Volunteer Interview – Karmen

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Karmen from Australia, age 36 who has an infectious laugh, loves travelling, meeting new people and shopping, has been volunteering at Al Qawiyyi School and Zanzibar Youth Alliance.

What have kind of activities have you been doing as a volunteer?

I have been assisting the teacher in different classes each week such as nursery, form 2 and standard 2 at school and I have been helping the womans group with cooking at the youth centre.

What made you volunteer with Arts in Tanzania? What has been the best part of being with Arts in Tanzania?

I wanted to volunteer because I am looking for a change career but have been unsure about what I want to move onto. The travel agent in Australia recommended real gap to volunteer through. The best part of being with Art In Tanzania has been meeting people in the house that I wouldn’t otherwise meet.

What have you liked about assisting in Al Quwiyyi School and Zanzibar Youth Alliance youth centre?

I’ve enjoyed the interaction with the children and learning Arabic and Swahili. I’ve also enjoyed learning about Ramadan and Eid. At the youth centre I’ve enjoyed learning to cook dishes I never knew how through the woman’s group. So much so I could open an African restaurant in Australia!

Has the experience changed you as a person?

Yes, it has made me more appreciative of what I have at home. Before I left I was thinking of going into social work and the experience has confirmed this.

What advice would give to volunteers wanting to teach-volunteer?

  1. Just do it
  2. It does take a few days for the children to open up so it makes a difference if you stay longer at the school. I planned to do 8 weeks, but you could do 4 weeks.
  3. Have a few resources such as educational games to help you in the classroom
  4. Be open to experiencing something different by exploring the Island after school and at the weekend to get the most out of your time.
  5. If you’re travelling alone it is better to stay in a volunteer house and if you’re female then be prepared to wear a headscarf and full dress in school and perhaps when you are out.

 

 

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.

Pupils from One School in Dar es Salaam receive donations through AIT

By David Kiarie (Originally published on Nov 1, 2013)

Pupils from One school of Tegeta in Dar es Salaam are a happy lot following the completion of a modern sanitation block at the school.

The toilets were constructed with funds from a volunteer at Art In Tanzania who saw the need for the school to have clean sanitation facilities.

The funds also saw the school connected with piped water by Dar es Salaam Water and Sanitation Company (DAWASCO), bringing to an end the problem of water shortage that the school had to contend with for a long period of time.

“We are glad the pupils now have clean sanitation blocks for both boys and girls and a reliable source of clean water that is safe for domestic use,” said the school head Obedi Rusumo.

Rusumo said although the school had been funded to put up a sanitation block, the administration minimized costs and saved enough money to buy a water storage tank and have piped water connected.

“We used to order between 200-300 litres of water daily which cost us between Tsh. 15,000-Tsh.20,000, about 10-13 US dollars. We no longer need the services of the water vendor and we can use the money we are saving for other purposes.

” We have also managed to clear a Tsh 2 million debt that we owed DAWASCO after connecting us with clean piped water,” said the school headteacher Obedi.

He further said that the ministry of education officials who paid a visit to the school that was facing closure due to poor sanitation have hailed the project and have already registered the education centre, as a nursery school, with the government.

The government has also promised to donate land to the school to enable it grow into a primary school. Presently, pupils who study at the private nurserly school have to join other schools for primary education.

The school with six teachers has two levels of baby and middle classes with pupils age ranging from three and six years old.

The school also plans to have electric power connected and has mobilized some funds for the same although they have a Tsh 700,000 deficit. The total cost of the exercise is Tsh 1.2 million according to Rusumo.

”I credit our school development to Art In Tanzania through whom we meet our esteemed sponsor Carol Wood who has stood with us for this long,”

Carol, a former volunteer with Art In Tanzania, also sends monthly donations that goes into purchase of flour to make porridge for close to 200 pupils at the school.

The sponsor also donated sleeping mats which are used by baby class pupils who have to take a nap every day at the school before they go home at noon.

The headteacher further expressed his gratitude with AIT for offering volunteers to teach pupils at the school.

”The volunteers and interns teach our pupils both written and spoken English among other subjects,” Rusumo said adding that it has helped to improve their performance in class. Another volunteer from Art In Tanzania Rick Jonnes also built desks for the school several years ago.

Sponsored youth lands a great opportunity at AIT’s IT department

By Amy Pitman
Volunteer, Art In Tanzania (Originally Published on Oct 25, 2013)

Art in Tanzania is primarily known for its volunteer work in which people from across the world assist in bettering the community in Tanzania. However, it also has another function: to give locals the opportunity to expand and develop their skills.

Simon Fredrick Simon, 19, is in charge of an internet café at the Dar es Salaam volunteer house. Every afternoon he also teaches IT classes to locals of various ages. His story might have been quite different had Art in Tanzania not given him a chance.

Simon, in a blue T-shirt, teaching at Art In Tanzania internet cafe

Simon, in a blue T-shirt, teaching at Art In Tanzania internet cafe

From an early age Simon learnt to earn money to fund his education. In a family where he has a brother and two sisters, finding money for school was difficult.

He first started making money when he was 10 by collecting empty plastic bottles and selling them for recycling. Simon was forced to find money because if he didn’t pay his school fees, he would be punished by caning. He would earn 2,000 Tsh (US $1.25) per a kilogram of bottles. All this money contributed to his education.

Over the next few years, Simon made building blocks for sale, sold mangos and did fishing as well, often selling his produce at a nearby Kunduchi village. His Father taught computer studies and Simon was able to attend some lessons, becoming incredibly interested in the subject. The class was taught in the same room as English, which gave Simon a chance to learn another language. He had a natural gift for IT and was soon given the opportunity by his Father to teach the IT class, eventually progressing to teach English as well.

Simon found out about Art in Tanzania and started volunteering in the IT department. At around the same time he was forced to move out and find a house of his own. He has only been living on his own for seven months.

To begin with a couple of Finnish girls supported him by DSC_0218paying for his rent but soon he was able to secure a job at Art in Tanzania and is now able to support himself although it is still difficult to make ends meet. Along with his monthly salary of 100,000 Tsh, (US $ 62) he is also given 20% of the internet café takings which helps him pay for his bills.

Simon enjoys working and learning, with an aim to continue in the field of IT, perhaps even to go on and teach the subject in a school. The opportunity to work at Art in Tanzania was a chance for him to develop his skills further and to meet a number of different people from across the world.

His plan is to work for the rest of the year before returning to secondary school to complete his studies. He hopes to join university or college to study IT further after his secondary school studies.

Volunteers and staff from Art In Tanzania show off their football skills

By David Kiarie (Originally Published on Sep 26, 2013)

Volunteers and staff from Art In Tanzania will this evening flex their muscles when they meet for a football match at Kondo grounds of Bahari beach.

In the last encounters, the volunteers overpowered their hosts winning two of the three matches they have played.

In the first match the volunteers crashed the 222633_10151235851051930_601836986_n-300x200staff two goals to nail. The match that followed saw the staff spirit dampen further after they lost to the volunteers 2-1. The staff team however managed to beat the volunteers’ 2-3 in their third match.

This evening, the two teams will be meeting for the fourth time this year and the game is expected to be action packed with each team yearning to win.

Besides bringing the volunteers and the staff together, the games offer an opportunity for the volunteers most of who come from other countries an opportunity to interact with locals who turn up in sizeable numbers to spectate.

Volunteer funds construction of a sanitation block at One school in Tegeta, Dar es Salaam

By David Kiarie (Originally published on Sep 26, 2013)

Pupils from One school of Tegeta in Dar es Salaam are a happy lot following the completion of a modern sanitation block at the school.

The toilets were constructed with funds from a volunteer at Art In Tanzania who saw the need for the school to have clean sanitation facilities.

The funds also saw the school connected with piped water by Dar es Salaam Water and Sanitation Company (DAWASCO), bringing to an end the problem of water shortage that the school had to contend with for a long period of time.

“We are glad the pupils now have clean toilets for both boys and girls and a reliable source of clean water that is safe for domestic use,” said the school head Obedi Rusumo.

Rusumo said although the school had been funded to put up a sanitation block, the administration minimized costs and saved enough money to buy a water storage tank and have piped water connected.

“We used to order between 200-300 litres of water daily which cost us between Tsh. 15,000-Tsh.20,000, about 10-13 US dollars. We no longer need the services of the water vendor and we can use the money we are saving for other purposes.

He further said that the ministry of education officials who paid a visit to the school that was facing closure due to poor sanitation have hailed the project and are now in the process of registering the education centre with the government.

“We appreciate the assistance from Carol Wood as a person and Art In Tanzania as an organization,” the head teacher also said that they now want to clear some balance with DAWASCO, put up a ceiling in the classrooms and improve the sporting facilities.

The school with six teachers has two levels of baby and middle classes with pupils age ranging from three and six years old.

Art in Tanzania starts a dry toilets project with the help of volunteers

By David Kiarie
Dar es salaam (Originally Published on: Sep 26, 2013)

As the world marks the World Toilet Day today, November 19, many families in the world still do not have access to sanitation facilities.

According to UNICEF, 1.1 billion people around the world defecate in the open, contaminating their environments and water sources besides spreading diseases like diarrhea, which kills 2,000 children less than 5 years old every day.

In Tanzania, only 10 per cent of her people have access to improved sanitation. Over 40 million of citizens in the Eastern Africa country do not have to improved sanitation.

6.5 million people in the country defecate in the open according to Unicef, causing illnesses related to poor hygiene that could have been avoided, and which costs the government millions of money that could otherwise be used for development.

Besides this high cost of treatment, the country is robbed of many working hours as sick workers nurse their ailments in health facilities or at home.

The country is among 12 nations globally that are worst off on sanitation. It is also classified among the 11 countries worst off on access to improved water sources in the world with 21 million of her citizens lacking access to improved water supply. 53 per cent of the population has access to improved water supply.

Learning institutions have not been spared either with the national average number of students per latrine being 56.

598351_10151100231971930_978032409_n-300x19984 per cent of schools lack a functioning hand-washing facility while 38 per cent of the schools lack safe drinking water supply.

A survey by Unicef indicates that 99 per cent of the schools do not provide a bar soap for pupils to use for washing hands after visiting the toilet.

96 per cent of schools have no sanitary facilities suitable or accessible to children with disabilities.

It is estimated that a total of US $0.47 billion is required to fund provisions for water, sanitation and hygiene to approximately 18,000 schools.

WASH needs per school stands at US $25,000 which totals to US $3.2 million per district. The overall WASH needs is US $427.8 million.

Four children under five years die of diarrhea in Tanzania every hour and the government spends 70 per cent of the health budget to treat water related diseases.

The inaction cost for sanitation is estimated at US $200 million per annum, which is one per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The Tanzania Unicef chief WASH officer Omar Hattab while speaking to journalists during a media training on water, sanitation and hygiene in Dar es Salaam called for public sensitization on the subject saying this was a sure way of averting the many waterborne diseases that people contract due to poor sanitation.

A recent media tour to a local primary school at Vingunguti slums of Ilala district in Dar es Salaam revealed that pupils in the poor urban areas were hard hit.

At Mtakuja primary school, which has a population of over 3,500 pupils, only 47 latrines were available with girls using 27 of them. This means 74 pupils use one latrine.

The school head Godrick Rutayungururwa says the institution requires at least 100 latrines for boys and 121 for girls to ensure proper sanitation and reduce wasting of time by the pupils whenever they want to answer calls of nature.

Art In Tanzania, a non-governmental organization, has introduced a dry toilets project where modern sanitation facilities that require no water will be built in homes and institutions with unreliable or no water supply.

Proponents of this project say the facility is a better option to many people in the world with many countries still facing water shortage problems.

This will see users of the dry toilets avoid water bills and therefore use the money they would have spent on water to flash toilets put to other use.

The cost required for water bournbe sanitation is prohibitive in most parts of the world.

According to ECOSAN, a waterless toilet system website, 374559_10151100281686930_878916179_n-199x300the regular operating and maintenance costs of sanitation systems such as bucket latrines, septic tanks, chemical and waterbourne toilets are very high and could be avoided with the use of the dry toilet facilities.

Ecosan also says dry toilet system is affordable, completely closed, has no sewerage pipe network and does not require a sewage treatment plant.

‘It has conclusively been proven that nitrate loaded effluent from pit latrines is directly responsible for widespread contamination of valuable groundwater resources,’ the site says in part.

They further say there is no obnoxious odours and the toilets can be installed both indoors and outdoors.

One of the beneficiaries of the dry toilet project by Art In Tanzania, Shadrack Mkungu says the facility is better compared to pit latrines that most people use at his Mapinga village in Bagamoyo.

“This is a modern toilet and people are visiting me frequently to see the facility. They wish they had such a facility at their homes,” Mkungu says.

The father of four also says the facility is safe enough to be used by children since they cannot fall as it happens with pit latrines.

“I had not seen or used this kind of a toilet before and I recommend that this project be replicated in other part of the district and the country at large,” he says.

The toilet was constructed and installed by two Finish students Lotta partanen and Juha Ojala who are on internship at Art In Tanzania.

The environmental technology students say the dry toilet technology could help avert many water borne disease if replicated in many parts of Tanzania where water is scarce.

In order to achieve millennium development goals, the country requires an additional US $100 million to fund sanitation according to UNICEF