Early in the morning on the 4th of December, the team of Cedar Tanzania gathered on the ferry to Kamanga. For us, it was far from an ordinary day as we were going to triple in size. Leading up toward the grand opening of Kamanga Health Centre (KHC) in January 2018, we couldn’t wait to welcome 12 new medical staff members from Sengerema District. Among them were nurses, doctors and lab technicians all keen to deliver the best quality health service at KHC.
Upon arrival, Paulina Urassa, Manager of the Health Centre, gave everyone a warm welcome before everyone got up to introduce themselves. Mark O’Sullivan, Founder and Director of Cedar Tanzania then introduced the The Cedar Foundation and gave the group a brief history of the organization, followed by Claire Michelotti, the Operations and Funding Manager who presented the organisation’s Vision, Mission and Values. Finally project managers and field staff gave an overview of Cedar Tzanzania’s projects both at the Health Centre and in the community, so that new staff could get an understanding of Cedar Tanzania’s area of work.
The medical staff was then guided around their new workplace, and the staff accommodation built purposefully for them. With an incredible view of Lake Victoria, the medical staff seemed pleased with their new work surroundings. But more than being a beautiful place to work, it is also a peaceful area for patients to recover in a calm supportive environment.
Building a team
Do you have a Beyoncé or a giraffe in your team? No? Well, maybe you just don’t know yet. We most certainly do! How we found out? Continue reading!
The second day with our new team members was dedicated to getting to know each other better so we could become one team. In the morning, we all gathered at Rock Garden Beach in Mwanza for a full day of fun activities that at the same time taught important lessons about Cedar Tanzania’s core values - Respect, Safety, Equality, Partnership, Forgiveness, and Integrity.
What would you think when seeing a group of people, all blindfolded and lined up by holding each other on the shoulders? Probably not much, other than finding this quite peculiar. However, this activity taught us many lessons. For example, that everyone is dependent on everyone else in the team but at the same time supported by each other. It also taught us that you only succeed when every team member is willing to put in the same effort as everyone else. It was an activity that strengthened the feeling of togetherness which is not only important in our daily work but will become essential in the provision of quality health care services in KHC.
But how did Beyonce get onto our team, you ask? Sitting in a circle in the grass with Lake Victoria in the background, some team members were asked to act out certain things without making any noise: “Do a traditional dance”, “Walk like a giraffe”, “Act scared” and “Pretend to be Beyoncé”. One of our Project Managers did a fantastic job of singing a Beyonce song, silently! This brought many smiles and laughs to the group, and we found out of what we are capable of, with a little creativity and a lot of courage. It showed in a very humorous way that every team member has hidden talents and strengths that only come to light when being in a really demanding situation. You see, every team might have a secret Beyoncé among them.
Through these many exercises, we learnt important lessons in a humorous way and in a relaxed atmosphere, which will be very important to keep in mind when we start working together at our new Kamanga Health Centre.