U.S. & Tanzanian Staff
Phil Latessa, Executive Director, U. S.
Phil Latessa has over 15 years experience in developing and managing international grants. He served as Project Director for two multi-year projects between Iowa and Russia. Currently, he is serving as U.S. Coordinator for a collaborative project between the Pare Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania and the SE Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The current project is funded by PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and focuses on training community volunteers in Tanzania to deliver end-of-life care to terminally ill HIV/AIDS patients.
He served as Executive Director of Iowa Sister States, an NGO responsible for conducting exchange programs with Iowa’s eight official Sister States of Yucatan, Mexico; Stavropol, Russia; Cherkasy, Ukraine; Hebei, China; Taiwan; Yamanashi, Japan; Terengganu, Malaysia and Veneto Italy.
Elibariki Kisimbo – Director of Development, Tanzania
Empower Tanzania works entirely through partnerships between Americans and Tanzanians, and nowhere is that more important than in our staffing. In Tanzania, all of our operations are under the watchful eye of Mr. Elibariki Kisimbo, of Same, Kilimanjaro where our office is located. Kisimbo is ETI’s Director of Development, and his responsibility is to ensure that ETI achieves its goals as it works with Tanzanians to sustainably improve quality of life in rural areas. Quite simply, he is our “go-to” guy, and he is amazing at getting the job done!
Kisimbo’s background before ETI was in Community Development and Agriculture, and he believes that his role at ETI will contribute significantly to the positive development changes of entire communities in rural Tanzania.
Sheri Krumm – Development Coordinator, U.S.
The role of ETI in the U.S. is to fund projects and be accountable for the results achieved in Tanzania, keep the communications flowing, and coordinate our army of volunteers. The communications and volunteer activities are the responsibility of Development Coordinator, Sheri Krumm. With her background in business and extensive experience in sales and marketing, she loves getting the message of who ETI is out there to the public, and finding people who want to get involved. Her favorite part of the job is to help volunteers find their perfect fit in the organization, and watch their delight as their talents make a huge difference in the lives of the people of rural Tanzania.
Mr. Joseph Kimbwereza
Mr. Joseph Kimbwereza is a former secondary school teacher, and serves as Empower Tanzania’s Coordinator of Small Projects, as well as overseeing the research and development of new projects. Joseph has a great talent for working with people, and is invaluable working with Mr. Elibariki Kisimbo to both start new projects, and take our pilot projects to the point where they can be scaled up and brought to multiple locations.
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. ETI’s Program Managers and Coordinators do exactly that, by working with volunteers and paid staff to bring our programs to life in Tanzania. Without these amazing leaders working in the field every day, nothing we dream of would ever come to fruition.
Rev. Joas Mpinda
Rev. Joas Mpinda has been Program Coordinator of the Palliative Care Project for the last seven years. He leads 20 teams of Nurses and Community Health Workers to deliver end-of-life care to HIV/AIDs patients in some of the most remote areas of the Kilimanjaro Region. This is one of ETI’s largest and most successful programs, thanks to the work of U.S. Coordinator Phil Latessa, and Tanzanian Coordinator Rev. Mpinda.
Ms. Efrancia Nzota
Ms. Efrancia Nzota is a graduate of the Community Development Training Institute (CDTI) in Tengeru, Tanzania, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development. She is the Program Manager of the Improving Women’s Health Program (IWHP). She works with U.S. Project Mgr., Dr. Jeff Carithers to coordinate more than 30 Community Health Educators who do educational seminars throughout the Same District, focusing on a variety of topics designed to raise the overall health of women and their families. Their program reaches roughly 17,000 people per month with health education.
Ms. Nardi Macha
Ms. Nardi Macha is a Community Development Specialist and trained counselor, and coordinates Empower Tanzania’s new Gender Based Violence Program. This program reaches out to women in the community who are experiencing gender based violence, and forms support groups to council them, help them find ways to access programs available to them in the community, and help them create income generating projects to support their families.
Ms. Nteghenjwa Mjema
Ms. Nteghenjwa Mjema is the Administrative Assistant in Tanzania who keeps everyone organized and the office running smoothly. With her extensive computer experience and organizational skills, she is an invaluable asset to the team.
Ms. Upendo Mshana
Ms. Upendo Mshana is a recent graduate of St. John University in Didoma with a Diploma in Community Development. She will serve a one year internship with Empower Tanzania before continuing her education in 2015.
Beyond these full-time staff, there are dozens of people who work within specific projects to make them successful. We are grateful to all the people in Tanzania who make the work of Empower Tanzania happen. As Phil Latessa often says, we in the U.S. find money and provide accountability to the funders, but the real heavy lifting is being done by our staff in Tanzania, who are actually carrying out the work of the project. We cannot say enough about how much we appreciate and value their contribution.