News & Updates

Latest Series:

Why one of our board members climbed Kilimanjaro to fulfill FAD’s mission.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 1

Many of you have been following my posts on preparing for our Kilimanjaro trip. We successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro on June 16th, 2021, at 7:26 AM. The summit night was one of the most challenging but most rewarding things I have ever done.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 2

I saw this quote last week, and it immediately made me think of our extraordinary trip. “Live for the moments you can’t put into words.” – Clo Mailen

We have the most wonderful sense of accomplishment, and we’re so excited to share about all that we experienced.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 3

This picture of me at the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most exhilarating moments I’ve ever experienced. Some people have asked me if I’m different as a result of this experience.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 4

This picture is of the gear that we were required to bring. It’s all packed in plastic bags, which protects it from dampness and helps separate items so you can easily find things.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 5

Here’s a fun fact for anyone interested in the technical details. Our porters carried a 95-liter duffel bag with a maximum weight of 33 pounds for each team member. Though relatively small, that bag needed to contain everything we needed for our journey.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 6

It was astounding to see the amount of weight the porters would carry. They typically had a large backpack along with a tent or pail of items, and sometimes something else on their head or shoulders!

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 7

On day four, we stopped for lunch at a 300-foot formation of volcanic rock called Lava Tower. Two people with hiking experience read that climbing Lava Tower is considered a “Rock Scramble.”

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 8

I’d like to thank Matthew Kirk for generously sharing his pictures and videos. As each day progressed, the hiking reached new levels of difficulty.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 9

This photo shows the tents where we slept. On the third night, we had an insane night of wind. It was a good reminder that you are at nature’s mercy, and the weather can turn treacherous in the blink of an eye.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 10

Sometimes even the strongest of us could use a helping hand. One of the most touching moments occurred after our night-long journey to the Kilimanjaro summit. You think that you’re done when you reach Stella Point, but actually, you’re not.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 11

We Made It! The sweet taste of success never tastes better than after you’ve put in hundreds of hours working, planning, and preparing. Everything came together, and we accomplished our goals.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 12

“Happy! Happy!” One of the most wonderful men I met on this trip was named Augustine. Every time he stuck his head into a tent to tell us something, he began his sentence with, “Happy. Happy.”

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 13

Best recruiting video ever! One of my coworkers, Matthew Kirk, shared this experience with me. At times I second-guessed my decision about whether to proceed with the climb.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 14

The real heroes of the climb are not the climbers. The real MVPs are the Embark Exploration Team members who continually supported us, motivated us, and cared for us.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 15

This video is a beautiful illustration of what good leadership looks like.

Notice how our guide Will shows expert leadership…

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 16

This video clip is another one of my favorite moments from our trip. I was honored to lead the team in prayer before our hikes each day. But on summit day – after we had completed our goal, our hearts were overflowing with gratitude.

Climbing Kilimanjaro with Justin Caplan – Part 17

At the beginning of this video clip, my good friend Jack asked me, “Justin, what do you think about today? On the grueling and tough scale, how was it?”

Project Updates

Read about FAD recent projects and learn about our work!

MELOC Academy-Construction Update

Hello Friends of MELOC Academy, happy new year! Here the latest photos of the foundation and slab we are building for a prefab building for MELOC academy’s preschool classes. Many thanks for your generous support that got us this far. Mungu awabariki! Steven

Construction of MELOC Academy Class Rooms

Construction of MELOC Academy class rooms. Our new project for a Early education in Longido, Tanzania.

MELOC (Memusi Longido Christian) Academy

Building the new Longido Special Education Academy for talented children and the handicapped which will be known by its acronym as MELOC (Memusi Longido Christian) Academy is a project in the making. The term Memusi is a Maasai word for something that one has a great desire to have. The acronym MELOC in Maasai means […]

ATLANTIC BAY CARES | WITHOUT BORDERS Changing lives in Africa starts at the Beach

In 2005, Steven Kiruswa and Atlantic Bay Mortgage’s Justin Caplan laid the foundation for a friendship that would span the globe and change lives httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXg3ufIF1qw

Third Well Project

This year there has been a serious shortage of water for most people living in the Longido district of Tanzania. Consequently, the need for water is crucial in this community.

Pictures of the Ngoswak Well

Here are some very joyful images of the well in Ngoswak, Tanzania.  Before these people were walking 7 miles a day each way to get water.  Now, they can focus on other kinds of development.  Enjoy the pictures.

Our involvement in Tanzania

The Maasai people of Tanzania and Kenya are at a critical time of transition in their development. The government has required that they give up their nomadic life, which they have practiced for hundreds of years, and adapt to a more settled way of living.

What is FAD?

The Vision Friends for African Development (FAD) is called to follow Christ by sharing the love and resources he gives us with the poor and oppressed in African countries. We seek to empower and transform communities expressing God’s love by what we do. Mission Statement Friends for African Development (FAD) is a Christian non-profit organization […]

Ngoswak Well Project

This year our goal is to drill two wells in the Longido area. The total cost for this project will be $60,000 and we believe we can raise this money in time to help alleviate the drought. To date $19,000 has been raised toward drilling the first well so we need to raise $6,000 more in the next few weeks. Another $5,000 will be needed to put in a pump and to have an electric pump put in and to secure a water storage tank.

Predicted increase in African droughts

According to BBC correspondent Roland Pease, by the end of the century Africa may have 25% less water, causing severe droughts throughout the continent.  A study published in the journal “Science” showed that sub-Saharan African would be most vulnerable due to drastic change there. Managing their water resources will become even more critical than it […]

Digging wells in Tanzania

This summer our primary focus is raising funds and awareness for the severe drought taking place in East Africa.  We are currently campaigning to build several wells in Tanzania where the people do not have enough water for themselves and their livestock, which is their main livelihood.  We will be posting updates on fundraising, the […]

R. Kapande, Tanzanian local

  …the community is very happy for what our God has done, after our prayer of years and years without water.  But from FAD members contributions they (the community) are now going to get enough water for their school and communityat large.  Pass our greeting to all our friends there and tell them that Jesus […]