Stories of Success - The Sustainable and Resilient Tanzanian Community Pilot Internship Program

August 10, 2017

by:  Anthony Duke, Visiting Scholar, SRTC

In May and June 2017,  the SRTC piloted its interdisciplinary international service-learning and internship program in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. The program was developed and presented in partnership with the University of Dodoma (UDOM), the Kilimanjaro Hope Organization (KiHO), the Same District and the people of Marwa Village through its four component sub-villages of Marwa, Patteli, Njakatai and Lesierway.

(Pictured above: The Ohio State University and University of Dodoma students and staff on the first day of the project outside of the Kilimanjaro Hope Organization Office. Photo: Leonard Mapuli)

By all indicators the program was successful, evidenced with the positive evaluations from all stakeholders and participants, who also contributed valuable insights into how the program can be improved for 2018 and beyond.

The 2017 SRTC program hosted 34 OSU students enrolled through CEGE capstone and SENR working with 6 students from UDOM, working in teams across 7 project areas, fundamentally looking at bringing water to Marwa Village and managing the social and cultural impacts of this intervention. The students undertook work surveying, interviewing community members, location and site assessments, water quality testing, consulting with village leadership and women’s groups as well as engaging in the shared cultural experience from working with Maasai people through a values-based participatory development process.

A highlight of the program was the design and construction of a rainwater harvesting system onto the Marwa Dispensary (medical clinic).  The system was designed by a team of the CEGE capstone students and was constructed by a team of local people with extensive experience in building similar systems. The funds for this project were raised through a successful Buckeye Funder crowd funding campaign with donations from OSU alumni and the friends, families and followers of the SRTC program. The amount raised from the fundraising was double the initial target and in consultation and at the direction of the Marwa Village Council work will commence later this year on a rainwater harvesting system at the school in the sub-village of Lesierway.

Following on from the May service-learning the inaugural SRTC internship program organized for 8 of the students to stay on in Tanzania to work deeper into the projects and their areas of interest and expertise. The interns were located into Same Town / Marwa Village (4 interns) and the University of Dodoma, Dodoma (4 interns). The interns were able to make substantive contributions to the initiating program and produced some high quality artifacts and outputs that will be foundational to the future development and expansion of the SRTC program including the production of an operations and maintenance manual for the rainwater harvesting system, design and production of a commemorative poster, a contextual review and paper on the consultations with the women’s groups on enterprise development, a public health assessment for baseline monitoring and identification of standards and potential partners for ongoing water development initiatives in Marwa.

During the May program, local award winning journalist from Tanzanian StarTV, Leonard Mapuli, joined the program and produced three items that were screened nationally on Tanzanian television. The programs are in Swahili and rich in images and tell a positive story of the SRTC program to the people and communities of Tanzania:

The welcome by the village and the water story:

The Maasai coming of age ceremony that hosted the students:

The relationship between OSU and UDOM:

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