Mambo! We arrived in Dar es Salaam just over a week ago, on June 14th, and are finally starting to feel more acclimated. We are living with an amazing and welcoming Tanzanian family, so there is always someone to ask how to get somewhere or how much a bajaj ride should cost for a particular distance. Since our arrival, bajaj drivers that know we are not from around here have tried to charge us up to 7,000Tsh for a ride from the local shopping mall, which should only cost 1,000Tsh. For the next two weeks, we are at the University of Dar es Salaam working on the Women Leading change program (we even have our own office!) and the commute from home to the school is minimal. We’ve taken ubers, the bus, and my personal favorite, the bajaj.
This week, we have begun planning an event for the nearby women who were a part of the inaugural Women Leading Change cohort to meet them, discuss how WLC has positively impacted their lives and what challenges still remain. Looking for venues took us into city center, where we have been to some great restaurants with even better views. Dar is a beautiful city with very friendly people.
We have also begun the process of connecting with embassies in Dar and researching other nonprofits in the area. We even have some meetings set up for the upcoming weeks! We have also met some people in the area who are friends of the Sasamani Foundation and have introduced us to the NGO landscape in the area. We are looking forward to connecting to other NGO's and the women from WLC, all while learning more about Tanzanian culture.
'It is my great pleasure to share some good news! The Sasamani Fuondation was recognized by the Tanzanian District Government on June 5th, 2018 for excellence in education and positive impact on the lives of Sasamani sponsor students. This award was a surprise to all of us, because there was no nomination or application process. The District Government recognized our impact in the community and wanted to encourage Team Sasamani to keep up the great work!
Sasamani's Education and Sponsorship Program
Under the leadership of the Education Director, the Sasamani Foundation provides holistic education support while focusing on building self-reliance. Sasamani sponsorship covers school fees, boarding costs, hygiene supplies, school supplies, and transportation expenses. In addition to providing for basic physical needs, the Education Director visits the schools twice per month offering on-demand counseling, ensuring sponsor children are thriving in all areas of their life. With physical and psychological needs taken care of, students are required to uphold their part of the contract by maintaining high effort in school in order to remain eligible for a Sasamani scholarship. Students are also required to take part in regular community service activities, such as visiting an orphanage and cleaning up community spaces. These initiatives increase a sense of self-reliance and an appreciation for giving back. The Sasamani Foundation is very grateful for such a dedicated Education Director who relentlessly improves her program and connects with all students. Under Sasamani sponsorship, students report increased engagement in school, better grades, and a stronger belief in their own capacity to secure employment upon graduation.
Tomorrow, two Connecticut College Interns will travel for eight weeks to Tanzania to support the Sasamani Foundation’s continued efforts to improve the education program. Over the course of the summer, they will work to build an evaluation to better assess quantitative and qualitative program impacts. The interns will also research possible partnerships with other nonprofits in the area. They will identify organizations who provide meaningful employment training such as farming, carpentry, or general bookkeeping. We are excited for the energy and bright ideas the interns will undoubtedly bring to our work.
The Sasamani Foundation is very honored by this award and will continue to work collaboratively with government schools to empower students to lift themselves out of poverty.
Sasamani Foundation Executive Director