24th July 2014
It has definitely been an interesting first phase with some highs and challenges, but I’m sure that you can all agree it has definitely been an initial eye opener into Tanzanian culture. Here’s a roundup of what’s been happening.
Alpha 3 Project: Promoting Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, Endashang’wet village, Arusha
Project Partner: DMDD (Diocese of Mbulu Development Department)
Building, painting, walking, planting, talking and singing – the project at Endashang’wet was far from simple. With previous Raleigh groups working in the area having contributed a lot to rural communities, their primary focus was sustainability; something that Alpha 3 rapidly realised was far more complicated than anticipated. The aim of the project was to positively impact the environment, and Alpha 3 were able reach out to children, community groups and local workers to raise awareness about hand sanitation and begin to encourage household horticulture.
The Community Action Day was a success and drew together their achievements during the phase. The enthusiastic reception of their posters, keyhole garden and demonstration compost bins, painting games and seed planting with the children not only showed the happy relationships they had built with the community, but also their willingness to come together to strengthen themselves.
Alpha 5 Project: Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD), Salawe, Shinyanga
Project Partner: Save the Children
In Salawe Village Alpha 5 were able to interview 33 people for research purposes and give 141 tippy tap demonstrations in the market place as well as during a football game. This is a massive accomplishment! They have been able to engage effectively with the community through a number of events such as Sunday Church and a wedding celebration. They also dug the foundations for the Early Childhood Development Centre and have begun making bricks on site. As a group they organised and took part in a football match against the community team. In addition, they also made some good local contacts such as a farmer from the local organic farm. It sounds like Alpha 5 have been very busy during phase and have really utilised their time well.
Alpha 6 Project: Water & sanitation, Mbeya
Project Partner: SEMA (Sustainable Environmental Management Action)
Alpha 6 have spent their time in the very remote village of Hangomba that lies in the far south west of Tanzania close to Mbeya. They have worked with the local community to promote the importance of hand hygiene and sanitation. They achieved this by completing a baseline survey where they interviewed community members to gain a better understanding of the current hygiene habits and general health. They also engaged with the local Church, Youth and Women’s groups where they demonstrated the functionality of the tippy taps and the importance of handwashing to prevent D and V – which, according to their survey results, was reported as being a common illness. In addition, Alpha 6 also hosted both a sports day for the Hangomba Primary School and a community action day. Through drama and dance both entertained and educated the community members as well as providing fun activities to get the community involved. They also spent time moving bricks from local quarries and furnaces to the primary school in order to provide supplies for the construction of new latrines. The community of Hangomba has no doubt benefited from their presence.
Iringa Mountains Trek
During the trek is it is safe to say that Alpha 1 was pushed to their limits mentally and physically. They experienced so much physical pain that they were indeed cured from all the crazy team antics that took place; including Andrea jumping out of the tent screaming to Kenny’s heroic dive into the river to save his crocs – it all helped to glue the team and become a family. As a team they trekked 170km through the Iringa Mountains and camped with the Maasai tribe – they learned so much more about themselves, each other and Tanzania that now they can conquer any obstacle no matter how impossible it may seem! After completing the trek, each and every member of Alpha 1 should feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Well done!
Trek – where to start, Alpha 2 learnt a lot over the three weeks from cooking all their own food to camping night after night to using a long drop! It was a tough three weeks but once the team completed the trek, Alpha 2 felt that they have developed more individually as well as doing things that they never imagined themselves doing. Dancing with the Maasai Tribe was amongst their particular highlights which really put their lives back home into perspective.