Tanzania Newsletter Number 36
17th August 2017
Moving –on Project News
Three years of hard work have come to an end for Ester and Kabula who graduated on 11th August. They are now actively seeking employment. Ester is qualified as a primary and early year’s teacher. The main recruitment for teachers happens prior to the new school year opening in January but she is already circulating her CV to head teachers. Kabula is similarly visiting officesand businesses. She has trained as a secretary. Everyone at Busega Scotland wishes them well as they prepare to leave the Moving-on Project.
The girls are grateful for all the financial support they have received through Busega Scotland and in particular from the Anglican Church Basle, Living Links fund and individual supporters. Thanks also for donations from the “Wainhouse and the many people who have organised and attended fundraising events for them and the other 8 students of the Moving- on project.
For now Matron and Rev Deuli are basking in the proud glow of surrogate “parents” to the two girls. Rev Deuli had a graduation of his own to attend a day later and his proud family and supporters looked on as he received his Master’s Degree in Divinity.
The 5 second year Kalwande mechanics students have returned to college after their 3 month placements in Mwanza garages. Lukondya, in first year, was pleased to have them back. The good news is that all the second years passed the national VETA (Vocational Education Training Association) exams, taken some months ago, allowing them to continue to Diploma level. Hasan represented the students at Ester and Kabula’s graduation ceremony. This was an inspiration for them all to work hard to achieve their dreams.
Monica and Masebuka, first year students at Nyakato College, are doing well and enhancing the reputation of Mayega Children’s Centre by the way they conduct themselves. They are polite and hardworking and their principal speaks highly of them.
Thanks are due to Peter and Sandra Anderson who represented Busega
Scotland with John and Christine at both Refuel 17 and Keswick in Buckie Convention. Both these week long Christian events enabled Busega Scotland to forge links with other organisations and charities. Following the two events we have registered for payroll giving, have been offered ongoing advice from the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, and have a talk scheduled with the Skene Murray Mission. Christine also attended an Africa Night at St Margaret’s Church in Aberlour. Over the two weeks the Busega stall raised £485, with many thanks to Ruth McIntosh and friends for making the cloth bags that were on sale.
Mayega Children’s Centre News
Every child living at Mayega has their own story to tell of how they found themselves living at a children’s home instead of with their biological families. The details are different but the common factor is overwhelming poverty. HIV and AIDS, fathers abandoning families, death or chronic sickness of a lone parent, all lead to situations where children become vulnerable. No strength to work the land/ poor rainy season/ no money for health care/ no money for food or school/ a community unable to care for its own. Often the children are reluctant to tell their personal story. Sometimes they have run away from a bad situation. They have a real fear that they could be sent back to the very place they have run away from.
Last week we received a new child into the centre. Her name is Nkwabi and she says she is 8 years old. Nkwabi was found wandering lost and alone in the Serengeti National Park by some licensed hunters. She was unable to tell anyone the name of her village or where her family were. She was taken to the police station in the nearest town outside the national park gate, where she stayed for a few days while they made enquiries. She was then taken to the District Police Office in another town and again slept at the police station. With no progress in finding her family the District Welfare Officer asked the Children’s Centre to care for her. Nkwabi has never been to school and so does not speak Kiswahili, the unifying language taught in primary school. Fortunately, she speaks Kisukuma and so Leah, the Matron at Mayega, can communicate with her. More than two weeks have passed since she was found. We hope that someone will go to the police and report her missing. Perhaps Nkwabi has a story to tell but it may take some time before she is able to tell it.
She is the 22nd child currently being supported at Mayega Children’s Centre. Like all the new arrivals, Nkwabi had only the clothes she was wearing. The other children are welcoming her and helping her feel safe and secure. Her future is uncertain but soon we will look at school enrolment.
The solar system in the dormitories has been repaired again after a large colony of bats in the roof space ate through the wires and fittings. The bats were removed and extensive work was carried out to secure the roof space from further invasion.Every cloud has a silver lining. I don’t know how many bats were in the roof but they produced a lot of droppings, which will provide fertiliser for the new vegetable garden. It’s too hot and dry to go on the land at the moment but work started a few months ago improve the soil. Bats are not protected in Tanzania. Nonetheless, we decide to remove them rather than exterminate them.
Bon Voyage! Volunteers Robin and Debbie Hill are on route to Tanzania today. We have just heard that they arrived safely in Kigali, Rwanda this morning from wherethey will get a connecting flight to Tanzania.
They were last in Mwanza in 2014 and so will see many changes in the projects and in the city of Mwanza itself. The road from the airport is being upgraded to dual carriageway and the Chinesebuilt shopping mall which, was a building site in 2014, is now open although few can afford to shop there.
Robin and Debbie will be visiting Mayega Primary School and taking gifts of sporting equipment from Lhanbryde Primary School in Moray. They are carrying netball, volleyball, and football equipment. It is possible to buy balls in Tanzania but they are very expensive and we have only found poor quality ones in the past. Let’s hope the Hills have no problem at customs! We look forward to all Robin and Debbie’s news and pictures, which will be posted on the website.
All Busega Scotland volunteers are self-funding and no donations given to Busega Scotland are used to support them. Busega Scotland also receives specific donations to cover fundraising costs (hire of venues etc) meaning that people can be confident that their donations reach Tanzania. A recent addition to our website is an accounts page, which has a summary of our annual income and expenditure. It can be viewed here. http://busegascotland.co.uk/annual-accounts/ Of course information on our accounts is also available on the OSCR Website https://www.oscr.org.uk/charities/search-scottish-charity-register/charitydetails?number=SC046101#resul
Judy Campbell, a new volunteer with Busega Scotland, is preparing for a six month stint in Tanzania starting in October. This will be her first trip to Africa and she is very excited about the work ahead. She will be spending most of her time with Shaloom Care House, a Catholic project supporting adults, parents and children affected by HIV and AIDS. Although the prevalence of AIDS is dropping there are large numbers of families still impacted by the infection and Shaloom provides medical, nursing and social care to many people. For example, in the children and youth project there are 400 regular attenders! Judy is volunteering as a social worker in the project using all her transferrable skills after many years in nursing. If the work at Shaloom isn’t enough she will be helping to establish a project with Busega Scotland, in the rural village of Chole. We will be piloting a preventative health programme in partnership with the local mission hospital, to improve the health status of very poor families within the community. Both Shaloom Care House and the Chole Family Support Project need funds to carry out their extremely important work. If you would like to support Judy’s work in these projects you can make a donation through her total giving page at https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/judycampbell
Everyone was wearing their glad rags on 11th August, Ester and Kabula at their graduation and Judy with husband Ian and sons Stuart, Lewis and Ian at a family wedding. We thank Judy’s family for sharing her with Busega Scotland for six months and for her congregation at Lossiemouth Baptist Church for all their encouragement.
Family Support Project News
Sustainability, sustainability, sustainability! Just as Tony Blair insisted his government was about ‘education, education, education’ and Bill Clinton said, in winning the 1992 election, ‘it is the economy, stupid’, the word sustainability runs through the Family Support Project, like Blackpool through Blackpool Rock. The challenge for poor families in Tanzania is enormous, and probably greater than we could ever imagine, with the ‘solution’ way beyond the scope of Busega Scotland. But we do what we can and the women in the Family Support Project do the rest. We have successes to share with you. The first women’s group in Igombe is now self-financing and autonomous. The window has been opened and it has flown away! 89% of the women surveyed said that their businesses (established with the help of Busega Scotland) were ‘Good’ or ‘OK’. The importance of the women coming together cannot be overstated, in helping
each other through difficult times. At a personal level, Margreth Masaga, the inspiration for the project back in 2014, has been able to buy a piece of land and is constructing a house for her family. How good is that? Over at Chole the news is also good. The upmarket Goat Race charity in Dar es Salaam has awarded our project a grant to start a second group of 35 families. We think the charity was impressed by progress with the first group, where the women (like in Igombe) have established a well-run vicoba or credit union. This is a savings scheme, were some business profits are deposited and used for the women to then take loans. This is self-help and sustainability personified.
Looking ahead there is still much to do. Judy Campbell will be working at Bukumbi Hospital with Sr Anastasia and Henry Zepherin to help establish a preventative health programme and will use Swahili DVDs sourced by Robin and Debbie Hill. In Igombe, Busega Scotland colleagues, Alphonce Kagezi and Julieth Godwin, are establishing a second women’s group. So, the message is loud and clear. People working together from different backgrounds, cultures and countries can do so much by sharing their experiences, knowledge and skills, in a spirit of ‘co-operation, co-operation, co-operation’!
Yes, the Mayega shuka is ‘very beautiful’ and somehow captures exactly what Busega Scotland is all about. The back story is amazing. One of our trustees, Colin Sanders, has links to a heritage trust operating in the valley in which John and Christine live – the Spey valley. The trust operates a mill at Knockando, which has been producing woollen cloth since 1784. InTanzania, one its iconic tribes, the Maasai, wear a cloak, called a shuka, that may well have connections to early Scottish missionaries/settlers, given its tartan design.
So, what did Busega Scotland do? We linked this all up. The mill provided templates that we took to Mayega. The children coloured them in, using colours familiar in their environment. The artwork came back to Scotland and the unique Mayega shuka was born. Forty shukas have been produced and they are onsale through the Knockando Wool Mill shop and online. We think these are the onlywoollen shukas produced worldwide and are certainly the only ones designed through the imagination of children in Mayega. John and Christine will be going back to Tanzania later in the year and cannot wait to show the children what they have helped to produce.Within that there are important messages. The children do have worth, theycan be part of the wider world and as adults we should say what we’ll do and do what we say. This all brings hope for the future.
If you would like to know more about the shukas, see some excellent photographs or even buy one, then please use the following link https://www.knockandowoolmill.co.uk/search?type=article&q=busega
ll profits will go to Mayega Children’s Centre. Selling the shukas is important in supporting the centre but also for developing self-esteem, in showing thechildren how other people value what they have helped to achieve. The shuka can be used as blanket, table cloth, picnic blanket, shawl, throw or in the car.
Last but not least!
We are always on the lookout for second hand laptops for our students and staffin Tanzania. Ideally, we are looking for systems running Windows 7 as a minimum. We have help from MJD Systems at Spey Bay in wiping the computers and getting them ready for a new use. If you have a machine looking for a new lease of life in Africa, please contact us. Reuse is better than recycle!
With all Good Wishes
John and Christine Carney
Busega Scotland Moving On Project Report May 2017
Kalwande Mechanic Students- Enosi, Dotto, Lukondya, Geoffrey, George, Hasan
George, Geoffrey and Dotto are enjoying their placement in a small garage on Airport Road at Bwiru Corner. This is the main thoroughfare into Mwanza. The second year Kalwande mechanic students are gaining valuable experience and are very happy that the garage owner believes that he gets the best out of the staff if he feeds them well! The boys are provided with lunch and snacks every day. I think they earn it! It is hard hot work. This is a typical garage with the boys working out in the open. No shelter from the sun or rain and thankfully it has been raining. Most of the work is on the minibuses and motorbike taxis which are plentiful in the city.
Hasan and Enosi are also busy working. Enosi is at the larger Nile Perch garage on the outskirts of town. Nile Perch is a fish processing firm with a garage to keep its fleet of vehicles maintained. He is enjoying the experience but like Hasan does not have the added perk of free food! Hasan is working with the Mwanza water authority maintaining its vehicles.
These placements are an important part of their diploma qualification, as the 5 students will receive marks which will count towards the final national exams next year.
Lukondya remains at college. He is one of 34 first year students in the mechanics class at Kalwande. All six boys are working towards a diploma qualification which takes three years to complete. Busega Scotland is supporting them through fundraising events and donations.
Thankfully we have received support from the Stowmarket Salvation Army Corps in providing tools for the students and the Anglican Church Basle which is funding their placement expenses. We have rented accommodation in Mwanza for three months so that the students can get to work. They are sharing one large room. It is very basic and had no electricity at first but now they at least have lighting. It is too far and too expensive to travel from college every day. Kalwande is a rural college and so the boys are experiencing city life for the first time. They have to buy food and cook for themselves which is a new experience. At college food is provided for them. All this will help equip them for the future.
Rev Deuli, Busega Scotland’s Project Leader, is in daily contact with the boys who are living close to his home. George was recently sick with malaria but help was at hand to get him seen by a doctor and treatment started. There is a lot of malaria in the Lake Zone. The boys sleep under mosquito nets but as most of life takes place outdoors they can be bitten at any time.
Masebuka is our 7th mechanics student but he is studying at Nyakato Vocational training Centre. He is on a two year certificate course. The college is relatively well equipped with workshops for carpentry, welding, plumbing, electrical and tailoring. The college used to receive support from Finland but is now self-funding and is run by the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania. The principal says they cannot make ends meet on student fees alone so they have a number of social enterprises. One of these is vehicle maintenance. This allows the students ongoing practical experience. When we visited in April they were working on a school bus and a minibus. Masebuka is a bright student with lots of potential. He came 2nd out of 86 first year students in his first term exams.
The college is unusual in that it has a number of female technical teachers. Monica is another Mayega Children’s Centre student in her first year there.
She is studying electrical installation and also has a female tutor. Monica is one of 4 girls in a class of 35 students. When we visited it was sports on the timetable and we were happy to find Monica playing volleyball. She is a shy girl and it was good to see her mixing with the other first year girls. Monica also did well in her first term exams and staff reported that she was working hard and doing well.
Ester, our 3rd year teaching student, is also on placement at the moment. She is working at Nyamanoro Baptist English Medium Pre & Primary School. This is a large private school in Mwanza. Rev Deuli was able to secure her placement due to his local contacts. The headmaster, Mr Martine Masele said that he was happy to offer Ester teaching practice as she was recommended by Rev Deuli’s friend, the Baptist pastor.
The placement is due to be completed on 21st July. Just as with the boys the placement marks will form part of her final qualification grade. Ester has already sat her exams and so this is the last part of her course. No-one is sure when the exam results will be published but graduation preparations have already started!
Last but not least is Kabula.
She finished her secretarial course placement on 19th May. She was working in the education offices of the district council. She received a very positive report on her work. The person she was working with was sick for a couple of weeks and Kabula had to ‘hold the fort’. She was dealing with local headmasters, solving their problems and directing them to complete any necessary paperwork.
She was proud to do the job well and received many compliments on her performance.
Just like Ester she now has to wait for the results of the national VETA exams. Meanwhile, she has been taking her CV to different places and Busega Scotland staff are using all their contacts to try to help her. Getting a job in Tanzania requires a lot of work. Positions are generally not advertised and job seekers must go around visiting as many places as possible. Who you or your family know is really important. For a young person from an orphanage this makes life difficult but she is now a confident young woman. We hope her drive and enthusiasm will open doors for her.
At Mayega there are three girls due to sit their Form 4 school leaving exams in October. Happiness, Margaret and Tabu have fortnightly life skills discussions with Julieth Godwin, Busega Scotland’s Assistant Project Leader. The programme aims to prepare them for life outside institutional care. The only life they have known is in a rural village where there are well defined traditional female roles. We are trying to help the girls identify realistic options for their future. They will leave as young women. The path from orphanage child to young adult is not easy but the Moving-on Project will be with them along the way.
If you would like to support any of the young people through a one off donation, fundraising event or individual sponsorship please email Christine at email@example.com
Mayega’s older girls wearing their traditional kangas. These are worn by girls over the age of about 10.
15th May 2017
Family Support Project Report
Important planning has taken place in Mwanza to chart the course of the Busega Scotland Family Support Projects (FSP) at Igombe and Chole. The two projects have important differences, and are at different stages of their development.
The great news from Igombe is that the FSP Tushirikishane Women’s Group is now a Community Based Organisation (CBO), registered with Ilemela Municipal Council.
The registration is a lengthy process, and cost the group about £100 to achieve, but it allows them to open a bank account and have the possibility for local and central government support. In its constitution the group has 25 founder members but the number will increase as other members join (at present the Family Support Project has provided grants to over 40 families). Going forward the group would like to develop a training plan and maybe start some co-operative businesses, to boost incomes. Alphonce Kagezi, Busega Scotland FSP Supervisor in Igombe, said,
‘I would like to thank Busega Scotland for the help it provides to the poor families. It may seem only small amounts but it helps families overcome other problems in their lives, and in the bible it says, it is always better to give than to receive!’
Busega Scotland is trying to avoid a ‘glass ceiling’ for families in the FSP and help them towards greater financial security. As Mr Kagezi implies, we provide an opportunity that the women have to grasp, but this is not at all easy and is fraught with difficulties. Life for the women in Igombe is, by any measure, hard and uncertain.
We have been speaking to Mr Kagezi about the women who are not in the women’s group and the reasons for that. Our Assistant Project Leader, Julieth Godwin, has also been doing some research into the issue with the women themselves. It is vitally important that group support is available to everyone, as this helps families get over hard times as loans can be made from group funds. The alternative is that women have to use business capital and that can be disastrous. As a result of Julieth’s research some important changes may be made to the project, so that it is strengthened in the light of experience. Busega Scotland is committed to continuously improving its services and challenges arise and have to be overcome on a daily basis.
The project at Chole got off the ground at just the end of last year. It is partnership between a Tanzanian NGO called CODEHDAF, the Chole Women’s Group, Bukumbi Hospital and Busega Scotland. The Chole group is already a registered CBO, with 28 families, and CODEHAF provides inputs for horticultural projects. We will be providing capital for the group of about £375 in total. This allows the women to provide loans to each other as they grow individual businesses. Our second commitment is to provide health insurance for each family for one year, while the families save for subsequent years. We have negotiated a comprehensive service with the local mission hospital at Bukumbi.
The hospital is one of the oldest in the Lake Zone, having been established by Catholic missionaries in the early 1900’s. It has 150 beds serving 25,000 to 30,000 patients per year.
The insurance, for all services except operations, is costing £7.50 per family per year. In the second year CODEHDAF will pay half the premium and the women the other half, and from the third year onwards the women will become liable for the full costs.
When representatives of the Chole Planning Team, Julieth Godwin and Henry Zepherin (CODEHDAF Field Officer), met the Chole Women’s Group the ladies were delighted with what had been negotiated on their behalf. A project agreement has been signed, with Sister Anastasia Salla the signatory for the hospital.
Julieth has also checked the Chole group’s finances and record keeping. The books are well kept and this has allowed Busega Scotland to pay a second instalment into the group’s capital. The women use the fund as a savings scheme for themselves, as well as taking loans from it. The fund’s total has now reached over 1,000,000/- (£380) and there is still one more Busega Scotland payment to be made.
Henry is also the Laboratory Technician at Bukumbi Hospital, having worked there for 25 years. He has strongly advocated community health promotion in Chole, linked to the health insurance scheme. Busega Scotland is planning to work with the hospital in developing the idea, which may include health education, testing and treatment. As Henry said, ‘if the Chole families are tested I am sure that many people will be anaemic through infections with bilharzia, intestinal worms and amoebiasis’. These infections are endemic along the shores of Lake Victoria, can be debilitating to the population and we haven’t even mentioned malaria and HIV!
If the Chole project is to work to best effect then the women have to healthy to be productive. This is a self-evident but harsh reality of life. It is why Busega Scotland adopts a holistic approach to its projects, while trying to be helpful in a sustainable manner.
If you want to know more about the Busega Scotland Family Support Project, or think you can help in any way, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org .