HIV AND AIDS IN TANZANIA

By Gwamaka Mwakyusa – Art in Tanzania internship

2018, 1.6 million people were living with HIV in Tanzania. This equates to an estimated HIV prevalence among adults of 4.6%. In the same year, 72,000 people were newly infected with HIV, and 24,000 people died from an AIDS-related illness.

Despite the numbers, Tanzania has done well to control the HIV epidemic over the last decade. Scaling up access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) has meant that between 2010 and 2018, the number of new infections declined by 13% and the number of people dying from an AIDS-related illness has halved.

Key affected populations in Tanzania

Tanzania’s HIV epidemic is generalized, meaning it affects all sections of society, but there are also concentrated epidemics among certain population groups, such as people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, mobile populations, and sex workers. Heterosexual sex accounts for the vast majority (80%) of HIV infections in the country and women are particularly affected.

The severity of the epidemic varies geographically. Some regions of Tanzania report no HIV prevalence (Kusini Unguja and Kaskazini Pemba) while other regions have prevalence as high as 11.4% (Njombe). Overall, the epidemic has remained steady due to ongoing new infections, population growth and increased access to treatment.

Bar graph showing HIV prevalence by age and sex in Tanzania

Women

Women are disproportionately affected by HIV in Tanzania. In 2018, 880,000 women aged 15 and over were living with HIV, compared to 580,000 adult men. In the same year, more than 36,000 women acquired HIV, compared to around 27,000 men.

The nationally representative 2016-2017 Tanzania Impact Survey (THIS) found that women aged 15-39 are more than twice as likely to be living with HIV as their male counterparts. HIV prevalence is highest among women aged 45-49, at 12% (compared with 8.4% among men of this age

Gender inequality is widespread among women of all ages in Tanzania. In 2016, around 30% of women aged 15-49 who had ever been married or in a long-term relationship were estimated to have experienced physical or sexual violence from a male intimate partner in the past 12 months.9 This increases many women’s vulnerability to HIV, either directly, through sexual violence, or indirectly, through an inability to negotiate condoms or prevent their partner from having other sexual relationships.

In addition, women tend to become infected earlier because they have older partners and get married earlier.

Young people

It is estimated that more than half the population in Tanzania are aged 19 and under.11

THIS reported HIV prevalence among young people (ages 15-24) at 1%, with young women around four times more likely than young men to be living with HIV (2% prevalence among young women, compared to 0.6% prevalence among young men). Prevalence among children (ages 0-14) is 0.3%.

In 2018, just under 24,000 young people in Tanzania became HIV-positive; roughly two-thirds of whom were young women (16,000 new infections among young women, compared to 7,600 among young men).13 In 2016/17, 3.4% of women aged 20-24 were living with HIV, compared to 0.9% of their male counterparts.

The disparity between the sexes is linked to age-related vulnerabilities experienced by young women that intersect with widespread gender inequality. For instance, Tanzania’s ‘sugar daddy’ culture, in which young women embark on sexual relationships with older men in exchange for material goods or social advancement, is a key driver of HIV among young women.

Even though their partners come from age groups with higher HIV prevalence than younger men, and may also engage in other sexual relationships, young women are often unable to negotiate condom use due to the unequal power balance in these relationships. This is demonstrated by a study involving 18 to 24 year-old women in Dar es Salaam, which found that in couples of the

Same age decisions about condom use were together (48%) or by young women alone (34%). Decision-making during sex with older men was predominantly made by the male partner (79%).

Many young people are also unaware about how to prevent transmission. In 2016/17, just 37% of young people demonstrated adequate knowledge on how to prevent HIV and could correctly reject common misconceptions about how the virus is transmitted.17 Young people, particularly young men, are also less likely than older age groups to test for HIV. As a result, in 2016/17 it was estimated that only half of young people living with HIV were aware of their status.

People who inject drugs (PWID)

Tanzania is home to a significant population of people who inject drugs (sometimes referred to as PWID). In 2014, Tanzania National AIDS Control Program (NACP) estimated there were 30,000 people who inject drugs in the country, 35% of whom were living with HIV.

HIV prevalence among women who inject drugs is thought to be twice that of their male peers. The reasons for this are not fully known although possible factors include women who inject drugs being involved in sex work or being last in line when syringes are shared.

Data on people who inject drugs varies widely between studies, due to the hidden nature of this population. Existing evidence suggests heroin use is on the rise and this population group is growing.

Most studies involving people who inject drugs in Tanzania have been conducted in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Zanzibar is a gateway to the African continent and is also situated along a major corridor for drug trafficking. Around one in six people who live in Zanzibar and inject drugs is living with HIV, according to 2010 estimates, although some believe this figure be higher

A 2015 study of 480 people who use drugs in the northwestern city of Mwanza found that 13.5% of respondents injected drugs, 67% of whom shared needles. This study suggests that injecting drug use, particularly heroin, is now a significant issue in a major city outside Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

Mobile populations

Migration is common in Tanzania. In particular, the expansion of the mining sector has led to greater urbanization and mobility between rural and urban areas. This means that young and sexually active men come into close contact with ‘high risk sexual networks’ made up of sex workers, women at truck stops and miners: all of whom have high levels of HIV prevalence.

Long-distance truck drivers, agricultural plantation workers and fishermen working along coastal trading towns are also at an increased risk of HIV. For example, a 2015 study by the International Organization for Migration on truck drivers in Dar es Salaam found all those surveyed had established sexual relationships with partners at truck stops whom they considered permanent or second wives (described as ‘Mapoza’). A 2018 study involving around 400 people from fishing communities in Tanzania found an overall HIV prevalence of 14%, although this varied widely depending on location, from 7.2% to 23.8%. Around 38% of study participants living with HIV who had been diagnosed had not started treatment.

It is not only mobile men who are at increased risk of HIV infection. Women who travel away from home five or more times in a year have been found to be twice as likely to be infected with HIV than women who do not travel.

Sex workers

Tanzania criminalizes sex work, and it is punishable by law. Despite this, it is estimated that around 150,000 people, mainly women, sell sex, especially in Dar-es-Salaam.

In 2018, HIV prevalence among female sex workers was estimated at 15.4%. However, as with many other key population groups, data is limited and previous estimates suggest HIV prevalence among this group is much higher, at around 31%. Around 70% of sex workers are estimated to use condoms. This is despite sex workers having poor access to HIV prevention

programs, which are thought to reach around one in five.

The gender inequalities that result in women being disproportionately affected by HIV in Tanzania are acutely felt by female sex workers. The fact that sex work is also illegal means sex workers are subject to abuse and human rights violations from clients and from those in authority, including police officers and healthcare workers.

This means many sex workers are reluctant to access HIV prevention, testing and treatment services while also being exposed to high levels of sexual violence, multiple partners and condom less sex.

Men who have sex with men (MSM)

Same-sex sexual relations are illegal in Tanzania. As a result, data on this population group is extremely limited, a situation made worse by a government-sanctioned crackdown on LGBT people that began in 2015.

In 2018, 8.4% of men who have sex with men (sometimes referred to as MSM) in Tanzania were estimated to be living with HIV.36 However previous estimates released in 2014 put prevalence much higher, at 25%. This data suggested there were 49,700 men who have sex with men in the country.

In 2014, only around 14% of men who have sex with men reported using condoms consistently. However, data from 2013 put condom use levels at 63%, highlighting how patchy the evidence currently is.

HIV testing and counselling (HTC) in Tanzania

Results from THIS suggests around 65% of adults in Tanzania have taken an HIV test at least once (59% of men and 71% of women) but only a third regularly test for HIV (every 12 months). Around 16% of adults who tested positive during THIS had never been tested for HIV before (20% of men and 14% of women).

Adolescents (ages 15-19) have particularly low testing levels, despite high levels of sexual activity. THIS found that around 79% of adolescent men and 61% of adolescent women had never tested for HIV before.

Over the last decade, Tanzania has increased its efforts to get more people testing for HIV. The number of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) sites in the country has rapidly expanded (around 2,100 as of  2013).

In the same year Tanzania introduced new HIV testing approaches such as home-based testing, community testing and provider-initiated testing.

Since other testing approaches, such as index testing, have also been introduced. As a result of these accelerated efforts, in 2018 the number of people living with HIV who were aware of their status was 78%, compared with 64% in 2015.

In 2018 the Tanzanian government began to fully scale-up self-testing for HIV and is focusing on providing self-testing kits for hard-to-reach groups. For example, using antennal clinics to provide pregnant women with self-testing kits to pass onto their husbands or boyfriends. Pilot programs are also being carried out to learn how best to provide self-testing kits to the partners of sex workers and other key and vulnerable populations.

The Tanzanian government has also begun a campaign called Furaha Yangu! (My Happiness!) to increase the number of young men and adolescent boys testing for HIV.

HIV prevention programs in Tanzania

In 2018, 72,000 people became HIV-positive in Tanzania. Although new infections have declined by 13% since 2010, more needs to be done to reduce HIV transmission.

Tanzania is currently implementing its fourth Health Sector HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (HSHSP IV), which runs between 2017 and 2022. The strategy aims to increase access to combination prevention services for the general population in order to reduce new HIV infections. The guidelines also commit to implementing comprehensive prevention services for a number of key populations, including adolescent girls and young women, female sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, prisoners and migrant populations.

Significant progress that has been made in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) in the past few years in Tanzania. In 2018, 93% of pregnant women living with HIV were receiving effective ART, compared to 75% in 2010. It is estimated that ART coverage among pregnant women living with HIV has averted around 14,000 new infections among newborns. However, 8,600 children still acquired HIV in 2018.

One of the reasons for HIV transmission still occurring vertically (from parent to child) is that  not all pregnant women are tested for HIV. In 2018, 91% of pregnant women attending antenatal services received HIV testing. In addition, only half (47%) of infants exposed to HIV during pregnancy were tested for HIV within eight weeks of birth (known as ‘early infant diagnosis’).

To reach as many women as possible, the vast majority of PMTCT services are now integrated with reproductive and child health services.

Inefficient antiretroviral drug regimens for pregnant women and new mothers, drug stock-outs and poor adherence to treatment also contribute to the continuing transmission of HIV via this route.

Condom promotion

The Tanzanian government recognizes condom promotion as an integral part of its fight against the epidemic. The goal of its 2017-2022 HIV prevention strategy is to ensure 85% of people engaged in multiple sexual partnerships use condoms correctly and consistently.

To achieve this, around 260 million free condoms must be made available annually. However, weak supply lines and a lack of funding means this may not be achievable. In 2018, it was reported that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria would finance 120 million public sector condoms, PSI would contribute around 18 million and an additional 20 million would be provided by other sources. This leaves an impending shortfall of around 100 million condoms.

In addition, more effective promotion is needed to encourage people to use condoms. In 2017, it was reported that just 30% of women and 46% of men used a condom the last time they had a sex with a non-marital, non-cohabiting partner. These levels are lower than previously reported, suggesting more people are engaging in risky sexual behavior that leaves them vulnerable to HIV infection

Low condom use is also occurring among high-risk groups. For instance, a study involving 18 to 24 year-old women in Dar-es-salaam found that only 32% used a condom during sex with regular boyfriends. Condom use declined even further if the women were involved in transactional sexual relationships with older men, with only 2% saying they always used a condom during these types of sexual encounters.

HIV awareness and sex education

While Tanzania has a broad sex education curriculum, only a third of schoolteachers have been trained on how to deliver these lessons, meaning access is patchy. In addition, certain subjects, such as the examination of minority sexualities, are not covered. Condom demonstration and condom distribution is also not allowed during sex education lessons. On top of this, the number of people attending school beyond primary level is low, with only around 19% of people having some form of secondary education. This limits the opportunities to reach older adolescents with sexual health education.

To fill these gaps, a number of civil society organizations provide additional sexual and reproductive health and HIV education, in and out of school settings.

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC)

Circumcision is an effective HIV prevention strategy, reducing a man’s risk of acquiring HIV by approximately 60%. When used in combination with other prevention measures, circumcision is an important addition to HIV-prevention options for men.

In 2010 the government prioritized 11 regions for scaling VMMC and set a target of 2.8 million circumcisions by 2016.60 Around 2.6 million men were circumcised between 2015 and 2018, equating to around 80% of 15 to 49-year-old men.

CASE STUDY: Creating demand for VMMC

When a VMMC project was first established in the Kaliua District, Tabora, many men were put off by rumors that the removed foreskins would be used for conducting rituals. To dispel these rumors and create demand for the service, peer educators from the project hold meeting with community leaders to answer specific questions and address any concerns about the safety of VMMC and the disposal of foreskins.

Targeting influential people within the community paid off. The number of people presenting for voluntary circumcision, which had previously been visited predominantly by boys from a nearby primary school, subsequently increased to an average of between 20-28 adult men each day.

The local outreach site and dispensary conducted more than 1,000 VMMCs in 2015.

Cash transfer programs

Cash transfer programs form part of a new arm of HIV prevention that focuses on integrated programs for social protection schemes and sexual health. Across sub-Saharan Africa these types of programs have been shown to have a positive effect on preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

In one Tanzanian pilot, cash incentives of US$10 or US$20 were given to young adults aged between 18 and 30, as long as they were free from STIs. One year into the study, there was a 25% risk reduction in STIs. These programs show that economic benefit can positively influence people to use condoms more frequently.

In 2017 the Tanzanian government, in collaboration with UNICEF, began a cash transfer scheme called Cash Plus as part of a program to empower and strengthen the resilience and wellbeing of adolescents from the country’s poorest households. Cash Plus participants receive tailored, life skills training on various subjects, including sexual and reproductive health, as well as being linked to sexual and reproductive health and HIV services. They also receive financial support to either stay in school or start a small business and are supported by mentors and peer educators throughout.

Harm reduction

In 2011, with assistance from PEPFAR, Tanzania became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to implement a harm reduction program for people who inject drugs. A methadone treatment clinic opened up in Tanzania’s largest health facility, based in Dar es Salaam, then extended to a second hospital in the city.  Although there has since been an increase in opioid substitution therapy (OST) interventions outside Dar es Salaam, access remains limited, with just 20% of people who inject drugs able to access OST in 2018.

This is also the case with needle and syringe exchanges. In 2017, just 15 needles and syringes were distributed per person per year. As a result, it is estimated that around 14% of Tanzanian-based people who inject drugs are sharing needles when injecting.

Harm Reduction International also reports that the Tanzanian government has taken “regressive steps” in its harm reduction-related policy in recent years, with policy-makers continuing to favor abstinence-based approaches above harm reduction.

Pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

In 2018 Tanzania began to scale up pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily course of antiretroviral drugs taken by HIV-negative people to protect themselves from infection, for key populations. The following year, the government announced plans to extend this nationwide, including expanding eligibility criteria to include adolescent girls and young women.

As of 2019, it was estimated that between 3,200 and 3,700 people were using PrEP in Tanzania. Most of these people are adolescent girls and young women, although female sex workers and their partners and the HIV-negative partners of people living with HIV are also being targeted by implementation or demonstration projects.

Antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Tanzania

Tanzania has significantly scaled up its antiretroviral (ART) programs in recent years, and the number of people on ART has been steadily increasing since 2010.

In 2017, Tanzania introduced the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended ‘test and treat’ guidelines, which makes anyone testing positive for HIV eligible for immediate treatment regardless of the level of HIV in their body. This has seen ART coverage expand significantly: in 2018, 71% of people living with HIV in Tanzania were receiving ART, equivalent to 1.1 million people.

This is around a 20% increase from 2015, when 52% of HIV-positive people were on ART. As of 2018, around 90% of people diagnosed with HIV began ART in less than seven days.

HIV-positive women are far more likely to be on treatment than HIV-positive men. In 2018, 82% of women and 57% of men living with HIV were receiving ART.

Children (ages 0-14) are less able to access treatment than adults, with 65% of HIV-positive children on ART in 2018. However, this is an improvement on 2015 levels when just 53% of HIV- positive children were on treatment.

More than 95% of people on treatment are still in care after 12 months, according to 2018 data. This is closely linked to good levels of viral suppression. In 2018, 87% of people diagnosed and on treatment were virally suppressed, with men and women enjoying similar levels of viral suppression (86% and 89% respectively). However, due to gaps in testing and linkage to care, overall, only 62% of people living with HIV are virally suppressed.

Studies conducted in various regions of Tanzania have reported low linkage to care for people who test HIV-positive. For example, a study following around 1,000 people newly diagnosed with HIV in Mbeya, a rural area, found just 28% were successfully linked to care. Under-resourced, poorly coordinated health services, as well as high levels of HIV-related stigma were the main reasons these people did not begin treatment.

The Tanzanian government has begun to simplify drug regimens and move to fixed-dose combinations while phasing out toxic drugs such as Stavudine. Evidence is currently mixed as to whether levels of pre-treatment and acquired drug-resistant HIV are high enough to be considered a public health issue in Tanzania.

Civil society’s role

Poverty, poor institutional and infrastructural support, and social and cultural neglect are impeding an effective and progressive HIV response in Tanzania. In 2017, Civicus, the global alliance of civil society organizations and activists dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society, placed the country on a watch list due to growing threats to civic space. In February of the same year, the government closed 40 healthcare facilities providing HIV services under the premise that they were promoting homosexuality. In June 2017, President Magufuli severely criticized NGOs working for the rights of LGBTI people.

In 2018, Tanzania’s sustained anti-gay crackdown was part of a broader trend of suppression and a disappearing civil society voice. The repercussions have been felt through all key population groups, affecting access to HIV and sexual health services, and increasing stigma and discrimination.86 It has also resulted in hundreds of LGBT activists going into hiding in order to avoid punishment.

They are raiding houses. It is a horrible thing. It is just going to get worse. So many people are leaving the city, running away. They are targeting the activists, saying we are promoting homosexuality.

The WHO classifies Tanzania within the top 20 high burden countries for tuberculosis (TB) and for TB/HIV.

In 2017, just under 70,000 cases of TB were presented and 98% had a known HIV status. Of this group, 31% were co-infected with HIV, of whom 95% were on antiretroviral treatment. In the same year, 22,000 people living with HIV died due to TB. The death rate has halved since 2010 when there were 44,000 TB-related deaths among HIV-positive people in Tanzania.

The government has prioritized the integration of TB services with HIV services to minimize the burden of these two co-morbidities. Ensuring that people living with HIV are on antiretroviral treatment means that they are in a better place to fight off TB infection. Integrating these two services will also ensure greater access to TB treatment.

The Tanzanian government has done well to keep the country on track to reaching all of the TB targets set within the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) frameworks.

The number of people living with HIV who presented with TB and received treatment for HIV and TB increased from 16% in 2012 to 42% in 2017.92 However, this still leaves a large portion of people with HIV/TB co-infected without comprehensive treatment.

Obesity

By : Moureen Thangavelu


Obesity or overweight is defined as having abnormal or excessive fats that may impair health. 63% of Australian adults are overweight and 18.04% of Australian children have reported overweight in 2012 obesity is also steadily rising since the 90’s. Behavioral risk facts include excessive alcohol and inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables. Women are usually more likely to become more obese as adults but as children males have higher risks. This is due to the number of exercises a person does and their diet.
Adolescents who are overweight or obese are more vulnerable to risk behavior and are more likely to engage in maladaptive coping.


Overweight/obese teens are more likely than their normal weight counterparts to have disrupted social interactions, stigma, and weight prejudice. These stressful life experiences, combined with the normative challenges of adolescence and the burden of maintaining an unhealthy weight, can predispose adolescents to participate in health-risk behaviors.
Overweight and obese children are often taller for their age and gender, and they grow faster than slim children. Increased leptin and sex hormone levels in obese children with excess adiposity can be linked to rapid pubertal development and epiphyseal growth plate maturation.


According to study, blaming parents for their children’s weight gain can be irrational.
It has been proposed that the eating habits of parents play a significant role in whether an infant is underweight or overweight.


Changes in diet. Obesity can be overcome by reducing calories and adopting healthy dietary habits. While you can lose weight easily at first, long-term weight loss is considered the easiest way to lose weight and the best way to hold it off forever.

The Zanzibar Volunteer House

Volunteers can expect to share a house with others from all cultures and backgrounds. You will stay in dorms, eat breakfast together and perhaps do the same volunteering project or go explore Zanzibar together. An orientation will be given the day you arrive or the following day.

There can be social activities with the team leaders during the week depending on what is happening in Zanzibar and how busy everyone is, the team do meet for lunch, dinner or drinks where possible.

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Volunteers can look forward to a BBQ games night whilst staying at the accommodation. Edward, the team leader, was in his element rustling up a BBQ of Kingfish and Octopus. This was a quiet BBQ night with a feisty game of ‘Snatch’. You need to find this game and learn to play it to have a chance of beating the ‘King of Snatch’ aka Edward. The atmosphere varies depending on the size and dynamics of the volunteers. It was a pleasant evening against a backdrop of African music and good old banter.

Our tips for being out in Zanzibar, especially as female travellers:

  1. Bring a headscarf to put on your head or around your arms because the locals do appreciate this. It also serves as UV protection and mosquito barrier! We covered as much as possible and felt respected for doing so. We brought an umbrella with us to provide much needed shade when there was none.
  2. Bring mosquito repellent, mosquito after bite cream…you can get these over here, but best to be prepared. Also bring wet wipes, antibacterial hand gel because you will need these out and about.
  3. Buy a local SIM card with data as the house does not have internet-wifi
  4. The plug sockets are the same as in the UK (3 pronged), bring an international plug adapter
  5. Learn some essential Kiswahili words and phrases
Kiswahili English Response in Kiswahili English
Mambo Hello Poa Good
Karibu (singular) Karibuni (pr) Welcome Asante

Asante sana

Thank you

Thank you very much

Habari How are you Nzuri  Good

Mama’ Songs – For African Child

Tanzania Children SongsThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland grant to Art in Tanzania has helped us to collect children songs as project name ‘mamas songs’. The mamas songs project aims to collect traditional music, sang in tribal languages, from various areas of Tanzania, specifically lullabies and songs for children, as well as songs for special occasions and ceremonies. This website has been created so that the Tanzanian people, as well as foreign people, can hear and learn about the various aspects of their countries musical culture and to preserve musical traditions. As all of the material on this site is downloadable free of charge, we encourage people to use the resources for teaching and singing in schools.

There are around 130 tribes in Tanzania, each with it’s own unique language, religion and social system, although Swahili is also commonly spoken in these tribes. Songs have been collected from various tribes in order to display the musical and cultural differences between them. Some of the music shown on this site is in the form of a Tanzana Children Songstraditional lullaby, with the mother is singing to the child. However, some of the pieces are to be sung in larger Tanzania children songsgroups (recordings may not reflect this, but where this is the case it is noted). Although the main focus of the mamas songs project was to collect lullabies and children’s songs sang by women, we have also branched out into male singers and adult songs for special events and ceremonies.

As well as traditional tribal songs, the project has also gathered Swahili children’s songs. This is different in the sense that Swahili is the official language of Tanzania and hence the music gathered in Swahili may be more modern and universal, as oppose to the more unique tribal music.

For some of the songs we have managed to create notation, which has not been available before, due to the free nature of the music and the inability of the people to notate music. Although we have not managed to notate all of the music, some example songs are accompanied by notation. Most of the songs have also been translated into Swahili and English, so that the listener can gain a greater understanding of the meaning of the music.

We wish to constantly expand this website and find more music. If you would like to help us please send us more songs and ideas to info@artintanzania.org

The first Montessori kindergarten in a Tanzanian government school

The kindergarten in Korongoni primary school in Moshi has improved a lot during the last year. I interviewed the main kindergarten teacher Clara, in the beginning of August 2014.

Clara is a qualified primary school teacher for children in standard three to seven and for children with special needs. However, due to the shortage of teachers in Korongoni primary school she was asked to take over the teaching in the kindergarten in 2010.

The first years were tough. Clara was the only teacher for two groups of more than 30 children, aged four to six years. She had almost no teaching materials; only a piece of chalk and one book for each subject. The desks were too big for the children and there were a lot of holes in the classroom floor.

Korongoni kindergarten before and after

The kindergarten building before and after

Clara was kept very busy throughout the whole day. She was teaching, preparing and serving porridge and washing the dishes before the next group of children arrived. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time between the two groups which meant no break for the teacher. The sizes of the classes were too big for one teacher to handle and Clara felt that she had to play too many different roles. In addition to the teacher’s role she was sometimes acting like a police and sometimes like a grandma. Repeatedly she felt overwhelmed during and after work and experienced headaches. At the time she was not looking forward to her work days.

In 2013 Marissa, an Art in Tanzania volunteer came to the kindergarten. Marissa and Clara became good friends and Clara started to tell Marissa her dreams on how to improve the kindergarten. Together they created a plan, and Clara and representatives from Art in Tanzania researched prices for the budget. Back in the UK, Marissa with the help of GAGA-UK, raised funds which made making all of the improvements possible. In July 2013, Korongoni primary was able to open the first Montessori government kindergarten in Tanzania. Now the building has been renovated, proper desks, chairs and teaching materials purchased and another teacher, Mary, has been hired.

Korongoni kindergarten before and after 2

The class room before and after

Clara is now extremely happy and says that her dream came true. Nowadays she likes going to work and is very happy that Mary is there to help. Clara also tells that the teachers from standard 1 are very pleased with the children coming from her kindergarten as they already know the basics of reading, writing and counting. The reputation of the kindergarten has spread and many parents want a place for their kids there. Unfortunately, it is not possible to take everyone as then the group sizes would grow too big. At the moment the morning class has 32 children and the afternoon class 35.

Clara says that this kind of improvement is not too expensive and that others could do it too. Her wish for the future is that more people would understand how important it is to educate children when they are very young. Clara would especially want to continue emphasising the teaching of the basics (reading, writing and counting) after kindergarten, in classes 1 and 2.

Volunteers are wanted and needed for teaching English in both the kindergarten and the primary classes in Korongoni. Clara suggests that the volunteers could use different methods (games and play) in teaching and she is convinced that the kids will benefit from the volunteers’ teaching.

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Clara, Marissa and Mary

Text by Hanna-Mari Pulli

“This is our nursery because this is our society” – Neema’s Nursery and Montessory Daycare

Neema’s Nursery and Montessory Daycare at Kiwodea – Saba Saba Moshi – Tanzania started with seven children on 6th of January 2014. Now there are 35 of 3-6 year old children coming to the nursery and daycare. Neema’s Nursery and Montessory Daycare  is located in Moshi. Neema’s Nursery and Montessory Daycare is a private school and the teaching is mainly in English.

Neema Marko, a teacher and the founder of the nursery school, has before been teaching at Khuba Nursery for seven years. It is her longtime dream to help children’s education as someone helped her once. Neema comes from a poor family and as a child she was selling mangos and onions to get by. Her uncle’s friend from Germany decided to sponsor her and so finishing school became possible for Neema. Now she wants to return the favor by helping children who come from difficult life situations to study. Now, along the work in Khuba nursery, Neema started a new nursery school in January 2014 with a help of volunteer from Finland. Neema will finish working in Khuba nursery in December 2014 when her contract there finishes. She has started teaching adult English class for people with no English or writing skills before. Also in this volunteers can help.

Volunteer in Nursery School

Ever since Neema has worked with volunteers in her new project and she has many very good experiences of the co-operation and this is also why she wanted to work with Art In Tanzania as well. Volunteers in Neema’s Nursery and Montessory Daycare teach English, drawing and math. They are also playing with the children.

Volunteer in Nursery School

At the moment there is also a local girl working as a volunteer. She hasn’t been able to get to the collage so for her working is a good working experience even when she is not paid the teacher salary. Neema needs someone there to help her with teaching, cooking and being with children. Also for the days when Neema is not going to be there, the school has to run.

Neema wants to invite many people to come and help the children and there are many ways of helping. Teaching is the most important thing but also sponsoring the nursery is important because the school is reliant on donations. The school lacks of many things, and books, pencils and also the food for the children are needed. Neema is renting the building and also the rents of two rooms, desks, mattresses and water come quite high and the help is needed. “Teaching is the most important help for the children. But I want to tell about the problems we have. It is not to ask for money or force people to donate but so that people know.”, Neema highlights.

Neema's Nursery School and Daycare

Helping children with education and starting a nursery school has been Neema’s longtime dream that has come true. Now the challenge is to keep the dream alive and the school running. When asked what are her future hopes and plans Neema tells that she would like to go and get a diploma for teaching. She dreams of moving to a new building and to expand to having also a primary and a secondary school as a boarding school. Of the shorter term dreams she would like to collect enough money to get dala dala -car to pick the children to school every day. Some of the children live far away and it is hard to get them to come to school. Many stay at home because the parents don’t have the money to pay the transportation to the school.

These are big dreams for her but not impossible. “Me and you. When we share the dreams can come true.”, Neema says. Neema says that even with her name, the nursery school is not hers but community’s. Even if something happens to Neema, the nursery school needs to go on. “This is our nursery because this is our society.”

This text was written by two volunteers who have been working in Neema’s Nursery and Montessory Daycare at Kiwodea in May-June 2014.

Morning of English, numbers and games in the Winning Star’s Nursery School

By Hanna-Mari Pulli

Winning Stars Nursery  Kunduchi

Volunteers Amy and Helen teaching numbers

This week we visited the Winning Stars Nursery School in Kunduchi. 17 children, from three to seven years old, attend the school. The teacher Glory has worked in the school for two years and says that the volunteers help her a lot! The volunteers come mainly to teach math, English and drawing. The school is free of charge for everyone.The day starts at 9am. Some of the kids come from the orphanage located next to the school and some get dropped off by their parents. This time the children started with math; they were learning numbers and simple calculations, first together and then individually. The volunteers sat down with the kids and helped them when needed.

Winning Stars Nursery  Kunduchi

After finishing their assignments it was time for a play break! The children were playing outside and a couple of them found their inner photographers and took photos with our cameras very enthusiastically. Football, pushing car tires and climbing were also very popular. Before going back inside and continuing to study, a group photo was taken. The kids were very eager to be in the photo and we also promised to send the photos to Glory.

Winning Stars Nursery  Kunduchi

Winning Star’s Nursery School students with the teacher Glory and volunteers Amy and Helen

Winning Stars Nursery  Kunduchi

After the break the children were taught different forms of transportation with pictures; car, bus, airplane, boat and so on. All of the kids came individually in the front of the class to say all of them out loud, and later drew the shapes and wrote the correct names in their booklets. However, soon the kids were getting tired and hungry. The porridge was late. After some 20 minutes of waiting, it finally arrived and the kids settled back to their seats. Glory scooped everyone an individual cup of hot porridge and the children started to eat carefully. When they were finished with their food, it was already past midday and time for the kids to go home.

Winning Stars Nursery  Kunduchi


Making a difference in Glory Orphanage

Volunteers and donors organize water and a new roof for Glory Orphanage

By: Tiina Heikkinen & Saara Kanula (Originally published on May 18, 2014)

Glory Orphanage Water Donation ProjectArt in Tanzania volunteers have been dedicating a lot of their time and enthusiasm to further develop Glory, an orphanage in Dar es Salaam. The orphanage serves as a home to 9 children and as a day-time school for other children from the neighborhood. During the day, the volunteers have been teaching the children reading and writing using interactive games, songs and other exercises. During the past few months, the volunteers have also been giving their time towards gathering donations to renovate the orphanage.

Manuela and Patrick, volunteers from Germany put their effort towards building a new roof for the building where the bedrooms are located. Half of the roof was renovated earlier with the help of previous volunteers and now the other half has a new roof. Previously the building consisted of two separate areas that were connected with a roofless corridor. Now the corridor is covered, so the whole building has a roof and all parts can be accessed without getting wet when it rains! There were also holes in the bedroom walls which are now fixed and the bedrooms are now fitted with fans.Glory Orphanage Water Donation Project

Manuela and Patrick gathered the donations for the Glory Orphanage from the Catholic Church of St. Peter & Paul, their church in Germany. Every year the church is fundraising for different purposes and this year they decided to help the kids in Glory Orphanage.

Perhaps the most incredible achievement, however, is the installation of a water pipeline to serve not only the orphanage but the whole community. Before the pipeline the orphanage was using rainwater or they bought water for a more expensive price. Now they will not only have fresh water all the time, but with every bucket they sell they will have a bucket for free for themselves. By selling Glory Orphanage Water Donation Projectthe water they will also have money for food, medication and clothes. Also, the people living in the neighborhood can buy fresh water near by. The funding for the water pipeline came from Holland and Belgium. Suzanne Ter Haar (Art in Tanzania volunteer from Holland) and her parents have been very active in fundraising.

The main sponsor has been Lievesense CSO, a water pipeline company that Suzanne’s father works. Suzanne’s father gave a lecture for several other pipeline companies in Holland and Belgium and pitched the project Suzanne was starting to organize in Glory Orphanage. LSNed and Materials Consult also signed up to donate, and together with Lievesense CSO, they funded the whole project.

The opening ceremony for the water pipe line was on 1st of May. It was a success, and a lot of Ar in Tanzania volunteers and people from the neighborhood participated. The day was very sunny and cheerful, with lots of food (typical local rice dish, ‘pilau’) and soft drinks for the kids to enjoy. The day was filled with music, dance, and laughter.

An important part of donations to acknowledgeGlory Orphanage Water Donation Project
besides funds for building material are also school supplies, toys and clothes for the kids. Just before the opening ceremony for the water pipe line, Glory Orphanage received some donations from Holland. Suzanne Ter Haar’s friends were eager to donate all sorts of things and her parent’s brought them to Tanzania. Especially the toys were extremely welcomed and brought a smile to every child’s face.

Volunteers are also finding new ways to collect money for the orphanage. Two weeks ago they were throwing a party at the Dar es Salaam volunteer house to collect money for medical expenses for the kids in Glory Orphanage and other orphanages.

A valuable lesson to take away from this story is the fact that every bit counts. On behalf of Glory Orphanage, Art in Tanzania would like to say their thanks to all the donors and volunteers that contributed to the incredible improvements done over the past year. There are no words to describe how grateful the kids in the Glory Orphanage are for these acts of kindness.

Art in Tanzania is always looking for volunteers to help us continue to make a difference.

If you are interested to volunteer or make some donations, go to our website for more information: www.artintanzania.org

Safari Time!

By Anna Kevin and Emilia Sten

DSCN6872We had chosen a three day volunteer’s safari, containing of a visit to the Masai village, N’gorongoro crater and Lake Manyara. On friday five excited people climbed into the 4×4 driven Land Rover. We were heading to the west, through Arusha aiming for our first stop, the Masai village.

When we arrived, they were already expecting us. The Masai children took our hands and led us into the mystery of their world. Our driver/guide told us how to greet the Masai chief, so we headed towards him with great interest. He is a very powerful man, with 30 wives and 124 children. He was sitting by his cattle, watching over the whole village. The tour took us around the village, and even into their houses. We heard the story of the evil tree and why the Masai are missing a front tooth. We felt free to ask anything. Art in Tanzania is using the safari income to support education in Masai land and volunteers have assisted to build up a nirsery and primary school to the village.

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We then spent the night in Karatu volunteer house. The second day it was time to meet the animals in N’gorongoro. The ride was very bumpy, but the view of the huge crater was amazing. The drive was exciting, because you never knew which animals you were going to meet. Our driver/guide did his best to find all the hiding animals, and he could spot them from a long distance. It was incredible to see the lions sunbathing next to the zebras and gnus. We even got a look at the black rhinos, which are really rare.

DSCN7109The third day was also filled with game watching. This day with a different terrain, because we were heading to Lake Manyara and the jungle. It almost felt like we were in the movie “Planet of the Apes”, since baboons and monkeys were everywhere. Here we could also see the giraffes, which are not living in the crater.

On our way back to Moshi, Kilimanjaro, we visited the optional snake park. Snakes are very hard to spot in the nature, and we wanted to be face to face with the Black Mamba. We also had the chance to try our courage by holding a snake and a baby crocodile. Back in Moshi we washed away all the dust from the safari, but the memories will stay forever.

(Originally published on May 15, 2014)

A day as an African pupil

By Anna Kevin and Emilia Sten (Originally published on May 10, 2014)

On Thursday morning we left the house with three Danish volunteers to “One School – Primary and Nursery”. They were going to teach there, and we wanted to experience being an African pupil for one day.

It was a bit higher standard at the school. The pupils DSCN6347had desks, books and other school material. Everyone was wearing a school uniform in light blue.

We got a seat in the back row. The lecture started with painting pictures and writing sentences on the board. Everything have to be written down, because not all the children have a chance to get a book of their own. Instead they copied everything down in their notebooks. It took a while for the teachers to get the board ready, but we were very patient. Most of the teaching was done so that the teachers said it out loud and we repeated. The best pupil was the one screaming out the answer the loudest.

DSCN6345After one and a half hour of learning, the ones who wanted got a cup of porridge. This was followed by a half an hour break, and then the active learning continued. The pupils were very eager to learn, maybe that’s because not everyone gets the chance to go to school. Volunteering can give the opportunity for more children to attend school.

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By volunteering you can help the Tanzania to develop. Education standard is still very poor and while the economy is growing the only way to get jobs is to get proper education. Art in Tanzania volunteers and interns help in the schools, supported by UNICEF Children Agenda program.