Karibu ya Tanzania!November 13 2012
Sunday 11th November – Dar es Salaam
I spent a very brief time in Dar es Salaam, but very enjoyable all the same! When I reached the hotel I was staying in for the evening my Swahili was tested! Every time I got in the lift throughout the entire day, one of the staff members would teach me two numbers in Swahili… I can now count to six – a great excuse NOT to use the stairs!
Monday 12th November – My first day in Mikindani
I landed in Mtwara airport early morning and was greeted by Jaylani, one of our Tanzanian Project Coordinators – a familiar and very friendly face! “Karibu Clare!” It was great to catch up and see how his 5 month old baby Sarah is getting on – she’s adorable!
In the car and off to Mikindani we went! I was so excited and couldn’t wait to reach the EdUKaid Office to see the rest of the staff. Ally, EdUKaid’s Project Manager and Mohamed (Project Support) were there to welcome me with big smiles and LOTS of energy!
I chucked my bags down and it was straight to work! The Tanzanian team were so enthusiastic to get stuck in straight away – they truly are fantastic!
Tuesday 13th November
Jaylani had kindly arranged for us to have a meeting with Mr Fidelis, EdUKaid’s Tanzanian Chair of Trustees and head-teacher of Singino Primary School. Singino School is situated at the very top of a very BIG hill. Although it was a million degrees centigrade and I was struggling to keep up with Jaylani on the climb, the view from Singino Primary, looking over Mikindani Bay really is something else – it’s beautiful!
The children were at School and they had spotted me – “Mzungu Mzungu!” To see the excitement in their faces is such an amazing feeling.
Mr Fidelis has so much enthusiasm for EdUKaid projects and was delighted to hear of the new website (which I’m looking forward to showing him this coming Friday at an EdUKaid staff meeting)!
Mr Fidelis recently assisted Mohamed in interviewing candidates for our NEW Vocational Training Project. When talking this through with him, it was clear for me to see how passionate he is about education. Not just education itself, but bridging the gap between education and employment, something that EdUKaid’s Vocational Training is doing.
Then back to the office for the afternoon!
Wednesday 14th November
It’s the end of Wednesday already! It surely can’t be? Today I have been mostly in the office with Jaylani and Mohamed working on EdUKaid’s Child Sponsorship Scheme. Since I was last here they have been working really hard collecting lots of updates with teachers of sponsored children to send out to UK donors.
I love reading the updates! Ghafala Seifu, one of EdUKaid’s sponsored students is a young girl of 14 years and was identified as one of the most vulnerable children in the Kisungule Ward; living in extreme levels of poverty. The update from her teacher was incredible – she is the Number one student in Standard 7 (last year of Primary School)! Despite living very far from her school, she has the most perfect attendance record, a great attitude and is very hard working! This is what it’s all about!
Thursday 15th November
I was really looking forward to today! Firstly because it was my first day working with Ally on the Schools Improvement Project and secondly because I got to go to Namgogoli Primary and check out the building improvements – improvements was an understatement, it looks incredible!
It was an early morning – up and out! First stop Mwenge Primary School to carry out an audit of work needed at that school. The Head and all the teachers were so welcoming! We went round all the classrooms and the mason, carpenter and Ally were ace!
Onto Namgogoli! I was honestly speechless – not really the norm for me! In August the Development Manager Gemma and I visited this school to do the audit – and now it was almost finished! I couldn’t believe my eyes! The Fundi were still hard at work when I got there; the Head teacher was so pleased; and the children looked fresh faced in their new learning environment! We went round the back of the school to the latrine pit – I have never seen a hole that big in my life! Ally was telling me the local community largely assisted in digging the pit, which is great to hear how supportive and motivated they are towards EdUKaid projects! I cannot stress enough how hard working the EdUKaid Tanzania team is – they are incredible!
Namgogoli Primary School Nov 2012 - Incredible stuff!
Friday 16th November
Staff meeting day! It was a fantastic turnout with the Askari; Mr Fidelis; the office team; EdUKaid’s Pre-primary teachers; the Fundi management; and Hadisha, our lovely housekeeper present. It was great to have all the staff together, Mr Fidelis and Jaylani kindly facilitated and translated for me (I may be able to count to six in Swahili – but let’s not run before I can walk)! It was such a productive meeting, everybody got involved - suggestions, comments and questions, there was a bit of everything! All the staff took time to view the New EdUKaid website and Facebook. Spirits were high and it was lovely to have everybody together to share their opinions and views.
Saturday 17th November
This morning I went to check out the extra-tuition that EdUKaid introduced in August as a way to encourage and assist child sponsors in their learning. The building that is being used for this is not far from the office. When I arrived, the primary aged children were heads down and in their books. I was so impressed with the learning resources they had in place – each child had a ‘questions book’ as well as their own textbook. This was something that unfortunately I have not seen in Primary Schools that I have visited prior to EdUKaid support! Upstairs were the Secondary students, with a separate teacher. Having two teachers really does open up this opportunity for the children, allowing them to attend the extra classes, whatever their level of education. A brilliant initiative!
Sunday 18th November
Today I had a day off and was mostly writing an assignment for University – nothing interesting unfortunately! Bring on Monday morning!
Monday 19th November
I can count to 39 in Swahili now… very slowly! This means I can nearly tell the time (quite important when I have two planes to catch at the weekend)! It will also make sure I get the lift to the correct floor in the hotel in Dar es Salaam this time around!
Today I worked with Jaylani on the Child sponsorship programme. With almost 80 pupils on EdUKaid’s child sponsorship programme there is a lot of work to be done to make sure we have recent updates on their progress so we can identify any students that are struggling or excelling, allowing us to assist them in whichever way possible. I am always amazed at how much information Jaylani can carry in his head. I name a student and he tells me their school (we have students throughout 21 schools in the area); their age; what standard or form they are in and sometimes their address – and this is before looking at any documentation!
Tuesday 20th November
Jaylani and Mohamed visited some of the colleges today that we are hoping to send our 6 Vocational Training students too. They are all doing slightly different course ranging from Mechanics to Accountancy!
I spent some of my day chasing electricity and internet connections around Mikindani! I think it’s just brilliant how much patience the team have here – the smallest things can wind us up a treat at home (like a dodgy internet connection) but in reality it’s no biggie, I’m learning so much from these guys!
I was lucky enough to see some tribal dancing
Wednesday 21st November
Today really has been a goodun! We had a brief meeting this morning to run through the plan for the rest of the week. Mohamed has been very busy putting together a budget for the next school improvement project – Mwenge Primary School! Visit our Schools Page to have a look at the ‘before’ pictures! It’s a very exciting time, work is happening so quickly out here in Tanzania. We will be building our second Pre-primary classroom from scratch here very soon!
Ally popped into the office today to run through some bits and pieces about the next build, he’s looking to move some Fundi to Mwenge next week, leaving just a few to finish off the work at Namgogoli!
Jaylani has been here, there and everywhere today, I just can’t keep up with him! From planning resources required for our Pre-primary classes; to organising the next round of child sponsorship updates, whilst running the office and seeing to visitors that pop in every now and again - Unbelievable!
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