Any African development charity grapples with the question, how to deploy funds most effectively and directly; and how can conditions on the ground be best understood, and expressed to the charity's supporters? With these in mind, TDT has initiated two schemes in Tanzania with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO):
The small grants scheme invites applications for grants up to a maximum of 1.25m Tanzanian Shillings (just under £500), so we are looking for inspired ideas that have the potential to achieve a lot for a relatively modest outlay, directly and rapidly benefiting the VSO's community.
Small Grants made by TDT to VSO's during 2012:
Seven VSO small grants have been made by TDT's Comittee in 2012. Approximately £3,000 has funded the following:
Les Fry is based at Mititulayah Teachers Centre in Wete, developing educational management tools, helping develop leadership skills of head teachers, and supporting the English language proficiency of teachers. In a bid to ensure sustainability of his efforts, Les has sought to establish links between teachers in the UK and headteachers in Pemba. His application to TDT was in order to facilitate transfer of materials between teachers and schools in Tanzania and the UK, including local artefacts, display materials, pupil artefacts and correspondence, all of which would help develop enduring links and understanding between teachers, schools and pupils in the two countries.
Peter Martyn is a VSO in-service teacher trainer in Kibaya, Kiteto, specialising in ESL and teaching methodology. Peter reported to TDT that primary schools in Kibaya are poorly equipped, and proposed the establishment of a 'model classroom' in one such primary school. Painted, and with bookshelves, bulletin boards and comfortable seating, such a model, properly equipped classroom would be conducive to student learning, and Peter hopes that it would demonstrate what can be done with limited resources to enhance the learning environment.
Click this link to read the fascinating blog by Peter Martyn and his wife Debra (see below).
We now have an album on Facebook, showing the model classroom in process of assembly, and then in action. Link to album
is also a VSO in-service teacher trainer, specialising in ESL and teacher methodology, based in Kibaya, Kiteto. She proposed a book of teaching activities, developed with local teachers during weekly workshops. She hopes that methods used during these workshops, including games, role play (see image - click to enlarge), debates and other activities, can be adapted for use in classrooms. Debra currently works with English teachers from seven primary schools and three secondary schools. She hopes that the books will assist these teachers, plus others who are interested, and can be used long after her placement has ended.
By May, Debra was ready to publish Gab Fest: A Collection of Activities to Promote Spoken English (right). In her blog, Debra comments "We believe that learning English is like playing football. You can read and write about football until the cows come home, but you will never be able to play it until you start kicking the ball around. The activities in Gab Fest are designed to get the students speaking English and to gain ability and confidence, in other words to get them kicking the ball around."
Tessa Most is a VSO teacher trainer in Kibaya, Kiteto, working on a project to improve mathematics attainment. Whilst acknowledging that the primary syllabus is very well written, Tessa is seeking to address a natural fear of mathematics among pupils, parents (and even teachers), shortage of copies of the syllabus in schools, and the challenging nature of the syllabus. Tessa aims to provide a clearer, simplified sylabus, and schemes of work, which will improve significantly the learning and teaching experience, and outcomes. She also intends to have sessions with parents, to help them support their children's learning.
Anthony Kanyamu is a Small and Medium Enterprise Business Development Advisor in Dodoma. He is working with Sharing Worlds Tanzania, an NGO mainly supporting orphaned children and people living with HIV/AIDS, seeking to develop income generating activities for community groups. He applied to TDT for funds to help a community-based organisation, Mapinduzi, to establish a dairy farming project.
Mapinduzi group had started rehabilitating a cow house, and expected to be able to care for and feed the cows - TDT's grant would get them started, by purchasing two cows. It is anticipated that the growing population of Dodoma will give the project plenty of opportunity for generating income.
In June, Anthony posted on our Facebook page a picture of the first cow purchased for the scheme (right, click to enlarge).
Elgen Arriesgado's VSO placement is as Mariculture Specialist at ZAFFIDE (Zanzibar's Association for Fishermen and Farmers Development) in Unjuga, Zanzibar. Her placement supports seven community groups, focussed in particular on developing viable successive harvests from fish projects, to guarantee income for the communities. Elgen's application to TDT seeks to address the problem of insufficient water supply to fish pools, thereby reducing fish stocks, mainly by installing pumps and pipes.
Elgen reported back in June that the pumps and other equipment had been purchased, and that they were already having a remarkable effect on pool levels, fish stocks and livelihoods. She expects this to benefit the immediate community, and also other groups that visit Makoba to learn and copy the layout of the pond technology. An album of 12 images can be seen on Facebook.
You can also read Elgen's excellent report by following this link.
Liesbeth Kanis, a VSO Academic Publishing and Research Advisor at St John's University of Tanzania, applied for a grant to develop skills and structures in academic publishing. A large emphasis is placed on open-access publishing, and the promotion of digital publishing, to showcase and disseminate Tanzanian research. Liesbeth applied to TDT to help fund purchase of e-books and publication software, to help her start to build the understanding and capabilities of research staff, including a publishing trainee who will continue her work after her placement finishes.
Liesbeth has sent us an excellent album of photos, and says: "On behalf of St. John’s University of Tanzania and its staff I wish to thank you again for your generous donation. The staff has been very enthusiastic about the use of eResources and eReaders. They really see it as a good opportunity to built their digital skills and are delighted to have access to up-to-date information. SJUT Library, as many such libraries in Tanzania, often receive book donations that are not attuned to the local needs and often are out-of-date. Big piles of books end up in the storage room and are hardly used. The use of eResources will help the library to get up-to-date and relevant content at a much cheaper price and as the number of eReaders acquired by the library will grow, it will provide simultaneous access to multiple readers at once, which isn’t possible with print publications. The Library of SJUT started using an Amazon wish list, which enables its friends and supporters to donate books that really fill an information need. So, you can see that the project has triggered a lot of good things to support academic research and publishing in Tanzania."
Link to Liesbeth's full report
Joseph Ochieng' Ochuma, a VSO volunteer with Action When, an NGO in the Mulebe district of Kagera, advises agricultural smallholders on modern crop husbandry, and proper management of water for crop growth. His request was for funding for 10 money makey irrigation pumps and 5 knap sack sprayers. With the pumps he expects farmers to be able to extend the season for production of crops such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, green vegetables. The knapsack sprayers will help combat high incidences of pest and diseases common in horticultural crops.
Small Grants made by TDT to VSO's during 2011:
Eleven VSO small grants were made by TDT's Comittee in 2011. Approximately £4,000 funded the following:
ANTHONY KANYAMU and FREDRIK KNOEFF
were charged with developing income generating activities for Sharing Worlds Tanzania, an NGO in Dodoma, mainly supporting orphaned children and people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as raising awareness of HIV/AIDS. Anthony and Frederick identified a lack of affordable meeting space in Dodoma, but their plan to rent out Sharing Worlds' conference room to third parties was being held back by lack of suitable furniture and equipment.
Demonstrating the rapid way in which funds under this scheme can be deployed, within weeks of the grant, Fredrik posted the image alongside, of the first use of the new desks, on our Facebook page. He followed up with the image at the bottom, of the proceeds of the first outside hire of the facilities.
Fredrik also reported in mid-January that he and Anthony had been able to use TDT's grant to encourage further funding from the Netherlands, adding 30 chairs and a projector. We are delighted that their initiative has made our grant work all the harder.
With the necessary investment in place, making the space more attractive and flexible, and therefore more lettable, fingers crossed that they can now generate the hoped-for income for the project! Over time, Fredrik reports that they hope to add a coffee house in the garden and some children's play facilities.
Fredrik's own verdict: "SWT is very grateful for the opportunity that TDT has given. A real success story."
applied for a grant for for textbooks and subject-related resources such as maths manipulatives and science equipment, the SMILE project in Zanzibar. This scheme aims to improve the quality of teaching and learning to around 6,500 students in Science, Maths and English. Wendy reported the local government is simply unable to provide schools with even the most basic science equipment. This means that for most students, it is impossible to observe or conduct simple experiments that demonstrate fundamental concepts in science.
After receiving the grant, Wendy reported as follows: "Thanks to the grant provided by TDT, I was able to provide 5 schools with all of the materials needed to conduct each experiment/demonstration in the syllabus up to Standard 7. In addition, I was able to create “kits” containing more specialized equipment (such as galvanometers, voltammeters, resistance boxes, circuit components, dissection tools, magnets, compasses, mirrors, lenses, prisms etc.), to be shared amongst the schools for use in Forms 1 and 2.
In all, this means that every student has a chance to discover scientific concepts in a hands-on, participatory way. As research will tell you, this vastly improves student comprehension and retention, not to mention that it makes learning science a whole lot more fun!
The gratitude on the faces of teachers and students when the equipment was delivered speaks to the impact that even modest donations can make. Thank you to all the donors on behalf of all of us teaching here in Zanzibar!"
, working at Miti Ulaya Teachers Resource Centre at Wete, Pemba, applied for audio visual equipment to hasten and improve training to teachers, who in turn would be expected to pass on new skills to students. The centre may also be able to derive some income from leasing equipment to other members of the community.
is working in Karagwe, Kagera, helping farmers to find direct buyers and fair trade markets for their produce. His idea was to build a mural board (not the one pictured!), as a centre of information and data for the local farmers. Also to start a small library of agricultural text books in Kiswahili.
Following his grant, Sempera sent us photos of a 'study tour in the shabah' with farmers, and the featured image, showing farming information being distributed.
, a VSO in Ibuga, Kagera region, is working to build skills and knowledge among rural maize farmers. Through improved techniques leading to higher yields, and collective marketing, food security and household incomes should improve. James identified means by which harvest quality could be significantly improved, and wastage reduced, by building crop drying cribs. A particularly significant input to this project was made by the local community.
is a lecturer in Tourism. He is working with farmers and fishing communities in Zanzibar, to improve the links between traditional livelihoods and sustainable tourism. TDT provided a digital projector and printer to assist in his presentations to these farmers and fishing communities.
The second photo depicts Mariska of VSO, presenting a certificate of attendance to Hamida, following a leadership seminar. Brian looks on, after training with the help of the projector provided by TDT. He also printed the certificates using the computer and the printer provided.
is working with a village community banking scheme on Zanzibar. In the first image, he is facilitating a gender awareness seminar. TDT was able to provide a lap-top computer and camera to assist Heshbon's work.
The second image shows Masoud Haji, a computer operator employed and paid by UWAWIMA (a Swahili acronym for 'Cooperative of Farmers of Fruit and Vegetables in the West District'). He enters village community bank data into the computer for analysis. "Long live the Tanzania Development Trust” says Masoud!
worked as an In-service Nurse Trainer at Kagondo Hospital in Kagera Region. TDT approved a grant in mid-2011, and in January 2012 Mike provided the following feedback: "Many thanks for the grant of £451 last year to assist me with my VSO project at Kagondo Hospital.
My objective was to improve the standards of nursing here but my findings were that a shortage of essential resources like scissors, fob watches, torches and tourniquets were actually more critical needs. Diabetes is on the increase now in TZ and there was a shortage of blood glucose monitors. Some visitors from UK in November brought out some good quality nursing supplies purchased with your grant.
With some money remaining we were able to concentrate on improving the environment of the childrens ward at the hospital. We now have a cheerful play area for the children who are recovering with some toys, puzzles, blackboards and colouring materials. Fortunately we had some very artistic and willing Dutch Medical students on placement here at just the right time.....I hope you like their art work!"
(Click on the images to expand)
PAM PAULING, a VSO Pharmacist working at St Walburg’s Hospital in Lindi region, applied for funds to provide a hygenic concrete washing area.
In Tanzania, personal care for hospital patients is provided by their families who prepare food and wash clothes and dishes. In Pam's 'before and after' pictures, first she is standing by the only tap available for the relatives, and then (below) we can see the difference that a new washing area, with six taps and a large concrete sink, has made. This will be used for washing and cleaning cooking pots and utensils. Click on the image to expand.
In 2011 there was a cholera outbreak because of poor hygiene, but we hope that thanks to Pam and her colleagues this should never happen again.
was a VSO volunteer based at the Cheshire Home in Dodoma working to improve the situation of children with learning impairment. Sue saw that too much of the workers’ time was taken up with washing of clothes, bed-linen etc. The TDT grant plumbed in a previously donated washing machine, provided sinks etc. so that there is improved hygiene and the workers can spend more time with the children.
Susan has since reported: "The washing machine is installed, the water supply is reaching the tubs, and the entire area has been painted. Also a large water tank has been installed outside which stores water overnight so that there is enough for the laundry the next day. The tank was not included in our original application but was found to be necessary, and has been paid for by other funding. [A second example of a TDT small grant facilitating further funding.]
We invited the local padre to bless the laundry, with all the children and teachers joining in with the prayers. We then had morning tea together.
The advantages to the children are very evident. They are learning how to wash clothes by hand using the tubs, so their clothes are cleaner while they are at school, and this is a skill that they can also use when they go home to help their families.
Having the washing machine also helps the teachers and caregivers, as they do not have to spend so much time doing hand washing, and the clothes come out of the machine ready to dry quickly outside.
We send you all our thanks and welcome you to visit at any time and see our school. Karibuni Miyuji."
(addressing the meeting, above) is working on Pemba Island to develop the awareness of communities living around natural forests of issues relating to Reduction of Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation. The aim is to reach 10,000 people and Sylvester hopes to use short films and video clips to achieve lively and motivating presentations. TDT provided a lap-top and a projector.