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10/28/2013

CIEE Tanzania – Extreme Makeover Edition

If you’ve been snooping around our website, you may have noticed that our Tanzania program is changing.  As Resident Director, and one of the masterminds behind our new program design – I can’t tell you how excited I am to introduce you to our new program.

First of all, why are we changing?  Over the semesters we've noticed that the Tanzania program attracts a certain caliber of student - those who want to make positive changes in the world. Our new program allows students to take on academic coursework and to get their hands and feet dirty in the name of service.

So, without further ado … here is an introductory snapshot of the new and improved CIEE Tanzania program!

Where are we going?

1Iringa is located in the Southern Highlands, about 500KM Southwest of Dar es Salaam, and is conveniently situation between two game parks (Mikumi and Ruaha).  It’s more of a small town than a big city, having a population of around 120,000 compared to Dar’s 4million!  The weather in Iringa is mild, and as an added bonus it is a beautiful region.

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Where You'll Study3

Students will undertake seven weeks of intensive coursework at the University of Iringa; a small, private university located on the outskirts of Iringa Town.  All participants will be required to take Kiswahili, Field Research Seminar, and Managing Community Development Programs – plus an additional two elective courses.  Check out the full course selection here:  https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/tanzania/iringa/community-development-language-culture/

Applying Classroom Learning to the Project Area

The seven-week intensive academic component is designed to arm students with relevant theoretical frameworks which will continually be explored during your four-week rural stay.   During the mandatory rural stay component not only will academic study and intensive Kiswahili lessons continue – but students will work directly with a community-based NGO where you will critically examine topics surrounding current health, social welfare, community-based development, and program management issues in theory and practice.  

 Where is the Rural Stay?

 About a three to four hour drive from Iringa town (depending on the season) on some serious bush roads, you’ll find yourself winding through some pretty spectacular chai fields..

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... eventually the project area comes into view …

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What Sort of Projects Make up the Project Area?

Also known as, what kind of things might you find yourself working on??  Here are just a few of the initiatives going on …

One of my favorites is the sewing school, Threads of Hope.

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Here, young ladies and gentlemen are funding their way through school, becoming skilled and innovative tailors, and gaining business sense.

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Each student is assigned a sewing machine to use as their own while they go through the tailoring program; upon successful completion of the program each student is gifted that machine so they can start their own business. What a great idea!

Care and Treatment Center

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The project area includes a clinic which designates two days a week to CTC day (care and treatment) for people living with HIV.  Students will assist in patient registration, recording the distribution of medicines, and going on home visits to check on community members who have a positive HIV status, but who may be too sick to make it to the clinic for treatment. 

Igoda Children's Village

A series of six houses broken down by age group, the Children’s Village is a safe haven for orphans and vulnerable children from 0-18 years.  The Children’s Village duplicates regular village life in which young residents take on the same day to day responsibilities of their peers in the village – instilling in them a sense of community and responsibility, making their eventual transition back into the outlying community as smooth as possible. 12a

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As I mentioned above, this is not an extensive list of projects going on at the NGO – but just a few that you may find yourself involved with during your four weeks in the village. 

Where Will You Live while you're in the village???

The NGO takes on many many international students and volunteers across a variety of sectors and fields of study; and will be providing CIEE students with group housing – like this one….

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We are very excited about our partnership with the University of Iringa and the Foxes' NGO. Please contact Iris Michaud with any programmatic questions: imichaud@ciee.org

For more information on Foxes NGO, check out their FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/FoxesNGO/about

And their Youtube page:  https://www.youtube.com/FoxesNGO

 

 

 

02/02/2013

Interning for-credit

Students who study with CIEE in Tanzania have the option to enroll in our for-credit internship program.  Doing an internship for-credit means that students will be assigned to one of our partner organizations where they will complete at least 130 contact hours at their respective internship sites, and they will attend a supplemental research-based course (facilitated by the Resident Director).  As a requirement of this course, students will complete an original research paper that will be based on either their specific internship site, or the sector to which the student has been assigned (health, education, development, etc..)

As RD, I have been making a concerted effort to sniff out new and engaging internship sites for our students, and this semester I dare say we have the most stellar internship program to date.

Have a read below to see who our students are working with this Spring...

Muhimbili National Hospital; Children’s Cancer Ward (Tumaini La Maisha: Hope for Life)

Muhimbili National Hospital is one of two cancer treatment facilities in the entire country, and this is our second semester interning with Muhimbili’s “Tumaini La Maisha” project. The Irish-run,Tumaini La Maisha was established in 2011 and is the first and only NGO dedicated to improving the wellbeing of children with cancer in Tanzania by providing non-clinical services such as a school, a play therapy program, and a family support program.

Students who intern with this program often work with TLM's school program (tutoring long-term ward residents in math and English), as well as working with the younger children through play therapy. Our student who interned here in the Fall semester wrote an excellent paper on the case of Cancer in Tanzania.  This paper has been circulated to Tumaini's project managers, and to our Spring semester students who are interning with this project.

TUmainiTanzania Breast Cancer Foundation

This is CIEE’s first semester interning with the Breast Cancer Foundation.  We became linked with this organzation late last semester when one of our students who was interning with the Muhimbili project sought out the founder of the Breast Cancer Foundation to complete her required research paper for the for-credit internship class.  The Foundation is in desperate need of volunteers and we are very happy to be working with them this semester. This worked out particularly perfect this semester as the student who has been placed here expressed a specific interest in Breast Cancer.  He and the Founder are extremely happy to have connected with one another.

BCF

Ghomme Girls’ Secondary Boarding School

This is CIEE’s first semester interning with Ghomme Secondary; and this is a site that was discovered by an incoming student this semester. Sarah was put in touch with the founder of this school through a connection of hers back home. The school’s founder, Mr Malangalila has been working in Education through the World Bank for nearly 20 years. Malangalila started this school several years ago and is happy to have Sarah interning here. It is our goal to have Sarah implement an after school mentorship program in which older students work with their younger counterparts in an effort encourage the younger students to reach their full potential.

Ghomme

Wonder Workshop

This is our third semester interning with The Wonder Workshop (formerly Wonder Welders). The Wonder Workshop is a creative organization in Dar Es Salaam creating hip recycled art. It employs 42 Tanzanian men and women, the majority of whom live with a physical disability. Disabilities are common in Tanzania and many affected persons are forced to beg on the streets to survive; institutions and organizations which offer employment to people with disabilities are still very rare in Tanzania. These skilled artisans create a large variety of welded art (from safari animals to abstract art) using scrap metal, a wide range of stationaries made from sundried recycled paper, beautiful jewelry from recycled glass and bottles, soap and candles from natural oils, household items from used bottles as well as wooden toys from reclaimed and left over Tanzanian wood. The Wonder Workshop is very well known in Dar and throughout Tanzania.

CIEE students work with Wonder Workshop artisans to improve their English so that they can speak with the many guests who come through the workshop. There are numerous work stations and processes involved with creating these products, and many guests go on tours of the facilities to see how these items are made. It is the wish of the workshop employees to have the ability to explain their work to their visitors (some of whom are quite important!)

Charlie

Www

Veternary Primary School

 Veternary is an ongoing internship site, one which usually proves to be one of the more challenging sites we have – this is because of the commute involved with reaching this site.  Veternary is technically not that far from the campus, but when it comes to taking public transportation and fighting traffic, students find that they must start their trip very early.

Students who intern here either co-teach with a veteran teacher, or are assigned their own class to run.  This also proves to be an interesting site when it comes to the for-credit internship research project as Veternary is a living, breathing example of the overcrowding of Tanzania’s public school system.

 (pictured below)

  1. CIEE students get a tour of the primary school grounds. CIEE’s second semester student, Ife Madzimoyo joined us on this trip as she interned at Veternary last semester. This was a wonderful opportunity for her to come back and greet her former students.
  2. Poking our head into one of the classrooms, we are enthusiastically greeted by a group of excited children.

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We're very excited this semester to see how these experiences shape up for our students, and for those whom we aim to serve.

Remember, if you are considering our program and you wish to do an internship for-credit, you must receive prior approval from your home university.  If you are unable to do the internship for-credit, I am happy to connect you to other volunteer and community engagement activities - afterall, I'm a dirty hippie at heart.

 

this post was brought to you by CIEE Tanzania's barefoot Resident Director, Jenny Venecek





11/27/2012

CIEE Tanzania - going off the beaten path

Here at CIEE Tanzania we take our students on safari each semester, and this RD is making it a point to explore the lesser known, equally beautiful, and less (humanly) populated parks than those found on the popular circuits.

Tanzania has twelve national parks, and seven game reserves; the most well-known being those in the Northern Circuit (Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Kilimanjaro National Park).  The majority of safari goers coming to Tanzania plan their trips in the popular Northern Circuit where they can choose their own adventure from rugged camps to luxury hotels and hot air balloons over the park. 

While the Northern Parks are unquestionably beautiful, they are also very popular and thus heavily populated with seemingly more Land Rovers than animals - safari guides communicate to each other with walkie talkies and you can find yourself chasing herds of Toyotas in search of simba. 

TrafficSerengeti in the high season

We at CIEE TZ have just returned from a beautiful safari in Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park. Next to Serengeti National Park, Ruaha takes the title of being the largest National Park in Tanzania It covers a massive area of 23,000km² and is located in Southwest Tanzania.

Ruaha Map

To reach the park one must take a scenic, but bumpy, dirt road from Iringa town for about an hour or so before arriving at the gate.

1The road to Ruaha...

Ruaha is considered one of Tanzania's wildest national parks and as it is one of the lesser visited in the country, it remains isolated, peaceful and unspoilt in its wilderness.

The parks gets its name from the Great Ruaha River (the main park feature) which rises in the swamps to the south and sweeps north and eastward through the park. Its deep pools, gorges and swirling rapids make for excellent fishing. The River features a large number of hippos and crocodiles. 

2Hippos in the water, a crocodile on the sand bank, and some giraffes in the distance

Ruaha is also famous for its abundance of elephants (which we saw plenty of!) – having the highest population of any East African National park.

3Ran into these straight out of the gate

We managed to see everything on this trip, and we were free to explore the vast wilderness at our own pace while getting very up close and personal with the animals. 

What we didn’t see on this trip were herds of Land Rovers. 

Priceless.

Enjoy these pictures from our trip… and get inspired to come visit! ...and in the meantime find more information on Tanzania’s National Parks at the TZ parks official website: https://www.tanzaniaparks.com/

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CIEE students checking out twiga (giraffe) 

P1110294 - Copy 4 P1110396 - Copy - CopyCIEE Student getting freakishly close to Mr Simba

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532116_10200231930060758_1219504000_nNo Safari is complete without a beautiful African sunset

 

As always this post was brought to you by CIEE TZ's friendly Resident Director - Jenny Venecek (and her assistant Mtega)59165_10200231926940680_200892384_n

 

 

10/18/2012

CIEE Tanzania’s Newest Addition – Internshiply Speaking

Ask anyone who knows even a little bit about Sub Saharan Africa what the biggest public health crisis in the region are and the first answers you will hear will undoubtedly be HIV (and the opportunistic infections that go along with it) and Malaria.  These public health issues are serious and persistent – they are also popular in the funding world. When it comes to HIV and Malaria funding in Tanzania, pockets are deep. 

28% of Tanzania’s National operating budget is supported by foreign aid – that’s $11.6trillion to you and me – and one third of that foreign aid is earmarked for HIV/AIDS initiatives. A quick Google search will provide you with all the information you could possibly want about the HIV epidemic in Tanzania – from funding cycles to popular initiatives.

But, just because HIV and Malaria are the popular kids, doesn’t mean there aren’t others furiously waving their hands for attention.

Trying to find statistical information on Cancer in Tanzania is a bit more convoluted. Cancer is not terribly high up on the funding food chain, most likely because it is not a communicable disease; however, that doesn’t mean that nothing is being done.

Tanzania is beginning to take cancer care seriously and NGOs are working with Tanzania's Health Ministry to expand cancer treatment across the country, raising awareness of signs that are often missed by doctors

I recently met the Director of Muhimbili Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology Ward and jumped at the chance to place students at this site as part of CIEE’s for-credit internship program.

The Irish-run “Tumaini La Maisha” (Hope for Life) was established in 2011 and is the first and only NGO dedicated to improving the wellbeing of children with cancer in Tanzania by providing non-clinical services such as a school, a play therapy program, and a family support program.

In its current state, there are 29 beds in the two existing cancer wards and there can be up 120 people living on the ward at any one time (that’s four people per bed).MuhimbiliwardDue to overcrowding and patient resources, Tumaini la Maishi is in the process of opening a long-stay house for children and their guardians who are unable to go home between treatments; whether because of health, distance, or financial constraints.

The long-stay “Ujasiri House” has 11 rooms which will accommodate 22 children and 22 guardians. The house has two classrooms, a creative play therapy room, and a program room for guardians where they will participate in incoming-generating activities.

While paint dries and permits are signed, the Tumaini program remains at the main ward which is where two of CIEE’s students spend their Tuesdays and Thursdays volunteering with Tumaini’s play therapy and school programs working directly with young patients, tutoring them in math and English.

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P1100620Emma Botta and Tara Sullivan at play therapy

As part of CIEE’s for-credit internship program, student participants must complete an original research paper focusing on the sector to which they have been assigned. As previously mentioned, there isn’t an incredible amount of information flooding the world wide web about Cancer-related issues in Tanzania and I’m truly excited to have CIEE students contributing to the growing body of research, and even more excited to see how this shapes their academic and professional interests.  Stay tuned.......

 

This post was brought to you by your friendly CIEE-Tanzania Resident Director: Jenny Vencek