Sunday, December 19, 2010


Photo from SIC website

Dr. Matthew Craven had a vision. He earned his B.A. in Economics from Stanford University in 2001. That year he also got his first exposure to global health during a month he spent teaching HIV prevention seminars in Tanzania. While in Tanzania he witnessed the ineffectiveness of the existing healthcare delivery systems, especially to rural communities. He returned to Tanzania the following year and co-found Support for International Change (SIC), a non-profit organization working with the government to limit the impact of HIV in underserved communities through expanded access to education, testing, and treatment.

Dr. Craven also started SIC’s global health leadership training programs, which aims to develop a new generation of leaders for the field. He served as Executive Director of SIC for the next five years, first based in Tanzania and then in the U.S.

In 2008 Dr. Craven earned his M.D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine.


Their Mission
To limit the impact of HIV/AIDS in underserved communities and to train future leaders in global health and development.

Their Vision
SIC believes that the HIV/AIDS crisis creates both an imperative to act and an opportunity to learn. We envision a world where HIV/AIDS no longer limits length or quality of life or reduces the social or economic development of communities, and where young people learn the skills to address the health crises of future generations.

Their Approach
SIC was founded in August 2002 with the dual goals of limiting the impact of HIV/AIDS in Tanzania and training future leaders for global health and development. In the rural communities where we work, poor infrastructure and widespread poverty limit access to HIV testing and prevention services, and leave people living with HIV socially and physically isolated from care. Public clinics provide VCT and antiretroviral medications in urban centers, but lack of information, stigma and the costs of transportation all represent barriers to access and leave these services beyond the reach of Tanzania’s rural majority. As a result, HIV transmission continues, few people are tested in the villages and many of those living with AIDS die without accessing treatment.

In response to this crisis, SIC currently works in rural villages in northern Tanzania, offering a comprehensive set of community based services to combat HIV/AIDS. SIC supports a Community Health Worker (CHW) Program, a Peer Educators (PE) Program in secondary schools, community-based health awareness campaigns, and mobile Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT). With a few pilot programs, in conjunction with the district hospitals, we support mobile ARV clinics.

In addition to these community level interventions, SIC offers structured service-learning programs for international and Tanzanian volunteers. During our eight and twelve week programs, volunteers add capacity to our work, primarily by serving as teachers in our awareness campaigns. Hundreds of student volunteers have passed through our programs since 2003. Many have gone on to graduate or professional training in related fields, to found other organizations, or to other leadership positions in global health and development.

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