About The Olive Branch for Children
The Olive Branch for Children was founded in 2005 by Deborah McCracken and registered in Canada in 2006 and Tanzania in 2008. The main objective of the Olive Branch for Children is to help remote communities in Tanzania assess their primary needs and establish programs that target the most vulnerable.
Our programs focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and care, early childhood education, food security and vulnerable children and women. The goal is to establish community-based and community-led programs that empower remote communities and generate models that can be replicated in communities throughout Tanzania and further afield.
The Home Based Care Program for People Living with HIV/AIDS
Our program provides at home medical services, support and counselling for over 600 individuals living with HIV in 13 different rural Tanzania village communities. The clients of our Home Based Care Program receive additional nutritional support through food and seed distributions. With the help of our Home Based Care Team, our Home Based Care clients receive at-home health education and on-going assistance in understanding how to use and be adherent to their medicine regimens.
The able-bodied clients of our Home Based Care program are divided into income-generating groups. The Olive Branch for Children has already established gardens in 8 communities for the benefit of our clients and has helped establish 2 fish ponds, 1 goat project, 1 Cassava farm and 1 Chicken project, all for the clients of our Home Based Care Program.
In 2010, The Charity initiated its vulnerable women and widows program for HIV+ women. Although still in its pilot phase, groups have been established in 3 communities. The groups act as support groups, helping HIV+ women gain emotional and financial independence. For more information, please click on
The Olive Branch for Children hosts regular HIV testing and has tested over 2500 people since 2009. The Charity assists our Home Based Care clients by ensuring that their immune systems are regularly tested. Our testing days are partnered with community-wide health education programs.
The Charity, in partnership with 3 remote communities in Tanzania, has helped construct 3 medical clinics.
The Montessori Outreach Project
The Olive Branch for Children is committed to helping remote communities gain access to early childhood education. Our program focuses on training selected villagers as teachers in the basics of Montessori Education to then establish village-operated, Montessori kindergartens in their communities. Since 2008, Canadian Montessori teachers have volunteered to travel to this region and conduct 2 – 3 week training seminars for the teachers. Site visits to each school are also done during this time. Teachers from the schools meet monthly with the Tanzanian Montessori supervisor and a representative from The Olive Branch to review Montessori materials and work collaboratively on improving their schools.
Some of our target communities are 80km from a main road and over 20km from a primary school. For some children, the remote Montessori kindergartens will be their only access to education. Currently, there are 28 kindergartens running in partnership with The Olive Branch for Children, including the opening of a brand new Montessori school fully equipped with child-size furniture, shelves, and Montessori materials in 2011. This project was made possible by a donation from the Toronto Funding Network.
If you are interested in being a part of this exciting outreach project, click on the Volunteer or Donate links on the homepage. (On your donation tell us it is for Montessori.)
Food Security Project
The Olive Branch for Children is working in partnership with the village of Mahango to construct a canal and divider system to help that village and its various sub-villages gain better access to water and increase their agricultural output, helping to assure their food security. To date, over 1500m of canals have been refurbished and 4 dividers constructed.
The Charity supports children in rural Tanzania through various programs, including medical, nutritional and educational sponsorship. Most of the children supported by The Charity reside with their surviving families and the support we provide ensures not only a better future for the sponsored child, but also for the child's entire family.
In partnership with our Home Based Care Team, we host special days for the children enrolled in our various programs, using crafts, art and games to help them develop leadership skills.
The Olive Branch for Children has sponsored special medical procedures, including surgeries to rectify clubbed feet.
The Zion Home and Peace Home
The Olive Branch for Children supports two homes for children living with HIV/AIDS or who have suffered extreme medical or psychological issues. The Zion Home (located in Mbeya city) and Peace Home (located in Mswiswi) are geared toward helping the most marginalized children to become empowered and become the voices of change and hope. In addition to medical care, the children are provided with a healthy and happy environment, nutritional food and education. The two homes support 32 children in total.
We gratefully appreciate your support.
Please tell others about us.