Kamanga village has chosen!

“We do not believe that an issue can be tackled in isolation and embrace a collaborative approach.” Cedar Tanzania

Recently Cedar Tanzania put this into action when the field team, together with the Health Centre Manager, Paulina Urassa, gathered together with members of Kamanga village to choose the name of the Health Centre.

It had always been Cedar Tanzania’s plan to have this event, in order to enable the community to have a sense of ownership of the Health Centre. Now that the Health Centre Phase 1 construction is nearing its completion, Cedar Tanzania thought it was a great time for the community to finally choose the name of their Health Centre.  

The afternoon sun shone mercilessly as the gathering crowd sat sheltered under the shade of the trees right outside the village chairman’s office.

Three options were presented to the gathered crowd, “The Cedar Health Centre”, “Mwamba Heath Centre”, “CEKA Healtth Centre’ and the final option “Kamanga Health Centre”.  Ballot papers and pencils were handed out to the eager crowd, and a basket was placed in the front, for the community members to place their votes.

Excited chatter filled the air as one by one people stood up to place their ballots in the basket. After a few pensive minutes of waiting, the count was finally in. The Kamanga village community chose “Kamanga Health Centre” as the name of their new health facility.

You may say it was not a surprising choice. But the exercise has done more than just reveal an obvious choice. It has cemented even further our working relationship with the people of Kamanga., and has given us an opportunity to assure them that we are here to work together with them to make their community function better.

James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank in 1998, said “In every village and every urban slum that I have visited around the world, I have been profoundly moved and impressed by the spirit, will, creativity, and determination of people to live and provide for their families, even in the most difficult circumstances. Our challenge as outsiders is to find ways of tapping and unleashing the inherent creativity of people to mobilize resources, come together, and solve their own problems.

It is now commonly accepted that participatory approaches and partnerships in development are essential for improving the livelihoods of the poor.”

(participation tools and approaches –world bank pdf)

Cedar Tanzania shares this view. We would like to extend our congratulations to Kamanga village for successfully choosing the name of their Health Centre. From now on Nyamatongo Health Centre, as previously named, will now be known as “Kamanga Health Centre”.  The People of Kamanga have chosen!