Friday, December 30, 2011
During our visit in 2011, the group gave more assistance to schools. We had decided that a top priority would be to install a water supply to a school complex which comprised of a Secondary School, Primary School and Vocational School where there had never been running water before. The distance from the main water pipe in Nansio, to the school complex, was 1.5 kilometers.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
On the first visit, in October 2009, after the team had completed the work at the hospital, they had the opportunity to visit some of the schools on the island. It was not unusual for there to be seventy pupils in one class, but they were all very keen to improve their education. The four schools which were visited all had limited facilities and in some cases the floors were just earth. There was no electricity or running water, and the toilets were of the latrine type. The children were sent back to their village at lunch time as no food was available at the school. School uniform is compulsary, and although some were not in the best condition, they were proudly worn, and both the children and uniforms were very clean.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
We found it strange that the patients at the hospital had to provide their own food, and take care of their own laundry. A tap outside was used for personal hygiene and washing clothes. There is a maternity unit in the hospital for complicated pregnancies, and some of the women walked considerable distances in the final stages of pregnancy in order to give birth.
On this first visit we also visited some of the local schools, and also assisted in the distribution of mosquito nets as part of REMIT, which is a Rotary project for the eradication of Malaria in Tanzania. More about the hospital, schools, the malaria programme, and of course, the people living on Ukerewe, next time.
Monday, December 5, 2011
We are collecting items to fill the third container, which will depart around February 2012, and this week has been quite hectic with lots of donations of goods from local schools and a local village community. The villagers are particularly interested in helping the Albino population of Ukerewe. These people are particularly disadvantaged as they also have very poor eyesight and without the pigment in their skin, they are very prone to skin cancer. The hot sun burns their skin and sun protection creams are very expensive, so often, the best they can do is wear a floppy hat and long sleeved shirt.
Unfortunately, that isn't all they have to contend with. Due to fear and superstition, the people with Albinism are often shunned by local communities in Tanzania. . In extreme cases, they are mutilated and even killed for their body parts, which are sometimes sold to witch doctors, who use them in their traditional medicines. Fortunately, Ukerewe Island seems to offer some sanctuary and a level of tolerance towards the Albino population. The photograph below of a lady born with Albinism was taken by Mr. Harry Freeland, a Freelance Photographer who has visited the island.
For further information on Albinism, please check out the following sites. http://www.southern-africas-children.org.uk/ and also http://www.underthesamesun.com/.
We would like to thank all of the people who have made donations so far. Currently, we are packing goods for dispatch to Huddersfield, where the forty foot container will be loaded. So far, we have filled 143 boxes. Other volunteers in our group are also collecting items in their respective areas for Ukerewe.
Until the next time,
Regards, Diane and Derek.