22nd February 2015
Each week different teams will write a blog about a partiuclar topic relating to their village. This week we hear from Team Idifu on their first impressions of Idifu...
Mbukweyi – Good Morning, Mihanyenyi – Good Evening (in Kidodo Language)
We have been living in a rural village called Idifu for a week now and one of our first impressions are it has a lot of chickens...
When we arrived in Idifu the Chairman greeted us. All the villagers welcomed us and were very friendly. The local children were fascinated by the Mzungu (White European people) who they had not seen before.
The houses here are very basic but extremely homely. The village is in a semi desert area, so water is limited. Some people walk 2 to 3 hours to collect water that is not even safe to consume.
We are hoping that through our work in Idifu we will be able to help raise the awareness of good sanitation. In our first week we have been focusing on raising awareness and telling the village our purpose which is to share the importance of sanitation.
We introduced ourselves at a community meeting where over 100 villagers attended. The meeting was organised and run by the local Chairman of Idifu. We all stood up and said who we were and where we were from in Swahili. The Team Leaders explained what Raleigh ICS was about and why we were here in the village. Having met some of the community now and attending the meeting, we now feel inspired and more excited about our time in Idifu.
In Idifu we are all living in homestays with local families who live in the local community, we hope to learn a lot more about the culture and life in Idifu by living in a family home. The in-country volunteers are very excited to be living in a rural area because it is different from the way they live. It is like living in a different country for the next 9 weeks.
As a team we need to communicate with each other well. To make this possible the Tanzanian’s have been teaching the English and the one Scotsman Swahili. We have had two full lessons. The team have decided to learn the local language of Kidodo as well. The villagers love it when we try and speak Kidodo to them.
In the last few days we have been visiting sub villages to fill out the questionnaires for our Action Research. As Volunteers we all have access to electricity, clean running water and a toilet in our homes we have come from which we take for granted. The people of Idifu don’t have these things. In the local households we are living in, we have discovered that there are no hand washing facilities.
Knowledge about hygiene and sanitation is low and some people don’t have toilets, and of those that do, the manjority of them are not sanitary. As a result of the findings from our action research we have started a Tippy Tap campaign and we are planning to visit local groups; women, the youth and the local football team in Idifu to help raise awareness of good sanitation practice.
We have a local community volunteer with us, Faraja. He has given us a lot of his time to support us with the Action Research and brings a friendly face from Idifu to our Raleigh ICS team.