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What works: using existing development networks in Africa; Africa Empowerment Communities-Lessons from Tanzania

Updated on January 1, 2014

Africa Empowerment Communities

We work within established institutions and communities in Africa to enhance indigenous networking interfaced with global trends.
We work within established institutions and communities in Africa to enhance indigenous networking interfaced with global trends.

Africa Empowerment Communities: Our work in Tanzania

In Tanzania we intend to work with communities in the regions of: Tanga, Lindi, Mtwara, Pwani and Dar-es-Salaam.

We specifically intend to integrate: literacy, numeracy, livelihood and formal social organization in our activities.

We shall work specifically with Women (Expectant mothers, new mothers), children and the general population.

This will mean we shall work with existing institutions that have always mobilized communities. Our task will be to share with them our operating manuals, hold meetings whose outcome will be a written memorandum of association-MOUs.

Our idea is to be able to work within a locus, identify schools, households and engage communities in identifying needs, identify social service points, train community members in relational skills.

At all times we shall emphasize the value-based approaches, uphold transparency, accountability and consistency.

Community Participation is key part of our designs

Using community gathering spots as information sharing spaces.
Using community gathering spots as information sharing spaces.
Using Community Notice boards to share information
Using Community Notice boards to share information
Mobilizing communities to disseminate information.
Mobilizing communities to disseminate information.
Community members engaging community workers. Using community workers who are accessible to people is sustainable way of passing on information.
Community members engaging community workers. Using community workers who are accessible to people is sustainable way of passing on information.
Engaging sub-urban African communities in Community Activities.
Engaging sub-urban African communities in Community Activities.
The Africa Empowered Communities' Contact Person in Tanzania sharing with a health worker in one of Dar-es Salaam's major Hospitals.
The Africa Empowered Communities' Contact Person in Tanzania sharing with a health worker in one of Dar-es Salaam's major Hospitals.

Re-Inventing The Wheel In Africa

One of the main reason why we emphasize partnerships and networks is the fact that in Africa, there exists people willing to act as force for change. All they need is a boost and push. The boost and push will be in form of: logistical support; text books; school equipment; human resource exchange; establish structures that inspire confidence from say, credit extension facilities and other well wishers.

We are not about to re-invent the wheel. But rather we shall use what is in existence and may be polish it here and there.

There are organizations that are specifically working in a variety of social services; political departments; religious and cultural sectors.

It is our hope that we shall link up with these ones in all their capacities.

We need all the support in Africa if we are to:

1. Cause conversation about poverty.

2. cause conversation about sustainable resource use.

3. Be held accountable for our deeds.

4. Create a spirit of engaging in income generating activities at family/household levels.

5. Create a critical number of people who are motivated to cause development using appropriate means.

6. Documenting our activities

7. Sharing and disseminating best practices.

8. Establish demonstration units

9. Engage in international exhibitions through; Story telling and show casing community activities.

10. Use the social media to cause visibility.


Grass Root Work in Tanzania

The Work Horse
The Work Horse
Community Outreach Worker in one of the target education facilities in Tanzania
Community Outreach Worker in one of the target education facilities in Tanzania
Engaging Young People in sharing right messages with peers.
Engaging Young People in sharing right messages with peers.
Engaging parents during community meetings.
Engaging parents during community meetings.
One on one.
One on one.

The Interplay of Grass root, top leadership and International Well wishers

The work we intend to do in Tanzania will emphasize the crucial roles of grass root/beneficiary communities, leadership and international well wishers. We want to emphasize:

SCHOOLS:

If for instance, we identify a school library in one of the regions, we shall involve teachers, students, mentors and community leadership committees. It is these we shall first engage in understanding their roles. This way we hope to gain their trust and input. We want communities to run he projects we shall have started. We also want a commitment to addressing poverty, especially literacy/numeracy poverty.

HOSPITALS/HEALTH FACILITIES:

We want to work with families, households, schools, social services facilities in sharing responsibilities for health upkeep and healthy outcomes. This task will mean many more people are brought on board in upholding health of communities.

SOCIAL SERVICES:

These range from; Non Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Community Based Organizations, road works, sanitation, education, police, defense, political, religious and cultural. Some of our enduring indicators will be pointing towards how well we engage with these institutions.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Through established print, radio, visual and performing Arts, we hope to show case our work.

At all times, we shall cause communities, leaders and well wishers to enjoy cordial relations and be able to follow the progress of activities. This we hope will be motivating and provide a guidance continuum.

Political Leadership endorsing Grass Root work

President of The Republic Of Tanzania, H.E. J. Kikwete listening in during a community meeting.
President of The Republic Of Tanzania, H.E. J. Kikwete listening in during a community meeting.
Receiving the president before inspection of activities.
Receiving the president before inspection of activities.
H.E. J Kikwete.
H.E. J Kikwete.
The president meeting some of the local benefactors and leaders.
The president meeting some of the local benefactors and leaders.

CONCLUSION

What works is:

1. having a strategic plan

2. working with beneficiary communities

3. empowering beneficiary communities with stewardship roles.

4. networking and partnering with other service providers

5. documenting activities

6. holding regular meetings to share progress.

7. acknowledging the roles of various sectors.

8. having anti-poverty plans

9. having environment sustainability plans

10. having livelihood support plans for income generation in families/households.

We hope this will be the model for all other organizations causing development of grass root communities in Africa.

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