Associates at nDareda Tanzania
Back in 1948 the first MMMs arrived at nDareda where they were asked to take over a small church-run dispensary. nDareda is located on a ledge of the escarpment that forms the wall of the Great Rift Valley, some 5,000 feet above sea level, and about 300 km south of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Before long, nDareda was on its way to becoming a fully functional hospital with 177 beds. A short time later, plans to open a General Nurse Training School were realised and it became very well known.
The Sisters continued to manage and staff the Hospital until 1985, when it was returned to the Diocese of Mbulu for management and future direction. Today, the hospital continues to flourish, with three different local religious congregations among the staff.
Alongside them, a deeply committed group of Associate MMMs helps to ensure the original tradition of healthcare and pastoral care continues both at the hospital and in the nearby village. Every day at 3.30 p.m. they come together to pray for the patients, visiting those in the wards who would like pastoral help.
One of the earliest graduates of the nDareda School of Nursing is Margaret John. She has now retired after many years on the nursing staff.
Another MMM Associate is the present Assistant Matron, Justina Darabe, who has studied Management at Morogoro College of Nursing.
The anaesthetic nurse at nDareda, Francisca Masele, is also an MMM Associate. She was off duty when we visited, but showed us around the operating theatre and showed us the equipment.
The Senior Nurse Tutor at nDareda today, Juliet Issay, is also an MMM Associate. She is very sympathetic to her students, but manages to maintain a very high standard of nurse education.
The Associate with the longest connection to MMM is Dympna Tsafu, known to everyone as Mama Dympna. She has now retired after many years as a midwife and is widely known all around nDareda. She is shown with Joseph Aweda, also an MMM Associate.
Together they have embarked on an ambitious project, building a lovely home for orphan children from the area, which they run with loving care.