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!

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

Al – Quwiyyi Islamic School

A private Islamic school in the village of Fuoni, named after the founder’s, Mr Hakeem Abdullah, families tribe name in Mafia, pronounced Al Qu-wee.

The school was opened on Monday 13th January 2014 after four months of preparations. The school has 24 classes, providing nursery to secondary education to approximately 600 local students.

Art in Tanzania has been working with Al – Quwiyyi since 2015 sending volunteers to teach the children Maths, English and Science or to simply assist teachers in a range of subjects and look after the children in the classroom.

School days are Monday to Friday 07:00 to 13:00 – lunch is at 13:00. From 14:00 to 22:30 the school operates Madrassa classes for approximately 250 students. Any volunteers, who can deliver or assist in teaching Arabic, Quran, Tajweed and Fiqh will be most welcomed. The school would ideally like volunteers to stay longer than two weeks to teach, to enable the volunteers to build a great rapport with the children and staff.

If volunteers are here for a short stay or did not want to teach, they can choose to assist with cooking lunch or assist in the school’s stationary and snack shop

The founder of the school, Mr Abdullah, has an ambitious plan to build a boarding school with a Masjid, female and male hostel plus accommodation for workers in the near future, he is currently liaising with officials for a suitable plot of land. Support with this project would be welcomed from international organisations to help make his vision a reality. You can contact the school directly at alquwiyyi@hotmail.com.

If 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, this is a fantastic school with friendly students with great ambitions and dreams you can be a part of.

Please note that this is an Islamic school so if you do wish to volunteer be mindful of the way you dress, wearing modest clothing, by way of covering your arms, legs and your hair, would be appreciated by all the staff.

Uzi Island needs environmental interns and volunteers

Road to Uzi

Road to Uzi

Uzi is a small island in the south of Zanzibar’s main island, Unguja. The road to Uzi is called Nyeker road; manmade using rocks and stones with at least four types of mangroves on either side. The road to Uzi resembles the partition of the River Nile in the story of Moses; simply mesmerising. The road has been built slowly over 50 years. It started off as a small lane for walking; this was then made wider for the use of bicycles, then for cows and finally it was made even wider for the use of motor vehicles.

The drive to Uzi Island is very beautiful, but very bumpy, if you suffer from motion sickness, be sure to sit at the front of the vehicle or make yourself as comfortable as possible.

Our informative and helpful guide, Isshaka, met us at a resting point, made with the help of volunteers for when the tide comes in. The water can rise up to two metres when there is a full moon. When the tide is high you can goDSC03795 fishing. The land in Zanzibar is so fertile we were able to plant four mangrove seeds each, Twenty (Edward) steps from the resting point, on the right, which fulfilled a personal ambition to plant trees that will definitely grow.

The town to Uzi and has been there for around 10 years along with three wells on the Island that provide drinking water. A Dala Dala, number 334, from Uzi to Stone town takes around one hour.

Uzi baskets made by women's group

Uzi baskets made by women’s group

The main sources of income for the Island are from fishing, farming and carpenter work. There are also woman groups on the island and the woman craft their own fruit baskets that Art in Tanzania export to Finland and also sell on EBay for around 25 Dollars.

Within the mangroves, women from the villages have placed plastic bottles across the water in order to collect two types of seaweed, they use plastic boats to collect these when the tide is high; 100 of these plastic boats were donated by a friend of Isshaka. The seaweed is then made into soaps and sold in order to provide income to the villagers.

helloIsshaka went to school in Uzi then to Ston etown to study further. Isshaka is very passionate about wanting to make a difference and help people live a better life in Uzi. Isshaka does 2 radio broadcasts throughout the week; one where he brings awareness of environmental issues on Uzi Island and what others can do to help, and another broadcast called Sunset Zanzibar, where he talks about tourism and the importance to the island and how tourism can help the island develop.

Uzi grows many fruits such as Mangoes, Oranges, Guava, Yams and Cassava. Alrge Baobab trees also grow in Uzi; the villages used to cut these down, however Isshaka has been campaigning to keep these trees in order to house bee boxes that provide honey to the locals; honey season is September to October. The Baobab fruit when mixed with water and sugar is a good source of Vitamin C.

Biogas from biowaste

Biogas from biowaste

The Island really needs creative interns and volunteers passionate about the environment and sustainable development. Also people that can help the women create innovative arts and crafts in order to sell and help provide an income for many households on Uzi Island.

For volunteering at Uzi  you can contact  Art in Tanzania info (at) artintanzania.org

Weekend Safari trip organized by Art in Tanzania

Going on safari in Tanzania if you visit Africa is almost as compulsory required as a trip to Zanzibar. So a group of three already well settled in interns decided to go on a weekend safari provided by the organization. The preparation and arrangement of the trip was well organized. One week before we were registered by a Team leader for the journey. The payment was due to three days before we were leaving on Friday. The short briefing two day before we left hold by our actual safari guide was pretty informative and helpful in terms of what to pack or activity related questions. On Friday after the breakfast we left in our safari jeep to our first stop our accommodation for the first night. On the way to the place we passed the park entrance next to several animals and hers of impalas, monkeys, giraffes and elephants. After the first night we started early at half past seven to our game drive at the Mikumi National Park where we had the chance to spot buffaloes, zebras, hippos and a variety of many more species. In the evening we drove to the second station in the rainforest, to the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. At this park we had the chance to see numerous primates and a big amount of other plants and animals during our hike to the waterfalls as the park has also been dubbed the African Galapagos for its vast variety of endemic species. In the afternoon we went on the way back to Madale at Wazo hill. Summing up for all of us it was a quite pleasant weekend trip organized and conducted by Art in Tanzania.

 

Volunteering for the ’International Day of the African Child’ event

 

At Thursday the 16thJune a bus full of volunteers headed out at five o’clock in the morning to do some volunteering work for the International Day of the African Child at ’The Jakaya M. Kikwete Youth Park’. This is one of the biggest youth parks in Dar Es Salaam opened in October 2015 by the president of the United Republic of Tanzania. Which is compared to other sport venues quite developed as they had artificial football fields for example which is not that common for Tanzanian standards.

The event was apparently created for children which means a lot of colours, laughter and fun. But these colorful balloons weren’t blowing up them self from alone. Decorating was one of our tasks at the event next to judging and conducting of the reading and drawing challenges, taking pictures and collecting video footage, face painting, acting as a mascot or participating at one of the numerous sport challenges like football games or basketball matches. Supporting all these activities, helping to arrange the challenges and cleaning up is concluding our day at the event quite well.

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But next to the hard work (for some it was a tough day especially for our athletes and our mascot volunteers) there was a lot of joy for everyone as the kids who were participating organized several performances from traditional Tanzanian dances to singing performances. Also reputable sponsors like unicef or the Tanzanian government by itself were providing us for all these efforts with a lunch break and refreshing drinks. Next to the events it also had several stalls about nutrition elucidation or little healthy checks as well as technology companies presenting their electronic devices.

All in all, this day was quite a diversification as it was a pretty long and exhausting day for everyone who participated comparable to working at an exhibition day.Even more thankful was everyone for the already prepared food of mama Neema in the evening at home.

For more Information, you can have a look at the Wikipedia entry.

If you want to see more pictures of that day visit the Facebook page of Atte Leskinen Photography