Empathy Between Species with Sea Sense NGO

As many of our Facebook followers will be aware, over the last few months, the House of Blue Hope charity has been a privileged participant in CJ Eklund Fine Art Photography’s Empathy Between Species Project: “a black and white portrait photography project that focuses on highlighting and increasing awareness about the treatment of animals in Tanzania”. An ambitious, far-reaching project, the House Of Blue Hope joins fellow children’s shelters, schools, animal welfare shelters, and wildlife conservation organisations, in partnering with the Tanzania based photographer, in her efforts to educate the young citizens in becoming more responsible and considerate of the animals with which they share their country.  

Already in the short time this project has been in action, it has facilitated the donation of a water tank and irrigation kit from Balton Tanzania Ltd to the charity. This gift has opened up the possibility for the charity to become more self-sufficient.

More than facilitating donations from businesses, CJ Eklund’s project has given something very special to the kids in House of Blue Hope’s care: opportunities to learn about animal welfare, and vital conservation work being done in Tanzania, from experienced professionals who have guided the kids through up close encounters with these wonderful animals- both wild and domesticated.

In July this year, The Empathy Between Species Project organised for Scania Tanzania Ltd to transport the HBH kids to the Every Living Thing animal sanctuary. Having visited the shelter in April, the HBH kids were eager to return and get updates on how the animals they encountered were getting on. The kids soon realised that over the course of three months, the number of animals the sanctuary had rescued had significantly increased and that the need for careful animal stewardship was as important as ever.

Another organisation that is taking part in the Empathy Between Species project is Sea Sense. They are a Tanzanian (NGO) that works closely with coastal communities to conserve and protect endangered marine species including sea turtles, dugongs, whales, dolphins and whale sharks. In August HBH welcomed two Ocean Ambassadors from Sea Sense to the community centre where they taught the HBH kids, and as many kids from the community who could fit in the centre, about the wildlife that calls the Indian Ocean its home. These University of Dar es Salaam graduates shared the wealth of knowledge they had gained through their Aquatic Sciences and Conservation degrees, as well as their time volunteering for the marine conservation NGO, with the kids who learned about endangered and vulnerable species. After a long day at school in the hot Tanzanian afternoon sun, you might expect the kids to be disinclined to pay attention, but all eyes and ears were firmly focused on the two young men who were taking the lesson.

Ocean Ambassadors from Sea Sense NGO teach the kids in the community center in Mabibo about endangered species

The Sea Sense Ocean Ambassadors visited the HBH kids and discussed their work protecting endangered species such as turtles, whales, and Dugongs.

So positive was the kids’ reaction to the lesson, that when the opportunity to visit a sea turtle hatching in Kigamboni to the south of the city materialised, CJ Eklund Fine Art Photography was determined to ensure the HBH kids would have the means to be there when these precious creatures made their way from land to sea for the very first time.

the children make their way across the beach in Kigamboni where the turtle nest is.

The kids make their way to the turtle nest site, that has been guarded day and night by volunteers at Sea Sense NGO, protecting endangered species.

Coordinating with Lindsey West, Sea Sense’s director, CK Eklund Fine Art Photography was poised to transport the kids to the stretch of beach patrolled nightly by dedicated volunteers, who ensure vulnerable sea turtle nests aren’t disturbed or harmed by human activity, at South Beach on Dar es Salaam’s southern coast. With an ever decreasing window of opportunity to witness a hatching event during this year’s hatching season, it came as a blow when Lindsey informed CJ that two nests which were due to hatch in September, had been discovered to be rotten. Only one nest here in Dar es Salaam was left. As is the nature of such an event, despite careful, daily monitoring, Lindsey could only give CJ a couple of day’s notice at most, so it came as a relief when CJ got the call: the nest was viable and due to hatch within twenty four hours. The kids would have to be transported two hours south of Mabibo in time to catch the baby sea turtles as they scrambled from nest to water, as the day was coming to a close.

Sea Sense volunteers teach the HBH kids about turtle releasing procedure on the beach

The Ocean Ambassadors, and Sea Sense volunteers talk to the kids about Sea Turtles and the hatching process.

With transport generously provided by Scania Tanzania Ltd, a dash across the city with the kids and supervising adults, the HBH party made its way to the quiet beach, where, beside the roped off nest, the volunteers reiterated the lesson taught back in the community centre, as well as safety procedures to ensure no harm would be done to the many hatchlings the kids were about to witness, and so that the kids could play an instrumental part in helping them on their first journey.

Kids stand beside the roped off area of beach where the Sea Sense volunteers dig up the baby turtles

Moments later, the volunteers pushed back the sand covering the nest, revealing the newly hatched baby sea turtles, and helping them pull their way out of the hole and towards the ocean. The kids watched as these vulnerable little creatures battled over the tiny mounds of sand and seaweed, some kids sweeping debri from their paths and watching in delight as they finally reached the water. In an instant these clumsy finned turtles became elegant swimmers completely at home in the ocean. The exhilaration of the occasion was evident in the kids and their carers who spent what little daylight was left of the day, playing in the wash and running around the beach safe in the knowledge these little ones had overcome their first of countless hurdles they face before adulthood. Indeed, despite so many turtles making it to the water, the numbers which make it to adulthood are incredibly low. On this occasion two out of three of these nests had no viable eggs. Of this successful hatching, one egg didn’t hatch. And according to the Ocean Ambassadors volunteering at Sea Sense, only one in every thousand eggs that do hatch, make it to adulthood. The fragility and preciousness of life was inescapably highlighted through this experience, that will stay with the HBH kids for years to come.

Kids watch as baby turtles make their way to the ocean in Kigamboni

The vulnerable baby sea turtles are watched as they make their way to the ocean.

Don’t forget, if you want to make an online donation to help support opportunities like this, or simply a one off donation to contribute to the cost of caring for a child, there will be zero fees charged on Giving Tuesday 28th November, so that every cent donated goes straight to the kids.

 

Giving Tuesday November 28th 2017

As many of you will be aware, this year has been a busy one, with many exciting developments. With the doubling in capacity, enabling vulnerable girls to be welcomed into the charity’s care, as well as the opening of a community centre where training and workshops have been held to support the disadvantaged within the Mabibo community, the importance of fundraising is as vital as ever.

Kids receive donated items at the house in Mabibo Dar es Salaam Tanzania

Kids receive donated items at the house in Mabibo, Dar es Salaam.

The charity has been holding fundraising events throughout the year in order to raise the funds needed to secure the futures of the vulnerable boys and girls in its care, as well as carry out outreach programs and community projects. The charity would like to thank all of you who generously donated thus far. Without your support the charity could not provide the education to those blighted by poverty in Tanzania!

Fundraising events held in the US have provided much needed funding for the House of Blue Hope Charity

Fundraising events held in the US have provided much needed funding for the House of Blue Hope Charity this year.

One cost the charity works hard to minimise is the cost of giving. With Razoo, minimal fees are paid on each donation so that as much of the money generously donated can be used where it’s needed most: providing the care and education these vulnerable young children need to escape the poverty into which they were born, and become happy, successful young adults pursuing their dreams.

A water tank, clothes, and toys are donated to the kids at House of Blue Hope charity, in Dar es Salaam Tanzania

The House of Blue Hope charity has been the recipient of generous donors in Dar es Salaam, who have donated large and small items for the kids.

 

If you have been meaning to donate to the House of Blue Hope charity, your chance to donate – with zero fees – is coming! This year’s #GivingTuesday is on Tuesday November 28th – a week today! On #GivingTuesday  November 28th, all online donations made via Razoo will incur zero fees, which means every cent donated goes to the kids in House of Blue Hope’s care, and the most disadvantaged in Mabibo, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Want to find out how else you can get involved in the #GivingTuesday movement? Check out their page here. If you can’t donate on the day there are many ideas for giving in whichever way you can. 

The House of Blue Hope charity welcomes your support however you choose to give it. Thank you. #GivingTuesday.

Youth computer programming by HBH's Frank in Tanzania

Frank Puts Computer Programming into Practice

HBH would like to share a special project recently completed by Frank. Frank has chosen to pursue computer programming as part of his optional academic modules, and has written a report about constructing a functioning measuring kit:
Frank shows how he has put his computer programming skills into practice by demonstrating how his Measuring Kit works

Frank shows how he has put his C++ computer programming skills into practice by demonstrating how his Measuring Kit works

This kit measures distance from the ultrasonic sensor to the object or any obstacle which is in front of it (ultrasonic sensor). It took me about three weeks in assembling all the parts and testing the codes for correctness and debugging all the errors. It took much time because it was the first time I was involved in coding and all the different connections necessary to build the kit. It is applicable when you want to prepare your small garden at your home which it is two meters (2m) long because the sensor’s maximum length measurement is two meters (2m). It is made up of ultrasonic sensor, arduino UNO, jumper wires, blade board and the LCD.

I enjoy programming and am learning C++ and JAVA to start, as I believe will make a lot of development in my country.
HBH is keen to support any interest the HBH kids show in learning to code and help prepare them for careers in computer programming and tech development.
HBH would like to thank JAW Sustainability, a sustainability consultancy firm in London, UK, for generously donating the laptop Frank uses to learn and practice his coding skills. Asante sana. 
Laptop donated to House of Blue Hope charity in Tanzania, by JAW Sustainability, a London based sustainability consultancy firm.

Laptop donated to House of Blue Hope by JAW Sustainability, a London based sustainability consultancy firm.

HBH Gets a Visit from HIV Education & Support Group

Always keen to broaden the horizons of the kids in its care, the charity took the opportunity to invite the good people from The Baobab Home to the community center in Mabibo. Their support group “Stronger Together” for HIV+ children aged 6 to 18 in Bagamoyo, was visiting Dar es Salaam, and took time out of their busy schedule to visit the House of Blue Hope charity.

As part of their support efforts, the Stronger Together group practice dance, conduct art activities, and hold group discussions about stigma, death, infection, school and other issues faced by kids growing up HIV+. The House of Blue Hope charity was fortunate enough to experience dance performances and were given beautiful artwork.

Members of the Stronger Together Group from Baobab Home visit th House of Blue Hope charity Kids in Dar es Salaam

The HBH kids watched as the drums kept rhythm for the dancers to perform a symbolic dance routine, illustrating a story of the impact of HIV on young lives.

After watching the performances the HBH kids have been inspired to learn more about the  therapeutic benefits of dance and performance, and its power to help shift stigma, and educate people about HIV.  

The Stronger Together Group Use Dance to illustrate stories of overcoming stigma attached to HIV infection

The Stronger Together Group use dance to illustrate stories of overcoming stigma attached to HIV infection.

According to the UN, as of 2015, between 1.2 – 1.6 million people suffer from HIV in Tanzania. Between 77,000  and 110,000 are children aged from 0 to 14. Not only are children suffering from the infection directly themselves, but many are orphaned by AIDS when their parents die prematurely. The number of Orphans due to AIDS aged 0 to 17 is between 700,000- 880,000 in Tanzania.

The HBH kids thanked the visitors who had put on an energetic and inspiring performance to reduce the stigma associated with HIV.

The House of Blue Hope charity supports children who are affected by the virus. To help educate the kids and community about the disease and its impact, the charity hopes to remove stigma, prevent its spread, and provide care and guidance for those in need. We welcome the input and example set by the Stronger Together team, and look forward to future visits and exchanges between the two charities, so that we can amplify the message of hope and education throughout Tanzania.

Head to our Facebook page to watch videos of the Stronger Together visit to the House of Blue Hope community centre.

HBH Soccer Squad Train for Kandanda Day 2017

Kandanda Day 2017 is fast approaching and will be held at DSM University College of Education at 9am on Saturday 21st October.

The charity in Dar es Salaam has been taking part in Kandanda Day for the past three years, and is keen to improve upon past performances. The team representing the charity consists of the under 15s from the house, with local kids from the Mabibo community completing the squad of twenty. Training is three times a week on a makeshift pitch a short walk from the house, and excitement has been building over the last few months as the team have worked together to be ready for the big day.

Kids from the HBH charity soccer team practice skills before a training match in Mabibo, Dar es Salaam

Soccer drills have played an important role in preparing the HBH soccer squad for their upcoming performance on Kandanda Day 21st October 2017.

The training has provided a strong sense of team spirit amongst the House of Blue Hope kids and their neighbours, as well as setting an example to the younger kids in the house, who will one day follow in their footsteps in representing the charity, and community as a whole. It is important to the charity that the kids in its care are encouraged to pursue interests and passions outside of the school curriculum. House of Blue Hope is keen to nurture sporting talent amongst its wards, as one of many potential extra-curricular interests.  

Through the generosity of a donor from the US, the kids have been gifted soccer kit to wear: Naturally the soccer kit colour is blue, with gold numbers emblazoned on the back.

The boys in blue have become a welcome spectacle within the poverty stricken district of Dar es Salaam, with young kids in the community paying close attention to the older boys, and local mothers often taking a break from their daily work, to watch the kids practice for the big day.

kids and mothers in the Mabibo community in Dar es Salaam, watch as the House of Blue Hope football squad practice for Kandanda Day 2017

the community has followed the progress and training of the HBH soccer team, with interest.

Currently not all the squad has their own football boots, but that hasn’t diminished their enthusiasm or desire to succeed.  Though the charity in Tanzania has received donations of football boots in the past, the ones they have get a lot of use, and there is always a need for trainers and football boots so the kids can play and train in comfort. Do you have unused kids’ trainers or football boots collecting dust, and want to donate them to the kids in Mabibo? If so, please get in touch at info@houseofbluehope.org

Kandanda.co.tz was founded in 2011 and is going from strength to strength, promoting Tanzanian soccer from street leagues to major league soccer, among kiswahili speakers in Tanzania and around the globe. Kandanda Co. also covers world soccer updates, livescores, fixtures, standings, gossip and photos. Two representatives were on hand to interview the HBH soccer squad, as well as the charity’s country Director, Daudi Mboma. Check out photos and footage taken on this training day via our Instagram and Facebook social media accounts. 

 

kids walk through Mabibo District of Dar es Salaam, on the way back from school.

Learning to Realise Promise Prioritised by HBH

With ten years of successful experience helping the most vulnerable children in Tanzania, the House of Blue Hope charity takes the education of vulnerable children incredibly seriously. The charity shares the view of World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim:

“When delivered well, education promises young people employment, better earnings, good health, and a life without poverty. For communities, education spurs innovation, strengthens institutions, and fosters social cohesion. But these benefits depend on learning, and schooling without learning is a wasted opportunity. More than that, it’s a great injustice: the children whom societies fail the most are the ones who are most in need of a good education to succeed in life.

The World Bank’s recently published World Development Report 2018: ‘Learning to Realise Promise’ has revealed, that despite net enrolment in education in developing countries in the last few decades far outpacing historic rates of today’s industrialised countries, there is a ‘learning crisis’ in global education. Millions of students in low and middle income countries are failing to benefit from years in primary and secondary school as literacy and numeracy standards remain alarmingly low for these children in long term formal education. Young students, already disadvantaged by barriers to learning such as poverty, gender inequality, and disability, are reaching young adulthood without even the basic tools or knowledge needed to cope. As highlighted, these fundamental skills have a huge impact. Without them, simple tasks like “calculating the correct change from a transaction, reading a doctor’s instructions, or interpreting a campaign promisebecome unachievable.

Kids walk through Mabibo District of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after school

Though many kids in Tanzania attend primary and secondary school, the standard of teaching is often startlingly low, with kids not gaining the skills necessary to prosper.

A poor education harms those most in need of the boost a good education should provide, thus widening, not narrowing, the social divide. This amplification of inequalities is not diminished the longer the students are in school; without that early foundation of skills, year on year learning is curtailed. It also perpetuates the social divide through the generations. Barely literate and numerate parents, and teachers cannot nurture learning and knowledge in the younger generations.

So despite the encouraging rate of enrollment in education systems globally, why are these systems failing those students who are attending primary school and secondary school? The report reveals “Struggling education systems lack one or more of four key school-level ingredients for learning: prepared learners, effective teaching, learning focused inputs, and the skilled management and governance that pulls them all together.”

The children who do make it to the school gate, often do so unprepared or unable to absorb what they are going to be taught. In developing countries where poverty is rife, these children can often be malnourished, suffering from disease, and have little or no support from caregivers or guardians. The harsh environments that come hand in hand with poverty undermine their capacity to learn.

Poverty, malnutrition, and little support from caregivers, means vulnerable kids are disadvantaged in the classroom, perpetuating the social divide.

While some children are not in a position to learn, teachers are often not in a fit state to teach. With a lack of knowledge and skills themselves, it can be a case of the blind leading the blind. As the report testifiesTeachers are the most important factor affecting learning in schools.  Weak teacher education results in teachers lacking subject knowledge and pedagogical skills.” Indeed the report goes on to state in 14 Sub-Saharan countries, the average grade 6 teacher performs no better on reading tests than do the highest-performing students from that grade.Aside from a dearth in the tools to teach, many teachers can be demotivated or absent entirely. Poor management and career support, as well as underfunding for those teachers that are capable and motivated to teach, can be contributing factors to such absenteeism.

This World Bank report emphasises the charity’s work is as vital as ever in fighting the social injustices that hobble the poorest in society. The House of Blue Hope charity has a wealth of experience ensuring vulnerable kids in Tanzania are given the best possible start in life: their good health, and a comprehensive education, are a fundamental starting point from which the charity builds.

In conjunction with providing sustenance and medical attention, caregivers ensure they receive the emotional and psychological support they need, as these kids have often experienced trauma, neglect, or abuse. This prepares them so that they are ready to learn and get the most out of the education they receive.

The newest additions to the organisation are given the tutoring support they need to be ready to enter formal education: It is often the case that the vulnerable children the charity takes in have either missed years of school, or never had the opportunity to attend. In such cases, the children are given extra help to get them up to speed, so that when they do enter school, they have the best chance of settling in successfully, so that they can gain the most of the education on offer.

kids walk through Mabibo District of Dar es Salaam, on the way back from school.

The House of Blue Hope charity sends the kids in its care to some of the best schools in the city, so they can reach their full potential.

The children are provided one of the best educations available in Dar es Salaam. The kids under the charity’s stewardship, attend Gonzaga Primary, and Loyola High Schools. These schools provide an exemplary education, where learning is its vehicle for success. The school’s reputation is well founded on talented, motivated teachers who are given the support and training they need to facilitate the endowment of knowledge, critical, as well as creative, thinking the young students need to be well prepared for the challenges they will face as adults.

In a country where poverty is a persistent barrier to learning and development, the House of Blue Hope charity is doing what it can to break the cycle of illiteracy and innumeracy that hold the children whom societies fail the most, from escaping the poverty into which they were born, by providing a life changing opportunity to learn and prosper.

Mr Mkumbo from Ubungo Municipality in Dar es Salaam was House of Blue Hope Charity's guest of honour at the tenth birthday community party

HBH Welcomes Mr Mkumbo and others to Celebrate Ten Years

It has been a very special year for the charity this year, so there was lots to celebrate. With that in mind, the charity organised a street party held at the house, inviting those who had played pivotal roles in the year’s achievements, as well as community members.

Having reached the ten year milestone, the House of Blue Hope charity has been working hard to raise funds in order to double its size, with the ambition of securing the futures of ten vulnerable girls in the new girls’ house.

Not only is the charity working on doubling its capacity but also facilitating the successful transition from higher education to industry for the first kids to have received its aid, since its inception. These first alumni joined the celebrations and were excited to be present to witness the new kids just starting their journey through the charity’s guardianship. Each spoke briefly about their experiences, on the day.

The four vulnerable girls who have been taken in by House of Blue Hope Charity introduced themselves for the first time, to the day’s attendees. Having been at the house for a few months now, they have become comfortable and settled in their new home, while preparing themselves for entering formal school at Gonzaga Primary School in the coming months. Currently there is space for another six girls, and the charity is working on making that happen very soon.

The vulnerable girls who joined House of Blue Hope introduce themselves to the attendees of the charity's community celebration, with the boys who have been receiving support for a while, in Mabibo

Also in attendance was writer, Vedasto Nyatega, from Lecri Consult Ltd. Earlier in the year a few of the alumni had attended a two day seminar involving CV writing, interview techniques, and more. As today’s kids grow up and complete their education, the charity will continue to provide guidance and support to help them reach their full potential in the job market.

This year has seen the charity making the most of its newly leased community centre. There have been several educational workshops, including training mothers and women within the Mabibo community, in craftwork and business skills. Attendees of these courses joined in the celebrations and exhibited their products, discussing what they had learned with other guests.

Women from Mabibo community show off their craftwork including fabric, beaded handbags, and scarves, at the charity street party celebrating ten years in Tanzania

It was also a pleasure for the House of Blue Hope charity to receive two representatives of the marine conservation organisation Sea Sense, who had visited the community centre to teach the HBH kids about the marine habitat, and the vital conservation work they do to help protect Sea Turtles, and many other threatened species.  As many of you will know, the charity’s involvement with Sea Sense came about through the collaboration with the incredibly talented CJ Eklund Fine Art Photography whose #EmpathyBetweenSpeciesProject has seen equipment being donated to the House of Blue Hope, and seen the kids be given the opportunity to learn so much about animal welfare and the environment. More news to follow very soon about this incredible project, so watch this space. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate with CJ Eklund Fine Art Photography on House of Blue Hope Day.   

House of Blue Hope Charity's country director, Daudi Mboma, gets ready to cut the tenth birthday cake, in front of Mr Mkumbo from the Ubungo Municipal, Dar es Salaam

Local luminary Mr James Mkumbo, who is District Administrative Secretary of Ubungo Municipal, was the House of Blue Hope Charity’s guest of honour. Mr Mkumbo has been the charity’s contact person at the municipal. During several projects which involve the Municipal he has always been there to share valuable information. Such projects include the donation of bricks for the construction of latrines at Mbezi Msumi Primary School: Mr Mkumbo linked the House of Blue Hope Charity with the school and was invaluable throughout the whole process. It was an honour to welcome him to share in the stories and developments the charity has been a part of, and to look forward to future progress and ambitions to turn the lives around for vulnerable kids in Tanzania, and help eliminate poverty, alongside fulfilling many other SDGs set out by the UN.

To see more photos of the festivities head over to our Facebook page, where you will find our photo album.

Women’s Craft Enterprise Education

As an ongoing effort to facilitate the empowerment of poor women in Tanzania, working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the House of Blue Hope charity arranged for women in the Mabibo community in Dar es Salaam to participate in a training course, teaching the women craft skills and building on previous training in money and resource management. With such skills, these women could capitalise on potential new revenue streams, and become more self-sufficient. 

 

Women sit together, preparing fabric to decorated and dye so they can sell it for a profit in the local market in Mabibo, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The women were shown various craft work techniques including how to dye fabric, and decorate bags, and how, with a small upfront investment in materials, they can create goods to sell then reinvest some of the profit of each sale in order to grow a small business.  The practical craft skills were taught as an example of how the women could add value to everyday materials that are available to them, without significant upfront costs. With a small amount of seed money, and using the knowledge they gained from the Women’s Empowerment course held by Tanzania Social Work Initiative Company (TASWICO), they could put into practice the lessons learnt about entrepreneurial success, and gaining more financial stability and independence.

women show off the results of dyeing fabric in bright colours in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

 

With these initiatives the House of Blue Hope charity is looking to educate and empower poor women in Tanzania who have not been given the chance to fulfil their potential. Instead they are faced with few opportunities to gain valuable experience or workforce training. Having not completed their schooling, been forced to seek unskilled, low-paying, and unstable work, or becoming trapped in domestic servitude, these women rarely escape the poverty trap that so often blights the lives of the most vulnerable within society. To enable these women to gain more control over their earning potential, is a step in the right direction in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG #8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG #5 (Gender Equality), SDG #1 (No Poverty), and SDG #2 (No Hunger).

It is also sometimes a critical lifeline for vulnerable women to escape domestic situations that are dangerous, with the all-to-real threat of domestic violence and abuse.  With more autonomy to provide for themselves, the poorest women have a greater chance of escaping exploitation.

By providing training and capital for the women in HBH’s community, to create their own unique products to sell, the charity is working to effect social change alongside the care and education of vulnerable children. The hope is these women can grow their product lines, and provide a new income revenue from further afield. Watch this space to find out how they get on, in the coming weeks.

SDGs: Striving for Self-Sufficiency and Sustainability

As discussed in previous blog posts, the international community is focused on sustainable development via the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The House of Blue Hope charity is working hard to achieve many of these SDGs, including:

  • SDG #1 No Poverty
  • SDG #2 Zero Hunger
  • SDG #3 Good Health and Well Being
  • SDG #4 Quality Education
  • SDG #5 Gender Equality   

Illustration of the UN seventeen SDGs

 

The charity in Tanzania has spent the last ten years working to break the inter-generational poverty that persists in many communities across Tanzania, and preventing some of the poorest, most vulnerable boys from ending up on the streets, by providing a quality education, shelter, food, and medical care. The community outreach projects the charity carries out in its immediate community in the Mabibo district of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as well as this year’s expansion to take in poor, vulnerable girls who would not be afforded their right to a full and complete education, nor the autonomy to choose a life for themselves, is part of its efforts to achieve SDG #5 (Gender Equality). By empowering the poor women in the Mabibo region of Dar es Salaam, and by providing the benefits of security, care, and a complete education for vulnerable girls, the charity is focused on reducing inequalities.  

 

Another hopeful development, and one that the charity anticipates will add more to the list of SDG sustainability goals above, is the cultivation of a plot of land, situated in the Kigamboni region of Dar es Salaam. With the express wishes of the owners, the plot is now being considered for agricultural development.  With the ever growing pressure on efficient land utilisation, and the need to keep costs as low as possible so that every dollar donated is responsibly and sustainably spent, the opportunity to harness the land for responsible consumption and production of food arose when Dar es Salaam based agribusiness Balton generously donated an irrigation system to the charity. 

Local men talk to House of Blue Hope Country Director, and CJ Eklund about the crops being grown in Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam Tnazania

The opportunity to develop the land came about when The Empathy Between Species Project facilitated the donation of an irrigation kit.

The charity is always looking to maximise the impact of the money and goods that it receives through generous donations. The donation of an irrigation kit by Balton, facilitated by The Empathy Between Species Project, has provided the charity with the opportunity to become more self-sufficient and sustainable. Through the cultivation of crops on the plot of land situated to the south of Tanzania’s biggest city of Dar es Salaam, the charity can become more reliant on its own produce to feed the growing kids in its care, rather than a monthly expenditure on food. The self-sufficient cultivation of nutritious crops would mean the charity is taking steps to fulfil SDG #11 (Sustainable Cities) and SDG #12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). In a rapidly expanding city, the resource demand is only going to increase significantly. The charity is keen to do its bit to reduce this burden. Any produce that is surplus to the charity’s requirements could then be sold on the local market, thus reducing the need for longer routes to market, as well as providing a modest revenue stream for the charity.

 

It would also reaffirm SDG #3 (Good Health and Well Being) by giving the kids that are housed in the crowded, built up region of Mabibo, the opportunity to learn about the origins of their food, as well as good land and crop management. It would also facilitate more awareness of a growing commercial sector in Tanzania: undoubtedly a beneficial experience. Such a connection to the food chain and the process of crop production would be a valuable, practical lesson for the kids beyond what they are taught in the classroom.

 

The question remains: Which crops are the best choice for the small plot of land in Kigamboni, in south Dar es Salaam? There are crops of maize grown nearby, but the charity is keen to provide the most nutrient rich crops for the kids in its care, and make the most of the land resource available.  As stated in this BBC feature, the need for super-crops that are more fruitful, drought resistant, disease tolerant, and nutritious are incredibly important for a country such as Tanzania, that has a youth bulge to sustain. Would the sandy soil be capable of sustaining crops such as Cowpea, Pigeon pea, Finger millet, Pearl millet, and Red Sorghum?

A small plot of grass covered land in the Kigamboni region of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania could be used to grow crops for the HBH charity

Thanks to the generosity of Agribusiness firm Balton Tanzania donating an irrigation kit, and landowners in the Kigamboni region south of Dar es Salaam, the charity is looking to grow its own crops. Will crops such as pigeon pea and finger millet flourish?

As this would be the House of Blue Hope charity’s first sustainability project, the charity is keen to learn from any experienced agribusiness operators based in Dar es Salaam who have workable knowledge of the area’s crop potential. If any readers have insight into these matters, and are interested in providing any aid in this area to help increase the self-sufficiency and sustainability of the charity, please do not hesitate to get in touch at info@houseofbluehope.org   

 

 

the charity's alumni receive certificates for completing the seminar for employment, entrepreneurship and human rights in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Empowering HBH Alumni for Business and Employment

Through hard work, determination, and a lot of help from our generous supporters, HBH has reached an important milestone: its 10th Birthday. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to get the charity this far. Thank you! 

Now ten years on, the once vulnerable young boys who were the first to gain the support they needed from the charity are now young men who have gone on to pursue further education, vocational training, and employment in their chosen industries. Though they have achieved a great deal despite turbulent childhoods there are still many hurdles for them to face, and as part of its remit the charity is keen to help these talented young men reach their full potential.

The education these young alumni received through the charity’s support has been of the highest standard, however the soft skills and the tools needed to navigate the jobs market, alongside entrepreneurial skills are vital for a young country like Tanzania, with a youthful, often poorly trained workforce. These skills, and knowledge of employment laws and best practices, are often overlooked by academic institutions.

It was with this in mind that four of HBH’s first graduates attended a two-day seminar, conducted by LECRI Consult Ltd: a business and children’s rights consultancy firm based in Dar es Salaam.  The two-day seminar covered being a responsible young citizen, guidance on job application best practices and preparation for job interviews, as well as an introduction into turning a business idea into reality.

The charity's alumni receive their certificates for completing the two day seminar performed by Lecri Consult Ltd in Dar Es Salaam.

The charity’s alumni found the 2-day seminar empowering, and will be putting their new skills to good use in business and employment.

“I was very happy to attend the seminar. I learned how to prepare and write a good CV, and how to express myself well and confidently in interviews. We also learned about human rights and employment frameworks. We met many different people and shared ideas concerning employment and entrepreneurship too. It was very interesting!”

                                               HBH alumnus James Mdota 

As part of its ethos, the charity strives to help vulnerable kids who have little hope in escaping the inter-generational poverty trap, and reach their full potential becoming successful, self sufficient, and socially responsible citizens. To be able to provide the guidance for the young men who were the first vulnerable young boys to receive the charity’s aid, in order for them to achieve these goals is an important milestone and one that the charity hopes to replicate for its current wards. The charity looks forward to being able to empower the next generation of boys and girls in its care so that they are well equipped to lead happy, productive, and responsible lives.