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Raleigh International Celebrates One Year in Tanzania

Date added: Wednesday 26th March 2014

One area of focus is access to safe water and sanitation

In our first year working in Tanzania, we have welcomed 431 volunteers from 23 different countries. Tanzania is a land of contradictions, it's one of the world's poorest countries whilst at the same time it has vast natural resources, enormous cultural diversity and is politically stable.

Tanzania faces many challenges from the adverse effects of climate change and deforestation, such as water shortages, and human-animal conflict. Volunteers having been working together with communities on projects to tackle these issues.

Working in 21 different communities across 8 regions, Raleigh International has built on strong relationships with local project partners, NGOs and other institutions to ensure the projects have a long term, sustainable impact.

One of our areas of focus is access to safe water and sanitation. Volunteers held several awareness campaigns and ‘tippy tap' demonstrations to raise awareness on the benefits of handwashing.

Working in the rural village of Chipanga, one team were delighted to find out that the simple and sustainable ‘tippy taps' they built together were so warmly received by the community that children and adults taught others how to make them, and eventually the hand washing facilities swept through the village!

Our teams built toilet facilities in areas most in need, often in schools where there is a high risk of the spread of disease, alongside running campaigns to improve understanding about safe water and hygiene.

Another area of Raleigh International's programme focus in Tanzania is the protection of vulnerable The introduction of fuel efficient rocket stoves has many advantagesenvironments. A project which has had multiple benefits to communities and the environment is the introduction of fuel efficient rocket stoves. Communities which used traditional ovens required an enormous amount of firewood which was normally collected on a daily basis by women and girls. The traditional stoves also relied on an open fire which created a lot of smoke in the home which is dangerous, as well as being bad for people's health and the environment.

Last year 400 families joined volunteers in building and maintaining their rocket stoves. The new stoves require far less wood, and mean that the women and girls in communities have more time to tend to their children, earn money or attend school.

"I've had the most amazing time of my life, it feels surreal to be here. I've learned to appreciate everything I have and not take things for granted, like clean water from a tap. Not everybody has things as lucky as we do. I've met wonderful people, woken up to incredible scenery and seen the change we are making. Walking past the home where we had built a rocket stove, we saw a Mother cooking, she told us how much time, money and wood she had saved."


A young volunteer from Jordan

Genos Martin, Raleigh's National Volunteer Co-ordinator in Tanzania has spoken of his pride at the development of the local programme, enabling young Tanzanian volunteers to participate:

"I'm proud of our Tanzanian volunteers for their dedication and commitment to making changes to their communities by using all the experience they have gained. Ten weeks with Raleigh has given them opportunity to understand various social issues around rural and poor, marginalised communities in Tanzania which inspire them to become agents of social change."

Trekking through remote countryside to collect water is a daily choreOur volunteers, such as Grace from Morogoro, often only realise the full gravity of the struggles of villager's daily lives whilst trekking through the most remote parts of the country:

"I have learned so much here as we passed different places during trek. Most of the places we passed were villages, and I learned about the daily lives of girls there. We saw some girls going to school, but realised that many are staying at home, collecting firewood and selling it. We saw vast forest areas which had been cleared of trees. Many girls were also fetching water from very far away from where they lived, while carrying babies. Many girls engage themselves in early marriages rather than education. This is very different to life I see where I live in Morogoro town, where most people stay in education."

Raleigh International also partnered with the Udzungwa Farming Project, a sustainable initiative to prevent elephants from trampling on people's land and crops by building natural fences of chilli plants and beehives.Creating barriers keeps the elephants off farmer's land

The success of the project means that farmers can spend more time tending their crops rather worry about deterring the elephants from damage to their fields and water supplies.

Mr. Churi, a farmer said: "Raleigh gives us the power to keep going. We are very appreciative of the generous work of the volunteers. I'm very impressed by their hard work, and we are looking forward to continuing working with Raleigh to make the project big and successful."

"It has been a fantastic first year working on sustainable development projects in Tanzania and I look forward to building even stronger relationships with local partners, communities and the country's youth. Tanzania is a wonderfully diverse country full of opportunities to reach marginalised communities, raise awareness on health and sanitation issues and protect natural resources."

Alex Page

Country Director of Raleigh Tanzania

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