Our fundraising executive Kaysha talks about her recent visit to Tanzania

Posted in: Uncategorised, by Bridge2Aid Team, on 21st June 2019 | 0 comments

As a Global Development and International Relations graduate, I spent years learning about the importance of a sustainable approach to development so I already feel lucky to be able to work for an organisation that is such a great example of delivering this. Being told I would have the opportunity to go to Tanzania and see this in action for the first time was just so exciting for me! It’s amazing to think what I do from my desk in Wotton-Under-Edge in rural Gloucestershire can make such a difference to so many lives in Tanzania.

After having my injections, organising my visa, buying my malaria tablets and of course packing, I was finally ready to embark on my first trip to Tanzania.  When the day finally arrived the nerves started to set in. This did not last for long though because as soon as I met our wonderful team of volunteers at Heathrow they put my mind at rest. Some people had already had been on several trips to Tanzania, and they had no plan to slow down. I felt proud to be a part of an organisation that volunteers spoke so highly of, and a programme that volunteers want to take part in again and again.

As soon as we stepped off the plane in Mwanza, Tanzania, the lovely EH4all team greeted us. It was great to meet face to face, some of the team that I had been communicating with via email for over a year. They were even more lovely, accommodating and helpful than I could have imagined.  The heat and the landscape of Tanzania felt so familiar to me. It reminded me so much of my home country of Jamaica and I instantly felt at home.

My first day on site at the clinic felt surreal. I had watched numerous videos and seen case studies on our social media but seeing it first hand was just incredible. From the brightly coloured kitenge’s that some of our patients wore, to the sterilising room that looked out onto the rural district of Kishapu, it really hit me that I wasn’t in the UK anymore. I was amazed at how seamless our programme was. Everyone slotted into their positions perfectly and the day was just going so smoothly, it was wonderful to watch.

We were only a few hours into the first day when I met Rahabu, a woman who had been in pain for 3 years. Her face was so swollen that it made it difficult for her to eat or speak. I couldn’t imagine experiencing pain like that over such a long period and the reality is that it’s unlikely I ever will because I have such easy access to a dentist where I live in Bristol.  Within a few hours Rahabu was treated. It was overwhelming for me to see how quickly we can firstly get someone out of pain and then, because we are training clinical officers in her community, if Rahabu ever found herself in a situation like that again she would have a clinical officer to go to for treatment.

I was in awe of our volunteers! The early starts and the travelling could have been a challenge, and yet as soon as we arrived at clinic at every morning, everyone had a spring in their step.  It was amazing seeing people doing what they love. The days were long and the sun was hot but every day our volunteers saw roughly 100 patients, developed the Rural Health Workers skills and solved difficult problems in the process. Getting to interview and speak to the volunteers each day was definitely a highlight of my trip. It became clear how much the volunteers put into our programmes and that they really make the experience of our programmes what they are.

At the end of six days with the team it was time to leave. I found it difficult because I felt so much a part of the team and I wanted to complete the mission! However, I was also leaving with a spring in my step, knowing now, more than ever, how important my fundraising role is in making our programmes happen. I am so happy to have had this experience visiting our programme in Tanzania. It was wonderful to connect with all parts of our work and truly feel a part of the Bridge2Aid team.

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