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:

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

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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Training Begins!

Drillers, water technicians, citizens from the Same and Mwanga districts, and representatives from the Pangani Water Board Authority gathered earlier this summer to learn about drilling viable wells.

Empower Tanzania, the Ames Rotary Club, and Rewerts Drilling Company were able to bring in several Iowan drillers to conduct a seminar. The seminar centered around basic drilling techniques that are not common in dry areas of Tanzania. Over 25 people from all different locations and backgrounds were there for the two-day seminar led by Iowa driller and Empower Tanzania volunteer Justin Rewerts.

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#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!

Maasai Men in Training: A Song of Appreciation

After a year spent serving the people of their villages, our 30 female Community Health Workers (CHWs) felt that training men from their communities would help the Community-Hospital Alliance Program (CHAP) gain momentum and respect. What follows is a report from CHAP program director Jeff Carithers, MD, who led a delegation that spent two weeks this summer providing additional training for our 30 Community Health Workers and, at their request, 30 men from their villages. This post is part of an in-depth look at CHAP. To learn more about the program, read here, here, and here.

Enthusiastic Maasai men during this summer’s CHAP training. The final segment of the Empower Tanzania refresher course included men.

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What can Empower Tanzania do with $1,000? A guest post from a supporter who believes in the power of one…

Sometimes, when we are moved to make a difference, we’re stopped by the idea that there is little we can do that will actually matter. We think, “Really? Who am I? What difference can my tiny contribution make?

Well, Empower Tanzania board member Sheri Krumm is blogging today with a great example of the power of one individual and how little acts of love can add up to something that does indeed matter…in a very big way!

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Party with a Purpose: A Brewery Birthday

When Empower Tanzania supporter Jake and his sister-in-law Emily  were discussing their June birthday plans, the two decided to throw a party at one of their favorite local breweries and invite friends to bring a donation to Empower Tanzania rather than a gift.

Last Saturday, fifty people showed up and did just that, raising nearly $2,000 for Empower Tanzania.

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IWHP Fights Malaria

The Improving Women’s Health Program (aka IWHP for you acronym lovers out there) will blow your mind with its impact on the battle with Malaria in Tanzania.  Truly AMAZING!

Malaria is a disease that kills a child every 30 seconds in Tanzania. But malaria can be prevented—just by using treated mosquito nets. The Improving Women’s Health Program (IWHP) is doing its part by educating people in Same District about what to do. Continue reading