Uhuru Torch Awarded to Hospital Food Program by Tanzanian Government
The Uhuru Torch (in Swahili, Mwenge wa Uhur, "Torch of Freedom") is one of the national symbols of Tanzania. This kerosene torch, first lit in 1961 when Tanzania gained independence from British colonial rule, symbolizes freedom—a light that brings hope where there is despair, love where there is enmity, and respect where there is hatred. Each year the torch award is given to superior development projects throughout the country. In the months-long Uhuru torch race, Tanzanian soldiers, accompanied by dancers to celebrate the tremendous honor, travel to different regions of Tanzania for ceremonies honoring the awardees.
In June 2022, this honor was given to our Hospital Food Program, which serves healthy meals to patients in Shirati Hospital, directed by Dr. Bwire Chirangi. In particular, the award recognized excellence and innovation in the “Peanut Project,” which created a production unit at the hospital to prepare ready-to-use therapeutic food for children admitted with severe malnutrition. This project is led by local nutritionist Stella Makori in collaboration with Dr. Nathan Beijneveld of Stichting Shirati. Victoria Von Salmuth of Stichting Shirati was also honored for her role in supporting the hospital food program. REACH Shirati board member Laura Mason was present in Shirati for the ceremony.