Looking back on 2016

15th December 2016

Expedition Tanzania 2016 has finally come to an end. We have all been tirelessly working towards achieving the Global Development Goals and have progressed in ways we thought we could only imagine. Now that the venturers have made their final trips home, let’s take a look back at all of our accomplishments for the year.

Photos by Andie Griffiths and Steve Freeman

After spending their final days of expedition in Morogoro, debriefing and cleaning kit, the venturers have said goodbye to their new found family and friends that will surely last a lifetime.  They can now focus on making differences as active global citizens. Now, let’s look back at this year’s accomplishments.

16P Expedition Group Photo
The final expedition team photo of 2016

In 2016, Raleigh Expedition Tanzania was fortunate to have a total of 93 venturers and 18 Volunteer Managers volunteer from all around the world. Together, they helped build 16 long drops, in two different latrine blocks, in two different villages. They filled over 200,000 polythene tubes with soil in four villages to help grow brand new forests to help with managing the use of timber. They built two early childhood development centres in two different villages. And, they all trekked over 20,000KM, collectively, around Iringa. This all took place in just over six months, and only between two cycles. 

The venturers learned valuable youth leadership skills while trekking through the Tanzanian wilderness learning navigation skills and about the local flora and fauna. They’ve come back tougher, stronger, and with more confidence in themselves. The 240KM trek around Iringa helps these young volunteers learn what they are made of and proves that, with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

Team Iringa Trek Trekking
Team Iringa Trek trekking through Iringa

The WASH projects that took place in Peluhanda and Nundu have given hundreds of children new, clean latrine blocks in their primary schools. The venturers also worked in the classroom teaching kids about the importance of good hygiene through hand washing lessons. This will help stop the spread of water-borne illnesses in the communities. Their hard work will also encourage more young girls to attend school and continue their education, as they are normally the first to drop out during puberty due to unsatisfactory latrines.

Team Nundu working construction with villagers
Team Nundu working construction with villagers

Early childhood development centres have been built in two villages, Chibe and Old Shinyanga, in the Shinyanga Region in the northern part of Tanzania. These centres will give increased access to pre-school education to 100 children per year. This has changed the ways the local communities support the role of education. It will also help children to be more prepared for primary education and, therefore, more likely to progress onto the next stage and to strive to continue through to university.

Chibe finished early childhood development centre
Chibe early childhood development centre

In four different villages, our venturers made tree nurseries that will accommodate a total of over 200,000 seedlings. They worked painstakingly to fill polythene tubes with soil that will be planted with seedlings to start new, sustainable forests that the communities will use to help manage the use of timber. This will allow forests to flourish while also giving the villagers resources without creating massive deforestation. The teams worked in the schools to teach about hygiene and how to build and use tippy taps. They also worked with the villagers teaching them about nutrition and how to build sack gardens to save space for farming and manage a healthy diet.

Team Isipi watering seedlings
Team Isipi watering seedlings

The amount of work that our volunteers have put in over the past six months is astounding.  Together, with our project partners and sponsors, they have given hundreds of children access to clean sanitation blocks. Their work in the classroom will help make behavioural changes that will work towards eradicating water-borne illnesses all over the country. And, they have passed on knowledge that will alter the futures of children, families, and, potentially, society as a whole. 

We have been tested physically, mentally and pushed to our limits to show us what we are truly capable of doing. Throughout this opportunity we have learned more about ourselves and about our place in the world. We have seen the kinds of changes that we can make in a short amount of time and now understand how much more can be done. It is through this knowledge and compassion that we will continue to work towards good health and well being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and responsible consumption when we arrive home.

Sunset in Iringa
Sunset in Iringa

Raleigh Tanzania would like to thank all of our volunteers, project partners, and sponsors for your participation, hard work, and dedication in striving to make this world a better place.  The accomplishments made in only half of 2016 give us so much hope for what can be done in 2017.

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