CACHA Newsletter July 2022

Happy Summer Everyone!

We are pleased to present the second edition of our CACHA Newsletter.  We hope that you find it interesting and full of information.

Thank you for the many positive comments we received on our first Newsletter.

Please know that we are open to suggestions for content and are always looking for interesting stories.  Is there someone or some experience that you would like featured?  If so, please reach out to the CACHA office.  And we always welcome volunteers to help with newsletter!

Thank you and we hope you enjoy the content we have pulled together for you.

Your Newsletter Team

GOVERNANCECACHA’S Board of Directors – Who’s who & what is the Board’s Role

President:  Dr. D. Kilby
Vice President:  Dr. Linda Newton
Secretary:  Erica Bradbury
A/Treasurer: Christopher Fisher
Directors at large:
Nini Cohen
Dr. Jen Clow
Natalya Bourguignon
Sebastian Spano

Role of the Board

The role of the Board of Directors is to provide leadership and oversight of the activities of the organization. In both areas, it will strive to represent the interests of members and the broader community.

The work of the Board requires a balance of asking big questions, exploring possibilities, engaging in real dialogue, solving problems, and offering direction.

In providing leadership, the Board:
i.  Consults with others inside and outside of the organization and, in providing oversight, ensures broad organizational accountability, transparency, and active and meaningful external communications.
ii. Works with the Executive Director in engaging external stakeholders in looking towards the future, reviewing the organization’s mission and objectives, and identifying the outcomes the organization is seeking and the strategies it will use to achieve them.
iii. Nurtures a culture in which collaborative leadership, continual learning, and transparency are broadly and deeply practiced. The more democratic and engaging an organization is, the more sustainable it becomes because the knowledge and skills needed to run the organization successfully are shared among many (staff, volunteers, and members), rather than being concentrated in a single person who might leave at any time.

The Board serves as an unwavering source of support for the staff, while at the same time helping them to reflect, question, experiment, and surface underlying assumptions.

The Board undertakes the following leadership roles in the functioning of the organization:

Reviewing quarterly statements and approving the annual budget.
Approving internal policies.
Revisiting the organization’s mission, vision, values and approach, in collaboration with staff, to ensure that they are still relevant and that the organization’s programming is in harmony with its mission.
Engaging in organization-wide evaluations, in collaboration with staff.
Engaging in strategic thinking and planning, in collaboration with staff.
Making sure that there is a strong process in place for making decisions about influencing public policy.

In providing oversight, the Board relies on assessing organizational performance in relation to goals and adherence to budget. The Board ensures that, through the creation of policies, the organization adheres to sound financial management, personnel, and service practices. The Board also relies on the systematic review of organizational activities through the implementation of policies, rather than by examining or advising on day-today decisions.

While maintaining a focus on their oversight role, it is quite normal for Boards to assist with some aspects of day-to-day operations, especially when there are no (or few) staff members and organizational processes are in their infancy.  This assistance can consist of efforts to

Increase Member involvement (e.g. planning and implementing an AGM).
Fundraise, especially during periods of intense financial vulnerability or growth.
Influence public policy.
Nurture community partnerships and visibility, when individual Board Members have skills or knowledge that the staff do not have.
Resolve interpersonal conflicts that cannot be resolved at the staff level.

The Board takes responsibility for its own management, continuity, and renewal. It insures effective Board meeting practices, appropriate Director conduct, ongoing Board education, and continuing attention to the recruitment of new Members.

If you are interested in joining CACHA’s Board and/or learning more about the role of specific Director positions, please contact CACHA’s Executive Director by email ( .
REVISED PRIVACY POLICY:On March 9th, 2022, CACHA’s Board of Directors approved a revised version of CACHA’s Privacy Policy to ensure CACHA is aligned with the most current legislation and principles governing personal information.  CACHA’s Privacy Policy is published on the website and a link is included here for your ease of reference .



CACHA’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022 at 6:00 via Zoom.
The Agenda for the meeting is:
1.     Call to Order and Approval of Agenda
2.     Approval of the AGM 2021 minutes
3.     Audited Financial Statements for the year ending April 30, 2022
4.     Appointment of an Auditor for 2022/23 fiscal year
5.     Nominations/Elections of Directors of the Board as required
6.     Adjournment
If you would like to attend this meeting please advise CACHA’s Executive Director by email ( and the zoom details will be provided.



Early in 2020, the world became aware of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus and countries  scrambled to care for their citizens who fell ill with the virus. Medical facilities were overworked and overrun with patients and supplies and resources were difficult to obtain. The world shut down, with many countries allowing no travellers to enter or exit, and as a result there have been no CACHA medical missions since March 2020.

But thanks to many countries who came together in an unprecedented fashion to develop and distribute vaccines, and to amazing health professionals worldwide, citizens everywhere are fighting back and are doing what they can to calm the “waves”.

CACHA is excited to announce that medical missions are back and our partners and beneficiaries are anxiously awaiting CACHA volunteers. CACHA is aware that due to Covid-19 the way in which we offer medical services may have to change.  But we are working with our partners to find the safest and most efficient way to conduct all our missions. New models of delivery will be discussed along with working conditions to keep our CACHA volunteers, local volunteers, and patients safe.


A medical mission to Ukerewe, Tanzania is planned for October 2022.  Mission co-leads Cathy Cleary and Elizabeth Good have a complete team and are finalizing the mission objectives with our local partner, the Ukerewe District Council.   We wish them a safe and successful mission and will provide readers with an update in our next edition.

More information about this mission and the profiles of some of the volunteers can be found on CACHA’s website

My name is Christopher Nolan and I have been volunteering with CACHA as a registered nurse, and then nurse practitioner, since 2009. I heard about CACHA through one of my university professors whose niece was a pharmacist that had volunteered with CACHA during a medical mission in Moshi. Up to that point I had been looking for an international volunteer-based organization that fit with my own beliefs and values surrounding international development work. Lucky, CACHA was an amazing fit and through the years I have been able to build and sustain relationships with partners in Tanzania, and the many amazing Canadian volunteers I have had the pleasure working beside and learning from. Tropical medicine brings many interesting learning opportunities that are often difficult to prepare for pre-mission, and often diagnoses that we do not encounter during our normal practice, but being able to work alongside Tanzanian clinicians who are experts in this regard, provides such amazing opportunities for learning and improving my own knowledge base that assists me while volunteering in Tanzania and my work in Canada. The majority of my time spent volunteering with CACHA has been on Ukewere Island and one of the most rewarding aspects of this consistency is getting to build trust with community members, to be part of capacity building, reciprocal transfer of knowledge and skill, and seeing the historical and tangible improvements that CACHA has contributed to villages on the island. The pandemic has been challenging in many regards, including our inability to visit Ukerewe, but I am so looking forward to fall 2022 to see all the familiar faces and friends I have come to love and admire over the years!
My name is Laura Weir.  I have been involved with CACHA for the past 15 years.  While packing for our first mission, it was noted that the warehouse could use some TLC.  When we returned from Tanzania I set about organizing the warehouse, and I here I am, still working on it and packing for missions.  We have implemented a standard manifest for missions, and spend some time finding other homes (animal shelters, etc) for the donations that we cannot use.  Being a retired nurse, I find the family atmosphere in the office welcoming.  I am grateful for being able to continue to contribute, and look forward to retuning for my 11th mission soon!

Chris Mutebi is a Project Coordinator at Agnes Zabali Boys and Girls (AZBGC) in Kamengo, Uganda. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences major Development Studies in 2014 at Nkumba University. He also obtained a Professional Certificate in Child Protection at Makerere University in 2017.Chris Mutebi is one of CACHA’s volunteers/AZBGC Project Coordinators in Uganda and has been with CACHA since 2008 (14 years).  Chris has been involved in assisting with the organization of the annual medical missions ensuring overall success for participants and community members. He volunteers/works in close collaboration with CACHA staff, Ggoli Health Centre, and Nkozi Hospital and CACHA mission leads in preparing, administration, logistics, finance, and procurement to ensure mission’s success.

Chris coordinates with CACHA to support two- week Medical/Infrastructure missions twice annually. He organizes local staff and volunteers, liaise with local clinic administration, assist in the arrangement of food, accommodation, transportation and provides translation services for foreign healthcare workers.

When not overseeing visiting groups: Chris is one of the first members of the Agnes Zabali Boys and Girls club (AZBGC) of Kamengo, Uganda   since 2007. He has been the ground coordinator of AZBGC for the past 8 years, working largely as a volunteer, ensuring there is a safe space in the village for vulnerable children and youth. Chris works with the Agnes Zabali Boys & Girls Club Ottawa Committee and Youth Committee in Kamengo, Uganda to support the implementation and maintenance of all projects including library, recreational programs, women’s resource centre, income generating projects and various orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) programs. He is responsible for the overall management of the AZBGC children programs including paying school fees and identifying and registering AZBGC orphans and vulnerable children and works with the committees and Ottawa volunteers to prepare semi-monthly program updates.

Chris is an outstanding development worker. His dream is to continue contributing to the ongoing community development by working with children and youth in the area of child protection, social protection, education, HIV/AIDS, livelihood and vulnerability.

Project News
CACHA Help the Children of Tanzania Project, Shirati, Tanzania 2010-2022

by Erla Koch, Project Co-ordinator

Shirati is a quaint town in the northwestern corner of Tanzania on Lake Victoria. The last hour from Mwanza to Shirati is on a bumpy, dirt road that is shared by women carrying sticks on their heads, boys herding goats and cattle, bicycles transporting all sorts of loads, etc. Travelling on this road makes me feel like I really am in Africa and it fills me with excitement and a sense of anticipation.

Lloyd and I began volunteering and taking teams to Shirati in 2009. When I taught English at Katuru S.S., I discovered that my students were coming to school without breakfast or lunch. I contacted the board about building a kitchen to start a feeding program which they welcomed…so The CACHA Help the Children of Tanzania Project was established.

We built the first of 5 kitchens in 2010. Since then, the project has expanded: supporting over 70 Women’s Co-operatives with income generating projects of their choosing, (grinding machines, chickens, sewing machines), paying school fees and addressing poverty through village visits which has resulted in improving the education, health, and living conditions of poor families. Our fund has raised over $250,000 to cover all these projects.

I have worked with Field Facilitators at the diocese, most recently Steven, colleagues on the HIV/Palliative Care team, accountants at the hospital and School of Nursing, Dr. Chirangi, and others.

Our Canadian volunteers are mostly family, friends and people who have received my letters from Shirati or watched one of our presentations. Our passion and enthusiasm for the people and our work often motivates them to join our mission. Our volunteers come for 3 to 6 weeks and we have stayed up to 2 months.

Our days are busy and rewarding. Team members enjoy village visits. We pile into a vehicle, drive on challenging roads, walk to huts, assess, and address the needs of the family. We find crumbling houses, children sleeping on mud floors, families without food, children at home because they can’t afford school uniforms, etc. Seeing so much poverty is overwhelming and emotionally exhausting at times.

A huge thanks to our donors, CACHA, colleagues, and team members for making a positive difference in the lives of many people in Shirati and region. Steven and I continue our projects year-round. I’m very grateful for his commitment, compassion, and reliability. We are blessed to have friends at Shirati who have taken us into their hearts and homes.

It’s always a privilege to introduce many volunteers to Africa, to see their enthusiasm and the impact it has made on their lives.

**Watch for Part 2 of Erla’s story in our next edition**




Infrastructure Missions to Shirati, Tanzania
by Lloyd Koch, Mission Co-lead
Shirati KMT Hospital operates 200 beds for the 450,000 people of Rorya district. It was established in 1934 by American Mennonite missionaries and has transitioned to become a Designated District Hospital 8 years ago.

Lloyd and Erla, at Don Kilby’s request, visited the hospital in 2008 to assess whether CACHA could be of assistance. The leaders gave an enthusiastic response, asking for assistance to develop a strategic plan, send medical equipment, medical personnel to assist with village outreach and teachers. Lloyd took up the challenge to find refurbished equipment in Eastern Ontario hospitals where he knew the CEO’s. The following year a shipment was sent, followed by an Infrastructure team of 7.

By 2022, we have led 12 missions to Shirati, 10 Infrastructure and 2 Medical. Approximately $370,000 from volunteers and other donors was sent by CACHA for mission expenses and shipping containers. 120 volunteers contributed 490 weeks of service. 52 were first-time visitors to Africa. Most were retired.

Our dynamic and committed volunteers have helped provide the following:

· Administrative consultation to provide 4 Hospital-wide Strategic Plans;

· Training for 35 hospital staff on computers. There is now a hospital-wide system

· Efficient and reliable solar lighting throughout the hospital;

· 50 staff, student nurses, and Diocese staff with English improvement classes;

· 3 container loads of reconditioned Canadian medical equipment, water tanks, tools, blankets and 8 tons of nutritious dried vegetable soup for HIV patients;

· freshly-painted hospital buildings;

· new toilets, showers, sinks and, taps in all wards;

· Two huge repurposed water storage tanks donated and re-assembled by one of our volunteers;

· New water lines and water purification system for the hospital and the public;

· A newly built 5 bed ICU. This has been a life saver through COVID;

· Newly expanded Medical Laboratory;

· A maintenance workshop and office by welding together and modifying 3 used shipping containers (1,000’ sq.)

· Assistance to begin construction of Kisare Secondary Technical School;

· A 90 year old automotive shop teacher who taught 10 students over 18 mission weeks. Three graduates currently employed at Coca-Cola;

· Much support to villages, schools and 70 Women’s Initiative Groups through the Help the Children of Tanzania projects Erla manages.

Throughout the missions, Samwel Ogoya, Director of Maintenance, has provided exceptional leadership in budgeting, contracting, supervision, and personal advice. He, and Dr. Chirangi make it a pleasure to work at Shirati.


More Project News
Autonomie de la bibliothèque d’Aklampa,
département des Collines, BéninEn 2008, Josée Gauthier et Catherine Dallaire se sont installées à Aklampa (village isolé au centre du Bénin) afin de démarrer le projet Dagbémabu pour les orphelins et enfants vulnérables (OEV). Après un an dans la communauté, elles ont constaté que les enfants du projet fréquentaient l’école sans matériel scolaire, ni livres et qu’ils n’avaient pas de lieu approprié pour étudier. Elles ont donc décidé de créer une bibliothèque et ce malgré que l’ASCCA ne supportait pas le projet cause d’un manque de ressources financières.

De leur propre initiative, elles ont obtenu un local (ancienne maternité), un don du maire d’Aklampa et avec l’argent qu’elles ont amassé au Canada, elles ont payé un menuisier local pour réparer le plafond qui coulait et construire des tables et des bancs.
Deux jeunes artistes graphiques furent embauchés pour peindre la murale et l’intérieur fut complété par des canadiens de passage au village. Catherine toujours dévouée, a obtenu une donation de livres de la part des maisons d’éditions Hurtubise, et des cartes géographiques du monde, un don de ses profs au Cégep. Elles ont aussi fait venir un photocopieur afin de pallier au problème de copies que les enfants subissaient; les profs exigeaient qu’ils aient des copies des manuels mais leur imposaient des frais pour ces copies. Au départ, la plupart des livres de la bibliothèque furent des dons provenant du Canada et transportés au Bénin par des membres des missions médicales.

Enfin la bibliothèque a été inaugurée avec Josué Méhou et un comité consultatif local formé de Martial Gandébagni, Eugène Délidji, Aimé Tougan, et Julien Akpandé, responsable d’ouvrir et de gérer la bibliothèque.

En avril 2014, durant la mission médicale de l’ASCCA au Bénin, Annie Desnoyers, membre de l’équipe logistique, a pris connaissance de l’existence de la bibliothèque d’Aklampa et a décidé d’entreprendre la gestion du projet. Depuis son engagement, la bibliothèque ne cesse de s’améliorer et de répondre aux besoins de la communauté.

Ce qui suit décrit bien tout ce qui a été accompli depuis 2014:

– La bibliothèque comprend une variété et un nombre suffisant de livres pour contenter les intérêts variés des usagers
– Un grand nombre de livres sont des livres africains en français et en fon (langue locale) ce qui valorise la diversité culturelle
– Embauche d’une deuxième employée
– Heures d’ouverture doublées maintenant qu’il y a deux employés
– Plus de filles qui fréquentent le lieu grâce à la nouvelle employée
– Achats de livres sur l’agriculture subsaharienne pour attirer les adultes
– En 2018, nouvel inventaire des livres réalisé par les deux employés (2048 livres)

En somme, la bibliothèque se développe déjà bien d’année en année et peut très bien desservir en ce moment une population où un tel service est par ailleurs complètement inexistant, mais en plus, son avenir à moyen et à long terme est prometteur du point de vue de son autonomisation.



Avant la rénovation:





Après la rénovation:

















Mission News



My name is Steve Martin Saning’o. I love to use Steve Saning’o as Saning’o is a typical Maasai name that describes my identity better than the American name Steve Martin. I have been the CACHA Field Coordinator in Tanzania since 2018.

It is a long story of how I became connected with the CACHA medical mission in Tanzania and in Canada. I describe myself as a social development activist, and that is why CACHA initially caught my attention.

Being a journalist, I was connected to many international professionals and finally connected to Lise Turpin and Bistra. Both of these great individuals became my friends and they visited my beloved home, Terrat.

During our visit, they saw a small building that was the village dispensary. It was there that I was told about CACHA, and from that moment in 2013, I strove to ask CACHA to bring a medical mission to Terrat. I eventually met Dr. Don Kilby and Dr. Jen, who agreed to come to Maasailand, but with one major condition, that I had to be a key person in organizing the medical mission, as I was the one asking for the mission.

I thought this was a simple condition and I had no idea I was committing myself to. Dr. Don offered me a trip to participate in the Ukerewe Mission to teach me how to organize the Terrat Mission. The lesson I got from Ukerewe was totally unexpected – I saw communities gathering, teams moving in the morning, pills counting, dinner, ferry, road, seeing illness, and other details that I will not forget. The typical day of the mission showed me it was not as simple as I thought.

I needed to learn about the paper work for government agencies and private suppliers – Tanzanian Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TDMA), District Government, District Medical Office, medical suppliers, transport, hotels, invitations for our local translators, organizing visas if need be, among other things.

I met Bishop Lukalima, a person who had incredible experience in Maasailand and many communities in Tanzania, and who encouraged me to even think about using trees to set up a medical station if need be. He was always on time, and always wanted to know what the progress was on getting the mission to Maasailand. He helped simplify things for me.

When returned to Terrat from Ukerewe, I realized the responsibility I had taken on to organize a completely new medical mission.

**Watch for Part 2 of Steve’s story in our next edition!!**






I’m an occupational therapist working in a clsc setting(homecare) for 27 years. I work with elderly, adult and children with physical handicaps. I have experience   with neurological, musculoskeletal problems, wound care and pain management.
I wanted to travel and transmit my skills to people in other countries and I did do two others medical missions before joining CACHA, one in Grenada (psychiatric setting and long-term care) and the other in Kenya (children clinic) where I volunteer as   an occupational therapist. So, I was looking for another opportunity to go on a mission and saw on Facebook this   volunteer for CACHA and called CACHA and asked if I could join the next mission.
The 1st mission with CACHA was Urekewe Island, Tanzania where I worked as a non medical volunteer taking blood pressure, weights from village to village, counting pills at night, being part of a very devoted and wonderful team but not able to practice my skills with patients that could not have access to an occupational therapist.
Next mission in Terrat, Tanzania, along with the non medical team I, with the agreement of the medical staff was able practice my   skills for the patients in assessing back and foot pain, recommendations for proper foot wear, proper positioning for ADL and exercise class.
Last mission in Uganda with my colleague worker physiotherapist and friend while we were preparing the mission, we explain to the team we could do much more for the patients with musculoskeletal problems and we did practice our skills   along with the non medical work. It was appreciated by the people in the village but shortened by covid.
I wish to return on a mission…
Sylvie Papineau, OT. reg


We hope you enjoyed CACHA’s Newsletter.

Thank you to all the contributors.  Your input is truly appreciated.

The next Newsletter edition is scheduled for the fall 2022.  What would you like included?  If you have ideas, let us know.  This is a newsletter for all of you!

Happy Summer Everyone!

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1 Comment

  1. Don on July 21, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Great job!!

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