Project Planning Visits (PPVs) are carried out to make sure we have strong working relationships with the community, and we have a good support structure for the volunteers. This includes activities like risk assessing the village, project site and visiting home-stays and village leaders. In addition to this the team must ensure a solid CASEVAC (casualty evacuation) plan is in place, visit local hospitals and create a map, and ensure they have a lunch Mama who will bring food for the venturers. What we hadn’t quite expected was the evenings to be cold and Grasiano, who is from Northern Tanzania, spent a lot of his time shivering!
What is the project?
In short, the Nundo project aims to provide access to safe Water and Sanitation Hygeine (WASH) in a rural primary school. In order to do this the venturers will be working with the community and project partner, in this case Southern Highlands Participatory Organisation (SHIPO), to build a gender-specific latrine block of 12 long drops on a foundation that has already been built. Alongside this, they will be holding educational Action Days both in the school and within the community. The idea being to not only educate the children but that the knowledge will then cascade into the wider community as they tell their families.
How did the VM’s find the visit?
When we arrived we were immediately welcomed into the community and to our home-stay.
Grasiano says that “the community seems positive and happy about the project. They are aware that the project is going to happen and they are aware of SHIPO. A man asked ‘are you guys here for the toilet building’ and that was really nice to hear”.
What struck me personally was that while I chose to volunteer with Raleigh and their Water and Sanitation Hygiene projects it was still quite a shock. Visiting Nundo made me realise that it had been impossible to fully appreciate how lucky I am until putting myself in a situation where I can see that basic sanitation is not available everywhere.
For Sophie, “the reality of what we are doing has really sunk in now that we are here, to be part of the community and working here with Grasiano has really pulled everything in to focus. You can really see there is a need and I feel very confident that the work we are going to be doing will make a big difference. Seeing the latrines the school currently has makes me feel like this is where we really should be.”
Sophie and Grasiano are now incredibly excited to meet their venturers later this week and can’t wait to go back to Nundu and get started with them!