About Us

Highlands Hope Umbrella brings patient-focused, community-based, high-quality, and sustainable HIV-AIDS awareness and treatment to rural Africa.


What we do at Highlands Hope Umbrella

Highlands Hope Umbrella is an organization that brings together community, professional, and volunteer networks to address the the challenge of HIV-AIDS and related social problems like the situation of orphans and vulnerable children in the Njombe region of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Its member groups include community-based peer health educator groups, a professional women’s association focused on the needs of orphans and vulnerable children, and a youth choir and drama team that builds awareness of HIV among young people in the area.

These individuals and organizations have been responding to the challenge of the HIV pandemic for a decade within the limitations of their rural Tanzanian setting and resources. Their response has always been characterized by a clear focus on meeting the needs of their patients and their families, on maximizing effective and efficient use of limited health care resources and on providing the highest quality of care and information services.

More recently, they have begun rigorous investigation of the health and social impacts of HIV in collaboration with the McGill University School of Nursing. Highlands Hope Umbrella has demonstrated that it can create a virtuous circle of care, research, and advocacy that has allowed the organization to make great strides forward in the quality of HIV awareness and and care services with very modest resources.

HIV-AIDS is an enormous problem in their part of Africa, with an estimated prevalence of 18-20% prevalence in the adult population of Njombe and Makete Districts. Thousands of children are already orphaned by the disease in the area. But Highlands Hope Umbrella is demonstrating that community spirit, volunteerism and innovative approaches to education and care can make an important difference.


The Mission of Highlands Hope Umbrella

Highlands Hope Umbrella organizations follow the protocols and support the priorities of Tanzania’s National Aids Control Program (NACP) for patient care in rural settings, though with very limited local resources.

Nevertheless, the efforts of HIghlands Hope Umbrella organizations have touched thousands; they are leaders in the struggle for recognition that access to basic health care (including access to health information and to basic social services for patients and for vulnerable children) is a human right.

Highlands Hope of Tanzania works in partnership with local Njombe and Makete communities to support health care that takes into consideration physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual and social well being.

Highlands Hope members have taken as their mission to improve the quality of life of people infected and affected with HIV and AIDS in Njombe and Makete by a focus on mutual support, professional development, research and knowledge development, and solidarity with the people that they serve.


McGill University Ingram School of Nursing

The Ingram School of Nursing at McGill University has been a leader in nursing education, research and practice since its founding in 1920. It is recognized globally for the excellence, creativity, and rigour of its academic programs. Graduates of the School have made remarkable contributions to the development of the discipline and to the delivery of health care in Quebec, Canada and internationally. Its International Health option is working with Highlands Hope to support nurses and other health workers through education and professional exchange.


Montreal-based digital agency Plank has been a partner of Highlands Hope Umbrella since 2005. In 2013 Plank redesigned and built a brand new site for Highlands Hope to better showcase the great work of the organization and its volunteers.

Sisters of Spirit (SOS)

Based in St. Lambert, Quebec, Canada, SOS is an informal group of “young-at-heart” St. Lambert United Church women who, in the spirit of fun and fellowship, contribute to church life and outreach projects. We work to keep the group fun and light-hearted while doing meaningful work in the church and surrounding community. Our special relationship with AIDS workers in Africa, both Highlands Hope of Tanzania and PIUMA, continues to open our hearts and minds to the suffering of others and helps us appreciate all the blessings and privileges we have as Canadians.

The Tanwat Company Hospital

The Tanwat (Tanganyka Wattle Company Tanzania) Company Hospital is a 40-bed clinic and hospital in Njombe that provides services to Tanwat workers and their families as well as to residents of the workers’ 17 home villages. Tanwat Company Hospital has been actively developing HIV-AIDS education and care programming since 1996 and has invested in specialized professional training and peer education programs that have benefited all three Highlands Hope hospitals and clinics. It began dispensing antiretrovirals in April 2006. The Hospital established an HIV Care and Treatment Centre in 2007 and serves several hundred patients with strong links to workplace and village-based peer health educators.