SIP’s mission is to elevate the quality of life of our brothers and sisters in Igoma through programs focused on healthcare, education and child sponsorship.


In 1998, a work team from Stouffville, Ontario, travelled to Igoma, Tanzania, to start construction of the village’s first medical clinic. Five years later, a second team returned to complete the clinic and stock it with medicine, medical equipment and more. A local board of directors for the new Urafiki Health Clinic was appointed and a doctor was hired. In September 2003, the clinic opened its doors to the people of Igoma.

During this time, Stouffville resident Peter Neufeld made a presentation to the Stouffville Town Council proposing that the town adopt Igoma as a partner community. The idea was that Stouffville would find ways to support and build connections with the village of Igoma. The council approved the project unanimously, and in September 2003, the Stouffville Igoma Partnership (SIP) was founded.

Through this unique grassroots partnership, Canadian volunteers have had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Igoma and learn about East Africa and its culture, customs, language and people. Volunteers from Igoma have also been sponsored to come to Canada to learn about life here and speak to students, clubs and likeminded organizations.

Since 2003, SIP has undertaken a number of projects in Igoma, all of which were paid for with money received through fundraising and donations. We achieved a key milestone in 2019 by completing a minor surgery operating theatre at the Urafiki Health Clinic that will be fully operational by the end of the year.


SIP is a registered charitable organization incorporated under the laws of Canada. It is governed by boards of directors in Canada and Tanzania, who work together to provide ongoing guidance and stewardship under a Memorandum of Understanding.

The Urafiki Health Clinic remains the cornerstone of SIP and the boards’ biggest decisions revolve around funding expansions that would enable the clinic to offer a wider range of health care services. All staffing and other major decisions are handled by the Urafiki Health Clinic Board of Directors. While it’s important for the SIP Canada Board of Directors to be informed of the changes and needs of the clinic, and to be able to direct the funds we send to specific areas of the clinic such as staff salaries, most of the decision-making resides with local community members who sit on the Tanzanian boards because of their specific skill sets and experience. This approach ensures that every aspect of the clinic’s operations is carefully managed.

“I travelled to Igoma in 2011 and saw first-hand the difference that SIP was making in the lives of people there. When SIP was looking for a secretary, I saw this as an opportunity to help its good work progress.”

SIP Canada Board of Directors

Peter Neufeld, Jr.


Peter joined the SIP board in 2019. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Psychology and an MBA. Currently working as an HR Executive for Spin Master, Peter also brings experience as a former psychometrist at Willian Osler Health Center in Ontario.

Gabrielle Gilbert-Snarr

SIP Child Sponsorship Program Director

Gabrielle joined the SIP board in 2020. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Doctorate of Optometry. Gabrielle works full-time as an Optometrist in Ontario. 


Georgia Neufeld


Georgia joined the SIP board in 2020. She graduated from The University of Toronto in the Rotman Commerce program in 2023. Currently working at Maple Leaf Foods in their New Grad Rotational Program with the sales team. 


Marcus Gordon


Marcus joined the SIP board in 2010 and brings more than 15 years of experience as an advisor/analyst with the Ontario Public Service. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography/English/History and a post-graduate diploma in Public Administration

Justin Kerswill


Justin has served on the board since 2007, and was the Chair of SIP from 2015-2021. With a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees, he’s a teacher, one to one worker with Children’s Aid, Big Brother volunteer and gifted musician.

Alex William Samwel

Executive Director

Alex has served on the SIP Tanzania Board since 2020 and now functions in the role of Executive Director in Tanzania on behalf of the SIP Canada Board of Directors. He was the recipient of the Young African Leaders Initiative award by the US Embassy Department and is a highly educated and motivated individual passionate for sustainable development in his community.