HUMANITARIANS: Caloundra’s Dale Young and his partner Dr Tanya Russell with daughter Zahara are back from Tanzania.
HUMANITARIANS: Caloundra’s Dale Young and his partner Dr Tanya Russell with daughter Zahara are back from Tanzania. Brett Wortman Melissa Jean

Would you pack up your life in the name of humanitarian aid?

WHEN Dale Young moved to Tanzania with his partner Dr Tanya Russell in 2007 to support her work in malaria research, he never imagined he would find his life's calling.

Fast-forward to 2015 and his humanitarian organisation, Maji Safi Afya Bora Ifakara (MSABI) has been responsible for providing more than 80,000 people in Tanzania with safe, clean drinking water.

The Moffat Beach locals have divided their time between Africa and the Sunshine Coast for almost nine years, and just returned to the Coast after eight months away. But Mr Young said they intend to spend more time in Australia over the next few years for the sake of their young daughter, even though she loves Africa.

"I leave Tanzania confident of the future," he said.

"This year I will be phasing out of the day-to-day operations. I will be taking a more strategic role to support the country team and assist in meeting the challenges that lie ahead."

Mr Young, 36, said his humanitarian work came about a year into his stay in East Africa, after he became aware of a prolonged cholera outbreak in two villages and saw firsthand the lack of clean and safe water.

He decided to put his water engineering background to good use and started up MSABI.

"Within six years of operations MSABI has emerged as a leader in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector within Tanzania," he said. "The organisation has directly benefited more than 80,000 people through the provision of water and sanitation infrastructure and 400,000 through hygiene and education programs.

"MSABI acts as a business incubator and aims at creating sustainable local WASH enterprises, capable of delivering high-quality products and services through market-based solutions.

Toddler Zahara Young plays with children in Tanzania.
Toddler Zahara Young plays with children in Tanzania.

"MSABI employs a local and international team of up to 75 people and has managed more than three million US dollars in competitive grants.

"Our main aims are to improve the health of communities and improve social welfare by establishing businesses linked to water, sanitation and hygiene, creating local jobs which in turn results in self-reliance, improved sustainability and local economic stimulation."

Mr Young, who works as a water and wastewater engineer for Kawana-based engineering consultant company GHD, said he had always had the support of his company when it came to his work with MSABI.

"The continued demand for our services along with the evolving challenges and personal rewards has kept me involved," he said.

"It has not been an easy journey and I would not have persevered without the support of a dedicated and passionate MSABI team and the love of my family."

More information at http://www.msabi.org.

Dale Young is helping Tanzanians access drinking water.
Dale Young is helping Tanzanians access drinking water.

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