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Philanthropy /


Friends Together has been working since 1999 to improve advocacy and awareness for families living with HIV/AIDS. Since its founding, Friends Together has grown from a grassroots group to a well-organized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, providing training, workshops, and camps for children and families. Their focus is on helping those infected with HIV formulate a “plan for living” as an alternative to a plan to die. The lives of people they have helped clearly attest that Friends Together has accomplished this goal many times over.

The organization nurtures several partnerships with similar organizations in Africa, such as Friends of Hope Uganda and Tanzanian Organization Facilitating Community Development Projects (TAFTA). Volunteers from Friends Together have engaged in numerous relief trips to provide education and support for children in Africa who have been orphaned or are living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, TAFTA specializes in the provision of “microloans” to women who want to learn to support themselves financially through tailoring.

An HIV diagnosis can be devastating for children and families. This organization empowers them to embrace all the beauty of life in spite of a diagnosis that has so often been received as a death sentence.

Zara’s focus is multifaceted as they help vulnerable groups in Africa. Through the Massai Women’s Group, Zara works with women by providing education and employment, which, in turn, empowers these women to take a more active role in their families and community while liberating them from oppressive traditional beliefs. This freedom helps women break away from the cultural norm of being exploited and subjugated.

Additionally, Zara founded several preschools to give children in need access to quality education and enrich their futures.  Moreover, Zara’s projects is the Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society. This initiative works to improve the lives of porters in Tanzania as they are among the least educated and lowest earners in the country. The Society works to improve their living and working conditions by educating them in financial management, mountain sickness, and environmental conservation.

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