Jefferson AwardsBy Allen Martin

by Allen Martin and Jennifer Mistrot

(KPIX 5) — Diane Dodge has made it her life’s work to help Bay Area young people reach their educational goals. Now she’s shifted her focus to another continent.

Recently, Dodge, the newly-minted Executive Director of the Tiba Foundation, thanked its dedicated volunteers. Founded in 2004, Tiba supports Matibabu, an African based non-profit that provides free and low-cost healthcare to rural residents of West Kenya. Every year, Tiba sends volunteers to the Matibabu hospital, bringing medical supplies and much needed expertise in areas like radiology, dental care, and HIV treatment

“We need people to open up their eyes to say hey what’s happening in rural Africa is important,” explained Dodge of her new role.


Dodge is no stranger to the non-profit world. She was recruited to run Tiba after nearly two decades helping Bay Area young people reach their educational goals, first teaching ESL classes in Berkeley, then expanding college success programs at other non-profits before landing at the East Bay College Fund. All in all Dodge estimates she has helped nearly 5000 young people achieve educational success.

“The impact of that is really amazing,” said Dodge. ”And I feel very honored to have been part of that.”

It’s that enthusiasm Tiba founder Gail Wagner says made the decision to hire Dodge an easy one

“She really wants to do a good job for people,” said Wagner. ”She wants to help.”

And Dodge throws herself into her work. Her first assignment at Tiba was a trip to Kenya where she met clinic Director Paschalia Obango.

“She is very dedicated,” said Obango. “I must say.”

The Matibabu Foundation now has its own hospital and can see up to 200 patients daily. Dodge wants to expand its services to include two state of the art operating rooms.

“It’s exciting for me,” explained Dodge. “That’s what I love.”

So for dedicating her life to public service and expanding healthcare and education opportunities, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Diane Dodge.