From the Field: A Report from Chief Kiboko

We love sharing reports from our program managers, participants, and stakeholders in Tanzania. What follows is from Chief Kiboko (pictured below), a Maasai chief, longtime partner, and advocate for social good. We have worked closely with Chief Koboko over the years as we have established and implemented the Community-Hospital Alliance Program. Below is an exciting glimpse of his most recent report from the field:

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Water Party 2018 Success!

On November 11th, 500 people  gathered in downtown Davenport for the 9th annual Water Party, an event that for the third year in a row has benefited Empower Tanzania water projects. It was an incredible night of music, wine, beer, an whiskey tasting, small bites by a favorite local chef, music, and friends. Partygoers bought raffle tickets, tried their hand on the wine pull, shopped for Tanzanian jewelry, and bid on silent auction items and art. Through their incredible generosity, Water Party 2018 raised over $58,000 for clean water in Tanzania!!! Our efforts will focus on the village of Njiro. We are so thankful to all who made the party happen, attended the event, and donated so generously!

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Meet Rahema

Children: Calvin (15), Frederick (12), Ntiwe (8), Stephen (5)

“I was married and lived in Arusha where I had a small business. My husband would take all the money and get drunk. Then he would come home and beat me. I was married for 14 years before I divorced him. I came back to Hedaru to start a new life, but I was depressed and stressed worrying about my children and didn’t know what to do . I joined the Empower Tanzania Gender Based Violence support group. I had group and individual counseling and learned new skills. I am comfortable now and have new friends. I have a new life. I had nothing, but I am now capable of earning money to buy a house and land. I will do this by next year. Empower Tanzania has helped me to a much better life.”

This is Part I of a three-part series on our BEYOND Gender Based Violence program. Check back on the blog for more stories of incredible women like Rahema. Learn more about the program by clicking HERE.

Cell Phones In Tanzania

IF THEY’RE SO POOR, WHY DO THEY HAVE CELL PHONES?

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with incomes averaging about $2 per day. Poverty is ever present with a population that has electricity in only 10% of homes, with over 40% of children so malnourished that they are stunted physically and mentally, and with only 40% of homes able to access to safe water. Millions of dollars in aid go to Tanzania from governments, non- governmental organizations, and private donations.

Yet when you visit and observe, it seems as though everyone is using a cell phone. Isn’t this an unnecessary luxury in such a poor country? This is a question we get asked a lot. Our response? In a word, no.

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10 Steps to Water at Pangaro

Clean water solutions are incredibly complex and require intense planning, organization, management, and fundraising. Here’s a brief primer on how we delivered on our promise of clean water in the village of Pangaro:

1. Acknowledge request from the community for a clean water source. After learning about the need, Empower Tanzania made a commitment to the people of Pangaro and asked that the community form a water committee.

Click on the photo to watch a video explaining the need.

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Meet Four of the Most Empowered Women in Tanzania

If you’ve followed Empower Tanzania for long, you know that we provide  tremendous opportunities to advance the rights of women across the globe. Why? Because we believe it’s important to empower women and to lift one another up. Projects that benefit women are crucial and we’re grateful to our staff, program managers, and donors who are exceedingly generous with their time and resources. We’ve spent nearly a decade educating and empowering women across the Same District of rural Tanzania. Allow us to introduce you to four of the most empowered!

Nietiwe

Nietiwe is a successful farmer in our Integrated Farming Program. Her training, skills, and hard work pays for her four children’s school fees, healthy food for her family, and even a motorcycle to use to gather fresh grass for her livestock!

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Notes from the field…

Note: We often ask our volunteers and supporters who travel to Tanzania and observe the work we do to share a bit about their experience. This reflection comes from Frances Murray Taylor who traveled to Tanzania as part of a small cohort in March of 2017.

I observed the training sessions for the women of the Improving Women’s Health Program. It was uplifting to see the more than 30 women who came, some with young children, to attend the training sessions. As each woman was introduced to the group of us representing Empower Tanzania, she gave us a snapshot version of the progress made in her community. The areas mentioned included family planning, money management, improved health, and enabling programs in the schools. I was told that two years ago, about half of the women were involved in community organizations but today more than three quarters raised their hands when asked how many were ward councilors in their communities. Because of this effort, almost 700,000 people had attended the training sessions they conducted using the information that they had learned. Malaria has dropped, more babies are being vaccinated, and hand washing has become a priority. Continue reading

Water is Life (World Water Day 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The  men and women we work with in Tanzania often tell us that “WATER IS LIFE.” They say this with a seriousness that is sometimes difficult for Westerners to comprehend due to our oft-taken-for-granted infrastructure. “MAJI NI UHAI,” one of our program managers, farmers, educators, or students might exclaim in Swahili. WATER IS LIFE. Too many Tanzanian women and children walk miles upon miles—spending a good portion of their day that could be devoted to work or school—collecting water that may or may not be clean. We take this challenge seriously and work hard to find sustainable solutions to this very basic human need at every level of our programming. Here’s a glimpse of what it all entails:

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Behind the Scenes with ETI

Empower Tanzania has long been employing technology to deliver vital health information to those living in rural Tanzania. This month, staff and volunteers are hard at work on five new videos to be released next month in Same District and Kagera Region. The reach of these videos is wide — each will serve 630,000 people by using 141 trained Community Health Educators who will present each video 12 times per month! Here are a few behind-the-scenes highlights of our most recent video shoot:

THE WRITER: ETI Program Director Dr. Jeff Carithers wrote the scripts for five new videos being created in a new partnership with World Vision Tanzania to provide public health education focusing on pregnant women and children under two-years-old in northern Tanzania. Scripts are translated into Swahili and delivered by our actors.

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Mark Burnham, videographer for Unity Point Health, shot the videos. We are grateful to Unity Point and Iowa Methodist Medical Center for allowing Empower Tanzania to use Mark and his studio for filming!

Mark Burnham films as the actors run through the scene prompted with a script shown on an iPad, which serves as telepromptor.

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YouTube as a Training Tool and Healthcare Equalizer

YouTube may be better known for its host of viral cat videos, but Empower Tanzania uses it for more. In fact, YouTube houses an extensive collection of videos that we use to empower our community health workers in rural Tanzania.

With a team of volunteers and experts, we’ve translated dozens of health videos into Swahili and shared them with the 30 Maasai women providing community health worker services in Tanzania. These women provide public health education and basic healthcare to their fellow villagers in 21 rural Maasai villages and are educated, in part, through videos uploaded to their iPads. The Maasai community health workers have learned a great deal and the videos have been of great value to the Community Hospital Alliance Program (CHAP).

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