The Creative Activist

Martin Saning’o Kariongi Ole Sanago

Weeks have gone by, my national exams were nigh, since Mr. Martin Saning’o had passed away from COVID-19. I had a dream. In the dream, Mr. Martin said to me, in Swahili, with rough translation to english as, “Dare to dream big, never give up and always have a spirit big enough to achieve your dreams. Never give up my son and remember I love you!”. I woke up emotional that day but I also had a thought. He has done great works that most don’t know of. I wouldn’t want his works to go unnoticed – I would want people to know of the works that he did and the benefits he has brought to the Maasai community in Terrat, Simanjiro. This is his story.

Martin was born in the early 1960’s in the Simanjiro district of northern Tanzania. This is in the Maasai heartland – the high arid plains south of Arusha. In common with many Maasai of his generation, Martin and his family cannot be sure exactly when he was born. But Martin believed it to be born in 1960 or 1961.

                                                       Simanjiro

Martin was one among the minute number of Maasai children to have received education at the time. He used his education well. He wanted to give back to society that brought him up, so in the early 1990’s he founded IOPA – Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancement. Although IOPA’s first priority was to deal with land rights, it also eyed health problems and water supply problems that the Maasai in Terrat faced.

Martin became an activist, and made critical moves to ensure that the Maasai aren’t displaced from their traditional lands – The government had been displacing the Maasai at the time from areas they claimed to be ‘National Park areas’. His moves were seen to be ‘too critical’ to some in high places, and as a result the government initially refused to register IOPA.

As impossible as it may seem, Martin sued the government for displacing the Maasai from their traditional lands. At the time, more than 6000 Maasai had already been displaced by the government form National Parks. IOPA, led by Mr. Martin, filed a number of cases against the government which later on resulted in a landmark ruling by the High Court in IOPA’s favour.

Martin recognized that education was the key to enlighten the Maasai on a number of things: land rights, their own health, their livestock, the ongoing changes in the outside world, and a number of other things. He figured that a community radio would effectively serve this purpose. He took measures to establish a community radio, the first ever in Tanzania. He worked his fingers to the bone – a lot of sleepless nights – and finally the ORS FM first broadcasted news in 2002. The radio was in fact the first ever community radio in Tanzania – or in a larger perspective East Africa. It broadcast news in Kimaasai (the Maasai native language) and also played Maasai music.

After the idea of the community radio, Martin also realised that there was a need for electricity – not only for the radio station but also for the receivers of the information they portrayed. He worked on a number of projects, in association with different international organisations, to bring electricity to the Maasai people.

Martin also worked to help women facing different challenges, most especially those in the maasai areas – they were more prone to treacherous practices – such beatings from husbands, mutilation and harassment. IOPA created a safe haven where beaten women would go to and tell their stories. It also tried to prevent female genital mutilation, FGM, child marriage, and women oppression. IOPA dedicated some of its resources to educate women and raise the status of women in the Maasai society. IOPA also sought to help women economically. IOPA established dairies in Simanjiro with a long-sighted view of enabling women to sell milk and get money, they used to acquire their needs and the needs of their families. In the maasai culture, the only resource that belongs to women is milk.

Martin had broad and liberal outlook in his work, which touched each and almost every age group and social class by the time. For children, IOPA helped establish more than 50 pre-primary and primary schools across the region.

Martin’s work didn’t go unnoticed – he was elected an Ashoka fellow in 2003 and got the attention of a Dutch philanthropist, Dini de Rijcke, and began to work with her through her foundation, Strichting Het Groene Woudt (SHGW). Through working with Ashoka and SHGW, IOPA achieved many of its objectives. The Dutch foundation provided IOPA with 5 dairy plants and generators to power them across the region, and each dairy could process up to 2000 litres of milk into yoghurt, cheese, ghee and butter per day. These products were sold throughout the country. In cooperation with these organizations, IOPA was also able to work on a number of water supply projects, that bore fruits as the people in the dry Maasai lands got water with much more ease than before.

The women’s refuge centre was expanded to also be guest houses that could accommodate visitors to the area. IOPA also added additional generators to build one of the first mini-grids in the country to supply more than 1000 people in Terrat village with electricity, since the government had considered it too expensive to connect Terrat to the national electricity grid.

                        The IOPA centre in Terrat with guest house, community hall and dairy

Martin was bestowed various awards for his great work such as Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation and World Economic Forum Africa, the Ford Global Community Leadership Award, and Dubai Global Innovator Award.

Martin suggested that IOPA had to try and create viable micro businesses, so that even after funders ended their collaborations, IOPA would still be able to run its activities and thrive. As of today, IOPA’s remaining running projects include ORS FM radio, a few dairy plants, the conference centre, the water business, the guest house, and education and health support project in Terrat.

In 2019, IOPA was changed to Orkonerei Maasai Social Initiatives (OMASI) – an NGO – because of government laws and regulations, and by the end of 2020 Mr. Martin had achieved most of his goals and dreams.

On March 1st, 2021, Martin passed away. I can say that he hasn’t truly died because his works still live on – he lives through his works. He has left a legacy and very big shoes to fill. This story of Martin is supposed to be a motivation to anyone with big dreams, anyone who is fighting against all odds to achieve their dreams. I hope I have done his story justice.

If you will it, it is no dream; and if you do not will it, a dream it is and a dream it will stay

                                                                                    – Thomas Herzl –

Martin Saning’o Kariongi Ole Sanago

MEN CIRCUMCISION (TOHARA)

By Mariam Msangi – Art in Tanzania internship

Circumcision is defined as the surgical removal of the foreskin. The foreskin retractable fold of skin that covers the end of the penis. It is the continuation of the skin that covers the whole penis. Male circumcision has been shown to considerably reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV infection. Male circumcision is defined as the complete removal of the entire foreskin (the skin that can be rolled forward or back over the head of the penis) and it may be carried out for a number of reasons. Medical reasons: in men, circumcision is most commonly carried out when the foreskin is tight and won’t pull back (retract). Non-medical reasons: circumcision is a common practice in the Jewish and Islamic communities, and it’s also practiced by many African communities. Most non-medical circumcisions are carried out on children.

Medical reasons for men to have a circumcision

In men, circumcision is sometimes considered a possible treatment option for the following conditions.

Tight foreskin (phimosis): phimosis is where the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back over the head of the penis (glans). This can sometimes cause pain when the penis is erect and, in rare cases, passing urine may be difficult;

Recurrent balanitis: balanitis is where the foreskin and head of the penis become inflamed and infected;

Paraphimosis: paraphimosis is where the foreskin can’t be returned to its original position after being pulled back, causing the head of the penis to become swollen and painful. Immediate treatment is needed to avoid serious complications, such as restricted blood flow to the penis;

Balanitis xerotica obliterans: this condition causes phimosis and, in some cases, also affects the head of the penis, which can become scarred and inflamed;

Cancer of the penis: is a very rare type of cancer, where a red patch, wart-like growth or ulcer appears on the end of the penis or under the fore.

Male Circumcision Acceptability

 In Tanzania Several observational studies have shown that the traditional patterns of circumcision in Tanzania are changing a substantial number of men belonging to traditionally noncircumcising tribes have been circumcised. For instance, the prevalence of male circumcision increased from 19% to 30% in 2004 in the traditionally non-circumcising populations in Mwanza Region. The prevalence of male circumcision was 21% in selected communities of Mwanza Region in 1994 and 54% in the 2003/04. The changes in the pattern of circumcision may be due to health reasons, social mixing between circumcising and non-circumcising cultures, desire for sexual pleasure. With regard to health reasons, circumcised men are believed to be less susceptible to STDs because the foreskin secretes dirty fluid which is a favourable medium for the growth of disease-causing agents and may be a source of bad smell and also circumcised men heal genital ulcers much faster compared to uncircumcised men. The urbanisation in Tanzania and the establishment of district capitals with government officials from all over the country has led to increased mixing of circumcising and noncircumcising ethnic groups. The mix of ethnic groups is most obvious in secondary schools, and has led to increased acceptance of male circumcision.

 Rate of circumcised men in Tanzania

 An estimated 70 percent of Tanzanian men are circumcised, according to government surveys, but prevalence varies from region to region. In some districts up to 80 percent of men especially in the western parts of the country are not circumcised. For this case there has to be more effort in providing more education to people so as to increase the rate of circumcised men and reduce the rate of transmission disease such as HIV, STD’S and other infections.

 Circumcision Benefits

There is some evidence that circumcision has health benefits, including:

  • Less risk of urinary tract infections;
  • A reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases in men;
  • Protection against penile cancer and a lower risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners;
  • Prevention of balanitis (inflammation of the glans) and balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin);
  • Prevention of phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (the inability to return the foreskin to its original location;
  • Circumcision also makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean.

Circumcision Risks

Like any other surgical procedure, there are risks in getting circumcision. But this risk is low. Problems linked to circumcision include:

  • Pain;
  • Risk of bleeding and infection at the site of the circumcision;
  • Irritation of the glans;
  • Higher chance of meatitis (inflammation of the opening of the penis);
  • Risk of injury to the penis.

EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING

By Godfrido F Mallya – Art in Tanzania internship         

Breastfeeding; means one of the most ways to ensure child health and survival. However, nearly 2 out of 3 infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6months, a rate that has not improved in 2 decades…World Health Organization

Breast milk is the ideal food for infants. It’s safe clean and contains antibody which help protect against many common childhood illness. Breast milk provides all need for the first months of life and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child nutritional needs during the second half of the first year and up to one third during the year of life

Many experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, strongly recommend breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, juice or water) for 6months. After the introduction of other foods, it recommends continue to breastfeed through the baby first year of life.

How often you should breastfeed your baby depends on whether your baby prefers small, frequent meals or longer feeding. This will change as your baby grows. Newborns often want to feed every 2-3 hours. By 2months, feeding every 3-4hours is common and by 6months most babies feed every 4-5hours.

Signs that will indicate your baby is Hungry

  • Licking their lips or sticking out their tongue
  • Rooting, which is moving their jaw, mouth, or head to look for your breast
  • Putting their hand into their mouth
  • Opening their mouth, sucking on things

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby

  • Breast milk provide ideal nutrition for infants, perfectly mix of vitamin, protein and fat everything your baby need to grow
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
  • Breast milk lower baby risk of having asthma or allergies, eaar infections, respiratory illness, bouts of diarrhea
  • Breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood in some studies
  • Breastfeeding create a good bond between mother and her baby
  • Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than become of overweight as they grow

Breastfeeding benefits to the Mother

  • Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster, it release hormone oxytocin which help mother uterus return to its pre pregnancy size and many reduce uterine bleeding after birth.
  • Breastfeeding lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Also the osteoporosis
  • Breastfeeding save time and money, also provide a woman regular time to relax quietly with a newborn as she bond

ABCs of Breastfeeding

  1. Awareness: Watch for the baby sign of hunger and breastfeed whenever your baby is hungry this is called on demand feeding. The first few weeks you may breastfeed your baby 8 to 12 times every 24 hours.
  2. Be Patient: Breastfeed as long as your baby wants to breastfed each time. Don’t hurry your baby through feeding
  3. Comfort: Relax while breastfeeding and your milk is more likely to let down and flow. Get yourself comfortable with pillows as needed to support your arms and footrest to support your feet and leg before you begin to breastfeed

Maternal Health in Tanzania

Tiffany Lo-Art in Tanzania Internship

In Tanzania, there are 566 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births, which represents the sixth highest maternal mortality ratio in the world, according to the Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (Gailey and McMillan, 2019). The Kigoma Region, which is located in western Tanzania, has the poorest maternal health outcomes in the country (Gailey and McMillan, 2019).

In Tanzania, public health policy and program implementation is overseen by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) (Franz, 2015). The point of entry for mothers and children into the public health system is the community-level dispensary, where patients can access exams, medical supplies, medicines, immunization services and seek advice from a nurse or clinical officer (Franz, 2015). Some dispensaries are also prepared for labor and delivery services, and many also offer HIV treatment options and services for prevention of mother-to-children transmission of HIV (Franz, 2015). However, for more comprehensive healthcare services or physician consultations, mothers must visit a health center, which typically offers a wider range of services than the dispensary and may serve several communities (Franz, 2015).

Most maternal deaths are caused by factors that can be attributed to pregnancy, childbirth, and low quality of health services (Shija et. al, 2011). More than 80% of maternal deaths can be prevented if women have access to essential maternity care and skilled attendance at childbirth as well as emergency obstetric care (Shija et. al, 2011).

Maternal Health Indicators:

Antenatal Care Coverage

Antenatal care can help women adequately prepare for delivery and understand warning signs during pregnancy and childbirth (Unicef, 2020). Essential interventions in antenatal care include identification and management of obstetric complications such as pre-eclampsia, tetanus toxoid, immunization, intermittent preventive treatment for malaria during pregnancy, and identification and management of infections such as HIV, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (Lincetto et. al, n.d.). Antenatal care is also an opportunity to promote the usage of skilled attendants at birth and healthy behaviors such as breastfeeding, early postnatal care, and planning for pregnancy spacing (Lincetto et. al, n.d.). There have been large increases in the proportion of Tanzanian women who made one to three antenatal care visits from 26.4% in 1999 to 47.0% in 2016 (Rwabilimbo et. al, 2020). In rural areas, 45% of women made at least 4 antenatal care visits compared to 64% in urban areas (Unicef, n.d.).

Skilled Birth Deliveries

Skilled birth attendance is a key factor in indicating maternal health, however, less than 50% of women in sub-Saharan African countries lack the opportunity to be attended by skilled personnel during childbirth (Ngowi, 2017). Major causes of maternal mortality are preventable if a skilled attendant is present during childbirth, and according to the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), only 63% of women delivered at the health facilities and assisted by health care providers and 37% delivered at home, which is below the national target for health facility delivery to be attended by skilled personnel to go up to 80% by 2015 (Ngowi, 2017). There are also disparities between rural communities and urban communities when it comes to skilled birth deliveries—coverage of skilled attendance at birth is 55% in rural communities compared to 87% in urban areas (Unicef, n.d.). One method for reducing maternal morbidity and mortality in Tanzania includes ensuring that all women have access to skilled personnel during childbirth.

Postnatal Care Coverage

Access to care during the postnatal period, which is the six weeks following delivery, is another indicator of maternal health. The postnatal period is a critical phase in the lives of mothers and newborn babies as most maternal and infant deaths occur during this time (WHO, 2020). High quality postnatal care is essential for maternal health, as it provides an opportunity for healthcare providers to facilitate healthy breastfeeding practices, screen for postpartum depression, treat childbirth-related complications, counsel women about family planning options, among other services (Maternal Health Task Force, 2018). However, this is one of the most neglected periods for the provision of quality care (WHO, 2020). In the 2004-2005 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS), it was reported that only 13% women have the recommended one or more postpartum care visit within two days of delivery, with some regions having rates as low as 2% (Mrisho, 2009). Increasing knowledge of and access to postnatal care is essential to improving maternal health in Tanzania.

Modern Family Planning Use

Family planning is critical for preventing unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions, both of which contribute to lowering maternal and child mortality rates (DSW, 2017). Family planning also helps in poverty reduction and empowers women and men to choose freely and responsibly the number and spacing of children (DSW, 2017). It is estimated that in Tanzania, the unmet needs for family planning are at 22% among married women aged 15-19 years old (DSW, 2017). In other words, one in five married women have an unmet need for family planning (DSW, 2017). Tanzania has worked to establish policies and reforms in maternal health, however, funding and budget allocation for family planning remains low and there are still many misconceptions about family planning (DWS, 2017).

Improvements in Maternal Healthcare in Tanzania

The government of Tanzania has articulated ambitious plans to reduce maternal mortality rates by launching the Sharpened One Plan and Big Results Now programs, which outlined a three-pronged approach for ending preventable deaths of women, newborns, and children by providing voluntary family planning services (Franz, 2015). These plans focus on serving regions that face the most challenges and aim to focus the attention of national, regional, and district-level authorities on improving maternal, neonatal, and child health outcomes (Franz, 2015). However, despite ambitious health goals, in 2015, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare estimated a funding gap of $169.5 million for reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health services alone (Franz, 2015). Despite improvements, there is still much to be done in improving maternal healthcare infrastructure in Tanzania.

Sources:

DSW. (2017). Family Planning in Tanzania: A Review of National and District Policies and Budgets. Retrieved March 27, 2021.

Franz, P. (2015, May 07). Maternal, neonatal, and child health in Tanzania. Retrieved March 26, 2021.

Gailey, A., & McMillan, S. (2019, June 20). Improving Maternal Health in Tanzania. Retrieved March 25, 2021.

Lincetto, O., Mothebesoane-Anoh, S., Gomez, P., & Munjanja, S. (n.d.). Antenatal Care. Retrieved March 25, 2021.

Maternal Health Task Force. (2018, January 08). Postnatal Care. Retrieved March 26, 2021

Mrisho, M., Obrist, B., Schellenberg, J. A., Haws, R. A., Mushi, A. K., Mshinda, H., Tanner, M., Schellenberg, D. (2009, March 04). The use of antenatal and postnatal care: Perspectives         and experiences of women and health care providers in rural southern Tanzania. Retrieved 26, 2021.

Ngowi, A. F., Kamazima, S. R., Kibusi, S., Gesase, A., & Bali, T. (2017, September 06).        

Women’s determinant factors for preferred place of delivery in Dodoma region Tanzania: A cross sectional study. Retrieved March 25, 2021.

Shija, Angela E et al. “Maternal health in fifty years of Tanzania independence: Challenges and opportunities of reducing maternal mortality.” Tanzania journal of health research vol.13,5 Suppl 1 (2011): 352-64. doi:10.4314/thrb.v13i5.5

Rwabilimbo, A. G., Ahmed, K. Y., Page, A., & Ogbo, F. A. (2020, June 03). Trends and factors associated with the utilisation of antenatal care services during the Millennium Development Goals era in Tanzania. Retrieved March 26, 2021.

Unicef. (n.d.). Maternal and Newborn Health Disparities. Retrieved March 26, 2021.          

Unicef. (2020, October 27). Antenatal care. Retrieved March 24, 2021.

World Health Organization. (2020, March 20). WHO recommendations on postnatal care of the mother and newborn. Retrieved March 26, 2021.  

                                                                   

CHALLENGES IN THE ACCESIBILITY OF PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION IN TANZANIA

By Dickson Straitony – Art in Tanzania internship

Introduction

 Pre-school education involves education and care Early childhood period is the crucial and sensitive time for children development holistically including social, physical, emotional and cognitive development. The child need positive with the environment as they are very active to learn everything they interact with by imitation and experience. Child’s learning and development occurs in multiple contexts from home to school context that should be well prepared, stimulating and supportive for learning and development holistically (Sestini, 1985). Play is the best method of learning for children in this age group. All activities must be arranged on the basis of play and all activities should be planed and organized based on the interest of the child where the process of learning should start from what the child know that is bottom-up approach.  

Preschool education considers the needs of children and individual differences, should support the psychomotor, social-emotional, linguistic and cognitive development of the child, build in self-care skills and prepare the child for school continuity as it should impart in children self-respect, self-confidence and self-control.

 To respond to the needs of children, preschool education institutions should provide education environments in compliance with an understanding of democratic education. 

 The process of education should start from what children already know and provide a room for learning by trying and experimenting. Education given in preschool phase should be contributory to the development of children in terms of affection, respect, cooperation, responsibility, tolerance, solidarity and sharing. 

Background

Tanzania is the country found in East Africa in Sub-saharan Africa with 59.7 Million number of population where 77% of population lives in rural area and only 23% lives in urban with the area of about 945,087 km2. According to UNESCO (2015), Tanzania has an adult literacy rate of 77.8% where the male literacy rate is 83.2% and for females is 73.09%.   

According to Education for All (EFA) of 1990 as an international initiative for making education to benefits every citizen in every society the first goal out of six is to “Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for most vulnerable and disadvantaged children”. Tanzania adopted Pre-primary Education Policy in 1995 as the part of Education and Training Policy where all primary schools where established pre-primary education program as the part of formal education program for two years that included children with age from five to six are enrolled before join to primary school but not mandatory to that age where it depends the parents.  According to Mtahabwa and Rao (2009), currently young children in Tanzania attend programmes in child care centre nursery schools, Montessori or other preschools and pre-primary classes which are affiliated to primary schools. Children attend different programs that are nursery, Day care, Kindergarten, Montessori and pre-primary school. Pre-school educational program is considered as the preparation for primary education and it is the period of transition from home to school environment where parents and teachers a have to prepare the transition environments for child school readiness.

Total Enrolment in Pre-Primary Education has increased by 46.1% from 1,069,823 in 2015 to 1,562,770 in 2016. The increase is a result of community sensitization as well as a prevailing strong partnership of the government and parents, faith-based organizations (FBOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) in providing Pre-Primary Education. (URT 2016) Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education Statistics in brief. In 2019 Prep-primary school enrolment was reported at 41.59%, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators and this indicated the drop of number of enrolment from 46.1% in 2016 to 41.59% in 2019. Different private sectors provide education and care for children below five years as the part of preschool program.

Volunteer and intern in nursery school in Tanzania in Africa, työharjoittelu koulut afrikka, vapaaehtoisena koulussa afrikassa

  Problems facing the accessibility of preschool education in Tanzania

The success of the Early Childhood program has been the effort of both public and private sectors linking together although not all Tanzanians have been able to access it.

Low social-economic status of parents. This is the challenge poor families faces in access to education, the charging fees in private schools is not affordable to many parents in that case they fail to send their children to preschool centers  where they opt  to remain them at home helping different domestic works as the number of household are involving in agricultural activities and they become street children.

Education quality and resources constraints in public schools. (UNICEF Tanzania, 2018).  Compared to private schools in Tanzania the government has not invested much to make sure there is quality early childhood education where mostly children who attend to public preschools they do not achieve satisfactorily basic learning skills for school continuity. The challenge of resources for teaching and learning to public preschools like stimulating learning materials and supportive environment but also we found that preschool and primary schools they share the same classes learning by shifts.

 Low parents’ awareness towards early childhood education. In Tanzania there is existing of large number of parents who are not aware of the need and the importance of early childhood education to their children specifically in villages and remote areas. The value of education still low in Tanzania villages where other they don’t send them to school totally neither preschool nor primary school and they believe in workforce (Pambas, 2010).. So children from this group of parents get affected and if they get enrolled at primary school they have limited fundamental learning skills.  

Public preschools are located far away from home environment. In some regions children have to walk for a miles to school no passenger vehicles and if they are available some parents may fail to afford daily fare with other expenses. Parents fear the security of their children hence they do not enroll them to preschools.

Inadequate of preschool teachers has become a challenge to public primary and secondary schools but also preschools. Primary school teachers they take the role of teaching due to lack of professional preschool teachers at the same time they teach primary schools as a result they had a heavy workload that reduce efficiency of work and sometimes volunteers nonprofessional teacher they teacher those preschool children in private centers. They don’t have professional knowledge and skill about teaching and learning to those preschool children and leads to poor quality education and those are qualified they don’t get in-service training as the apart of professional development (Kitta, 2004).   

Traditional norms, cultural values and gender discrimination. Gender inequalities due to discriminatory norm has the negative effect to children access to education from early childhood education and above  as the families cannot afford to fully educate all children girls they are not given much importance and treated inferior to boys children especially in rural areas within Tanzania (Mligo 2018).  In some societies with norms around marriageability norms related to gender division of labour all these affect girls’ education. Children with disabilities also the face challenges in access to education due to negative perception on their ability to learn.

 Possible solutions      

Involving Parents and community as active participants in early childhood education and care intervention program. The involvement of these two actors to children educational experience as the parents they participate to children’s education by actively supporting, encouraging, and providing supportive home learning environment, when parents are involved in they become an expert to their child and reinforce the development of preschool program The child and his/her family should actively take part in the process of education as it is urged that when parents are involved in child education the possibility of that child to school achievements is higher     

Provision of fund from government to preschools. Due to preschool settings being not conducive and supportive for children the government should provide funds from different sources can be internal or external sources thereafter preschool education should have its own budget for better investment and improvement in the provision and aces of quality education and for all. Enough preschool classes with supportive infrastructures for both children including disadvantaged children 

 The government has to increase the number of preschool center. In some area of Tanzania the number of children is over the school facilities as the results the indoor activities are all done outside. But also the limited number of preschools results to long distance from home to school and few are able to attend hence dropouts and truancy increase

Conclusion

Tanzania as the among of developing countries  investing in early childhood education is the crucial step towards development that will ensure public provision of high quality early childhood education by establishing clear policy, and work to ensure the increase in enrolment, registration and curriculum development as well as producing large number of quality early childhood teachers. The government should work more on sensitizing community and parents the value of preschool education and set the suitable environment to raise their social-economic status.   

Reference

Kitta S. (2004).  Enhancing mathematics teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and skills in   Tanzania. Enschede: University of Twente. 

Mligo I. (2018). Enhancing Young Childrens Acces to Early Childhood Education and Care in      Tanzania. Contemprary perspective on Child Psychology and Education,          

Pambas, T. (2010). Stakeholders’ conception of young children’s readiness for primary    schooling in Tanzania.Unpublished M.A Thesis, University of Dodoma.   

Sestini, E. (1985). Preschool Education: Recent Developments in Preschool Policies and Provision in Developing Countries and in the UK. In Lillis, K. M. (Ed.). School, and          Community in Less Developed Countries. Biddles Limited, Guiford King’s Lynn,             Greatain

UNICEF Tanzania. 2018. Education :The Situation 

            http://www.unicef.org/tanzania/education.html

‘Adoption in Tanzania’

Interview with Joel from Glory of Africa Orphanage

PHOTO-2018-06-10-13-07-01

Glory of Africa is  an orphanage located in Mivumoni where Art in Tanzania teaches, gives seminars and organizes activities for the kids. Joel and his wife Felista have been running the organization since 2012 and strive to give each kid a promising future by providing them with food, shelter and education. What surprised me is that no kids get adopted, ever. In this interview I asked Joel why this is the case and what happens when the kids grow older.


“How many kids have been adopted from this orphanage?”

Zero.

“Why do you think children don’t get adopted by foreigners that are often in Tanzania?”

The governmental procedures are very strict. It takes such a long time that inevitably most of the potential parents looking to adopt just give up. Also the orphanages don’t like kids to be adopted. This is because they are scared to give the kids to strangers. It’s always a guess, you never really know what the intentions for the adoption are.

Since most of the kids still have family here, they (kids and family) prefer to stay here. The family sends their kids to the orphanage because they know they will get an education here and stay out of trouble. In the future they expect the kid to come back to the family and provide them with a better future.

The kids who do get adopted are expected to come back to Tanzania after their education to take care of the family. This is an unwritten rule and the decision fundamentally lays fully with the kid, of course. However, the family does expect that. For example some adoption contracts ask the kid to keep in contact with their biological family. This is also because the kid should not forget the country and culture in which he/she was born. This doesn’t happen often though.

“Do Tanzanian families ever adopt Tanzanian children or does this also not happen?”

No. Tanzanian families have enough difficulties in taking care of their own families. So they barely ever adopt a child. The financial situation of most Tanzanian citizens is not strong enough to adopt a child out of their family.

“Are you afraid that people come here do adopt with bad intentions?”

Yes, that always crosses my mind. Sometimes kids get adopted to do chores in the house, to work on the farm, … This is not a good future for them. That’s why I prefer to keep them here until they are grown up and can make decisions on their own. When they turn 18 they can be adopted if they still want to be adopted. Before that age, anything attracts them and they make decisions without thinking. When they regret the decision, they might run away from the adoption family, live on the streets and get in contact with bad people and learn to behave badly.

“How many kids are staying here now?”

35 kids come here daily to get food and education. 7 of the 35 kids are also sleeping here. This is because a lot of the kids here still have family, however they can’t provide for them. Common examples of the children’s situations are having a single, disabled or mentally ill parent or no parents at all with only grandparents or possibly an uncle left. Most of them do keep in touch with their family. This might not be a registered orphanage but the government passes by once in a while and they have the contacts of every kid staying here at the orphanage. The orphanage provides food, shelter and education for kids who need it.

“Do kids want to be adopted? Do they ever mention it?”

No, they like to be at the orphanage. They are surrounded by kids who are the same age, who speak the same language and all of them are in a similar situation. This comforts them and they wouldn’t like it any other way. They feel safe.

“What happens when the kids turn 18?”

When the kid turns 18 he can do whatever he wants. He can go to college, he can go back to his family, he can start working or he can stay at the orphanage. It’s all up to the kid. The kid can also choose the get adopted, but this happens rarely. If the kid gets adopted, he can stay at the family for one month as a trial. If everything works out well and both parties are happy, the adoption can officially go through.

If the kid wants to stay at the orphanage, that is possible if he keeps following the rules. If the kid doesn’t listen, goes out, drinks alcohol, or is badly behaved and influencing the other kids than he/she will no longer  be welcome at the orphanage. 

“Do they get proper support from the government to build an independent life?”

No the government doesn’t support them. This is because this orphanage is not registered (yet). The orphanage itself barely gets any support from the government as well. Sometimes  when the person from the government has a heart he will provide us supplies such as food or mosquito nets. But this depends only on the heart of the person. I also work as a tailor and that enables this orphanage to stay up and running. Sometimes I get donations from people who volunteer here. That helps as well. I don’t like asking for money, if people donate it’s because they proposed it themselves.

Some orphanages exploit the system as a way to earn money. They ask the remaining relatives to give money, they send kids to the city and let them work jobs selling peanuts, for example. When they don’t sell enough peanuts, the kids get kicked out or thrown on to the streets.

“Can kids (financially) go to university after staying in the orphanage?”

Yes, they can but it depends on their own financial situation. If the family saved money to let the kid go to university, he is lucky and he can go. If the family is poor and he wants to go to university, he’ll have to work and study at the same time to be able to pay for his studies.

Written by Alice Coetsier


If you are interested in supporting this orphanage, please click the link below. More information about this project can be found on this gofundme webpage.

gofundme-GloryofAfrica

Black is Beautiful

 

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“If I had a superpower, it would be to turn white.”

“Your skin is prettier than ours.”

 

 

black handsAfter hearing these quotes from extremely young girls during my first month living in Africa, I started wondering why they would idealize fair skin when theirs is just as beautiful. Billboard advertisements for clothes and jewelry here commonly feature stunning black women, and the children are constantly surrounded by hard-working, black adults who serve as consistent, positive role models. The Tanzanian flag incorporates the color black to represent the Swahili peoples’ pride in the color of their skin; yet, during my stay here, the children have displayed the (sometimes intense) desire to be white.

It wasn’t until I went to the movies to watch The Incredibles 2 that I noticed how many young black children there were at the local theater to watch a film about superheroes- white superheroes.

The Incredibles is a typical kid’s movie—a white family with super powers saving white bystanders, with a single black hero thrown in the mix for “diversity.” I started to think about how different the film would be if The Incredibles family was black, and if Frozone was just the white sidekick.

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In my head I went through my list of princesses and superheroes I wanted to be like when I was a younger. Not one was black. Tinkerbell. Superman. Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty.

The hair I wanted to grow out and comb with a fork was a realistic dream because both me and The Little Mermaid have white girl hair.

So what princess is there showing black girls how beautiful their hair can be? Which one shows how pretty and practical the common shaved African head is?

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Out of Rotten Tomatoes “Top 100 Kids and Family Movies”, zero star a black character as the lead role. That statistic includes the two movies set in Africa. Black children have the option of either watching a white family heroically raise a safari animal, or watching The Lion King in which only the villains of the plot line have black fur.

Ants are black.

So why are the ants in the animated movie Antz colored white? 

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If the statistic that 85% of the human brain develops before the age of five is accurate, having adequate representation in children’s media is a huge factor in determining a child’s self-esteem.

African girls and boys deserve to know how wonderful they are, and how wonderful they will grow up to be. They deserve to know that they have just as much of a chance at saving the world or meeting Prince Charming as the white child sitting next to them in the movie theater. They deserve to know that African Beauty isn’t just a song.

 

They deserve black princesses.

Andrea O’Boyle

Boxing Day at Bahari Beach with Glory of Africa Orphanage

Swapping winter coats for t-shirts & shorts, wellies for flip-flops, and roast dinners for barbecues it’s safe to say Christmas 2017 has been unlike any other for me and spending Boxing Day at the beach with children from the Glory of Africa Orphanage has definitely been a highlight!

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The idea of a day trip to the beach stemmed from one of our dutch volunteers, Michel, who during his stay at AIT has been teaching English to the children at the orphanage. With donations from himself, Art in Tanzania and some of the other volunteers this idea was made into a reality. On December 26th at 11:30 am we arrived at the Glory of Africa to find the children packed and ready for a blue sea and white sand filled boxing day. After piling into a mini bus we were on our way to Bahari Beach, the local beach which is around a 25 minute drive from the orphanage. Within seconds of arriving the children had already found a spot to put their things and were running around and playing in the sea.

From the budget that was created for the day trip, we were able to buy lunch and drinks for the children which consisted of freshly made rice, beans, vegetables and bananas! Whether they were playing football on the sand or splashing in the sea I could see smiles for miles as they enjoyed their boxing day in the sun, sand and sea.

Without the donations from everyone involved in organising, this day would have not been possible so i’d like to say Asanta sana to Michiel and Art in Tanzania for playing a big part in this trip going ahead!

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+30 degree heat and sand on my feet is far from the norm of a typical Boxing Day in England but I wouldn’t have it any other way. With Art in Tanzania I have been able to have fantastic new experiences, become accustomed to african culture and live in proper Tanzanian style. Volunteers and interns are always coming up with ideas to help or even simply to treat members of the local community and with Art in Tanzania we can make these ideas a reality! If you’d like to be involved or learn more about Art in Tanzania and our mission please visit our website for details!

Asante sana,

Lily 

Football with the Local Children

As well as their own projects, Art in Tanzania interns and volunteers can participate in different projects and activities throughout their stay. Nette, a student from Finland who is here conducting research for her thesis, is a big fan of football; luckily enough so are the local children! Barely even a 5 minute walk from the Dar es Salaam AIT compound is a big open space that acts a pitch where she was able to have a kick-a-bout with a few of the kids, and soon enough more and more came to join in!

These types of activities are available to all interns and volunteers; whether it be an evening hobby or taking part in one of our Sports Placements. There are many different roles to play when undergoing a Sports Placement and one of the most popular choices among volunteers/interns is the Sports Coaching projects:

Sports Coaching with Art in Tanzania 

Each sports coaching placement is specifically tailored to the individual who is participating in the project. Although football is a much loved sport in Tanzania and the most popular among the sports programs, new games and sport activities are welcomed to be introduced. In the past, we have had volunteers introducing the likes of gymnastics, and capoeira – an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music. Sports classes in the communities are introduced as part of the children’s curriculum as well as our new popular approach involving community sport mornings whereby local people are bought together on Saturday mornings for health training. With the native language being Swahili, the in-country staff are always happy to assist as a translator where needed; brushing up on a few phrases can never hurt!

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Although the ages of the children that get involved can vary; the high level of enthusiasm  in every child is the same! They really get involved and seem to love every minute of the activities. To read more about what we do within sport in local communities and our different projects don’t hesitate to visit our website!

Asante sana,

Lily

Tumaini Nursery School

With Art in Tanzania supporting over 100 community schools and education centres, there are many different location opportunities for teaching projects for volunteers/interns. Academic centres benefit from the work of interns and volunteers  as innovative methods of teaching are introduced helping not only the students but the staff also.

Earlier this week I was given the opportunity to visit the local pre-school in Madale IMG_2735 (1)
Village; Tumaini Nursery School. Although there is no current project at this particular time, I was able to visit to experience a typical lesson and document the work of previous volunteers.

At this school, ages range from two to six and here are three separate classes for different age groups. The aim of Tumaini nursery is to prepare the young students before their transition to primary school; ensuring that they are at the appropriate academic level. Not only have Art in Tanzania volunteers been involved in teaching and education projects at Tumaini, but also projects involving construction to help enhance the quality of the nursery school. The renovation of classrooms to improve the teaching environment as well as the construction of basic facilities such as toilets (as pictured below) are some examples projects that have taken place in previous years.

On my particular visit to the school, the children were taking mathematics exams to monitor their progress so far and test whether they are ready to move on to the next level. For the oldest age group (5-6 yrs old) the exam consisted of addition and subtraction of numbers and different ways of writing these sums. However, for the IMG_2733younger years (2-3 yrs old) they will be called to the teacher individually or in small groups and asked questions about what they have been learning. This acts as a more relaxed approach for the younger ones. Once the exam is over, after about an hour, it is break time for the students and they are able to run outside and play. There is a large open space just in front of the classrooms where the children are able to run about safely and they are provided with a swing set that is indeed very popular! Like all nursery school children, they enjoy playing different games and this particular break time they formed a circle by holding hands and began to sing what sounded like a traditional nursery rhyme or song.

 

With the help and support of our volunteers, schools such as Tumaini Nursery School and local organisations are able to benefit from the various projects run by Art in Tanzania! To find out more about how to get involved or to get extra info about the various projects, don’t hesitate to visit our website!

Asante sana,

Lily