We are Matamba Aid Society.
We are the former Matamba Mission of St. Joseph Parish in Ishpeming. We have assisted in the construction of the first health care facility in the Matamba area and will continue to support the continued growth of this facility in the following manner:
- Purchasing needed equipment.
- Reducing the high mortality rate of newborns.
- To share and/or exchange continuing medical education with the Tanzanian hospital staff.
- Bringing specialty medical teams to provide free or low cost care to people of the area.
More about us:
Why Matamba, Tanzania?
- We were invited by a former Tanzanian seminary student, Fr. Jim Challancin, former pastor of St. Joseph Parish, to assist in funding the construction and operation of a healthcare center.
- Due to its remote location, the Matamba Region has one of the highest mortality rates of mothers and newborns in the country.
- Tanzania is committed to decreasing maternal and infant mortality.
- Matamba is a remote mountain region and the St. John’s Healthcare Center is able to provide greatly needed healthcare services to all people of this remote region.
Where is Matamba?
Matamba is a 500 mile drive south of the metropolitan port city of Dar Es Salaam and is located on a 1.5 mile high plateau in the Kipengere Mountains (see above map). At the village of Chimala you turn left. This rugged trail (you need a 4×4) winds up over 1.25 miles in elevation and has 57 hairpin turns. The remote village of Matamba is the first and largest of the thirty small villages a visitor encounters on this plateau. Total population of the area is estimated to be 30,000. Subsistence farming is what sustains the population.
Matamba is a village with 1918 inhabitants. The cluster (ward) Matamba includes seven villages with a total of 13 250 people. If district includes the three clusters of seven villages, Mlondwe 8 and Kitolo with four villages. The whole district Matamba has 30 350 inhabitants and the whole area covers an area of 850 square kilometers
Matamba is located in Makete District, Iringa region, in the southern highlands of Tanzania. It lies between the mountains of Chimala in the north and Kitulo plateau (National Park) in the west and east. Geographically, the area that is isolated from the rest of the district.
The area is quite mountainous located approximately 2286 meters above sea level. In general, it is there for cooling at a temperature of about 5 to 20 degrees celsius and 25 degrees celsius in June from August to January. In the wet season, which runs from November to April, there is approximately 1500 mm of rain.
Social life: women are kept small in accordance with tribal customs rule and considered to be very serviceable. They work on the land to provide food for their families. This consists mainly of maize and potatoes. The men are still looking for work, but turn them often return with HIV or AIDS. They then infect their wives.
The people in the village live a very poor life in their humble homes. They usually had little schooling. Usually they have no income of their own. They must see to survive on less than one euro per day. They are in every field arm.