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Father and Daughter From Tanzania Receive Their First Medical Examination in Newport Beach

IN AMERICA FOR THE KIDS OF KILIMANJARO ANNUAL GALA Program provides school lunches to over 10,000 students in poor region of


ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Mary and Joseph Mwanisawa agreed to travel over 15,000 miles to attend the second annual gala to benefit the Kids of Kilimanjaro school lunch program, they thought they were going to America only to tell their story about how much the program was improving their community. They didn't know they would also be receiving a full medical examination -- the first of their lives.

The medical exam will be conducted on Tuesday, September 4 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Dr. Kevin Barnett's office at 350 Old Hospital Road, Newport Beach.

Mary, a third-grade student at Mazoezi Primary School in Tanzania who receives the free school lunch and her father Joseph Mwanisawa, a teacher at the Moringe Secondary School, will arrive in California on September 1 and return on September 9.

"Mary and Joseph are both so inspiring to me," said Kids of Kilimanjaro Founder and President George Namkung. "When they agreed to travel to California, I knew we had to do whatever we could to get them a medical exam. When I asked Dr. Barrett, he instantly saw how important it would be and enthusiastically agreed."

Dr. Kevin Barnett, an internist from Newport Beach, will be the first doctor that Joseph and Mary have ever seen. In a country where 200,000 children under the age of five die each year from preventable diseases like malaria and pneumonia, advanced medical treatment is rare. Dr. Barnett will be conducting a complete physical, including taking x-rays and testing for TB and malaria.

"We sometimes lose focus on how lucky we are to be able to receive such quality health care in this country," explained Dr. Barnett, a former member of Hoag Hospital's Board of Directors. "Giving Mary and Joseph a medical exam was the least I could do."

"There will be many 'firsts' in our trip to California," said Joseph Mwanisawa. "It's our first time aboard an airplane, our first time visiting America and our first medical examination. Not to mention our first time speaking to a large group of people! We are so honored that Mr. George has invited us to his home and has set up this trip to the doctor."

About the Kids of Kilimanjaro Program:

Kids of Kilimanjaro is a California-based 501c3 that was founded by George Namkung of Newport Coast in April 2005, after visiting schools in the Monduli district of Tanzania. At the age of 62, George fulfilled one life-long dream - - climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. After meeting the kids of Monduli he set out to realize a second dream -- founding a not-for-profit organization focused on kids and education.

The program raises money to provide a school lunch to over 10,000 students a day, who without the program would not be fed. Kids of Kilimanjaro provides a nutritious school lunch to students in the Monduli district of Tanzania, in the shadows of Mt. Kilimanjaro. All the food is purchased from local farmers and prepared by community members.

The results, in only two years, have been striking. Attendance at participating schools is at 100%. Schools have extended the school day by an hour because of the students increased capacity to learn and the government will be opening 15 additional schools in this upcoming school year to accommodate demand.

About the Kids of Kilimanjaro Gala:

The second annual Kids of Kilimanjaro Gala will be held on Saturday, September 8, at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach, to raise money and promote awareness about the program. The gala expects several hundred guests and hopes to raise over $400,000 for the program.

To make it easy for anyone to support the school lunch program in Tanzania, Kids of Kilimanjaro has launched the Drive for 39 Campaign. For just $39.00, a Tanzanian student can enjoy a hot nutritious lunch every school day. To learn more about the Drive for 39 Campaign visit

Media Notes: For more information about the event or to interview Mary, Joseph or George, please contact Andrew Simon at (202) 680-8850 or For more information on Kids of Kilimanjaro, please visit

SOURCE Kids of Kilimanjaro
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