Archive for Oktober, 2014

postheadericon Tanzanian Wedding

Tanzanian weddings have several different parts – I have not yet found out, how these all get together. So my landlady invited me simply to „a wedding“, without mentioning, to which part of it. As she was in the committee to organize the party, she sent her son to pick me up at seven in the evening. The party was held in an annex of a motel between Kabwana and Obwere (two parts of Shirati). On the way, we were involved in a minor pikipiki accident – but that’s another story and should be told at an other occasion.

The guest were all seated in the ballroom (?) and waited for the families of the bride and the groom – and for bride and groom. The room was decorated with fabrics in yellow, pink and violet and many small, blinking lights. After a while, both families showed up, were introduced, danced and took seats – opposite of each other. The groom arrived and was seated in the back, amongst guests. The bride arrived with her best maid. She wore a yellow ballgown with sparkling pink stones all over it. She and her best maid were cutting the cake, feeding each other, offered cake to both families and danced. All family members were introduced by the bride again and everybody could held a speach. In between, there was loud music and an MC advising people to do things.

Coke, Fanta or water was handed out to the guest and we had the chance to congratulate the families and the bride. By dancing the whole way – for sure. Many guests were introduced (teacher, friends etc. of the bride) and held speaches. Bride and best maid were sitting on high chairs on a stage, the groom still in the back row. I was really confused…

Then families and guests brought their gifts to the bride and when her sister was not satisfied, there was additional money to be paid. And there were still dances going on. After that, the bride could choose from all men in the audience the one, she wanted to be with. Luckily, she choose her groom. They were dancing together (without touching each other) and went to the buffet for dinner. It was already 23.30. After them, all guests were invited to go to the buffet – I was thankful for the advise to eat before leaving my house, even there was plenty and delicious food. But really late… After dinner, there were a few more dances and bride and groom left the party. While servants started to collect the decoration, the young people started to dance. I took the chance to ask one of my co-workers who was invited as well, why it was just a party for the bride and not for both as a couple – like in Europe or America. She explained me, that this was the „farewell to the bride“ part, celebrating her leaving of the family home. So that makes sense to me.

My landlady showed up and brought two bottles of beer for her son and me – the only alcoholic drinks I have seen the whole night! My landlady and I were dancing with the youth and had fun together. Late at night, a car brought as back to our houses.

One more time I was so impressed about the friendlyness of the Tanzanians. Not only inviting me, taking care for me, explaining me and helping me through the ceremony, but also thanking me for me having fun. Even if there are a lot of things I have to learn and do not understand, I already feel a bit at home.



postheadericon Brand new Maji Safi Group Video!

Right now on Facebook:

Maji Safi Group on Facebook

Maji Safi Group on Facebook

Have a look at our brand new video!


postheadericon Education is the key to disease prevention

The Citizen

The Citizen


I have just read the following article in „The Citizen“, a Tanzanian newspaper. It describes the situation in Tanzanian villages and reading the last sentence, you will understand, why it is so important to educate community members about the importance of proper WASH behaviour to prevent diseases.

Read article



postheadericon Siku ya Kunawa Duniani (Global Handwashing Day)

Today, we celebrated the Global Handwashing Day in Shirati. In the morning, the Community Health Workers visited three schools and teached the children about handwashing and how handwashing can prevent diseases. I was with them at the governmental primary school of Mkoma. It was a great experience – so many children, so interested in learning!

In the afternoon, there was a big party for all the kids of Shirati around the Maji Safi Group office. About 250 kids were playing cards and lego, get their face painted, drew paintings and had a lot of fun. We all danced and sang the Maji Safi Songs. It was an amazing day! I have made a lot of pictures have a look at the selection below:

postheadericon Siku kuu: today is Nyerere Day

In Tanzania, we are celebrating today Nyerere Day, the commemoration of the Father of the Nation, Julius Kambarage Nyerere.


On Wikipedia, I have read this short Bio:
„Julius Kambarage Nyerere (13 April 1922 – 14 October 1999) was a Tanzanian politician who served as the leader of Tanzania, and previously Tanganyika, from 1960 until his retirement in 1985.

Born in Tanganyika to Nyerere Burito (1860–1942), Chief of the Zanaki, Nyerere was known by the Swahili honoric Mwalimu or ‚teacher‘, his profession prior to politics. He was also referred to as Baba wa Taifa (Father of the Nation). Nyerere received his higher education at Makerere University in Kampala and the University of Edinburgh. After he returned to Tanganyika, he worked as a teacher. In 1954, he helped form the Tanganyika African National Union.

When Tanganyika was granted responsible government in 1960, Nyerere became Chief Minister. He led Tanganyika to independence a year later and became the new country’s first Prime Minister. The country became a republic in 1962, with Nyerere as the country’s first first president. During the first years, Nyerere created a single-party system and used „preventive detention“ to eliminate trade unions and opposition. In 1964, Tanganyika became politically united with Zanzibar and was renamed Tanzania, with Nyerere as president of the unified country. He was the sole candidate for president in the unified country’s first election, in 1965, and was reelected unopposed every five years until his retirement in 1985.

In 1967, influenced by the ideas of African socialism, Nyerere issued the Arusha Declaration, which outlined his vision of ujamaa („unity“, „oneness“ or „familyhood“), a concept that came to dominate his policies. However, his policies led to economic decline, systematic corruption, and unavailability of goods. In the early 1970s, Nyerere ordered his security forces to forcibly transfer much of the population to collective farms and, because of opposition from villagers, often burned villages down. This campaign pushed the nation to the brink of starvation and made it dependent on foreign food aid.

In 1985, after more than two decades in power, he relinquished power to his hand-picked successor, Ali Hassan Mwinyi. Nyerere left Tanzania as one of the poorest, least developed, and most foreign aid-dependent countries in the world, although much progress in services such as health and education had nevertheless been achieved. As such, Julius Nyerere is still a controversial figure in Tanzania. He remained the chairman of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi for another five years until 1990. He died of leukaemia in London in 1999.“

More information you will also find here: 

postheadericon That’s why Maji Safis work is so important

The following information is from the WHO and explains, why Maji Safis work is so important. People have to know, how their behaviour influences their health. For example, at bus stations in rural Africa there are no toilets or handwashing stations. And many families do not have a toilet at all. The costs for disease treatment are very high: usually family members do not only have to pay for the stay at a hospital but also for relatives to stay near the hospital (the hospital is often not close to where they live) and bring food and water to their sick family members and support the hospital staff in taking care for them.

„WASH: environmental sanitation

Human excreta always contain large numbers of germs, some of which may cause diarrhoea. When people become infected with diseases such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A, their excreta will contain large amounts of the germs which cause the disease. During the rainy season, excreta may be washed away by rain-water and can run into wells and streams. The germs in the excreta will then contaminate the water which may be used for drinking.

Many common diseases that can give diarrhoea can spread from one person to another when people defecate in the open air. Disposing of excreta safely, isolating excreta from flies and other insects, and preventing faecal contamination of water supplies would greatly reduce the spread of diseases.

In many cultures it is believed that children’s faeces are harmless and do not cause disease. This is not true. A child’s faeces contain as many germs as an adult’s, and it is very important to collect and dispose of children’s faeces quickly and safely.

The disposal of excreta alone is, however, not enough to control the spread of cholera and other diarrhoea1 diseases. Personal hygiene is very important, particularly washing hands after defecation and before eating and cooking.

Wherever crops are grown, they always need nutrients and water. Wastewater is often used in agriculture as it contains water, minerals, nutrients and its disposal is often expensive. Where effluent is used for irrigation, good quality water can be reserved exclusively for drinking water. Wastewater can also be used as a fertilizer, thus minimizing the need for chemical fertilizers. This reduces costs, energy, expenditure and industrial pollution. Wastewater is also commonly used in aquaculture, or fish farming.

Where a large number of people are using one area, such as a bus station or school, especially when they are eating food from the same source, there is a greater risk of the spread of diseases such as cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid and other diarrhoea1 diseases.

These places vary in the number of people using them, the amount of time that people spend there and the type of activity that occurs in the area, but all public places need to have adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities.

Responsibility for the provision of sanitation facilities in public places is not always obvious, especially where these are informal gathering places. It is vital, however, that an agency monitors the sanitation facilities in public places on behalf of the users. Ideally, this should be part of the role of the ministry of health, or its equivalent. Special attention should be paid to the adequacy of facilities, their availability to the public, and the conditions of their operation.

There are several basic rules for sanitation in public places :

  • There should be sufficient toilet facilities for the maximum number of people using the area during the day. This normally means one toilet compartment for every 25 users. The toilet facilities should be arranged in separate blocks for men and women. The men’s toilet block should have urinals and toilet compartments ; the women’s block, toilet compartments only. The total number of urinals plus compartments in the men’s block should equal the total number of compartments in the women’s block.
  • Toilet facilities should not be connected directly to kitchens. This is in order to reduce the number of flies entering the kitchen and to reduce odours reaching the kitchen. It is important that people using the toilet facilities cannot pass directly through the kitchen.
  • There must be a handwashing basin with clean water and soap close to the toilet facilities. There should be separate, similar facilities near to kitchens or where food is handled.
  • There must be a clean and reliable water supply for handwashing, personal hygiene and flushing of toilet facilities. The water supply should meet quality standards and be regularly tested to ensure that any contamination is discovered quickly and that appropriate remedial action is taken.
  • Refuse must be disposed of properly and not allowed to build up, as it will attract flies and vermin.

Responsibilities for cleaning sanitation facilities should be very clearly defined. Dirty facilities make it more likely that people will continue to use the facilities badly or not at all. Clean facilities set a good example to users.

It is important to make sure that information about health is available in public places. Such information should be displayed in an eye-catching, simple and accurate way. Where appropriate, large posters with bright colours and well chosen messages, put up in obvious places, are effective.

Health and hygiene messages may be passed on to the public using such posters in public places. These messages should include the promotion of :

  • Handwashing.
  • Use of refuse bins.
  • Care of toilet facilities.
  • Protection of water supplies.

When people defecate in the open, flies will feed on the excreta and can carry small amounts of the excreta away on their bodies and feet. When they touch food, the excreta and the germs in the excreta are passed onto the food, which may later be eaten by another person. Some germs can grow on food and in a few hours their numbers can increase very quickly. Where there are germs there is always a risk of disease.“



postheadericon Preparation for Global Handwashing Day

We are already busy preparing our event that will be held in 3 schools and at our office on October 15th.


postheadericon Modern ways of learning

Today, we’ve tried to take part in a worldwide virtual classroom. Topic: Houshould Water Treatment and Safe Storage. It was really interesting, but unfortunately, after 45 min. the connection failed. But it’s anyway fascinating to discover new possibilities to go to school when you’re far away from everything…

Virtual Classroom

Virtual Classroom

postheadericon Craft Workshop at Maji Safi Group

Last friday, INTERTEAM development worker Yvonne Kaufmann teached us at the MSG office how to create our own necklaces and bracelets. We’ve had a lot of fun in being creative!