During Phase One of Expedition, Alpha 2 is working alongside many members of the local youth community. As part of the program the local youth fundis (builders) have volunteered their services to build a Latrine (toilet) block at the primary school. This latrine will enable girls to stay within the education system, many of whom drop out when starting menstruation due to the lack of privacy and poor hygiene and sanitation facilities. Endagikot Primary School has a number of young teachers who are seen as role models by the pupils. They are working alongside the Raleigh volunteers of Alpha 2, raising awareness, bringing enthusiasm and motivation to the SWASH program.
Since arrival in Endagikot Alpha 2 has also engaged with the community village leaders. During a meeting, it became clear that the older community members value the younger members of the community. They stated their recognition that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Although it was encouraging to hear this, it was confirmed that the village leaders had not yet established an actual youth group within Endagikot.
Alpha 2 has been working with community and the Diocese of Mbulu Development Department (DMDD) to encourage gender equality. It is positive to see that gender equality is recognized and promoted within the community; however, this is not currently represented in the area of youth. For example, one village leader in another area of Mbulu has created a youth group within his community. Youths are actively involved in growing and selling tree saplings, also making and selling bricks. This entrepreneurial spirit and ambition is really positive to see, although at present girls are excluded from the project. Alpha 2 feels this is a real missed opportunity as Raleigh Tanzania recognizes the important role women have to play in the development of not only Endagikot but in Tanzania as a nation.
Phase 1 of the SWASH project has focused on Endagikot Primary School. During phases two and three, the new Alpha 2 groups will be engaging with the wider community to listen to the voice of the youth. We hope to support them to promote gender equality and to establish a youth group incorporating both men and women. We anticipate that the youth group will be actively involved in promoting SWASH within Endagikot, in addition to supporting projects which will help to promote sustainability and community resilience.