Reigniting the ‘fire of life’ in Tanzania

Discover how an Australian volunteer and a non-government organisation in Tanzania worked together remotely to improve health services.

A group of people walking through a field with a herd of sheep.

Larrakia woman Kia Devine volunteered remotely for three months as a Fundraising and Proposal Writing Mentor with partner organisation Maisha Outreach Therapy Organisation (MOTO) based in Moshi, the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania.

MOTO supports vulnerable people by providing access to medical devices (such as wheelchairs), rehabilitation, speech therapy, occupational and physiotherapy services.

During her assignment, Kia worked closely with Johnson Dickson, CEO and founder of MOTO, to improve fundraising strategies, strengthen and identify new partnerships and improve the organisation’s online presence.

‘Here at MOTO we believe in empowering and supporting individuals to reignite their ‘moto wa maisha’, which means the fire of life in Kiswahili,’ says Johnson.

‘We help to provide access to sustainable rehabilitation therapies which are crucial in reducing the vulnerability and isolation of those living with disabilities and / or challenging heath conditions in our communities. 

'By reigniting their “moto wa maisha”, we hope to increase happiness, improve health outcomes and enhance quality of life for vulnerable individuals and their families.'

Reflecting on the assignment, both Johnson and Kia highlight how remote volunteering can be an incredibly beneficial experience for both the partner organisation and volunteer.

‘Working remotely with Kia was fantastic'

'She was so flexible and engaged in our work and quickly created a positive impact on the team despite the distance,' says Johnson. 

'While volunteering virtually can present its challenges, such as a lack of in-person interaction, Kia’s friendly approach made building relationships very easy.'

‘With Kia’s support we have come up with creative fundraising strategies, improved our social media presence, and learnt how to attract new partners and who to network with, as well as maintaining existing relationships. We’re also looking forward to using persuasive writing to apply for grants to help secure financial stability for our organisation.’

‘MOTO’s main goal of helping people to reignite their ‘moto wa maisha’ resonates strongly with me.'

Kia says she was inspired to volunteer remotely while she was unable to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘My assignment focused on working with MOTO to help transform their website and social media platforms. I also helped upskill staff in using Google Analytics, report writing skills, building new networks and writing proposals and grants.

‘It’s so inspiring to see how quickly the organisation is growing and I really enjoyed working with such an incredible team. I’m excited to see the impact MOTO’s work is already having on communities in Moshi and how many more people’s lives they will continue to improve.’