Teaching in Tanzania

I am Katie, a Media and Journalism intern at Art In Tanzania. As part of my project, I am able to travel alongside my fellow interns to their projects and document what happens there.
Today we visited Mtakuja Secondary School, an international school that teaches students from 13 to 20 years old. The school provides the students education on Maths, Sciences, Geography and Kiswahili classes, and has an arts department that includes a variety of subjects, such as History, English and Sport. The school also has a small library and medical area and teachers told me that they are hoping to gain funding for a sports court someday in order to expand the variety of sports available for the students to practice.

 

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We arrived at the school during the students break and I was able to speak to a few of the students about the school and what they like about it. Teddy, aged 14, told me that she enjoys going to school to study maths and sciences, especially as she dreams of being an engineer when she is older. For students such as Teddy, there is a physics lab, and other specific departments within the school where they can study individual subjects. Two girls I spoke to at break time told me that they spend most of their time in one department as they only study business at the school. Interns have the opportunity to choose a department to teach in if they would like to. To start the process of teaching at the secondary school, interns go and discuss important details with the teachers such as the syllabuses that the students are learning and the school timetable. Interns have time to plan lessons and to collaborate between projects in order to produce a fun and interesting lesson for the students.

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I joined a class where Nathaniel, Daverine and Lara were teaching Human Rights. Nathanial asked the students to name what they thought were their basic human rights and write them on the board. The students were engaged and discussed why basic human rights are important and what rights belong to individual countries, for example: the right to carry a gun is exclusive to the United states of America. Nathaniel spoke of the origins of the 30 human rights created by the United Nations, and how religion and morality played a role in human behavior and basic rights before the law was passed. After the lesson, Lara spoke of how important it is for young students to be educated on their rights and other important issues. As interns, teaching is a good way to connect with the local people and understand more about what life is like as a young person in Tanzania.

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At the accommodation, there are facilities to teach younger children that go to school in the village. This takes place in the evenings so it is easier to participate in teaching this way if your project requires you to be elsewhere during the daytime, or if you prefer a more casual environment. The interns can play with the children and teach them English and maths in a comfortable environment which often proves most rewarding. From spending time teaching the younger children, I found I could learn as much from them as they could from me, and we ended up writing things in English and Kiswahili and teaching each-other the correct pronunciation. Hanging out with the village kids is a lot of fun, especially as they loooooove to dance (and to laugh at my terrible moves) and it is wonderful to see their language skills developing, especially if you have spent a lot of time with the same children. Nathanial also runs a debate group with adult students who wish to improve their English skills. He allocates time for practice with numbers and words which the adults are struggling with. This is also a fantastic opportunity to find out the opinions of the adults and learn from them.

 
Overall, I think that taking the opportunity to teach while doing an internship with Art In Tanzania is a fantastic thing to do and will really increase your involvement in local life here. The experiences I have from meeting students and teaching here are ones that I will never forget, and I have learned a great deal from the young people in this country.

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Music Dance group “Sanaa Sana”

Hi!

It’s Hikaru. I am one of internship students at the Dar es Salaam compound!

 

This time I would like to introduce one of the music groups that works with Art in Tanzania, Sanaa Sana. They mainly perform overseas, but their main base is Dar es Salaam.

The video from their studio are posted on YouTube!

Sanaa Sana from FB

The Sanaa Sana style is “Traditional, yet Original”. Their dances and music are a combination of styles from Tanzanian tribes or other African nations. They actively incorporate new ideas into their art. For example, the band uses Tanzanian traditional instruments and modern electric guitars. Dancers perform acrobatic choreographs which are not traditional Tanzanian; they implement styles to respond to the demands and the world audiences.

 

Art in Tanzania have various types of projects for intern/ volunteer students; working with Sanaa Sana is one of great examples., It is a great opportunity for students to study about African music. However, this opportunity is not just for them.

“Be original, be unique from others” is an important part of artists. Sanaa Sana’s style does not stay inside of “traditional” or “African”. Many of different characteristic of music can take a role in their performance. Additionally, skills of media are also needed to promote their activities. Volunteering and interning here offers and excellent chance to practice your skills, share your knowledge, and discover your new possibilities.

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There are several objectives that Sanaa Sana tries to leach trough their art. Supporting young people to get involved in “art” and promoting “human rights” are two of their main goals. In Tanzania, school does not put effort into artistic education. Only “drawing” is recognized as a needed class, says a local staff member of the Dar es Salam office. Tanzanian kids do not have chances to develop their other artistic passions, such as singing, playing, dancing, painting, and so on. Members of Sanaa Sana claim that “Now days, there is a music major in universities, BUT the quality of lesson is very poor and there isn’t much that talented students can learn from it.” They believe that their success helping Tanzania to recognize the importance and power of art.

 

“Human rights” is the other big topic of Sanaa Sana’s message. Tanzania still needs to spread the general concept of human rights more widely. The rights of women, children, and disabled people are much further behind. In addition, Tanzania is struggling with corruption at all levels. The corrupt government and society is a huge wall for Tanzanian citizens to learn their and other’s rights. Sanaa Sana often handles these concepts to let other countries know the current situation in Tanzanian and to collect grants.

 

Experiences with Art in Tanzania can let you learn more about your study field and your knowledge will affect local people’s education. Please check our website for more details on intern programs including music/ art but also human right, sports, media, business, and others.

Check out website for more details!

The African Child Day!

Hi!

I am Hikaru. I am an internship student at Dar es Salaam.

On June 16th, the day of African Child, Art in Tanzania participated to Siku Ya Mtoto 2017 as volunteers! We cerebrated this day to encourage improvement of education and environment of children, and re-recognize the challenges to accomplish.IMG_3694

There were so many fun out/indoor games and entertainments for/from children. Other than the time scheduled activities, special side-activities were also settled, such as face painting, free eye checkup and diagnosis for children, and exhibitions of national/ international firms.

Many of school students came as a school field trip! I was fun to in contract with the energetic kids. The event is settled for all kids, boys and girls, with disabilities, who love sports, prefer dancing or arts, have senses of language, and so on. All of recreations let kids to exercise, enjoy and discover their talents.

Although joining kids’ events is not the first time for me, participating in a host side is the first time! Before, while, and after kids are enjoying the event, the staff are running around to make sure the main guests having good time. From this volunteer experience, I could see the needed skills, technology, and atmospheres to organize events and bring those to success.

In my opinion, this volunteer activity was great opportunity especially for education, human rights, marketing, and management intern/ volunteer program.

Art in Tanzania always have other opportunities to lean for people who are interested in different sectors as well!

For more details, visit our Home Page!

Media intern signing off

Hi, this is Paavo writing.

I’ve been working for Art in Tanzania these past 8 weeks as a media intern. As this is my last day on the job, I thought it would be a good opportunity to tell what’s been going on, and how I hope media programmes of Art in Tanzania will go on after I’m gone back home.

It’s not been the busiest time for programmes, these few months just before the summer. So what better time to redefine our social media strategy and emphasize various programmes. My work has been mostly related to letting you, the public know what Art in Tanzania has to offer. I’ve been posting descriptions of various programmes to Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media platforms day after day.

Now new interns have arrived and programmes for summer can start full swing. I’ve taken care of not letting any of our platformsdry out, so now new media interns have great possiblities to keep us posted on what goes on day in and day out within our NGO. There’s a lot of super interesting things happening, not the least of which is our programme provided by the Swiss Embassy grant for music, which allows media interns to photograph and record amazing Tanzanian artists as they are writing and performing music that goes against the very big problem of corruption.

I do also hope I’m leaving things a little better off than it was. I’ve created a new Facebook page for the Environmental supplies Art in Tanzania provides for the locals, so more solar-powered and renewable technology could find its way to new users. I also hope my visiting, photographing and publicizing of various programmes, especially in Education, will encourage new inters to take the chance for an internship of a lifetime and come here to help rural communities in need.

Even though the rain season went on a bit longer than many of us hoped, life has been sunny and peaceful here. I got a chance to visit the beautiful island of Zanzibar, as well as have the unforgettable experience of going to a safari in Mikumi and see all the famed animals up close. I would advise interns to take part in the many extracurricular activities Art in Tanzania has to offer.

It’s been a wonderful time that I’ll surely remember the rest of my days. I hope the interns working in AIT after me will have as much of a blast as I have.

Peace out!

Local Public School in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam)

Hi!

This is Hikaru. I am an internship student of Art in Tanzania.

Last week, I was given opportunities to visit local public schools. “There are normally about 900 students and 40-50 teachers in a school during academic semesters”, says a president of one of the schools. In Tanzania, there are two major kinds of academic curriculum; national academic curriculum and European academic curriculum. Most public schools follow the national one which provides exams before every medium and long vacations. The time I went the schools was very end of an exam season before long summer vacations, so there were not much students there, compared to regular days. That means that the holiday classes, which are charged by intern/ volunteer students, are coming soon at Art in Tanzania! Team leaders are busy for organizing now. Holiday times we arrange holiday classes for those behind the studies together with the schools. Holiday classes are also important for those students coming from poor families who cannot afford to have any family holiday programs.

 

We are always welcome who are interested into teaching, supporting, or communicating with local kids! Details are available at web site of Art in Tanzania; http://www.artintanzania.org/

 

During the visitation, I was reminded of memories of my school life when I was their age. The kids at the schools are very well behaved and energetic. Even though I did not understand what they were saying, I understood how they hang out, play, or chat each other are just same as other schools I saw in other nations, Japan, USA, or France. However that, Tanzanian school system is different from others.

 

Here in Tanzania, if they cannot pass exams, they have to repeat one more academic period for taking exams to move up to next classes. At the schools, some are relaxed about their exams and enjoyed to play around with peers. Some look a bit stressed from studying for coming exams especially at secondary schools. I was told that some people are given up their education after they failed because they are embarrassed to remain same class with younger peers.

 

Tanzanian government spends more efforts for the education system. The number of schools, students, and teachers, and the quality of them are being improved constantly.

 

Thank Twiga Primary and Secondary School, Taguja Primary and Secondary School, Poani Primary School, and Kondo Secondary School for giving me good opportunities.

YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWrFy1zaG8c&feature=youtu.be

Solar Panels – the future of electricity in Tanzania

Electricity has been named by many Tanzanians as the biggest inhibitor for success.

Tanzania has the largest population in East Africa, estimated at 52,482,726, with a very high annual population growth rate of 2.77%. 31.6% of the population lives in an urban area, leaving an estimated 35,897,237 people residing in rural areas. Access to improved drinking water sources is available to 55.6% of the total population, with just about 3/4 of these people living in urban areas. 46.8% of Tanzanians have unimproved drinking water sources, the majority of which reshopside in rural areas. With regards to improved sanitation facilities, 15.6% of the population utilizes them, leaving 84.4% of Tanzanians with access to solely unimproved sanitation facilities.

Access to safe drinking water and the use of improved sanitation facilities are used as measurements for the development and overall well being of a country. Improved drinking water sources include piped household water collection, as well as access to protected dug wells, springs, and rainwater collection. Unimproved drinking water sources are unprotected dug wells and springs, along with bottled water and tankered truck water.

598351_10151100231971930_978032409_n-300x199Compared to the world average of 89% of the total population having access to improved drinking water, Tanzania has fallen majorly behind. While taking into account the use of improved sanitation facilities as a means for measuring development, Tanzania also lacks due to the fact that the majority of the population is not able to ensure hygienic separation of human excretion from human contact. Finally, just over 75% of Tanzanians live without electricity, and rely on toxic kerosene or diesel generators for lighting.

Current National Grid and Electricity Access

The current national power grid in Tanzania is summarized as inefficient because of its inability to provide power to the majority of the population. Powered by fossil fuels and hydroelectric, the lines exist in the northern and eastern part of the country and sparsely in the south, but are nonexistent in the more rural west. Increased access to the national grid is at the extremely slow growth rate of 1% per year. Furthermore, in many cases people whose homes are connected to the national grid still do not receive electricity. With the expansion of the national grid, many site unreliable energy supplies and poor quality of supply as great problems. Furthermore, it is expensive to extend the national grid and distribution systems due to a lack of government funding.

charcoalOver three quarters of the population live without access to electricity, and many Tanzanians rely on charcoal for cooking and firewood collection. Currently, one of the largest threats to deforestation in Tanzania is the collection of firewood for fuel. In addition to this, the dirty smoke emitted from charcoal fires leads to many chest and lung problems. Electricity has been named by many Tanzanians as the biggest inhibitor for  success. This takes into account the fact that shopkeepers have to close their doors early due to a lack of light, schools can not operate outside of daylight hours, and many medical facilities have to send patients to farther locations for certain tests and operations.

A Solution for Developmentsolarpanel

Off-grid solar panels are small and durable. They are able to manage enough power to charge cell phones, lights, and other basic necessities. The main advantage to off-grid solar panels is their flexibility, both geographically and economically. Off- grid solar panels can also be implemented into improved drinking water consumption through solar water purifiers and well systems with solar powered pumps. Solar panel cookers will also help reduce the use of nonrenewable fuel sources, therefore greatly improving Tanzanians standard of living.

The environmental advantages of implementing solar panels are enumerable. Tanzania  has the unique opportunity to rapidly reduce the amount of nonrenewable energy sources, by going directly to a solar powered future. With their rapidly growing population a new market of energy consumption will emerge that could be completely fulfilled through solar panels, as opposed to largely contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Solar is dropping in price and beginning to compete with nonrenewable forms of energy. The World Bank energy data states that it costs 20 cents per kilowatt hour for solar, compared to 25 cents for fuel.

Implementation

img_3075Utilizing smaller off-grid solar panels fits the budgets of rural Tanzanians. People can put the money that would have originally been spent on fuel to finance their solar systems. Microfinance organisations are now  lending to allow householders to buy solar panels. The total installation
of the average off-grid solar panel can cost up to $1,000. However, locals are able to pay smaller installments through their mobile phones in order to eventually cover the entire cost. Payments such as these average around 20c a day, or can be made into larger monthly installments.

Establishing off-grid solar panel networks also offers a plethora of employment opportunities to locals. Over the next decade it is predicted that the renewable energy sector will become one of the largest employers in Africa. The leading seller of off-grid solar panels is creating on average 40 new jobs per month. Companies such as Solar Sister are offering more opportunities to women, and developing communities through leveling gender inequality. Furthermore, off-grid systems often utilize existing means of transportation to get their product to rural areas. The local jobs created through installation and equipment distribution are greatly adding to the development of Tanzania.

Challengessolarpack

As with any new program challenges will arise. The main concern for new solar panel companies is being able to secure their loan payments from customers. This can be achieved through mobile payments, which allow financiers to receive small regular pay installments. After paying the installation fee, customers are able to continue to pay for the rest of the total over time. This ensures that lenders will not lose money, because they are able to remotely lock and unlock the solar panel systems, based on the customer’s repayments. Offering the option to lease the solar panels further enhances the customer’s willingness to pay the smaller fees, while allowing lenders to have collateral. With nearly every Tanzanian having access to a cell phone, mobile payments for solar panels is an effective solution.

Sustainable operation of the solar panels is another issue that must be addressed initially. In order to have a sustainable operation it is important to establish infrastructure within the locations that the solar panels will be used. In order to cut costs, it is viable to use already
existing modes of transportation to deliver the product. Various solar panel companies have installed trackers in their products, ensuring that the panels reach their destination while traveling through third party delivery systems such as trains, city buses, and local delivery people.

Maintenance must be upheld through the education of local employees. While training local people on the installation and upkeep of the solar panels, awareness of the product would also expand. This would in turn create more jobs and boost local Tanzanian economies. Overall, when the solar panel companies work with local citizens they not only save money, but help the development of the country.

There are many new innovations with regards to anti theft lock devices for solar panels. These lock devices can be bought separately, or included in the initial solar panel purchase, and often consist of bolts or locks to secure each individual solar panel. Through the expansion of more secure solar panels, the reduction in stolen products will be significant, and the security of investments greatly improved.

small-solarThe final problem is managing parts of the solar panels after they are no longer functional. The biggest issue is recycling old GEL-type, lead type, and smaller lithium type batteries. Dar es Salaam City alone produces around 3,000 tons of waste per day. With this in mind, recycling old products is important to the environmental sustainability of installing solar panels.

The Recycler, Tanzania’s main source of recycling, is able to collect and store electronic waste. Getting a local organisation such as this would be a convenient option. In addition to this, there are a few international organisations that do work on recycling unusable products of solar panels. Companies such as PV Cycle are operating on a non-profit business model worldwide. They often establish global markets, and may prove to be useful in recycling solar panel batteries in Tanzania.

Furthermore, the implementation of solar panels and their usage of batteries could open a new market in Tanzania, one focused on the recycling of solar panel products. This market could be very profitable, as well as extremely environmentally conscious, because around 90% of the material recovered from solar panels and their batteries can be recycled into useful products.

Current Funding

Most solar panel organisations have received funding from a variety of sources. The Rural Energy Agency of Tanzania, operating under the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, works to promote access to modern energy in rural locations throughout the country. They provide resources for grants, technical assistance, and financial assistance in the form of investments for different renewable energy projects. This agency spends approximately $400million a year on supporting various clean energy sources.

International donors also help offset the cost of development and installation of solar panels throughout Tanzania. Organisations such as the World Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, USAID Development Innovation Ventures Program, and The International Finance Corporation have made major investments in this growing industry. The IFC has so far provided $7 million in order to reach over 100,000 households in Tanzania. Private international investors all around the world are beginning to see the profits in investing in solar panel technology. In 2014 more than $45 million was invested by private investment companies in the off-grid solar sector, and that number has continued to grow.

As a result of the numerous ways in which solar panels will help with the development of Tanzania, and in line with the ever growing globalization of our world, it is clear that investing and supporting off-grid solar panels is a profitable and worthy venture.

Text: Stephanie Gray
Environmental Sustainability Intern, Art in Tanzania

Photos: Marjut Valtanen

Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tz.html

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/global/assessing.html

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/tz.html

http://blogs.worldbank.org/africacan/only-14-of-tanzanians-have-electricity-what-can-be-done

http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Digitally-Financed-Energy-Mar-2016.pdf

http://www.pvcycle.org/services/global/

http://phys.org/news/2014-08-recycling-batteries-solar-cells.html

http://rea.go.tz/Projects/TheRuralEnergyFund/tabid/150/Default.aspx

http://fortune.com/2015/12/22/off-grid-solar-africa-booming/

Donations to An-Nabawiya Nursery School

school2 SebastienBeunA small nursery in the village of Fuoni, pronounced An – na – Ba – wee –yah, built in 2012 by Ms Asia Issa Jecha and Mr Hassan Mwinyi kombo as part of a women’s project.

The school is run by 6 local teachers who devote their time from 07:30 in the morning to 12:00pm, five days a week, in order to help educate the young local children. The school initially had 93 students and now have at least 100 local children who attend the nursery for free. The nursery building is also used from 19:00 to 20:00 for private tuition classes; these are held by different teachers.

teaching3-SebastienBeunThe children learn English, Maths, Science, Swahili, Arabic, Art and Religious Studies. Art in Tanzania have been involved with the nursery since 2014 and have provided a total number of 10 volunteers who have helped teach the children and also assisted the local teachers, by, for example, providing them with one to one English lessons.

The first day we visited the nursery was to deliver four benches that were kindly donated by a former Swedish volunteer; altogether there are four classrooms, however, all four of the benches were placed in one classroom. The aim is to fill all four classrooms with these little benches so that all of the children can benefit and enjoy learning in a comfortable environment. All the children wanted to sit on them and were extremely excited and happy with the generous donation.

When we went to visit the nursery again, we spoke to the head teacher, Mrs Latifa Mahfoudh, a stunning and pleasant woman who you could see loved working with the children and had always had a passion for teaching; we sat down and had a long chat at about the nursery and what her ambitions were for the nursery and its students.

Latifa pointed out some of the improvements to the actual building that needed to be carried out; a new roof was needed as the current one leaked, new windows were needed as well as a more stable and safer wall/fence around the parameters of the school with a gate, in order to keep the children safe and protected. Two of the classrooms were not plastered so it was impossible to provide a more pleasant environment for the children to learn in, as you can see from the pictures, the classrooms were dark and unpleasant, even with the sun blazing outside. The nursery also needed to build new toilets for the little boys and girls to use.

As well as the children’s facilities, Latifa showed us her own office, which really does need some attention, it would help her to have a proper carpet that covered all of the floor, new stable chairs and shelves so that when volunteers or guests come, they too can use the office and have a pleasant and clean workspace to work in, without feeling your chair is going to giveaway any second! Latifa would also like to go on computer courses and get computer for her office to make her work easier.

Upon our return, three volunteers, Louise Proctor, Claire Manning and Elizabeth Drey flew out to Zanzibar from Ireland and brought with them a very generous donation of over £4000 for the nursery; with their help and local workers, building work has now commenced, with a new roof and plastering. The work on the wall/fence will be started next, and then the new windows will be fitted. The donations will also help to build new toilets for the little boys and girls. A further £3296 has been donated by Whitney Harris-Linton from Michigan (£77 put towards the roof), Melissa Wolsley from Findlay, Australia (donated £99 for a black board to be fitted in the classroom) £2600 and £520 have also been donated from more kind donators. The money given will be used to finish renovating the school and any money left over will be used on a new project in Madale, Dar-Es-Salam, subject to the donors consent.

kiswahili sebastienIf you would like to volunteer at the nursery or donate; your time, skills, money, toys, stationary or school equipment, do contact Edward Busungu at Art in Tanzania and get involved, it certainly is a fantastic project and the children and staff are simply delightful to be around.

If you do wish to teach at the school, we would recommend spending more than two weeks, as this will enable you to build a much better rapport with the children and staff, allowing them to put into practice what you teach and you will be able to witness the difference that your presence can make in their lives and futures.