Thank you

Mark O’Sullivan, Country Director of Cedar Tanzania, shares his thoughts about the success of the Swiss 2018 Gala, which was held on the 6th of October and which raised an amazing $60,000 for Cedar Tanzania projects.

‘The thing I loved the most about the Swiss 2018 Gala was getting the chance to meet people thousands of kilometers away from Tanzania who are interested in and supportive of our work. It was great to meet people who lead very busy lives but yet care about what’s happening with those less fortunate than themselves. And I really enjoyed the conversations I was able to have in Switzerland about our work in Tanzania.

On the night of the gala, I was encouraged to see people giving so much. They gave by bidding for the various auction items and they also gave directly to the different projects Cedar Tanzania runs.

I have always believed that people are hungry to give; they just want to be confident that their hard earned money is going to go where they want it to go, and that it will actually make a difference. I think the supporters of Cedar Tanzania are confident that this will be the case with their donations.

To all those that gave so generously, I want to say thank you for your support! We cannot do what we do unless people like you give their precious time and hard earned money.  We will ensure that your money produces results on the ground and in the projects we operate.

At next year’s Gala, I’m looking forward to showing people the continuing progress Cedar Tanzania is hoping to make and the difference that donors’ support would have contributed to the success of each of our projects.

I want to give more people the chance to join our worldwide team of transforming people’s lives and communities here in Tanzania. This can be done by giving financially or by volunteering knowledge and skills. Whichever one you choose to give, please consider doing so now. Contact us. And thank you once again!’

Thank you for supporting The Cedar Foundation Tanzania. Watch and see what we have been able to achieve together this year.

How do you wash your hands?

Paulina Urassa, Kamanga Health Centre Manager shares about Cedar Tanzania’s participation in Global hand washing day!

‘Global hand washing day was celebrated on October 15th. Initiated by The Global Hand Washing Partnership in 2008, the Global Hand Washing Day raises awareness of the benefits of good hand washing habits: Using clean water and soap reduces the risk of getting diarrhea and respiratory infections by up to 50 %.

Cedar Tanzania’s volunteer Jasmine, took on the task of preparing the Kamangan community for global hand washing day.  She was able to train the community health workers and arrange key locations in Kamanga where they were to provide proper hand washing instructions to the villagers. Jasmine also arranged for the availability of soaps, clean water and buckets attached with taps to be at the selected locations. Kamanga Health Centre was one such location. Cedar Tanzania’s volunteer Doctor Colinda and myself supported the community health workers at the health centre, as they demonstrated the proper procedures of hand washing to visiting patients.

Approximately 320 community members were reached and all were encouraged to spread the word regarding the proper hand washing procedures that they had learned on that day.’

Hello, my name is Dylan.

 Dylan Parkin

Dylan Parkin

Hello, my name is Dylan Parkin.  I am 27 years old, and I come from central Illinois, USA.  I spent almost every moment of my life surrounded by the flat prairie lands of Illinois and graduated from Blackburn College with a BA in biological sciences in 2015.  After 24 years of cornfields for as far as the eye can see, I decided it was time for a change in scenery and applied to join the US Peace Corps’ education sector.

 

I actually applied to be a science teacher for the US Peace Corps in three different countries before finally being accepted. The third time was my lucky charm, and Tanzania was my highly anticipated destination.  So, for the past two years I have been teaching, mostly biology and a little chemistry, at a government school in the village of Malampaka, Maswa, Simyu.  Outside of my school teaching, with the help of some of my fellow teachers or best students, I also participated in implementing projects teaching community members about malaria, HIV/AIDS, and woman’s sexual and reproductive health.

What inspired you to volunteer with Cedar Tanzania?

Mwanza! In all honesty had it not been for the beautiful city of Mwanza I would have never found Cedar Tanzania.  For the past two years I have lived near Mwanza. After a few weekend trips to the city, it quickly became one of my favorite places in the world.  Upon finishing the two year service with the US Peace Corps, a volunteer is given a chance to find a position within their country of service to extend for one more year.  Through a friend, living in the city, I was introduced to several NGOs in Mwanza. After learning more about these NGOs, it was not hard for me to see that Cedar Tanzania was the right place for me.  I fell in love with mainly two things about Cedar Tanzania; one, their work starts at the grassroots level completely involving members of the community in every step of the process, and two, their belief in using multiple approaches when trying to find solutions to major problems.  The US Peace Corps and my own experiences have taught me that these two strategies are imperative for success in the field of community development.

What is your role at Cedar Tanzania and how long is your volunteer placement?

I came to Cedar Tanzania to help develop and possibly implement educational programs; however, as of right now I am just learning the ropes.  I live in Kamanga at the health center, so during the day I shadow current staff members and volunteers.  I am learning more about the workings and procedures of Cedar Tanzania as well as meeting many of the community members.  I have only been here for two weeks, but I am already looking forward to working side by side with the community and organization in effort to create meaningful educational programs.

My extension through the Peace Corps will allow me to stay with Cedar Tanzania for one year, but I would probably not be opposed to finding a way to stay longer.  We will have to wait and see what happens in one year’s time.

What things have you found surprising so far about being in Kamanga?

After being in Tanzania for two years I do not get surprised by much.  Also, I have only been here for two weeks so my experiences are limited.  I guess the most surprising thing I have noticed so far is that there are two primary schools which share the same classrooms. One “school” (a set of students and teachers) goes to class in the morning and finish in the afternoon and the other “school” (a set of different students and different teachers) goes to the same classrooms starting in the afternoon and finishing in the evening.  I have never heard of this being done. As a child, I would have been very jealous of the students who get to sleep-in every day and show up to school in the afternoon.  On a more positive note, I can say that the Kamanga Health Center has a shockingly beautiful environment.

 

What things have you enjoyed?

Easy, the people.  The people all over Tanzania are so amazingly friendly, and the people of Kamanga are no exception to this rule.  The super friendly people living in Kamanga become even more friendly when they realize I, the new foreigner, am not only proficient in Swahili, but I can also greet and say a few phrases in Kisakuma, the language of the local tribe. All of this, without even mentioning the amazing people who are working and volunteering for the Cedar Tanzania.

What things have challenged you so far?

So far, the most challenging thing I have dealt with in Kamanga comes about when I am explaining that I am not a doctor.  I live at the Kamanga Health Center grounds at a house for volunteers, so I understand where the confusion comes from.  Telling community members I am not a doctor is not a problem, but then I run into problems when trying to explain why I live at the health center volunteer house. From there it gets a little more difficult to use my two years of Swahili experience to explain my role within Cedar Tanzania, but I’m sure the community will eventually catch on that my role is to be focused on working together with the local schools and not with the health centre.

 

Would you recommend this volunteer scheme to others?

Yes, of course.  I really believe Cedar Tanzania is using some great strategies to do some amazing work.

 

What would you say to anyone who said that they could not volunteer because they didn’t have a skill to offer?

I would say that you are lying to yourself.  Everyone has something to offer, and this type of work requires creative solutions which do not just come from one person alone.  It requires many people from many different perspectives working together to tackle issues as big as the ones which are being taken on.  So even if you think you have nothing to offer, you are wrong. Your entire life is full of various experiences which could prove to be more beneficial than you ever imagined.  If you actually want to do it, you just have to have a little faith in yourself and make some moves.

 

Interested in finding out more about volunteering for Cedar Tanzania? Contact us here.

The medical volunteers supporting Cedar Tanzania

 Caroline Bernard

Caroline Bernard

Caroline Benard tells us about the medical volunteers coming to support Cedar Tanzania.

 ‘We are very grateful to The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine for allowing us to share our story at their NGO forum which we were able to attend twice this year. The NGO forum is a biannual event for graduates and students and an excellent platform to those who are interested to work abroad with NGOs and to find an organisation that will benefit from their knowledge and skills. After presenting at the NGO forum, we received positive feedback with many students sharing interest in volunteering with us - we even reached our capacity of hosting volunteers until May/ June next year.

How many volunteers are coming to Cedar Tanzania and when?

Our first volunteer will start this November. Sian is a GP from Liverpool with expertise in maternal and reproductive health. She will volunteer with us for six months in total.  

We have another three volunteers who will be starting their placement in the beginning of 2019 and two volunteers who are interested in coming to Kamanga Health Centre in the second half of 2019.

What qualifications do these volunteers have?

Most of the volunteers are qualified doctors in different specialty fields. Students are also welcome to apply, but they should be in their last year of their studies. In general, we are looking for medical or public health professionals, nurses and midwives who are interested in obtaining work experience abroad. And we are also open to  individuals who would like to conduct their own research in partnership with teaching hospitals in the region, for example Sengerema District Hospital, CUHAS or Bugando Medical Centre are all well known for supporting research programs.

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How far in advance do the volunteers need to apply for a placement?

Sian and the first interested volunteers contacted us after the first NGO forum had taken place, about six months ago. We advise to apply at least 6-9 months in advance, especially if the volunteer is not as flexible regarding dates and wants to volunteer during in a very specific time frame. However, a spontaneous application might be successful, depending on current capacities.

How long is a volunteer placement with Cedar Tanzania?

The minimum stay for a volunteer placement with Cedar Tanzania is 3 months due to a rather complex process of obtaining visas and permits. Volunteers must be aware that the process of settling in to a new culture and context may take more time for some. We therefore recommend that volunteers try to stay for longer than 3 months. This will allow them to experience Tanzanian culture and the local medical system at a gentler pace, hopefully leading to deeper relationships with local medical staff, and a greater appreciation for their new environment

What kind of work will the medical volunteers be doing at Kamanga Health centre or CBR?

That fully depends on the volunteer’s expertise and interest! Every volunteer will have a Skype chat with our team to find out more about their knowledge and skills. They will also get an opportunity to ask questions and find out more about what is expected of them. Based on that, we will tailor a role for the applicant at Kamanga Health Centre– we want to ensure that both parties fully benefit from the placement and that it’s a good experience for all involved.

 

What does Cedar Tanzania offer volunteers as part of the placement?

Cedar Tanzania provides housing in the volunteer house on the premises of Kamanga Health Centre, and pays for visa-costs and any work-related expenses, including an allowance to cover daily lunch costs.

What do you hope they will take away with them from their experience at Kamanga Health Centre or CBR program?

Every volunteer and every helping hand makes a great difference for a small NGO like us, and we hope to provide the volunteers with a great experience that will benefit them for a long time to come: Apart from gaining a unique experience in a developing country with different social issues and challenges, and different medical conditions unlikely to be found in their home countries, we hope that the volunteers will be able to advance in their professional skills, and also further their own personal development.’

If you want to volunteer or find out more information about volunteering with Cedar Tanzania then karibu and get in touch with us: caroline@cedartanzania.org or infotz@cedartanzania.org