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Tanzania is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is unique in all of Africa in that its' people are not segregated by tribe or religion. It is home to more than 120 ethnic groups, with no single group being dominant. The population is divided between Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and indigenous populations. All groups live together peacefully, and are united by the country's official spoken language of Kiswahili.

Tanzania has devoted 25% of its' land to National Parks Conservation Areas which protect 20% of all of Africa's large mammals; numerous of these parks are within just a few hours drive of Arusha.

Tanzania is one of the ten poorest countries in the world. The government is not able to fund most healthcare costs or nursing homes. Approximately half the population lives on less than one dollar per day, making it very challenging, if not impossible, for most people to pay for healthcare. There is poor accessibility and availability of antiretroviral (ARV) medication for HIV/AIDS, and the fear and stigma associated with the disease cause many people to avoid accessing testing and treatment.

Arusha St Lucia Community Healthcare Programs is located in the village of Moshono Chekereni, within the Arumeru district of Arusha. Arusha is the second largest city in Tanzania. The area served by St Lucia is predominately inhabited by people from the Maasai tribe. There are high rates of polygamy and alcoholism, and both female and male circumcision is practiced. Residents are mostly subsistence farmers suffering from years of intermittent draught.

(For more information about Arusha, please see the Volunteer Handbook.)

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