Joann and Don committed themselves to a lifetime of devotion and service to others. In retirement, they traveled around the world, eventually visiting Tanzania. In 2000, in partnership with the Tanzanian Lutheran Church, they established and funded Faraja Primary School for children with physical disabilities. Between 1999 and 2016, they traveled to Tanzania and Faraja thirty-five times. Over these past twenty years, Faraja has provided education, medical care and rehabilitation in a loving environment for hundreds of students. Joann and Don were recognized by the Tanzanian Prime Minister and Parliament for their work and honored with a President Bush "Point of Light" award.
Joann's humble impact was profound. She inspired others to find ways to live beyond themselves. Her family, many friends, Faraja Fund Foundation board members and donors are all richer people for being part of Faraja. Don always said that “Joann is the heart of Faraja.” Those who have received Joann’s letters and cards over the years know that is true. Joann cherished the children and the school for more than twenty years.
Joann will be remembered for her deep Christian faith, her commitment to serving others and for Faraja Primary School. Our foundation will continue to carry on this work with the support of our generous friends and sponsors. We thank you for the role you play at Faraja. And we thank God for Joann Tolmie.