A Bond Between Women: The Beauty One Donor Sees in Pathfinder's Work

Photo of June Tatelman

Six years ago, June Tatelman gave her first gift to Pathfinder. Today, her commitment is stronger than ever. She recently visited Tanzania and Kenya to see the transformative nature of our projects firsthand.

“I don’t think I truly understood what Pathfinder did until I made that trip. I just thought ‘this is a wonderful organization,’ but I didn’t understand how good it is. You have to see it in action.”

You have to see it in the faces of the women Pathfinder serves.

“The women try so hard to take care of their families, to take care of their children,” June said. “I felt a bond with them.”

It is not surprising. June has devoted herself to her family, which has grown over the years to include everyone she has supported as a health educator, a counselor for Planned Parenthood, and a Guardian ad Litem in the Massachusetts juvenile court system. June is also is the founder of Camp Miracles and Magic, which strives to provide a one-of-a kind camp experience to children affected and infected with HIV and AIDS.

“In Tanzania, that’s what impressed me most,” June said, remarking on the strides made to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. “Because of Pathfinder, pregnant women are coming in to get tested. They can protect their unborn children. So that no mother has to have a child born with HIV. It’s such progress.”

But June knows there is a lot of work to be done and is frustrated that advancements in the United States are not being felt in developing countries. The disparity between what she sees in Massachusetts and what she saw in Dar es Salaam is heartbreaking. And that’s why she gives.

“Many people tell me ‘but there’s so much work to be done in the United States. There’s poverty here.’ And I know that,” June said. “But until you spend time in developing countries, you don’t really understand poverty.”

June wants everyone to understand, and to see what she saw: “I have never understood it, but a piece of my heart belongs in Africa.”

“If you want to trust me and trust what I have to say—Pathfinder does not just go there, do their work, and leave. The strength of Pathfinder is that they educate communities. They teach them. So when Pathfinder’s work is done, or the funds are no longer available, Pathfinder leaves behind a legacy. And the legacy is that communities can do it for themselves.

"That’s the purpose. The programs are developed so that, after time, women will be able to take care of themselves. And that is the beauty of Pathfinder.”

Focus Area: HIV & AIDS

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