About Us

Our Purpose

The purpose of Friends of Shirati is to provide medical, educational and developmental assistance to East Africa, primarily in Tanzania.


Friends of Shirati began as an informal group of individuals committed to benefitting members of the Shirati community by contributing monetarily to the material healthcare needs of Shirati Hospital. The first fundraiser was held in 1978 when the employees of Lancaster General Hospital (Lancaster, PA) donated $20,000 for medical supplies. A decade later in 1989, a Friends of Shirati committee was formed under Eastern Mennonite Mission (Salunga, Pa) to begin efforts toward raising larger funds. In 2004, Shirati Hospital and the Tanzania Mennonite Church began requesting increased financial support to help with the renovation and modernization of Shirati Hospital in addition to other programs. In response, to this request, Eastern Mennonite Mission gave its approval and Friends of Shirati registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Since 1934 many doctors, nurses, nurse educators, hospital administrators, church leaders, and support personnel have lived and worked at Shirati Hospital and with the Tanzania Mennonite Church. At least 100 of these persons are the basis of our financial support, and our current board of directors has more than 85 cumulative years working at Shirati Hospital.

Tax Exempt Status

Friends of Shirati is a Pennsylvania nonprofit Corporation and is exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Contributions to Friends of Shirati are tax deductible.

Board of Directors