The celebration of Women’s History Month in March encouraged Youth Exchange and Study (YES) alumni in Tanzania to come together for a project. The team consisted of seven alumni who joined forces with the Amana Hospital in Dar es Salaam and helped clean different areas of the hospital.
The Amana hospital is the district level hospital in Ilala, one of three districts that make up the city of Dar es Salaam. Serving more than one million people in the area, the hospital received funding for expansion last March to add an additional 100 beds and improve the maternity ward, laboratories and operating theaters.
Rupati Makoi (YES alumna 2012-2013, Tanzania, hosted by CIEE in Indianapolis, IN) led the project. Makoi said the plan was to clean the maternity ward and interact with the mothers and other patients to show the alumni’s appreciation and acknowledgment of women in their communities.
“Women have played a big role in society today, and as Swahili people say, ‘Nani kama mama,’ or “who like a mother,” Rupati said. “This saying means you can never find someone stronger and more hardworking than a mother.”
For seven hours, the alumni worked to clean the operating theater, x-ray facility and other wards. Throughout the day, employees of the hospital would join the alumni in their efforts, often thanking them for the work they were doing.
Rupati says the event was a blast and shed light on the celebration of Women’s History Month, as well as the Tanzania YES Alumni Association (TAYAA) and the YES program.
“People were surprised, seeing a group of youth cleaning in the hospital with high spirits and smiles on our faces,” Rupati said. “As we volunteered, we got the opportunity to explain why we were doing this project, which motivated people to ask more about the organization.”
Rupati says projects such as this one bring unity and love among people and societies, as well as awareness of different events occurring in the community that others might not know about.
“We truly hope by doing more for our community that we will boost people’s thinking about giving back to their communities as well,” Rupati said.
Other alumni involved in this project include:
- Doreen Malavanu (YES alumna 2012-2013, Tanzania, hosted by YFU in Greenbelt, MD)
- Ana Ngowi (YES alumna 2012-2013, Tanzania, hosted by IRIS in Paton, IA)
- Mussa Mbugi (YES alumnus 2012-2013, Tanzania, hosted by ASSE in Redmond, OR)
- Anna Michael (YES alumna 2013-2014, Tanzania, hosted by IRIS in Des Moines, IA)
- Agnes Mpanga (YES alumna 2011-2012, Tanzania, hosted by PAX in Wellington, CO)
- Marco Marco (YES alumnus 2012-2013, Tanzania, hosted by PAX in Cedar Rapids, IA)