How FOTZC Helps Support Tanzania (and How You Can, Too!)

Written by Thomson Safaris

judi wineland in tanzania in 1980Judi Wineland on the floor of Tanzania’s Empakaai Crater in 1981.

Anniversaries – whether they mark a milestone in marriage, work, or even birth – are all about reflection, and more often than not, gifts! In honor of Thomson’s 35th anniversary, the Boston office has been looking at old photos, sharing favorite memories, and more importantly, wondering how we can give back to the community that we consider to be our second home. But what do you get for the land that has already given you so much?

Our minds went immediately to Thomson’s sister non-profit organization, Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FOTZC), and in celebration of 35 years, we welcome you to join us in supporting the excellent work they do.

Started by Thomson co-founder Judi Wineland and several past Thomson travelers, the organization works with the people of Tanzania to determine how they can best support the community. Past projects focused on women’s empowerment, educational opportunities, and community health in Tanzania.

This next project involves rebuilding the boys’ dormitory at Soit Sambu Secondary School, which was destroyed in a fire last year. The students were forced to sleep in the dining hall, causing other students and staff to eat in classrooms. Rebuilding the dorm will help improve living conditions so the focus can be less on logistics and more on providing students with an education that can position them for a successful future.

Soit Sambu after the fireThis is all that currently remains of the Soit Sambu boys’ dormitory after the recent fire.


Inside what was Soit Sambu boys' dormitoryAn inside look at the destruction of the boys’ living quarters.


temporary living quarters in the dining hallBeds were set up in the dining hall to serve as a temporary living space for the affected students.


“From the moment we first visited Tanzania, it’s felt like home, and each time we go back, we’re welcomed in like family,” said Wineland. “Like any parent would wish for their children, I want to see the students of the community grow and succeed.”

A past Thomson traveler was especially touched by this effort and in turn generously offered to double all donations made to the dormitory project, up to $50,000. You’re invited to join the effort and make a tax-deductible contribution in honor of our 35 years in Tanzania.

Let’s give these students the safe, hygienic living space that allows them to pursue the education they deserve; after all, they are the future of Tanzania.