tagReviews & EssaysEven More Ramblings of Tanzania

Even More Ramblings of Tanzania


By the time this gets out to you I should have submitted my university application (yes, I am really scared). I can't believe I am that old already. I know, I'm not really old but the idea still scares me because it was only yesterday I was starting secondary school. Just last week I caught myself reminiscing with one of my best friends from primary school and I was amazed to realise how much we had all changed.

It was weird to see this girl, who used to have no dreams or aspirations, standing before me as a young woman with great plans for her life. Plans which include attending a very expensive private dance schoo and all around me I can see my friends and fellow students planning the rest of their lives. It's definitely something to be proud of.

I'll bet that by now you are all sick of hearing about my friends and our futures and are wondering what it has to do with a anything? This is Literotica and not 'Catch up on Kizzi's social life' after all.

I know I have said this many, many times before and I can assure you that I have no plans to stop saying it but, education is the key to success. Or at least one of the many keys you need before you can reach your destination. There are three main areas of life that need to be looked out if we are to alleviate poverty: Health, Education and Training and Development.

I'm always going to focus on Education because it is what I dealt with when I was volunteering. I'm really keen to do a TEFL course, and I have recently been told that there is a centre that offers it free to under nineteen year olds not far from me. Hopefully I will be able to enrol on this, it will be an asset when I go back to Africa. I will be able to skip the four day crash course and just get stuck right into teaching.

Of course if health isn't improved there will be no point in education because all the population will die out. But then again the two go hand in hand. If people are not educated about health they will continue to be unhealthy. Something that regularly happens in the area I visited is that the local children will all go and play football after church and then at half time they will all drink from the river.

Now that water is unclean, it harbours so many different parasites and other causes of disease and illness. The children don't know that, and they do not care because they are uneducated. One thing that I thought was really great at school was that there are posters in some classrooms about safe drinking water and how to make water safe. It was wonderful to see. Something else you will find is a lack of rubbish bins and a complete disregard for littering. It's not something the population cares about.

You can see the problems with that. Piles of rubbish attract all sorts of flies and other carriers of disease. On our last day at school the deputy head teacher told a pupil to pick up their litter. This surprised everyone as this is not something that normally happens. It may seem like such a small and trivial thing but it's one small change that will soon add up to a big change.

Does anyone ever find that if you leave a piece of writing you never seem to get it back again? I broke off last night because I found the words getting too blurry and I really did need to sleep and I had no real excuse for staying up any longer. However I've lost my train of thought.

Links between education and health are there if you are looking for them, and if the two aspects of life really could be linked things would continue to improve but when the teachers and health workers themselves aren't educated, what can we really expect?

When I myself was more experienced and had more education than a professional teacher, and when a medical student has a far greater knowledge than a health post worker we can't expect miracles. Which is where a third aspect comes into play 'Training and development'. I'm a walking, talking Tukae billboard so if you've seen the website you will know that I am talking about the same three aspects that they do, because it makes sense.

If we can offer training to the adults who in turn will pass that knowledge on to the children we start a chain reaction, a passing down of knowledge. It is all too easy to say that the time for the adults has passed and that we need to focus on the children, but how can we, if the things they need are not provided. Unless we take over and provide it ourselves we have no choice but to teach the adults as well. Logical?

Someone criticised the charity I work with for not offering scholarships to children who were excelling at school. This would allow them to go to secondary school. The response was simple. We can do greater good by helping the women sell their crafts and raise their own money, and by part funding the water project and by offering training to teachers and to health workers and by building a cottage hospital than we can by giving one child a secondary education.

If the women can sell their crafts they can support their families, and remember that average family size is eight. That is eight more people with some food, who can work harder in the fields and help their neighbours.

The water project has given majority of the mountain water at stand pipes not far from their homes so they women do not have to carry it up from the river. This gives them more time to work themselves and raise more money and feed their families better and help others etc. Can you see the effect? Instead of putting one child through education the entire community is benefiting and this is what is needed.

Of course, I am not discrediting charities that do offer this to children. I think it is wonderful to see these children learning and building on their skills. It is equally as amazing to see an entire community benefiting from the help we can offer; giving them the opportunity to build their own lives without us eventually.

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