Tuesday, October 30, 2012

July and August 2012

Pictured: Jenny Peck has spent the past 6 years in the project area, working with the community towards better health, education and child care. July 4th was one of those days where it seemed as though everything was happening all at once! The progress in July and August can be exemplified for the most part, by the activities that were packed in to this one day. CHILDREN’S VILLAGE Because Igoda Primary School had been closed ahead of Sabasaba preparations Cornelia Raymond was teaching at Igoda Children’s Village on July 4th instead of at her normal post as kindergarten teacher at the primary school. Cornelia has been working for the NGO since 2007, and her teaching has improved each year, and her passion for the children has yet to wane even in the slightest. She is a great role model for the students at the school, as well as the children at the Children’s Village. Orphans’ House number one (the sixth and final house at the Children’s Village) continued progress on this day, as mason workers laid down the cement floor. The house will bring the Children’s Village to its planned full-capacity, and we are envisioning many purposes for this house as well, as the community has begun to use the Children’s Village as a resource with a variety of purposes. The final house may be used as a version of a guesthouse for Mothers with children who’ve fallen ill who need time to learn how to support their children with proper nutrition. It may also be used for visitors of the children here whose relatives may be close to bringing the child back into the village and would like to stay for a few days to see how life has gone on for their children while they’ve lived at the Children’s Village. The Social Center/Kindergarten got a new fence on July 4th. Our carpenter finished the fence with local materials, and it has helped to further divide up the Social Center area of the Children’s Village. The Social Center has the potential to really expand the services of the Children’s Village to the community. Eventually the Center will include an administrative office, a health clinic, a kindergarten, a day care, a playground, a small social hall, and a center for the Children’s Village that encompasses all of the facets of the project in Mufindi. COMMUNITY OUTREACH Milk Formula Program Also on July 4th, 60 HIV+ Mothers arrived to receive their monthly stipend of milk formula. This program continues to thrive and educate Mothers about proper nutrition for their children. Another service was provided this month as a seminar was held by Dr. Onyango from the Mkonge Village health dispensary. He talked to all of the women about family planning, and infant and maternal health. The added education for the women in this program is intended to enhance the results of the program, and enable the families to make their own life decisions armed with all of the resources they need. We are excited to see the area become more informed about the decisions they make, and the difference this will make for the future of this community. HEALTH CARE Mdabulo Hospital Doors were installed today at the Mdabulo Hospital, and more supplies were delivered to keep the progress moving at the Hospital. Plumbing and electricity are next, and then the ceiling can be installed. The Hospital can’t be completed soon enough, as we seem to see on a daily basis that the resources in this rural area are direly lacking. Dr. Leena has to make referrals for patients to go as far away as Iringa or Dar es Salaam for treatment for example, and these places can be over a day’s worth of travel. Once the Hospital is complete, and the partnership between the government, mission, and our NGO is in place the area will have a health system that can properly serve its community. Administrative Manager Geoff Knight met with Padre Baptista Duma about forming a formal committee that will solidify the Public Private Partnership between the mission, the government of Tanzania, and the NGO. The committee will help make group decisions on the operations of the Hospital, and the overall quality of health service will no doubt improve through this partnership. Mdabulo CTC July 4th was also Children’s Care and Treatment Day, and so the 9 children with HIV at the Igoda Children’s Village joined the 100+ children in the area who are treated at Mdabulo. The Mdabulo Care and Treatment Clinic continues to test more and more people for HIV, and is also part of the prevention program in the area giving seminars to people about contracting HIV. The facility remains as the only treatment facility where CD4 can be tested, and the steady supply of reagents may soon make it a more reliable treatment center than the CTC in the district capital. EDUCATION Mwefu Primary School Building supplies were delivered to Mwefu Primary School on July 4th and progress on this project is being made each day. The devastation that this school experienced last December when a storm knocked down more than half the school is quickly becoming a distant memory. Soon the students will return to the school- they had been attending another primary school over ten kilometers away – and the community continues to contribute to ensure that this school gets re-built better than ever. Public Health Community Outreach Coordinator Jenny Peck gave an afternoon talk at the Seventh Day Adventist church today on the topic of maternal and infant health. She gave a long presentation that included a power point full of educational photos showing the development of a fetus through pregnancy and birth. The presentation was attended by several hundred women and men, and was a great success. Many requests for another presentation were made, and the NGO’s goal of spreading education for the long-term benefit of the Mufindi community will continue to be met through events such as these. Igoda Community Hall Another successful Babu Chai day took place on July 4th at the Igoda Community Hall. Over 100 grandfathers came together at the Community Hall to have tea and share in a social event to discuss the issues of the community. The grandfathers come together, as do the grandmothers on the last Wednesday of each month, and many discussions are had in a group setting that give the elderly a social outlet for their ideas and thoughts for a better tomorrow. The attendees share a cup of tea, but also get to share their burdens of raising grandchildren whose parents may have passed, and they are appreciated for their contributions to society. Luhunga Library Volunteer Sasha Bill has been with us for a few months and has shown the go-getter attitude that is greatly appreciated out of our volunteers. On July 4th he was busy teaching Leudi Mtende the basics of computers in hopes to have our Computer Lab at Luhunga Secondary School up and running. The goal is to have this lab completely functioning sometime after the August break that Tanzania takes this year for the National Census. We hope that bringing computers to this school will be another added resource that will help make this school an educational facility that the community can be proud of, and one that will help mold a brighter future for Mufindi!

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