Healing In Tanzania | Celebrating Women’s History Month

By Alyssa Morrison |

Updates from the Fall 2019 Philanthropic Tour by The Jones Family Foundation

Oliver Jeremiah

Women’s history is in the making. In Tanzania, there is a young woman named Oliver Jeremiah, whose guardian aunt and uncle passed away from COVID-19. While grief-stricken, she’s pressing on with her mission with help from the Jones Family Foundation, and she’s already making a difference in her community. Going by the title “heart healer” she engages with others who’ve suffered similar losses so that they may find closure and new hope in their experiences. Her goal to help others heal doesn’t end here—she’s in law school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where her goal is to take a broader stand for women’s and children’s rights.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, many of today’s young women, who are still growing and learning, and living a life that will change history itself, like Oliver Jeremiah.

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty CEO Dean Jones is seen with father Trevor and son Cole at the dedication of the residence hall. The building’s name, St. Francis Faustina, was inspired by the biblical messenger for the hope it provides.

We’re revisiting students at St. Francis’ University in Ifacara, Tanzania, many of whom are learning how to bring much-needed healthcare back to the rural villages that surround the city. The Jones Family Foundation funded a safe dormitory for the women who attend the school and Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty President and CEO Dean Jones visited the school upon the dormitory’s opening in September 2019.

Read the full story here →

Many of the women who call this dormitory home are also, more specifically, a part of a program that supports bicycling dental health workers who encourage oral health, which is in desperate need, given dietary habits and lack of knowledge surrounding preventative care. For many in these communities, the threat of a simple infection can be fatal.

Photos of the completed Residence Hall as taken on Nov. 8, 2019.

The Jones Foundation, along with Ken and Nancy Morrison are continuing their work with students at St. Francis as well as expanding their support of students like Oliver who aim to address legal issues in the country. Says Ken, 

“Nancy and I are very excited that we are going to be part of directly addressing the laws regarding women and children in Tanzania. Since 2009 we have focused on health and education for women in Tanzania. This picture of young female university students moving into the recently completed women’s residence in 2020, is the culmination of 12 years of work and brings incredible joy to us both. Addressing legal issues is an important and much-needed next step.”

Women move into the dorm at St. Francis University

Recently, the Tanzanian President passed away, and the first female President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, was sworn in—a game-changing moment for woman’s rights in the country and what will likely lead to a paradigm shift in the region.

A portion of modest fees earned by the women’s dorm for housing funds the operation of the migrating oral healthcare workers.

“We may take for granted our assumption of basic human rights, and that of women’s rights, in more developed countries, but in many places around the world these are still goals and not the reality,” said Jones, who is also a Director of the Jones Family Foundation. “The great work of Ken and Nancy Morrison and of course, the hundreds of inspiring women at St. Francis University provide us with the hope and progress for the next generation in the region.”

Jones is proud to acknowledge the 40 women who comprise the majority of employees of RSIR and the brokerage’s expert and top-performing women brokers, in addition to the scores of industry leaders that rank among the top real estate brokers in the NWMLS. He believes there will be opportunities for members of the RSIR Nation to visit Ifacara in the future and witness the work in progress and experience the wonders of this great country.

Please enjoy this heartfelt rendition of “Girl on Fire” from the opening celebration of the St. Francis Faustina Residence Hall