22 May 2020


A donation of £50,000 from the Amcomri Foundation is helping Ace Africa Tanzania fight COVID-19 in the Arusha Region of Northern Tanzania. The poorest and most vulnerable will be hardest hit in a country where health systems are already stretched to their limits.

Joe Waddington, Country Director of Ace Africa Tanzania, explained the impact of the donation: “we were asked by local government to help lead an emergency response to COVID-19. This incredible donation meant we could act immediately. The funds will help remote, poor, rural communities contain the virus, and ensure families at greatest risk have what they need to stay healthy”.

In Tanzania and Kenya, Ace has three priorities to fight COVID-19:

  1. Public health information: posters and leaflets for health centres, government offices and water points – films and radio adverts – training of village and community leaders.
  2. Handwashing facilities, at health centres and for at risk families: making and distributing hygienic, easily maintained/affordable hand washing facilities (‘leaky tins’) made from local materials.
  3. Emergency food packages for the most vulnerable; making sure the poorest families, many living with HIV, have the food they need and stay healthy.

What has been achieved so far?
A public information poster has been approved by local authorities, printed in two local languages and will be distributed in over 60 villages. The materials have also been shared with other organisations and through them will also reach over 1 million people in the region. This work will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

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Government approved poster on COVID-19 targeting 1 million people

Six health education filmshave been produced in two local languages, providing basic preventive and hygiene information, and showing how to make low cost hand washing stations. These films will be shared with over 40,000 people through Ace and thousands of others through partners in the region. Click here to watch.

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In a new video aimed at rural communities, Ace Africa’s Child Rights & Welfare Officer, Gudila, explains good hygiene

Ace Africa staff have made hand washing stations from local materials (‘leaky tins’) and set them up at health stations and government offices. Ace aims to make over 2,000 hand washing stations in the next month, benefitting over 12,000 vulnerable household members.

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Ace staff install a cheap, easy to maintain hand-washing facilities at a health facility

To help 500 at risk households (people living with HIV, the malnourished and those living in extreme poverty) we plan to distribute emergency food packages and provide counselling.

All travel and public meetings must adjust to the changing situation and government rules. We are constantly reviewing what we can do and our priorities. The safety of our staff and volunteers is paramount, and we have developed strict safety guidelines.

Adjusting existing longer term projects
The emergency support is in addition to the agreement signed with the Amcomri Foundation last June – a three year development project focused on business and skills training for disadvantaged young people. It is Ace Africa’s largest project agreement.

Paul McGowan, who established the Foundation, visited Tanzania with members of his family in October last year. They met Ace Africa staff working on the project and the individuals that will benefit from the programme. Over three days they visited families, schools, income generation projects, savings and loans groups and health facilities.

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Amcomri Foundation visit to Ace Africa Tanzania projects in October 2019

Parts of the project are now on hold due to COVID-19. The Foundation agreed funds can be put towards the emergency response, and changes made to the new reality on the ground. This means the groups learning new business skills have adjusted activities, for example making soap and face masks.

“The Amcomri Foundation are very pleased to donate to Ace Africa’s COVID-19 response” explained Elaine Meyerratken on behalf of the Foundation.

“We work very closely with Ace Africa and know the difference their passion and dedication will make to the lives of people in Tanzania. We are confident they will reduce the impact of COVID-19 and provide essential support to those affected. Our plan is to focus on long term, sustainable projects, but in these unprecedented times we also wanted to fund an immediate, emergency response ”.

“We can’t thank the Amcomri Foundation enough for their support” commented David Evans, Country Director of Ace Africa UK. “It’s not just the size of the donation, but the way the Foundation works with us. This is a genuine partnership based on mutual trust. We look forward to welcoming Paul back to Tanzania to meet the families and children whose lives the Foundation has changed ”.

For more information about the work of the Amcomri Foundation please contact Elaine Meyerratken, elaine.meyerratken@amcomri.com. E-mail david.evans@ace-africa.org about the work of Ace Africa in Kenya and Tanzania. Regular updates can be found on the Ace Africa website.