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May 2015 Newsletter – FGC, Health Education and the New Nainokanoka Pre-school

I have just returned from a really productive week in Ngorongoro. The aims of the visit were:

  • to spend time in the community hearing about both current realities and future aspirations
  • to meet other organisations supporting health initiatives and community-led development
  • to see the ‘visible’ projects such as the new preschool we funded, and less visible projects, such as the effects of health education on, for example, local attitudes towards FGC (Female Genital Cutting)

FGC

Time spent with the women and men in the community brought the joyous news that dialogue is continuing, with more families deciding to stop FGC. Some elders have said girls will no longer be cut in their families. Some cutters said they have stopped cutting. The important and beautiful ceremony for the girls’ rite of passage to womanhood and marriageability remains, but without the cutting. Since the government ban on FGC, the cutting has been performed some months or years before the ceremony to womanhood.

Maasai Women

Discussions with the women

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Women of Irkeepusi with new ideas on health

These discussions are the result of the workshops in Monduli, funded by WTWT and AMSO in December 2013 (See January 2014 WTWT Newsletter). They were attended by men and women of all ages, and addressed the issues of the effects of FGC as well as STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). Prior to the workshops, no-one in the area had ever heard of any girl from the NCA villages not being ‘circumcised’.
Many people who do not want to stop FGC currently believe that if girls are not cut bad things may happen to them such as not being able to have children or their children dying.

The Community Health Education Programme (CHEP) that we are planning and funding, at the people’s request, will ensure everyone gets to hear important information about many areas of health important to them. It will include information about the effects of FGC and the community will hear that Maasai women who have not been cut are having children and that their children do not die. We are able to give this education using the ‘Tostan’ model that we learned about this year. It will include films as well as songs and dances created by the community participants.

Following on from the Monduli pilot workshops and the TBA training, and in preparation for our Community Health Education our staff will be conducting a Baseline Survey. This will be a comprehensive study to find out what the current situation is in terms of health, whether people would like community health education and if so what are the issues that are important to them, that they would like covered.

On this visit we had the pleasure of meeting Maanda Ngoitiko, a dynamic Maasai woman from Loliondo district of Ngorongoro. She is director of the Pastoralist Women’s Council (PWC) (http://www.pastoralwomenscouncil.org) a body set up to encourage Maasai women to access education, financial independence and political participation. Women can then ensure that issues of concern to them, such as domestic violence, forced marriage, women’s property rights and HIV/AIDS are given appropriate attention or priority.

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Meeting Maanda Ngoitiko from the Pastoralist Women’s Council

Maanda was very encouraging of our Community Health Education. We plan to collaborate with PWC, AMSO (Alailelai Maasai Sustaniability Organisation) and Aid Tanzania on similar education across the district.

Traditional Birth Attendant training results

Since the TBA training we ran in November 2014 antenatal attendance has gone up by nearly a half. Nearly all women attending bring their husbands, and attendance is from earlier in pregnancy.

The community now have an ambulance! This was donated and is maintained by the NCAA (the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority). This week three labouring women in difficulty were transferred to hospital in the town and safely delivered of their babies by Caesarian. Mums and babies all doing well. Childbirth is becoming safer!

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The new ambulance serving the 42,000 people on the East of the Ngorongoro crater, donated by the NCAA

Education

On this visit we enjoyed the ‘inauguration’ ceremony of the new preschool in Nainokanoka sub village, which WTWT have funded. The building was blessed by the elders and we were given a history of events leading to this special day:

Thirteen years ago a teacher in the community was aware of the children failing to cope at primary school because they did not understand Swahili. He opened his home to children and taught them this national language of Tanzania. This had such a positive impact on how the children managed at school, that they built themselves a preschool out of locally available materials: wood from the forest. They did not have the financial resources to fund anything better. Their dream was to have a brick built building with a tin roof. They approached WTWT with their request for a better building. Today that dream came true.

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The Inauguration Ceremony of the new Nainokanoka Preschool

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The ceremony with the old preschool in the background

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Children in their new preschool

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Elders blessing the building

During the ceremony the village leaders said they needed a preschool for every village. This is something they have been requesting for sometime, but we currently do not have funds for any more preschools. Each pre-school costs around £10,000. Much of the cost is due to the expense of bringing materials by lorry all the way up to the Conservation Area. Fuel is a similar price to here.

WTWT Tanzanian Staff

We are delighted to have Laangakwa Twati join our staff. He has recently graduated from Dar es Salaam University with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology. He is experienced in the work of NGOs (Non Governmental Organisations) in community development, having done research in this area. Like our other staff, he is from the community where we are working, is very committed and is a great asset to our team. He is project manager for Health.

We are also delighted to have two female staff join our team since our last newsletter, Esupat Oloulu and Peesoi Runguna, who are both enthusiastic and are working for our health education program.

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Laangakwa, our new member of staff, project manager for Health

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Esupat, working for our Community Health Education Program

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Peesoi, working for our loan program and our health program

Thank you!

We are hugely grateful for all your financial support and your encouragement of our work. Without you we could not support these struggling communities.

 

Fundraising

If any of you feel you could make a donation towards another preschool this would be very gratefully received.

As always, our expenses and administration are paid by ourselves, so all of your donations go directly to the community projects.

If any of you would like to set up a standing order, we would be extremely grateful, as would the people in Ngorongoro.

Our bank account is: ‘Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania’ at Lloyds TSB, account number: 00087400, sort code 30-90-38.

Cheques can be made payable to ‘WTWT’ and posted to our address below.

We will be having our annual Quiz Night on October 17th 2015. More details to follow nearer the time.

 

With much love and thanks

Rachel, David and Daniel Blackmore, Michael Hasler, Ruth Cornish, Suchita Raja, Viv Pangalos, Ponja Tayai, Embapa Oloishiro, Laangakwa Twati, Esupat Oloulu, Peesoi Runguna

 

Rachel Blackmore

Coordinator for WTWT (Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania)

Registered UK charity No: 1125141

Registered office: Old Crown, West End, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP22 5TT

Phone: +441296 614751 (land line) or +447792 475094 (mobile)

 

Email: racheljblackmore@gmail.com

 

www.wellsfortanzania.com

 

 

We are also delighted to have two female staff join our team since our last newsletter, Esupat Oloulu and Peesoi Runguna, who are both enthusiastic and are working for our health education program.

 

 Thank you!

We are hugely grateful for all your financial support and your encouragement of our work. Without you we could not support these struggling communities.

 

Fundraising

If any of you feel you could make a donation towards another preschool this would be very gratefully received.

As always, our expenses and administration are paid by ourselves, so all of your donations go directly to the community projects.

If any of you would like to set up a standing order, we would be extremely grateful, as would the people in Ngorongoro.

Our bank account is: ‘Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania’ at Lloyds TSB, account number: 00087400, sort code 30-90-38.

Cheques can be made payable to ‘WTWT’ and posted to our address below.

We will be having our annual Quiz Night on October 17th 2015. More details to follow nearer the time.

 

With much love and thanks

Rachel, David and Daniel Blackmore, Michael Hasler, Ruth Cornish, Suchita Raja, Viv Pangalos, Ponja Tayai, Embapa Oloishiro, Laangakwa Twati, Esupat Oloulu, Peesoi Runguna

 

Rachel Blackmore

Coordinator for WTWT (Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania)

Registered UK charity No: 1125141

Registered office: Old Crown, West End, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP22 5TT

Phone: +441296 614751 (land line) or +447792 475094 (mobile)

 

Email: racheljblackmore@gmail.com

 

www.wellsfortanzania.com

 

 

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