Women’s Empowerment Event is a Huge Success!

On a cool summer in August, over one hundred Empower Tanzania supporters  gathered at Vivian’s Diner & Drinks in Des Moines to celebrate the work we’ve done and to help launch us into an even better, more ambitious tomorrow. Board members, staff members, volunteers, founders, and friends all gathered to share stories, bid on silent auction items, drink sangria, and eat a fabulous dinner curated by Vivian’s staff. Not only were we given the privilege of the sharing  stories of the people we serve in Tanzania, but together we raised over $10,000 for our women’s empowerment projects in rural Tanzania!! We are so grateful to all who attended and all who donated. So often we spend our time looking ahead to what we’ve yet to do, but the Women’s Empowerment Event allowed us to pause and celebrate the work our teams in the states and in Tanzania has done so faithfully over the years. To view an alum of photos from the event, click HERE.

Our incredible volunteers made this night happen:

Before sitting down to dinner, guests enjoyed appetizers, sangria, and a new video produced by ETI highlighting our work towards women’s empowerment in Tanzania:

Dinner was outstanding and as people finished their dessert, we were thrilled for the opportunity to thank our honorary hosts, Dr. Jeff and Ali Carithers:

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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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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How do we empower women?

We’re currently in the midst of a Mother’s Day campaign in which we’re working hard to raise $3,000 for our women’s empowerment programming through the sale of some pretty beautiful jewelry made in Tanzania. Because of our generous business sponsor, Onion Grove Mercantile, we’re offering supporters the chance to donate $30, receive a pair of earrings, and be assured that their money will go toward the women of rural Tanzania. Continue reading

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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Health Programs Update: Tackling a Taboo

Empower Tanzania works to build safe environments for young women to flourish. This includes allowing them the access to resources they need to be successful. Due to a generous donation from the Des Moines-based group named Half the Sky, we have been able to expand our programs in meaningful, exciting, and synergetic ways!

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In Tanzania, it is taboo to discuss menstruation, urinary tract health, and menstrual hygiene. When a girl begins puberty, she often don’t understand what is happening to her body and is unsure of how to handle it properly. Disposable menstrual pads are expensive and, because of the expense, household rags are commonly used instead. These rags are ineffective and often lead to leakage and embarrassment. Frequent school absences and high dropout rates among girls often follow. In hopes of remedying this problem, Empower Tanzania has partnered with Days for Girls, an organization working in 100 countries that provides training on the production of reusable menstrual pads. This is an effective and inexpensive alternative to the more commonly used rags, leaves, moss, or disposable pads. Continue reading

An Empower Tanzania Ag Update

 

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Which animals are changing the lives of agricultural entrepreneurs in Tanzania? Goats, ducks, and chickens. Each animal helps farmers greatly increase their status and income. Eating meat, milk, and eggs benefits their health and the extra income can improve all aspects of life, including allowing parents to send their children to school. A third quarter visit to 31 farms conducted by Steven M. Kihoko, PLFO Same District,  and Mr. Joseph Kimbwereza, project manager, was successful.  Continue reading

#TBT (Throwback Thursday) to where it all began…

Ever wonder about the origins of Empower Tanzania? This video is a fantastic reminder of where we began. Produced by ETI volunteer Paul Casella, it captures the work we did with PEPFAR and the model of aid we continue to use. We listen, we listen again, we listen a third time and then we offer to collaborate on a plan that leads to a sustainable solution and local EMPOWERMENT. Watch the video for a sense of our work, as well as a glimpse into the beautiful country of Tanzania!

Paul Casella is a writer, teacher, editor and producer. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Since 1993, Paul has worked with health professionals to improve the clarity and effectiveness of their manuscripts for publication, formal presentations, slides, posters, videos, and other media for scientific purposes. We at Empower Tanzania are so lucky to have him on our team!

Community-Hospital Alliance Program (CHAP): Christmas in July

This blog post  is part of a series that will take a closer look at our Community-Hospital Alliance Program (CHAP). In case you missed Part I or Part II, click on the links to learn ten key points about this life-changing program. The following post is written by Phil Latessa, executive director of Empower Tanzania.

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Community Health Worker (CHW) Annma Latasarwake from the village of Jitergeni watches a Medical Aid Films video on an iPad during this summer’s CHAP training.

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Integrated Farming class of 2014!!!

Empower Tanzania’s EPIC Integrated Farming Project doubled in size this week as the first annual new farmer training took place in Hedaru!  Twenty-one new farmers attended the three day seminar to learn how to prepare to receive their new dairy goats in July.  Topics covered included care and feeding of the goats, how to breed them and deliver the kids, and how to take care of the medical needs of the animals.  There was also extensive training in the specialized construction of the pens that allow the goats to live in a healthy environment, and allow the farmers to harvest the manure for composting. Continue reading