Our history began in 2014 with a trip to the East African country of Uganda by Henry and Roz Foster to see all the wonderful animals in the wild game reserves and to meet the Ugandan people to gain an understanding of their culture. Our desire to know more about the Ugandan people resulted in forming a friendship with a Ugandan citizen by the name of Neust Aheisibwe.
The trip convinced Henry and Roz that something needed to be done to better the lives of the rural people of Uganda. They could see that the availability of clean water and electricity were real problems for the rural people as well as many other needs
Typical Water Source in Uganda.
After returning to the US they continued thinking about what could be done. This resulted in a return trip to Uganda by Henry in February 2015 to look further into what could be done. Along with Ms. Aheisibwe they visited many rural areas of Uganda to obtain a better understanding of the needs and how to best meet those needs.
Three more trips were made in 2015 by Henry to continue assessing ways to help. It became clear that the problem was a crisis. People were dying from not having clean purified water to drink and process their food resulting in a life expectancy in Uganda of only 52 years. The answer became clear, provide safe water and educate the population on life saving benefits of using clean safe water and teach and demonstrate the many ways water can be made safe to drink and use in their homes.
For the first part of 2016 no cost realistic plan could be envisioned how to provide safe water to everyone and educating them about lifesaving benefits. In the later part of 2016 began to see a way they might tackle this problem by an experience in Henry's life. He was a heavy smoker and Henry's young son was being taught in school that smoking was bad for one’s health and he would keep telling Henry, "Dad you should not smoke" whenever he saw him light up a cigarette. The result, Henry quit smoking 42 years ago.
From personal experience and the knowledge gained on visits to Uganda, the need for a realistic cost and generational life saving plan became clear, we start with rural health centers where babies are born and sick people are treated and schools where young children attend. Our plan would includes an educational program to teach children and patients the lifesaving health benefits of drinking clean water and use in preparation of food at home. If you teach the young they will help teach their parents and when they have a family they will teach their children; thus, setup the foundation for generational life saving benefits for all present and future Ugandans. The possibility of saving lives now and generations to come is a great benefit of Maji Salama, Inc. approach. Your donation can help make this possible.
Now it was time to go to work to put our mission in place. In August 2017 we installed our first purified water system at a rural school of 500 children and a health center serving a population of 140,000 people. This was considered a pilot program to demonstrate our water system's capabilities to local and national government officials and the people of the district. Parallel to preparing the water system for installation, Ms. Aheisibwe began to solicit the Ugandan Ministries of Health and Education for their support in developing continuous educational/teaching programs at the schools and health centers and agree to maintain the water systems after they were installed by Maji Salama, Inc.
We then hosted an onsite demonstration of our water system's capabilities to the local and national Government officials with over 1,500 local people attending. Typical of the Ugandan people, we had a lot of singing and dancing, which of course made all the politicians happy. They were able to be a part of something where their people were so happy and were able to give various speeches. Prior to the demonstration the Uganda’s Health Department performed an analysis of our claim that our system provides water that is 99.999% free of bacteria and virus, which we passed without a problem.
From these early efforts of demonstrating our water system’s capabilities and our detailed plans for implementation of our water systems and educational programs throughout the rural areas of Uganda provided (we believe) the basis for the Ugandan Government to agree (documented by a Memorandum of Understanding) to a full partnership with Maji Salama, Inc. to accomplish this historical 99.999% clean water/education program. No other water program in Africa is equal to our approach for saving lives as our plan provides clean water and educating the population of the health benefits at the same time. Our plan has a generational benefit of continuing to improve life expectancy of the Ugandans now and in the future.
As of August 2018 we have installed purified water systems at schools attended by over 2,400 plus primary school age children and a health center supporting a population of 140,000. Our plan is to complete our overall mission of installing water purification systems and a educational program of the health benefits of drinking and using purified water in every rural school and health center in Uganda in 8 years. But it can’t be done without your help. Maji Salama, Inc. and the Ugandan Government are taking on this very large task to save lives. We have started and when completed it will also provide many other African countries who face similar safe water crises as Uganda with a cost-effective way to meet their sanitary water/educational problems, an additional benefit your donations may provide.
It has taken us from August 2018 until now to incorporate Maji Salama, Inc. as a charity, obtain tax deduction status (501c3), obtain an approved operating permit in Uganda, finalize the MOUs for the Ministry of Health and the Bulambuli District of Uganda and the implementation plan and developing this website.
All the above early activities of the formation of Maji Salama, Inc. was carried out under the name of the Marita Foundation and the Henry Foster Trust. The Henry Foster Trust funded all of the early activities and will continue to support the mission within availability of Trust Resources .
Maji Salama, Inc. comes from the Swahili language that translates in English as “Clean Purified Water”. The Swahili language is spoken and understood by over 100 million people in East Africa where we are currently focusing our efforts.
Typical Primary School Class in Uganda.