Where it all began

The Buturi Project is a small charity but with a big heart; much like the village of Buturi in Tanzania – a relatively small place yet with a heartful community. 

The charity was started by Judith Smith from the UK in collaboration with her mother in Buturi (‘Mama Regina’). 

Mama Regina moved from Kenya to the village after marrying Judith’s father. Mama Regina had a tough life raising her daughter as a single parent in Buturi after her husband died. Judith was born in Buturi, where she spent her childhood and adolescence.

Through the power of education, Judith was able to study and live in various countries before eventually settling in the UK where she raised her children: Alicia, Tanya and William Smith in Exmouth. Before this, Judith spent several years studying at college in California living with her good friend Lori Abrahamson. The Abrahamson family became affectionately known as Judith’s “American family”. 

The Buturi Project was born out of love for Judith’s Tanzanian roots; fuelled by a desire to create opportunity for her community of origin, as well as partnership with her community of choice – Devon. 

Judith tragically passed away in September 2019 unexpectedly, and Mama Regina sadly followed in April 2020. 

Judith was fiercely passionate and determined to support Buturi, dedicating the last decade of her life to exploring and creating opportunities for health and education for the most vulnerable in Buturi. 

In 2020, Alicia Smith (Judith’s eldest daughter) and Claire Bedwell (a dear friend of Judith’s) decided to take the Buturi Project forward jointly as co-Directors in collaboration with a new board of Trustees. 

Judith and Mama Regina held noble beliefs about the importance of supporting and uplifting others. The Buturi Project continues as an act of love for these women, and to honour their legacy.

The Buturi Project remains as Judith envisaged: at its heart committed to empowering the community in Buturi. 

We are very grateful for the support to take this forward in the UK and Tanzania alongside our American family. 

We hope you enjoy being part of our projects alongside the Buturi community.