2016: The Year in Review

December 31, 2016 2:55 pm Published by

This past year not only celebrated our tenth anniversary as an organization, but was also one of major transitions. It was the first year JBFC Founder and CEO, Chris Gates, and his family were not on campus in Tanzania, the year that our first set of Joseph and Mary Secondary School graduates were out on their own and moving into higher education, and the JBFC family added 6 new faces to its residential girl program. These transitions were all needed in order for our operations to grow and expand, and while we are anxious for 2017 to start, we would like to take a moment and look back on some of the highlights from this amazing year.

* JBFC turned TEN in March! The entire month was full of celebrations at various restaurants in Tulsa, but March 6th was our official birthday. We celebrated with a party at The Tropical here in Tulsa, and celebrations in Tanzania!


* The JBFC family grew to 52 residential girls. This year saw us take in Rehema (age 15), Samida (age 12), Salma (age 6), Vero (age 14), Lufina (age 7), and Vero T (age 11). We could not be happier to have these new additions to our family!

* The JBFC Girls’ Government entered its third year, proving that this is an actual program with a mission, outcomes, and a real impact on the overall organization.

* The JBFC residential girls and matrons began self-defense lessons. JBFC was one of only five non-profit organizations chosen to participate in a pilot program to bring self-defense training to girls in the Mwanza region of Tanzania.


* Joseph and Mary Primary School graduated its 6th class of Primary School students – this entire class passing the Tanzanian National Exam earned JBFC’s Joseph and Mary Primary School a ranking of 18th out of 8,241 schools in the COUNTRY!

* 14 out of 28 Class of 2015 graduates moved on to Advanced Secondary (Form 5), including 3 of JBFC’s residential girls, with many of the other graduates moving on the various higher education programs as well.

* Joseph and Mary Secondary School graduated its 2nd class of Secondary School students – 17 graduates including 4 of JBFC’s residential girls.

* 2 Career Days were hosted by the Office of Student Development, with 6 guest speakers coming to speak to the Secondary School students about a variety of careers.

* 2016 saw the implementation and continued success of the Family Literacy Program.


* JBFC launched its inaugural “Trek Tanzania” walk-a-thon to raise funds for our clinic. Supporters in Tulsa and around the United States walked well-over the 89,480 steps it would take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and raised over $30,000 for our healthcare clinic!

* JBFC’s new nurse, Gertrude, was hired earlier in the fall. Prior to going to nursing school, she taught Physics, Chemistry, and Biology at a private school, where she was also a dorm matron. After completing nursing school, she worked in a pediatric ward at a hospital!

* New hand-washing stations have been installed at the dining halls on campus. Hand-washing stations and dish-drying racks have also been installed at Bibi Mimi’s Girls’ Home, which will greatly improve sanitation around campus.


* The JBFC Farm has averaged over 1,700 pounds of vegetables each month, with a monthly record of 3,891 pounds of vegetables in November!

* Two community-based permaculture seminars and two-school based seminars were held this year.

* The first Tanzanian-led community permaculture seminar taking place.


* Gretchen Scott Designs from Bronxville, New York donated hundreds of brightly-colored tunics, shirts, and dresses to our residential girls and matrons.

* JBFC received a $30,000 grant from the Segal Family Foundation, who support organizations cultivating healthy, productive, and empathetic youth.

* The U.S. Office saw lots of wonderful volunteers come into the office throughout the year, racking up 420 volunteer hours!

* JBFC launched new curriculum partnerships with 2 schools in the U.S.

* Joseph and Mary students have Pen Pals from 5 different schools across the country.

* Over 150 volunteers came to our campus in Tanzania during 2016, including several new school partners. We are so grateful for all our supporters and friends, old and new! We hope to see you again next year!

There is still time to join us in our end-of-year campaign.
Click here to donate to our Annual Appeal and your contribution will be matched up to $25,000!
Thank you for your continued support of our mission. We hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year’s and we look forward to great things in 2017!

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This post was written by Mainsprings