Archive for Dezember, 2014

postheadericon Christmas in Tanzania

My first Christmas in Tanzania I did not celebrate with Tanzanians in Tanzanian tradition but with my Swiss friends in Swiss tradition. On December, 24th, we had planned to drive from Musoma to Mwanza in the morning and use the afternoon for shopping in Mwanza. As there are many things not available in my little corner of the world up north. As we were entering the city of Mwanza, heavy rain started to pour, streets transformed to rivers instantly. We had the luck to sit in a Land Cruiser and we made our way – in 4 hours instead of 15 minutes… But on the side of the road we saw all the little shops, under water, filled with mud – no happy holidays for so many people. All what they had just gone. On Christmas Eve.

The next day we made our way back to Musoma – without shopping but safe and sound. And celebrated Christmas like Swiss families with cookies from Switzerland. It was just amazing.

Once again, good things and bad things go hand in hand in this country. We have to be thankful for what we have, support people if we can and enjoy that we were born on the „sunny side of life“.

 

 

postheadericon So many chances for a change

Seeing all these powerful women gives me hope. There are chances for a change.

postheadericon MSG Staff Holidays Party

On Friday, December 19th, we oficially closed the Maji Safi office for this year (I am still working on statistics and the budget for 2015…). Before leaving for holidays, we had our holidays party together. The Community Health Workers could invite relatives, so that we celebrated somehow with „extended family“. It was a typical Tanzanian sherehe: we sang the Maji Safi songs together, played games and listened to a lot of speeches, as everybody was asked to say something. Before having lunch, all guest were taught in the eight steps of handwashing and had to wash their hands properly. Imagine we would do that with guest in Europe!!!

Like for the event Dining for Female Hygiene, also for this event a sheep was slaughtered and we’ve also had fish from Lake Victoria. December seems to be a bad month for sheeps in Shirati…

 

 

postheadericon Dining for Female Hygiene

„Women only“ at our last event this year. The participants of Maji Safi Group’s Female Hygiene program are not only taught about puberty, hygiene and disease prevention, they are also given a safe environment to get answers to their questions about the changes they go through from childhood to adulthood by the program mentors Judith and Linda. The two MSG’s Community Health Workers guide and support the group through learning about their bodies and health.

At this event female relatives of the young women – mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers are invited to learn about the Female Hygiene program and are involved in the educational process. On Saturday, December 13th, Judith, Linda and the participants of the Female Hygiene program presented AFRIpads and showed the audience how to use the pads. Women who already use the pads talked about their experiences in an open and safe environment. The girls danced and performed skits and had lunch together, which was prepared by MSG’s Community Health Workers. Thanks to LUNApad our kind donator of AFRIpads, every woman at the event could get a set of AFRIpads, which last for one year. It was amazing to spend the day with all these women, discussing sensitive topics open minded and freely.

I am glad to show you these pics, even the internet connection is still very bad… It took a long time to upload, but here they are.

 

postheadericon Sometimes…

…there are a few hours, I am not working. And if we have power (electricity is a big problem here during the raining season) I spend time sawing nice things for my house. But as we don’t have power most of the time, I spend time in „socialising“. I mean, there are some white people in Shirati, doing field research or work as volunteers in the hospital. But I rather spend time with locals to improve my Kiswahili knowledge and to learn from the them about the life in this corner of the world. So last Sunday, I baked with one of my colleagues from Maji Safi Group cookies, as I am one of the few having a stove.

And I have built a big, nice house for the dogs with my next door neighbour. As we live door by door on the same compound, we decided to share the dogs. That makes also sense in thinking of the future – if I leave Shirati, they can stay at their home. It was really difficult to get the wood because the carpenter seemed a bit confused about the thinking of a white woman building a dog house. And my neighbour was really sceptical in the beginning too. Yes, I am more used to IKEA construction kits, the Tanzanian one’s are far more creative and challenging. And yes, I did get blisters. But we have had a lot fun! And sometimes you need more brain than muscles – so we were a good team.

The dogs arrived about a month ago. My neighbour was asking, if I would like dogs and as I said, I would like to have one, he said: „we already have two“. The puppies were just a few weeks old and looked like little balls of fur. I did not believe, that they could survive without their mother. But Gilbert fed them every other hour with milk and my part was being „mama“: to love, cuddle and hug them, whenever I had time.

On Tuesday they have moved to their new house, right by my backdoor, as they are now eating Ugali and fish. I am so happy. I enjoy spending time with the people from Shirati, I have the puppies by my doorstep… They are really like babies. And their „baba“ is even more crazy about them than I am. The first thing he asks me every morning is: „have they eaten properly?“. And he for sure checked on the first evening if I had made the food correctly. That’s so funny.

 

 

postheadericon Maji Safi Cup

In this soccer tournament play teams from different schools in Shirati against each other. This time, there were 14 teams fighting for the trophy, a goat. Before each match, the boys were teached about disease prevention and hygiene measures by Maji Safi Group’s Community Health Workers.

On Saturday, December 6th, played Chapakazi against Tina’s Education Center in the final. Before starting the match, the Community Health Workers teached about 75 children about personal hygiene and handwashing. During the break in halftime, the Singing & Dance group performed dances and entertained the 300 spectators. After the match, the audience could wash their hands and eat bananas together.

All playing team members got an exercise book and a pen to support their studies as a gift after the match. Chapakazi won the final 2:0 and walked their trophy, the goat, through Shirati in the evening – proud and looking forward to a special christmas party.

 

 

postheadericon Gender Equality

We all have to stand up for gender equality. All over the world.

Gender equality, also known as sex equality, gender egalitarianism, sexual equality or equality of the genders, refers to the view that men and women should receive equal treatment, and should not be discriminated against based on gender, unless there is a sound biological reason for different treatment. This is the objective of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which seeks to create equality in law and in social situations, such as in democratic activities and securing equal pay for equal work.“ (Source: Wikipedia)

Read this article about violence against women and girls in Tanzania.