On the fourth day of their Mission Possible 2019 deployment in Tanzania, Team B – Arslan Tariq, Sidhra Yasin & Zain Ali – were helping nurture new life with tree planting and handing out water cans to villagers. They were surprised when some of the intended beneficiaries refused.
It’s Day 4 of Mission Possible. We began our day bright and early in this tropical African weather hoping to help make an impact on as many lives as possible and not have our van stuck on the the muddy road again. Alhamdulillah! The journey to the village went amazingly well, without any obstructions on these unconstructed village roads.
After the usual drive of an hour-and-a-half, we arrived at the centre of Mazola Kilifi sub-village called Baladi where we planted tree saplings. The locals taught us how to plough the soil and plant the different fruit saplings like mango and orange.
The process of planting a tree was fairly simple but interesting: first we dug a hole 2 feet, placed the sapling in the middle, covered it with the soil, pressed the soil down to secure the position of the tree and covered the sides with dead palm leaves to trap moisture.
I planted 4 trees as Sadaqah Jariyah (charity that gives ongoing rewards) for my grandparents and the long healthy life of my parents.
After planting the trees we met villagers to teach them about the effects of malaria and the steps to take to avoid catching it. The villagers were all very enthusiastic and attentive during the whole presentation and were very involved in trying to help reduce malaria. We truly got to understand the struggles they go through.
We were then given a warm welcome by the locals of Mazola Kilifi sub village. They were all gathered around a large tree waiting to hear from us. We were given the opportunity to introduce ourselves and show our appreciation for the invitation. Our translator Khamisi was brilliant at transferring the emotions in what we had to say.
After a lot of cheers and applause, the villagers explained to us the problems they were facing and what they need to do about it. Every village meeting voiced the different problems being faced depending on their priorities. For example, this village was struggling to get permission from the government to open its dispensary because they had to build a special room inside for medicine and hospital equipment to be stored.
There is always a strong community feeling with these villages and the locals all worked together scraping together whatever money they had to build the dispensary.
Following this there was the usual custom of the locals serving delicious coconut water straight from the coconut. Next off was delivering storage cans to the locals that needed them.
The amount of water cans we had was limited which made it very difficult to decide who would receive them. We had to ensure we asked the right questions to ensure the right people get them.
The priority was to look at how many watering cans they already had and how many children they need to provide for.
Alhamdulillah, we were able to distribute the cans evenly and provide for those who really needed it. The most touching part of this activity was the honesty of the villagers. Everyone was in need of the water storage cans but villagers would tell us they had enough and did not need any more. The strength of their integrity was inspiring.