13th August 2014This week I visited Echo 4 to celebrate International Youth Day on the 12th of August and arrived just in time for Sports Day! International Youth Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the creativity and impact of our young venturers who are key to delivering Raleigh's sustainable development projects in Tanzania. In the spirit of youth action, I would like to introduce one of our venturers, Hannah, who has written a guest blog about her visit to Echo 4 for International Youth Day. Hello everyone my name is Hannah I am a five week venturer with Raleigh Tanzania. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Echo 4 and gain an insight into their work with the local community. On Tuesday, the group marked International Youth Day with an exciting and energetic Sports Day at their local primary school. The event included an energetic sack race, a competitive game of catch, a running race, a game of football, an egg and spoon race and an intricate balancing race which involved the children running with a bottle of water balanced upon their heads. All of these events were themed around the group's overall aim to promote positive health, water and sanitation practices in Bwakila Chini. A typical day for Echo 4 begins at 6am with an energetic 45 minute fitness session directed by two of the venturers before a welcoming bowl of porridge. Spirits were high in the group and a sense of anticipation rang within the camp with an estimated 400 children expected to attend the event, that’s nearly 30 children per venturer! The event was so well planned that come 9 o'clock when hundreds of children descended upon the school playing field it took almost no time at all to separate them into 6 equally sized teams and get started! The first event I helped with was a sack race, an event that received many squeals of laughter from the delighted children as they watched their classmates race towards the finish line. I then took part in a competitive game of catch where I marveled at everyone's ball skills! I then moved on to the group's interpretation of an egg and spoon race where they used bottle lids rather than eggs to balance upon their spoons. The race was expertly demonstrated by the venturers as the children eagerly watched and then keenly made their way to the front of the queue in order to go first, a brilliant use of what resources the group had available! One event that needed no instruction by the team was their mini football game as in their free time the group regularly play football with the local community. The traditional running race also looked like so much fun our venturers couldn't help but get involved themselves! Perhaps one of the best received events of the day was the balancing event where the children were instructed by the enthusiastic venturers to race across the finishing line with a bottle of water balanced upon their heads. This was a hugely impressive event to watch as I marveled again at the strength, nimbleness and focus of the students. Part of the day that demonstrated the group's overall success within the community was watching the children use the Tippy Tap the ventuers built at the school. They also performed a song taught to them by the group that emphasises the important times to wash your hands throughout the day. This demonstration clearly highlighted the success of Echo 4's sanitation and hygiene lessons at both the local primary school and women's group over the past few weeks and the strong relationship the group has built with the local community. As the event drew to a close the groups came together to celebrate the success of International Youth Day and Sports Day before having a well-deserved tasty lunch of pasta and tomato sauce. Thank you very much for having us Echo 4, it was a hugely enjoyable day!