April 9, 2013 (MMD Newswire) -- Imagine a hospital without power for seven months. Imagine a patient with burns on sixty percent of her body. Imagine if you were that patient and that this was the hospital where you were being cared for. This is the reality of medical care in the Njombe Region of Tanzania, Africa, one of the poorest and least developed regions in southwest Tanzania and often referred to as the "forgotten land" by the residents. The villages in this area are all in critical need of local health services, reliable electric power and safe drinking water.

After visiting this region Lucy Rodriguez was inspired to found Operation Upendo, Inc., an Idaho-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Her vision is to provide various aspects of humanitarian assistance to the poor in remote areas of Tanzania.

The seed for Operation Upendo started in 1997 when Lucy traveled to Tanzania on a vacation. While on safari she observed the magnificent wildlife of Africa, but also became aware of the hardships of the residents. This impacted her life in a profound way. In 2009, she began to realize her dream.


Lucy made three fact-finding trips to Tanzania, two of which included her volunteer medical director. Based on those trips it was determined that the immediate goal should be to rebuild St. John's Hospital, including the provision of reliable electric power.

Operation Upendo's approach is to provide the training and the means that will make it possible for the people to improve their living conditions and become self-sustaining; a jumpstart rather than endless handouts. Operation Upendo will work with non-government organizations in Tanzania, also known as NGOs, that know what the people of Tanzania need in order to improve their quality of life. However, in many cases these NGOs are unable to progress with their project plans due to lack of financial and/or project support. Operation Upendo intends to select and qualify existing NGOs to work with directly to accomplish its goals.

Upendo means love in Swahili. Those who join Operation Upendo will become an important part of the organization's core group of volunteers whose mission is to help the less fortunate in Tanzania. But more importantly, they will leave a life-long legacy for generations to come.

For more information about Operation Upendo please visit We need the help of people that can volunteer their time to this worthy cause.

PO Box 1054
Meridian, Idaho 83680

Office Phone: 208-297-5624

Lucy Rodriguez, Founder/President

David Posey, Secretary/Treasurer



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