Thrive Afya Tanzania is a US 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Babati, Tanzania. Our team works to improve access to quality reproductive and maternal health services for adolescents and women in Tanzania. Due to the provision of poor health services in Tanzania, adolescents and women face high rates of morbidity and mortality. Thrive Afya Tanzania seeks to change that.

Our mission & vision

Thrive Afya Tanzania improves access to quality reproductive and maternal health services through health system strengthening, life skills development, education, research, and advocacy.

Thrive Afya Tanzania envisions a Tanzania where every adolescent and woman of reproductive age can choose when to start a family and has access to the necessary services to do so, can share their desires and achieve their goals without discrimination, and will no longer suffer due to lack of access to basic healthcare services.

Our core values


We believe that respect for the communities that we serve is the first step towards creating change. Respect is an integral part of how we design and implement our programs.


We are accountable to the communities that we serve, our partners, and our donors. We strive to be as transparent as possible about the successes and challenges we face in our work.


We believe that change starts with the community. We harness community voices and join them together with health providers and the government to foster multi-level change.


We acknowledge that the needs of the community change. We, therefore, are committed to remaining flexible in adjusting our programs to be as effective as possible.


We are driven by our compassionate spirit that informs the work that we do and how our programs are implemented.

Social Justice

We believe that access to quality reproductive health services is a human right that should be guaranteed to all adolescents and women of reproductive age.

Our story

Believe it or not, our journey started way back in 2007 when Simon, Waziri, and Mershil met working for Support for International Change (SIC). Katie and Yusuph, now married, joined SIC in 2010. While we didn’t all work for SIC at the same time, we have bonded over the memorable experiences that SIC gave us.

Unfortunately, in 2015, SIC decided to close its doors. As a result, Arusha and Babati were left without the incredible HIV support SIC provided. This would simply not do. Our shared passion to serve communities in Tanzania and provide them with the quality healthcare services they deserve drew us together to join hands once again.

So, in 2016, the five of us created a new organization, Thrive Afya Tanzania, which focuses on improving access to quality reproductive health services. Our dream is to ensure that women and adolescents in Tanzania can fulfill their basic human right to reproductive health services and to have the freedom to pursue their own dreams.

Our team

Katie Lesyna-Mlaponi

Country Director

Simon Gervas

Programs Manager

Waziri Njau

Technical Expert

Yusuph Ibrahim Mlaponi

Operations Manager

Mershil Kivuyo

Legal Adviser

Support our work

Thank you for your interest in improving the lives of women and girls in Tanzania. Learn more about how you can support our work.