|TEMBO sends girls to school|
|Written by Laura Green|
|Thursday, 08 December 2011|
In Canadian society, $300 is enough money to buy a new iPod Classic, part of your rent for a month, an Xbox 360 or a digital camera. In Tanzania, $300 can send a girl to secondary school for the entire year.
This is just one of the many realities that was highlighted at the seventh annual TEMBO—the Tanzanian Education and Micro Business Opportunity program—nluncheon on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Westboro.
Volunteers and long-time members of TEMBO gathered to learn more about some of the dire situations in the two African villages of Longido and Kimokouwa.
One of the members, Dr. Gail Webber, gave a presentation highlighting the health risks that expectant mothers face during birth, and where they can receive help.
“They don’t do IV medications over there,” said Webber. “And of course, most of the women are delivering at home, so that’s not much better.”
Webber explained that some of TEMBO’s future initiatives involved teaching expectant and nursing women how to properly take their medications, and testing women for HIV to ensure the children’s safe arrival and to prevent a possible HIV transmission.
The goal of events such as the annual luncheon is to raise funds to aid several parts of Project TEMBO. Some of these include health care, aiding medical facilities, helping to empower women and educating them to provide a better life.
Project TEMBO Co-Founder Jo Marchant explained how simple it is to help make a world of difference in one of these small communities.
“If you spend $300, you could send a girl to [secondary school],” said Marchant. “This means that we can buy her a mattress, we can buy her uniform, we can buy her shoes, we can pay her tuition [and] we can pay her room and board.”
Several Algonquin students have been involved in helping project TEMBO get where it is today. Last year alone, various students were able to raise almost $4, 000 in funds.
Job readiness training student Amy Oakley heard about Project TEMBO’s efforts through her professor Joyce Nolan when looking for a placement opportunity in early November.
“I didn’t want something that was nine to five,” said Oakley. “I wanted to support a good cause, but the benefits were two-fold.”
Oakley’s main responsibility is to write articles focusing on how TEMBO directly benefits and works in a partnership with Algonquin.
“I love writing about the positive things that charities do for other people, because it’s a benefit that’s equally mutual. [It’s] not about one side giving something up, it benefits both sides,” said Oakley.
Fatouma Haibe Houssein, another Algonquin student who is also in the job readiness training program, will take her placement at TEMBO a little farther than most students.
“My [dream job] is to help women and young girls in Africa,” said Houssein. “When I told my teacher that, she set me up.”
Houssein helps out with everything that she can with TEMBO, from baking food, to sending postcards and the odd help with filing. And the effort doesn’t stop there.
“I want to go back to university and get a certificate for international development. In the future I want to go to Africa and help TEMBO, or another organization,” said Houssein.
In January, Project TEMBO is sending volunteers back to Longido on a cultural visit and progress tour, to meet with and talk to some of the residents and workers of Tanzania.
Other than the visit, there are many more projects in cue for Project TEMBO, each of them making a difference in one way or another.