Mission Possible 2019 Blog: From A Slow Start to School Songs
26 th October, 2019
They may have been feeling the effects of a busy deployment on Day 5 but the Mission Possible volunteers in Tanzania continued their aid distributions by handing out malaria nets and water cans, planting trees and enjoying sing-songs with local schoolchildren.
Team A: Kaleem Abbas, Nazia Choudhry and Yusuf Kassam
Today was a slow start for everyone, and it was clear the non-stop effects of the past few days were slowly creeping in. Despite this however everyone remained in a positive and upbeat state and once breakfast was over we were ready and raring to go.
Our first stop today was to the village dispensary to distribute 50 malaria nets.
The dispensary is a government-funded project to help provide assistance to the local villages as even by ambulance the nearest hospital to Biladi Village is a 45-minute drive away.
Malaria and UTI (urinary tract infections) are the main reasons why people visit this dispensary. We provided them with mosquito nets to keep them safer at home.
Our next stops were two of the village schools where we started by planting trees in 2 areas on the school grounds. We also handed out stationery kits to all the students at both these schools. We planted mango, orange and timber trees around the schools to help with plantation and future growth.
As we attended the school and set up to hand out the stationery kits, we decided to play games with the children. We played Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes and Simon Says.
This was really effective as it teaches them English and they found it a fun interactive way to learn.
The first school had 150 students and the second one 350 students. While taking part in this, seeing the smiles and joy on the children’s faces was priceless. To think that we take advantage of schools and equipment but they cherish it so closely was the proof was in front of us.
It was now reaching the end of our distribution project and after receiving thanks from the students and teachers we ended our day feeling weary but very proud and humbled by all we had seen, experienced and accomplished.
Team B: Arslan Tariq, Sidhra Yasin & Zain Ali
Day 5 started out with one of the most precious experiences of the mission so far, distributing mosquito nets to children. Firstly they all sat around us and sang the most beautiful school songs that filled us with joy.
Then we trained the kids on malaria detection, symptoms, prevention and trained them on good sanitation practice and symptoms, causes and prevention of UTI. The information was a lot to take in but the kids were so eager to learn. They were asking very good questions and answering our questions with ease. It was reassuring to know that the information was being taken in.
Afterwards the kids all lined up to collect their mosquito nets and the joy on their faces was so uplifting. It was a solid reminder of why we are here and doing what we are. They were so appreciative and every single one of the children came to shake our hands.
Later on in the day we visited a couple of houses near the village and spoke to the family to understand their needs and well-being.
We distributed a few 20L water tanks to the families who we felt needed it more according to the number of family members in the house. It was a true blessing to meet them and fulfil their needs.
At the village we got the opportunity to spend some time with a disabled child and discuss her challenges. Being one of the few disabled children in the village she was unable to start school at 7, which is when all the other kids started, and she is now 9.
As you can imagine the long commute to school, which is already tough and gruelling for the able-bodied children in the village, is 10 times more difficult for this little girl. Education leads to knowledge; knowledge leads to power. Hearing the struggle and challenge this young girl has faced since birth really made us feel saddened that she’s unable to engage in other regular activities just like others.
In order to provide the best we can with the assistance of Islamic Help, we are going to be looking into providing her with some form of transport to ease her struggles and Insha’Allah help her catch up with her education. It would be truly amazing to see the blessing on her face and change in her life.
We sang nursery rhymes and played Simon Says with the children from the village. This was incredibly fun and interactive. It really put a smile on their faces and seeing this really made our day.
We ended the day spending time with a group of children from another primary school, sitting amongst them; teaching them about the rainwater harvesting system and the importance of sanitation in order to avoid any UTI symptoms. Again, it was lovely to see all the children engage with us really well throughout the training and show the confidence in themselves to ask us questions.
That was the end of day 5. With only one more day to go at Tanga, our incredible mission was nearing its end.