At MGen Tanzania we value that community that makes us who we are. It is therefore
imperative and important that we give back to the community. We have made several
contributions to a variety of causes as and when we are approached and are able
to help. We have in the past contributed to youth educational conferences and fund
raising for orphanages. Our keen interest so far however, has been in the area leprosy.
1. The Disease
Leprosy is an airborne disease that is brought about due to transmission of the
bacteria primarily as a result of inadequate ventilation in the victims’ houses.
It is caused by bacteria or germs called Mycobacterium leprae which infect the skin
and the nerves of the hands and feet and can also cause problems in the eyes and
In its advanced stages, leprosy causes the dulling of the senses such that there
is no sensation in hands or feet. This leads to victims inflicting injury to themselves
and the eventual falling off of fingers and toes. In these advanced stages it can
also cause blindness and loos of facial skin, especially around the nose.
2. The Problem
The victims have a unique set of challenges as in its full blown stage; leprosy
renders the victims unable to fend for themselves, due to loss of limbs and sometimes
eyesight. They are therefore:
- Unable to use their hands to grow crops.
- As a result they are unable to feed themselves.
- They are unable to provide for their families
- They have no means for sourcing of school requisites for their children.
MGen was of the view that the problem involved:
- Inadequate support for school going children.
- Scarcity of food and clean water.
- Inadequate housing.
- Stigma and discrimination.
3. MGen Intervention
The first effort of MGen was to produce (with the kind assistance of Colour Print
Limited) a brochure that highlights the problem. This brochure has been distributed
to various embassies, corporate bodies, NGO's and individuals, as a way of enhancing
awareness towards the problem of leprosy in Tanzania. We have received some support
from individuals and business houses.
The second intervention that MGen embarked on was to help the community of leprosy
victims to open a cooperative shop. The reasoning was that as the shop's business
begins to flourish the proceeds will be used to provide for some of the monetary
needs of the community such as school requisites, food and drugs for those completely
unable to fend for themselves.
The company paid for grocery stock to start off operations. And has since made several
other contributions. The shop operation faltered at one point and MGen is now in
the process of reviving it by building a permanent structure for the victims, training
one of them in running the shop and helping to restock it.