In 2000, Ms. Mgana co-founded a community-based organization originally called “Everyone’s Child” that works with communities in her native Tanzania to provide education, health and other services to children affected and/or infected by HIV/AIDS. Over 200 children receive these services on a daily basis in a community center that the organization built in 2003. The organization also works with community members to initiate and manage income-generating projects (i.e. animal-rearing, fishing, and agriculture). Former President Mkapa hailed the community model as “innovative and a leading example in the country”.
She then founded the African Regional Youth Initiative (ARYI) while a first-year graduate student in 2003. ARYI presently works directly with over 400 community and youth organizations to jointly develop, implement, and evaluate community, national and regional strategies focusing on development issues in Africa. To date, ARYI has established more than twenty national and regional programs as well as hosted forums in all regions of the continent.
In an effort to foster innovative thinking on international development, she co-founded the Forum for Global Action in 2006. A leading program within the Forum is on women's leadership that is being implemented in Africa, Asia, and South America.
Neema is also the co-founder of the African Women of Distinction project, a peace and justice project created in 2006 that highlights the leadership role of women in Africa. This project also works with over 180 young men and women in Africa to build and nurture their leadership skills through leadership trainings, mentorship and information and communication technology. The project has partnered with national and international organizations and plans are to develop a series of video documentaries, podcasts and a book in 2007. This project will be replicated in other geographic parts of the world.
She is currently coordinating projects to improve health delivery in Africa, including projects developing health and education facilities in rural Africa. The first of these projects is the building and operation of a medical center serving a population of 100,000 and a training facility to train health professionals in northern Tanzania. Both facilities are scheduled to open in 2007. Ms. Mgana is working with the private sector, philanthropists, an architectural team, an alternative energy firm, community members, and others to realize these projects in Africa. The National Geographic will produce a documentary of this project in January 2007.
Ms. Mgana is also the founder of the Millennium Community Foundation that brokers and manages partnerships between development agencies and the private sector to fund community-based projects in Africa. She previously worked as a Program Officer with Firelight Foundation, a Program Coordinator in the International Department of the American Friends Service Committee based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a Consultant at the Mutare Health Department in Zimbabwe. She was a lecturer in six courses at the Institute for Finance Management in Tanzania. She also completed a Fellowship at the United Nations in New York and internships at the Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania, the Santa Ana Healthcare Agency in California, and Family Care International in New York.
She is currently a board member of several organizations and global campaigns, and has been featured in radio (i.e. BBC and UN Radio) and print media, including Teen Newsweek (2005) and Fast Company (2006). Among many commendations, Ms. Mgana has received a Strong-Minded Women Award from the Carry Chapman Catt Center for Women in Politics, a United Nations-Sun Microsystems 2005 Africa Fellowship, a United Nations Fellowship, Guild of Peace Ambassadorial Award, an MTV Staying Alive organizational award, and others along with merit-based, community, and academic awards.
Ms. Mgana lectures frequently as a speaker at conferences, press conferences, seminars and symposia on African health, economic and development issues. She continues to present evidence on women's and children’s health; human rights advocacy; youth; reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; economic justice and community development; sustainable development; and African policies before international bodies, such as the United Nations, World Bank, international NGOs, foundations, and the private sector.
Ms. Mgana received a Masters degree in International Health from Loma Linda University of Health Science in the U.S., and a B.Sc. in Health Informatics from the University of Victoria in Canada. She previously completed studies in Health Sciences and has certificates in Humanitarian Assistance and International Peace Studies.
To contact Neema Mgana, E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or Skype: Neema.Mgana.
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