Change together – Develop perspectives – Protect the weakest
The regional cooperation program focuses on rural development in the areas of health, education & community development. The chosen activities have a direct impact on the peoples’ quality of life.
In a priority region of Singida, projects of selected local communities are carried out together over a period of three to five years. The projects specifically target the weakest members of society, such as rural population or women and children.
After an assessment of local needs, the project work has kicked off in 2018 in the districts Ikhanoda and Mwasauya. Therewith, the Singida Rural program (2014-2018), which includes the priority villages Itaja, Kinyamwenda, Mughamo, as well as Mjura with the construction of a Charko Dam (water reservoir), was successfully completed after a final evaluation.
Government representatives are involved in different project phases by our local partner organizations. In meaningful and helpful fields of cooperation, written agreements define the rights and obligations.
– Trained staff
– Lower maternal & child mortality
– No malnutrition
– Trained staff
– Better teacher-pupil-ratio
– Professional teaching environment
– Immediate benefit
– Improved income
– Higher quality of life
Like most other sub-Saharan countries, Tanzania suffers from a high maternal and child mortality. A lack of or insufficient basic medical care, a low awareness level, structural malnutrition as well as certain cultural perceptions, which are sometimes in contradiction with modern medical findings, ultimately have lead to this situation.
The qualitative improvement of medical care through training and education of medical staff is a central approach in this regard. This element of the program serves to further qualify health workers in Singida, who already work in the civil service.
At the same time, four-day continuing education courses on the topics of pregnancy, birth and newborns will be offered at local health stations. Both of the trainers work at the local hospital in Singida town; one of them is the only gynecologist in the whole region of Singida.
The health stations are quite often inadequately equipped with medical-technical equipment. At this point, the project should provide targeted and needs-based support. Some health stations have no water (problems in the course of births and hygiene issues in general) or no power connection (problems in the course of births at night). In order to tackle these problems, affordable solutions should be found, for example, solar systems for rainwater collection.
Outreach & Nutrition
Health workers are rarely available in sufficient numbers. To address this problem, so-called community health workers have been committed. Once a week, they support the health workers directly at the health station and go from door to door in the village (outreach).
The Community Health Workers hold short trainings on healthy and sufficient supplementary diets for infants from 7 months of age. Up to this age, breast milk is totally sufficient for the infant’s well-being. Particularly low-income families with children facing malnutrition are supplied with oatmeal for three months in order to produce a nourishing porridge. Additionally, a program dealing with vegetable gardens will be launched to support a balanced diet especially for infants.
The projects support the upskilling of midwives and nurses and better-equipped health stations. Campaigns dealing with maternal and child mortality and malnutrition save lives.
For years SCSS has been supporting the construction and equipping of additional classrooms. As part of the 2018 evaluation, this support was given top priority by the respective village population. Although infrastructure projects in the area of Regional Cooperation have been deliberately pushed back in recent years, there is still a strong need for them.
The “school package”, a combination of a building with 2 classrooms separated by a teacher’s office and a water tank for rainwater collection as well as a latrine block for girls and boys, including the possibility to wash hands has proven very successful.
Teachers are usually not from the village in which they work, but from other parts of the country. Their salaries are normally low and therefore renting a small room in the village is a financial burden; additionally, privacy is hardly given. Schools without teaching quarters are unattractive to most teachers. In order to keep teachers at the school and to get more teachers assigned by the school authority, it is necessary to provide housing for them.
Quality of education
Many classes consist of 60 to 100 students. Reasonable teaching under these conditions is hardly possible. The reduction of the number of school pupils is thus a central concern of Regional Cooperation. However, more teachers have to be assigned by the school authority, otherwise one teacher has to teach two classes at the same time, which will not necessarily increase the quality of the teaching. A close cooperation between the school and the school authority is therefore absolutely necessary.
For years, CIP and SCSS have been offering continuing education courses for teachers of English and Mathematics. The two subjects were chosen because the success rate in Standard Seven Exams in these two subjects in the Singida region is particularly poor by national standards.
In cooperation with the instructors at the teachers’ college in Kinampanda (Teachers Training College – TTC), further education modules are developed and offered based on the wishes and needs of the teachers.
In order to strengthen the quality of education, additional teaching materials for the subjects English and Mathematics are provided and so-called clubs (for individual in-depth studies) are supported.
The educational projects support the continuing education of teachers in Mathematics and English, the accessibility of necessary teaching materials and the improvement of the infrastructure of elementary and secondary schools through the construction of school classes, rainwater tanks and latrines.
Increased quality of life
In addition to the two sectors of intervention health and education, CIP and SCSS have for some years been implementing a series of sometimes smaller activities, collectively referred to as community development.
These activities include the construction of vegetable gardens or smokeless and more energy-efficient stoves, the promotion of savings- and micro-credit systems (VICOBA), the construction of water reservoirs (Charko dam) for the dry season or the promotion of commercial chicken farming.
Since autumn 2018, commercial chicken farming has become a priority topic. On the one hand, this is due to the successful implementation in the program villages during the past phase and, on the other hand, to the conviction that there are substantial potentials for income, especially for women. In order to increase the amount of women benefitting from this project, so-called ToT (Training of Trainers) will be assigned in order to continue the project.
The availability of water is a constant issue in the dry region of Singida. As part of the community development, water reservoirs (Charko dam) and water tanks for rainwater collection are being built. The water sector will also stay a top priority in the future.
The construction of drinking water systems and water reservoirs, the initiatives to strengthen local entrepreneurship (such as commercial chicken farming) or small scale projects such as vegetable growing, improved stoves or savings- and micro-credit systems are projects in the field of community development.
Upendo Home. A home for street children
Upendo Home has developed into a home for around 40 street children since its founding in 2018. Children and adolescents live on the streets of the town of Singida because their parents are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, violent, ill or dead. They are not capable of providing food for the children and are unable to take proper care of them.
Following specified admission criteria they get a place to stay in the Upendo Home. Their new home will provide for basic needs such as food and a bed to sleep in, relationship and community as well as a safe place and education. The children and adolescents are encouraged according to their abilities and talents and, if necessary, they receive psycho-social support.
Between the ages of 18 and 22, the adolescents leave Upendo Home. The challenge for all involved is the preparation and the ongoing support during the transition phase to an independent life.
Upendo in Kisuaheli, the most widely used lingua franca in East Africa, means love & affection and is a popular first name in Tanzania.
Provide a safe space
– Basic services
The Upendo Home community offers opportunities to children and adolescents in order to grow and challenge each other in a positive way. Everyday-life activities such as preparing food, gardening or taking care of chickens and cows as well as learning together and mutual support creates a “family life”.
Many are enthusiastic football players and in regular tournaments they challenge other teams. Also volleyball and other team sports are popular with boys and girls and they foster interpersonal relationships and (non-violent) communication. Once a year, a trip to one of the many natural sites in the area is organized.
Confidential feedback on difficulties that are not individually solvable, are placed in a feedback box at the office of the head of the home. From this point on, he is responsible for taking care of the situation. In addition, the monthly group discussions provide a framework for exchange and conflict resolution.
Routine as well as clear directions and rules provide the necessary security to express your own opinions. Especially for the adolescents it is important to have the ability to decide on defined areas of their lives by themselves.
Together with the head of the home, we are continuously developing the framework conditions for these two areas.
The school achievements of the children are good. Two of the teenagers, Miriam and Baraka, were able to go to University in 2018. Everyone is proud of that!
“I like working with children and people in need.”
“Beautiful and safe environment makes UH a home far away from home for both staff and children.”
“I love working with children, learn from them, and help them.”
“Children support me as they learn.”
Upendo Home Home Board of directors: Sybille Voggenhuber, Bernhard Fries (Founding members and longtime supporters of the home). Members: Rehema Gwao, Fatuma Malenga, Anna Mollel, Permenas Mashanjara
- Tailoring & Knitting
- Workshop for metalworking
- Arts and crafts
In the workshops, the adolescents learn mechanical skills for their everyday life. Once a week, the older adolescents in the home have a class. During the week they can work independently on their items. Thanks to the long-term support of Bankhaus Spängler, a professional infrastructure could be established.
Especially the modern pieces of the handicrafts-class under the supervision of Stella David, matron and art teacher, ranging from bracelets and handbags to ornaments and batik towels, are in high demand. Her handicrafts-class is also aimed at younger children.
The products of the apprenticeship workshops are for their own use (school uniforms, tables, chairs, shelves, etc.) and are offered for sale in a small showroom of the Upendo Home.
TUMAINI School: A primary school for deaf children
The school for deaf children has become a boarding school. Finally, the children from the Singida region can also attend school. 66 boys and girls, as well as 20 day-students are currently being taught at school. A dedicated team consisting of teachers and caregivers has lovingly looked after the deaf children for many years.
The SCSS has been supporting Tumaini School for many years. This resulted in two classrooms with tables and benches and two teacher offices (2005), toilets (2006), a dining room with a kitchen (2008) and a sign language training course for the parents (2014). When the Tanzanian government failed to keep its promise to build a dormitory, things came to a hold. In the end, not the Tanzanian but the Korean Development Cooperation facilitated the completion of the school.
With the purchase of 66 mattresses for the two dormitories (2018) the cooperation was resumed. A multi-step sign language training and the opportunity to use the workshops in the Upendo Home are in the focus of the cooperation from 2018 and 2020.
The support of deaf and visually impaired children is a priority in education for the Tanzanian Government.