Phase 2 Alpha Highlights

9th August 2014

Another phase has flown by and catching up with the Venturers again at changeover last weekend was inspiring. They have become more confident, sure of themselves in what they can achieve and so much more open minded. They are now fully ensconced in the Raleigh experience and have become pros at setting up camp, trekking in the most remote parts of Tanzania, digging a long drop and building a tippy tap – there are no challenges which these Venturers can’t overcome. Here are some of the highlights from phase 2:

Alpha 1: Iringa Trek

Alpha 1 aka the ‘Dream Team’ were officially the fastest, strongest trek group on Raleigh Tanzania record! They reached their destination for a food drop almost 3 days early and as well as seeing the most jaw dropping, amazing views during their route, Alpha 1 also spent a few days with the Masaai Tribe. 

Alpha 2: Iringa Trek

Alpha 2 trekked an amazing 175km over difficult and hilly terrain – which is a great achievement. As well as dancing with the Mangatti, a tribe of herders who live in the Northern region, Alpha 2 also got to play with local children along the way in one of the many villages they visited. Though to the average community member, having a group of Raleigh Volunteers trek through their village may be a strange sight, but Alpha 2 felt most welcome. .

Alpha 3: Sustainable Livelihoods, Basadowish

Alpha 3’s objectives were to raise awareness of hand hygiene and sanitation and contribute to digging a water distribution system in the village of Basadowish – and dig they did! The water distribution system will provide water to almost 3 surrounding villages and during the phase, they actively took part in digging the trenches with many of the local community members.

To help raise awareness of hand hygiene, Alpha 3 organised a Community Action Day at the local primary school which included painting a hand washing mural, acting out dramas and running sessions on the importance of hand sanitation.

And, if that is not enough, engaging with the community on Alpha 3’s Fun Day was also a highlight – everybody loves a sports day! Alpha 3 certainly made their mark on the lovely picturesque village of Basadowish and I am sure that the group will miss mini treks to the lake and surrounding mountains.

Alpha 4: Sustainable Livelihoods, Tungamalenga

Alpha 4’s pilot project to build a beehive fence for 5 farms in Katisi proved phenomenal! The group managed to complete all fences which included the construction of the hives and the roofing to provide shade for the bees. Each fence consisted of approximately 40 hives – a huge achievement in three weeks! Once the hives are populated, the farms will be protected from Elephant raiders looking for food. The hives are due to be populated by October this year so hopefully by March 2015, the farmers of Katisi will be able to reap the benefits of selling the honey that the beehives will produce.

When they weren’t working hard on the farms, Alpha 4 also had a lot fun walking the Elephant corridor near the Ruaha National park and swimming in a local waterfall – amazing!

Alpha 5: Community, Salawe

Phase two for Alpha 5 has been a tornado of fun activities and meetings based around the project aims: to engage with the community, raise awareness of hand hygiene and sanitation as well as to continue building an Early Development Centre in Salawe village.

From the sports day with the children where, through education, Alpha 5 successfully raised awareness of the importance of sanitation and the action research at the women’s group – the group had an unforgettable experience. Alpha 5 also had the opportunity to visit a HIV support group for community members – which enabled them to engage with a part of the community they wouldn’t have normally.  

In addition, the Early Development Centre build also made some significant progress. All in all, Alpha 5 got to witness the positive influences they had on the community – well done guys!

Alpha 6: Community, Hangomba

At the beginning of the phase, Raleigh Tanzania Volunteers witnessed a group of teachers creating their own tippy tap in Hangomba Primary school. This proved the brilliant works that phase 1 had done and showed that behavioral change has already occurred in this community. Nevertheless, Alpha 6 had plenty more work to do. 

Alpha 6’s most fulfilling moments was the painting of the existing latrines. The painting consisted of the school children’s hand prints surrounding a tree branch also designed from an arm. This was a good bonding experience for the school children and the Venturers which has left a lasting message to value the latrines that already exists and emphasis the importance of washing hands.

On the 4th August, the team prepared and finalized their Community Action Day. The community awareness was effective in ringing a crowd of locals. The crowd pleaser of them all was the Swahili hand-washing song created by Liam and Neema to the beat of “We Will Rock You.” They are hoping for it to be a hit on the U.K. chart soon!  The whole day brought the community and Alpha 6 together. We hope that the locals walked away with as much fulfillment as they did!