We began by brainstorming all of our favourite sports days games which consisted of mostly races; sack, egg & spoon, wheelbarrow and relay. We then thought of ways to incorporate our school water, sanitation & hygiene (SWASH) lessons and topics, coming up with a tippy-tap building race which our SWASH club members were enthusiastic about. During the week, we recruited them to prepare a song for the action day to welcome the community.
On top of activities and songs, we needed to spread the word; we attended community meetings with Martin, the village chairman, and announced our goals for the day, what the activities were and how much we appreciate the community’s support. Martin also agreed to be our guest speaker at the event. We put up more posters around Nyamwezi to encourage attendees.
Timing of the day and delegation of tasks was essential to its success; we managed to source a speaker from one of the community members which was very handy as it provided us with a platform to centre out sports day around. The morning of the big day came and Alpha 2 set up early camp on the Nanenane primary school football pitch, setting up the music to accompany performances including Massai and Chelli dances. With the action day starting at noon and first attendees being mostly children, we got right down to the games. Once Alpha 2 volunteers took the initiative, the children soon joined in the fun.
The games were a successful start and more adults from the community had arrived along with the chairman; Dan and Emmanuel welcomed the 200 plus people, followed by a speech from Martin, congratulating and thanking everyone for the hard work on the site as well as teaching in the classrooms, “Raleigh have had a big impact on the children and I know the students are going home to their families to help improve the community; it’s all thanks to Raleigh”, he expressed.
Undeterred by a sudden storm, the SWASH club members ended the day with their song as well a play about hand washing which they proudly performed to the community. The tippy-tap race was then introduced, where the aim was to build one faster than the competing team; we set up a station with all the materials and one contestant at a time, collected a piece at a time and racing to complete the structure.
Volunteer manager Dan reflected on the day, “It was a success, great the community go involved, good mix of people and representation from all age groups”, highlighting the importance in celebrating the hard work in Nyamwezi so far.
Words by Scarlett (Alpha 2). Edited by Miguel. Images by Alpha 2 and Paul.