kenya, Southern Sudan and Uganda. In Uganda he met his present wife, Shannon, who was a team leader for a Project Helping Hand's group. She moved to Moshi in 2012 and became an integral partner caring for over 70 children associated with the orphanage. Eventually the orphanage closed, but while this was in process, Greg and Shannon were able to connect with family members of most of the resident children to create a partnership with them to continue caring for them. These relationships continue and today Greg and Shannon directly support 67 children. To secure ongoing financing for these children, they began a pattern shortly after their marriage of returning to America several times a year to work in Emergency Departments to make the money needed to supplement what was raised by the non-profit organization. When Greg became ill in 2016 with Myasthenia Gravis and had to leave Africa, Shannon took over the primary role of managing these children. She travels back and forth as many times a year as needed to help keep the children in good boarding schools and training programs. Once Greg became well enough to work again, he and Shannon continued their pattern of working to make the income needed to continue the mission of caring for these children.
After completing the raising of her two children working as an Emergency Department nurse in Springfield, Oregon, Shannon began to do volunteer trips to remote international areas. On one of those trips to Uganda she met Dr. Greg. They eventually married and she moved to Tanzania with him where she became the ''grandmother'' to the children of the Kilimanjaro Orphanage and the neighborhood. When the orphanage closed and Dr. Greg got sick, she assumed all of the work that needed to be done to continue to care for the children that came under our care. She also has networked with a number of international aid organizations and uses her medical expertise to help children obtain medical care and surgeries. This means she must travel to and from Africa multiple times a year to be sure our children are in good schools and have safe places to stay between semesters either at a home we provide or with relatives.
Many children in the Kilimanjaro Region do not have access to quality medical care. Our clinics help identify health issues that may otherwise go undetected. We have granted money to provide treatment that would otherwise not be avaiable in Tanznia.
Education is the cornerstone of our efforts. The only way for these children to elevate themselves out of the vicious cycle of poverty is to acquire a strong education. We take pride in sending many of the orphan children we work with to the best schools the region has to offer.
There are numerous orphanages in the region. Many are barely getting by on very limited resources. We help provide funding and infrastructure to numerous orphanages, so that they become progressive in providing children a better life.
Kilimanjaro Children's Fund
P.O. Box 1126
Haines, Alaska 99827
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© 2015 Kilimanjaro Children's Fund. All rights reserved.
The Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania attracts hundreds of thousands tourists every year, some to climb the mountain, but mostly to visit the vast amount of African wildlife in the plains that surround it. What many tourists do not realize (and are often shielded from), is the humanitarian crisis that has been brewing for the past 15 years in the form of AIDS. Modern treatment and education on the disease have started to reduce the death rate and number of people infected, but the damage has been done. AIDS related deaths have wiped out the adult demographic, which has left approximately 55% of the population under the age of 19. If a child lost their parents in the past, their village and family members usually took on the task of raising them. With the death rate being as high as it’s been, children no longer have such a safety net to rely on. This has left thousands of orphans and children at risk left to fend for themselves in very impoverished circumstances.
We are always interested in working with good people that share a common interest in making a difference in the lives of children. If you would like to volunteer or assist us in our work, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]