The 2012 Community TripEdit
This year's community trip included six members of BTEP who travelled to Tanzania from July 18 to 29 including Mara Huber, Kathleen Kost, Anne Wadsworth, Dan Nyaronga, and two students; Leah Vanbourgondien and Lindsay Phelps.Dr. Mara Huber, a team leader, was responsible for the logistics and overall organization of the trips’ program and schedules. Basically, her fundamental goal was to deepen and expand partnership and build capacity for BTEP efforts. Based on that, she explored a new area of collaboration between Buffalo and Tanzania. She identified a bicycle project. Two organizations, one from Tanzania (SIDO) and the other one from Fredonia NY (Spoke Folk) agreed to work together in this area. Thanks for her efforts that enabled wonderful connection between Jalphary Donge of Tanzania and Richard Goodman of Fredonia.
Dr. Dan Nyaronga conducted a study on community health in Mara region. He collected data from approximately 350 people. The study will be available upon completion. Dr. Kost included two graduate students in the trip as an important part of their academic work. They established collaboration with School of Social Work in Dar es Salaam and laid the foundation for future efforts.
Anne Wadsworth participated in the trip with a focus on local health and also girls’ education. She found out that there is a great need for heath workers now and in the future in Kitenga. Right now there are no health care facilities in Kitenga. Sisters go there to serve the patients on a mobile clinic only once a month and found around 40 to 50 people waiting for them every time they visit. The common diseases in the area are malaria, typhoid, dysentery and HIV/AIDS.
Based on the situation, the group agreed that priority should be given to supporting the clinic center with doctor and nurse housing, which is necessary for the registration of the clinic. It seems to be a very ambitious project, but with our determination and efforts it can be achievable.
July 18 Trip Highlight
The trip to Tanzania was both interesting and productive. The team travelled to Dar where they visited the Embassy and met with leaders from USAID (both Education and Health). The next day they flew to Mwanza where they received a warm welcome from Sr. Teresina and were given a tour of the city and Bugando Hospital. This visit reminded them how difficult life can be, especially in developing countries like Tanzania where conditions and resources are minimal. They were taken to visit a young Sister (35) in the Hospital who was very ill and subsequently passed away later that night.After leaving Mwanza, en route to Musoma they took a break to enjoy the wonders of the Serengeti at the “Serengeti Stopover Lodge” where they went on a day-safari before continuing on to Musoma. In Musoma they reconnected with the Sisters who were unfortunately immersed in funeral related activities, in light of the Sister’s passing. But they took time to meet with the group to discuss the partnership, developments in Kitenga, and plans for the coming year.
The group visited some of the IHSA projects in Musoma including newly constructed homes/schools for children with special needs- the buildings were beautiful, indicating the quality of their work and respect for the communities they serve. In Musoma the group met up with Dan Nyaronga who joined them on the trip to Kitenga. On the way they met with District Commissioners from Rorya and Tarime who voiced gratitude for BTEP’s engagement and interest in deepening the partnership.
In the village the group got to see the amazing progress that’s been made by the Sisters- the first buildings for the secondary and early childhood school are up; the foundation is being laid for the dormitory; the women were displaying their solar cookers and voicing enthusiasm; and they also saw the new well being used by the villagers. After returning to Musoma the group spent time with Dan’s family, learning about his father’s legacy as Bishop and also visiting the Nyerere Museum in Butiama. Then back to Dar for meetings with the School of Social Work and a little R&R before heading back to Buffalo…..
Please view the power point presentation for more information and amazing photos of the trip. Please follow the link below: