We believe that God wants people to be restored in relationship to God and others. Through education and advocacy, we try to break down traditional stigmas and barriers that prevent people from their holistic needs being met. We use this approach to help pregnant mother access health care, reconcile people with albinism with their communities and provide mental health resources for people who have suffered trauma.
We believe that education is the most sustainable way to bring positive change in a community--as people understand God, themselves and others better, peace and justice are restored in individuals, families and communities. We also feel called to the rural areas which are harder to access, and thus have fewer services and less support from the government and large aid organizations.
Fred was raised in a small Kenyan village by his mother and grandmother, until he lost his mother at age 14. In 2009 he moved to northwestern Tanzania to work with a church diocese. His background in education and public health contributed to his understanding of the challenges faced by vulnerable people in rural environments, especially widows and orphans.
Leisha grew up in the small farming town of Newberg, Oregon. In 2006, she was introduced to the needs in East Africa through the sponsorship organization, Lahash International. After several trips in 2006-2008, she moved to Dodoma, Tanzania to help serve vulnerable children.
In 2010 we met at a Mennonite strategic planning conference. Five months later we were married and Leisha moved to the small town of Shirati in northwestern Tanzania. We started our family by bringing Fred's orphaned nephew, Innocent, to live with us. Wesley followed soon after, and two years later Gretchen.
In 2014, in collaboration with two doctors from North Carolina, we started a non-profit called Mama Maisha to reduce maternal death by educating women in rural villages about accessing health care during pregnancy, delivery and contraception. Leisha now works full-time for Mama Maisha.
Fred moved to a new job with the Africa Inland Church - Mwanza Diocese in 2016 where he continues to write projects for development in rural communities. Right now he is combating albinism stigma in villages by leading discussion about how to live with and care for people with albinism. He also trains pastors on counseling people who have suffered trauma, abuse or grief.
Our family lives in Mwanza, Tanzania, and works in the rural areas of the Lake Zone, stretching from the Kenyan border down to the city of Mwanza.