At Medical Teams, we think a lot about maternal health care — in complex humanitarian environments, it’s often women and children who face the greatest risk of mortality from disease or lack of access to health care. But today, we’re turning our attention in a different direction.

This Father’s Day, we’re celebrating the Dads we serve alongside who want what all fathers do for their children: bright futures, safety, health, and happiness.

Read on for stories from a few of the great Dads we know!

Meet Martin

Martin, father to Furaha, brought her to Medical Teams when she fell ill with malaria. Photo by Suhaila Stanthon Thawer.

Martin and his wife were proud of their life in the Democratic Republic of Congo: they worked hard farming their land and raising their 4 children. But then, war broke out. Martin and his wife separated. As a single father, he brought them to the safety of Tanzania.

Martin says, “We were afraid of insecurity and increasing murders. I would never wish to endanger my children’s lives with the war.”

Soon after arriving in Tanzania, Martin noticed that his daughter, Furaha, wasn’t herself. She became very quiet and withdrawn, and had no energy to play with the other children. When Martin touched her forehead, he realized she had a high fever.

Martin says, once he reached the Medical Teams clinic,

“I rushed here as fast as possible. I’m sad to see her in pain.”

He carried his daughter the whole way to the clinic, wrapping her in a cloth to protect her from the rain. When Furaha was seen by a provider and diagnosed with malaria, Martin was relieved. Having a diagnosis meant there could be a cure.

Happily, that was true for Furaha. She recovered completely, and Martin says, “I thank God for Furaha’s recovery.”

Dads like Martin — whose care and concern for their children are evident — are exactly who we’re celebrating this Father’s Day!

Meet Abubaker

Abubaker is a father and Medical Teams ambulance driver. Photo by Andrew Onapito.

When Abubaker left his home in the Democratic Republic of Congo to make the weeks-long trek to the safety of Uganda, he could scarcely dream of the life he has now. After both his parents were murdered by rebels, he knew he couldn’t stay anymore. With few living relatives, he joined friends and left his country behind.

Abubaker says of leaving home, “I had a mixture of feelings. I was sad that I was leaving my home. But I was filled with worry too that if I didn’t leave I would end up like my parents.”

When he first arrived in Uganda, life was hard — but with the support of a good friend, Abubaker soon began to feel settled. He also began working for Medical Teams as a tricycle ambulance rider. He’s passionate about his work transporting patients with medical emergencies from the more remote health outpost he’s stationed at to the main health center.

And today, nearly a decade after leaving the Democratic Republic of Congo, Abubaker has a family of his own. He met his wife, and together they have two children.


Abubaker says,

“I no longer live in fear and I have a family of my own that I love. I am at peace knowing that we are safe.”

He also credits Medical Teams for helping establish his sense of stability. He says, “I can feed my family and educate my children, and at work there is great teamwork and team spirit. I feel like I have another big family at Medical Teams.”

We’re so grateful for Dads — and colleagues! — like Abubaker, who bring new meaning to fathers as the foundation of a family!

Meet Byaombe

Byaombe cared for his wife, Joseline, and family while she experienced a mental health crisis. Photo by Suhaila Stanthon Thawer.

Byaombe and his wife, Joseline, met in Tanzania, where they both were seeking refuge from violence. Joseline left Burundi at her mother’s urging, and Byaombe left the Democratic Republic of Congo. Finding each other in Tanzania felt like fate. They quickly started a family, finding extraordinary joy in their children.

But during Joseline’s pregnancy with their fourth child, Byaombe began to worry. After attending multiple Channel of Hope sessions — an innovative initiative Medical Teams spearheads that engages faith leaders to share health messages with their congregations — he realized Joseline wasn’t getting the prenatal care she needed.

Then, she began experiencing hallucinations. Joseline was struggling with a mental health condition, and Byaombe was terrified for her.

He says,

“I wanted to take her to the clinic, but she refused to cooperate. I decided to go to Medical Teams and contact the community health workers, explaining my wife’s condition. After listening to me, Medical Teams dispatched community health workers with a car and managed to bring her in.”

Worried for both his wife and their child, he kept supporting Joseline as she went through treatment. He cared for their family while she was at the hospital. She never went to an appointment without him there.

When she safely delivered their baby, he was so happy. Even though Joseline’s recovery will take time, Byaombe knows he’ll be there every step of the way – and so will Medical Teams.

Byaombe says, “I feel great about Medical Teams’ treatment toward my wife.”

Dads and husbands like Byaombe demonstrate how important a partnership can be to the health and well-being of each of us!

Happy Father’s Day

As you celebrate the dad or father figure in your own life, take note of the Dads above and remember — they’re just like yours! They have the same heart for their families as any of the Dads we know and love.

If you’d like to help a dad like Martin, Abubaker, or Byaombe, join The Pulse! It’s our community of recurring givers who show up with heart day in and day out to provide loving, life-saving care.