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 nose.

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.