Delta 1 were thrilled to end phase one by completing the hand washing station and handing over the new sanitation facilities to the community. The village has been so supportive, and the school children lined up with buckets to help fill the tank once it was ready. The headmaster of the school and village chairman expressed their thanks for the team’s hard work and promised to sustain the facilities. During phase 1, Delta 2 began initial construction on a new sanitation block including digging an excavation pit and beginning to construct the septic tank.
Both groups accompanied the construction work with SWASH lessons. Conducted with the school children, the lessons include learning about the six stages of hand washing, the importance of washing hands with soap after using the toilet and before eating, and safe drinking water practices. The goal of SWASH lessons is to educate the school community on safe hygiene with the aim of each child bringing the knowledge home to their families thus enabling behavioural change throughout the village.
Ernest, a Tanzanian venturer from Delta 2 summed up his phase one experience saying:
“I have had a brilliant first phase of expedition, to be part of the change in Nyamwezi has been really rewarding. Through Raleigh Tanzania I have gained confidence, before expedition I was apprehensive about working with international venturers. After being part of a diverse team I am more comfortable and confident interacting with people from different countries and have improved my language skills. It was brilliant to meet new people and learn from a different cultural perspective.”
Both groups also held action days, aimed at mobilising the community and raising awareness of good sanitation and hygiene practices. Hundreds of people in each village attended and enjoyed hand washing themed activities. The teams handed out leaflets to the adults detailing hand sanitation issues and spoke to the village thanking them for their warm welcome and assistance with the construction. Delta 1 even created a dance based around the six steps of hand washing and performed it for the community.
UK venturer Rebecca said:
“I loved seeing the work we did alongside the community actually making a difference. Teaching SWASH lessons was definitely a highlight, we could see the changes in the students as the classes progressed. They were amazing and have already put into practice much of what we taught. I also learned so much about Tanzanian culture and what it means to work with a team made up of different nationalities, gaining key leadership skills.”
Overall, both teams feel inspired and like we have left a positive impact on the communities of Mlanga and Nyamwezi. Our leadership skills have improved; as has our confidence, especially through teaching classes and public speaking. The local community was so welcoming, and we could not have achieved what we did without their help. Delta 1 have finished their project in Mlanaga, but a different team will continue the project in Nyamwezi. During phase two they will finish the septic tank construction, start the foundations for the toilet blocks, and of course continue developing the SWASH club.
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