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OUR MISSION IS TO ARRANGE AND FUND LIFE SAVING SPINAL SURGERIES FOR CHILDREN OF EAST AFRICA.
Stand Tall International started in 2013 when the founders Masha Balovlenkov and Jason Smith traveled to Africa to volunteer in the small town of Moshi, Tanzania. Masha Balovlenkov volunteered with a local organization called Jipe Moyo, a program that provides services for women with chronic health conditions and a nursery school for their children. The biggest problem that she noticed, many people she met needed more advanced treatments that were unavailable either because they were too costly or were procedures that didn’t exist in Tanzania.
One of these patients was 11-year-old Benson Mushi. When she met Benson, he was almost paralyzed with spinal tuberculosis (TB). He had visited every hospital in his region and no one could provide a diagnosis, much less perform his complicated spinal surgery. She traveled with him to Ghana where he received the life saving procedure. After his extensive recovery, Benson returned to Tanzania and Stand Tall raised enough money to send him to private school.
Through this journey, Masha and Jason learned how changing the life of one child impacts the health of the entire community. They are heading back to Tanzania to identify the next child who needs life changing support.