Blog, Mission Possible, Aug 2016. Honey and mangoes, a sweet final day in Pangani. 20th August, 2016
On their final day in Pangani district, the Mission Possible volunteers including Akeel Iqbal and Navid Kaleem planted mango trees, learned about the empowerment of women through a bee-keeping livelihood project and saw examples of some of Islamic Help's other work in Tanzania.
Akeel Iqbal: Today marked our final day in the district of Pangani. We started the day with a training session led by fellow Mission Possible volunteer Nabil Ahmed. This consisted of information on deforestation and the impact it has on the environment. We were met by the schoolchildren, teachers and village leaders and we spoke to them about trees and the environment.
After the training session we planted 100 mango trees around the village. Everyone got involved and the first mango tree was planted by the district councillor. Then it was our turn to plant the trees and the schoolchildren got involved too.
After we planted the trees, we said our farewells to the villagers, schoolchildren and the fundis (local builders). They thanked us for our help and support and the teachers presented us with a thank you letter.
We then went to Islamic Help’s Pangani district office where the IH Tanzania head of operations Amjad Khan spoke about all the work the charity has done in this region and what it plans for the future.
He talked specifically about last year’s Qurbani project and said that in 2016 the plan was to double the amount of Qurbanis to 1,000. He also emphasised the beehive livelihood project where they give beneficiaries beehives so they can produce and sell honey. This project is unique because it is about the empowerment of women - all the beneficiaries of the beehive project are women.
We also drove around the local villages and saw Islamic Help's mosques project. The charity is in the process of building 27 mosques in Pangani, with funding for another 54 mosques that will be built. Considering the state of the current mosques - they are tiny and some of them have broken walls - these new facilities are much needed in this area.
Navid Kaleem: Nabil gave an excellent deforestation presentation involving the schoolchildren and the local villagers. This is the last time we will see these people. We will surely miss them after developing a good relationship and affection for them.
We then set about helping the planting of 100 mango trees with the schoolchildren and villagers. These will benefit the village in 3-4 years’ time when they can eat the mangoes and sell the excess to cover the expenses of the school.
In the afternoon we had a de-brief at the Islamic Help office in Pangani detailing all the projects currently being undertaken. On the way to Tanga airport, a small local airstrip, we visited mosque projects and water wells.
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