Project Planning Visits (PPVs) are a chance for team leaders to get to know the village where their group will be spending ten weeks. They offer an opportunity to start building key relationships in the village, which are vital to the success of the project. For WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene) projects, team leaders need to ensure there will be access to the raw materials needed and in some cases that building work has begun. Livelihoods team leaders host a meeting with potential entrepreneurs and source a suitable location to host the entrepreneurship classes.
All projects are supported by the district council and often by an additional project partner. Echo 1 and 2 will both be working with the Tanzanian Forestry Conservation Group (TFCG). We were able to stop by their office in Kilosa on the way to our villages. We met Michael, the project officer and he shared some information on how TFCG and Raleigh can work successfully together on the projects in Kigunga and Kitunduweta. TFCG’s main focus is the protection of Tanzania’s natural forests whilst simultaneously supporting the rural populations who depend heavily upon them for subsistence and livelihoods. In Kilosa District, TFCG are promoting sustainable timber and charcoal practices and offering training in skills such as bee-keeping. TFCG will work closely with the two Raleigh groups to offer assistance to entrepreneurs interested in these fields.
District and Village Leadership
PPVs are an opportunity to meet the village leadership, including the Village Executive Officer (VEO) and the Village Chairperson, prior to the project starting. Raleigh’s Programme Officers will have been to the village ahead of time to set everything up, but this is a chance for the team leaders to introduce themselves and make a personal connection with the district and village. The team leaders offer the village and district leaders an insight into the project, what they will be doing in the village and how the community can get involved. Emiliana and Maddie met a number of officials including the District Executive Officer, Public Health Officer and District Education Officer. The officials offered their support for the projects, and the groups will be working closely with them as the work proceeds.
Team leaders and volunteers will stay with local families during their time in the village. Visiting a range of homes and meeting potential homestay Mamas and Babas is a very important part of a PPV. Jonathan from Echo 1 visited ten different homes to meet the families and assess if the homes were suitable for welcoming volunteers.
Risk Assessment and CASEVAC Planning
Finally, the team leaders carried out an in depth risk assessment of the village and also ensured there was a CASEVAC (casualty evacuation) plan in place. This included speaking with the village leadership to understand any risks and what can be done to mitigate them and securing drivers to execute a CASEVAC plan.
All 15 Echo and Charlie groups have now returned from successful PPVs and will have a few days more of training where they will prepare for the volunteer induction in less than a week’s time.
Sunday 25th June: Volunteers arrive
Monday 26th- Thursday 29th: Volunteer induction
Friday 30th June: Teams depart for projects
Words and photos by Alice and Hilary.