I began work at an agency called the Salama Center today (1/19/15), they are a non-profit organization that serves the Majengo neighborhood of Moshi which ranks among the poorest in the area. The Salama Center focuses on helping children who are orphans or destitute and their host families, which can include members of the child’s extended family. While the Center is not an orphanage, it helps to support the community children and donates food, money, and access to health care for up to three members of the family. The Center also pays the school fees and provides access to a small computer lab to ensure that the children are learning technical skills in addition to their education. I work as a part of a small team of social workers and community organizers to dispense the donations, visit the homes of the children, develop programs to raise money, update the case files, and work with the children directly through activities at the center. During the home visits we ask about the health of the family, whether or not any member are currently working, progress of the child in school, and anything else relevant to their particular case. In a land of corrupt NGO’s it is refreshing to find an agency that is truly giving back to the community. You can learn more by visiting the website: http://betterfutureinternational.org/content/country/tanzania
In a country where there are literally hundreds of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), many of which began with strong and honorable intentions but who are now corrupt, it is unique to find one with dedicated and passionate staff. The founder himself came from Majengo and now spends his time trying to help the community that he came from. As an example of the ever growing corruption in Tanzania’s NGO community, my original placement had to be cancelled because of allegations of fraud and money mismanagement. This forced me to think outside of the box and use my networking skills to secure a placement. I am incredibly happy about how things turned out and am looking forward to digging deeper into the agencies and the major players involved with the NGO community in Moshi.