Charity It's OK To Say launches new Tanzania initiative

It's OK To Say founder Stacey Turner on her Kilimanjaro climb.

It's OK To Say founder Stacey Turner on her Kilimanjaro climb. - Credit: Stacey Turner

A St Albans mental health awareness charity is going international, with a new initiative to help communities in Tanzania.

It's OK To Say founder Stacey Turner visited the African nation when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2019, and was inspired to take action to help improve the lives of the people she met out there.

Stacey said: "It broke my heart to learn that the local schools did not have adequate facilities and it was common for the girls to have reoccurring wee infections. Sadly, they hardly had any school supplies or running water, and even struggle with the supplies required to grow vegetables.

“We intend to get a team together to visit Tanzania post-Covid and look at exactly how we can help, including setting up a talking therapy service, and I have partnered with people out there who will help to put this in place."

The project, which has been two years in the making, will be run as part of It's OK To Say's schools initiative, set up to support schools, students and their families with mental health challenges prior to lockdown but delayed due to the pandemic.

Stacey is looking for people with experience in business, project management, photography, art, cookery, computers, website development, psychology and more.  

Stacey said: “It's hard to list all the skills required, as really anyone can come forward and say I have this experience and would love to help. You might be a photographer and want to come out to Tanzania to capture the project with a view to setting up an art exhibition for example.

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"This is a whole community project and we hope to be chosen for students who undertake their Duke of Edinburgh Award, graduates, really anyone wanting to share their skills. The possibilities are endless and very, very exciting."

Stacey Turner with Noel Makundi, travel guide and Tanzania support executive for It’s OK To Say.

Stacey Turner with Noel Makundi, travel guide and Tanzania support executive for It’s OK To Say. - Credit: Stacey Turner

In time, she hopes the initiative will expand to other countries once the model of support and funding is established.  

Stacey added: "I really loved Tanzania, the deep conversations I shared with locals made up a big part of my experience as I learned so much about their way of life, their struggles and what it takes to just get by.”

"When you donate to and support It’s OK To Say, you’re also now helping our counterpart in Tanzania, funding vital daily physiological needs necessary before any learning can take place and ensuring children and their families can flourish."

If you can offer your skills and help this initiative in any way, please email