Two years ago I went to Tanzania with a gang of people I met on Twitter to distribute footballs to some of the poorest villages and schools in the country. We kept in touch with our driver for the trip, Seb, who recently reached out to us asking if there was anything we could do for the women of his village. Myself and one of the gang Darren found that an offer hard to refuse.
The aim of the Great Football Giveaway was to 'Put smiles on children's faces', a worthy aim given dire poverty and poor health many of them were living in. It was an instant hit with instant results. After a few conversations with Seb it became clear that whilst money would go someway to changing the lives of many in his village, knowledge would stretch much further. As I pointed out here, the distribution of knowledge can be a very low cost solution, a resource that can last a lifetime. 'Teach a man to fish' and all that...
So we booked a couple of flights and landed yesterday. After a short rest followed by dinner with the elders of the village it was clear that there could be some short term wins easily achieved. When you are faced with that kind of situation you want to do the most obvious thing as quickly as possible. But we surveyed the pages of notes made during our meal and decided to sleep on them knowing that there were another thousand questions to be asked tomorrow.
We came to Tanzania with the following aims:1. Empower the women to find a way out of poverty for their families.
2. Inspire belief by changing the poverty and dependency mindset.
3. Get every child in the village into school.
Yes, money is going to be needed, but so too are the skills and knowledge required to create a village of female entrepreneurs that will generate income which will go back into the village for the benefit of all. So I'll make no apologies for reaching out to my network over the following days, weeks and months for help in many shapes and forms.
Connectivity permitting I'll keep you all updated on the visit over the next 7 days.