17 June 2015

‘How being outdoors can make a positive impact on the world’ by Jane Masuki

‘How being outdoors can make a positive impact on the world’ by Jane Masuki

Tanzanian venturer, Jane Masuki seized the opportunity to participate in a Raleigh International expedition in order to further her skills and make a positive impact in her country.

“I thought Raleigh would be a great opportunity to meet new people and learn new things,” said Jane. “But most of all, I thought it would be a really good way of helping my community and people.”

“The trek phase was a very beautiful experience; everything ran really smoothly and I never expected northern Tanzania to be so beautiful, because I had only read about it in books and not been to the specific areas. It really inspired me to conserve out environment and so we can keep the beauty that we were seeing. Other people should be inspired and look to preserve what we have.”

“I was really grateful for the beautiful boots from Hi-Tec, they were so comfortable and kept my feet dry the entire time, both on trek and during my time in Miganga when everyone else’s feet got soaked through. My Hi-Tec sleeping bag was also really warm, even in Lushoto where it got very cold during the night.”

“I also got good use out of my boots during the construction phase. I spent a lot of hours working on the project site, and my equipment stood up to a lot of hard work. I found the construction really enjoyable; because we did it in cooperation and always helped each other out. The interaction we had with the local community was also brilliant, and doing things like our action research really helped us to get a lot more involved with the community.

“When working on an Early Childhood Development centre in Miganga, I felt inspired. I can picture myself painting the walls or teaching inside it; it feels a bit like there is a magnet or some kind of magic pulling me towards it,” said Jane.

In Tanzania, compulsory free education starts at the age of seven. Before primary education, few children attend pre-school education. Early Childhood Development

centres provide a space for up to 200 children whom otherwise would not receive education at such a crucial period of their lives.

“I find it very hard to see children who work all day and aren’t able to go to school, or to see children who aren’t able to read or write. Some of those children may have great potential and could be successful but their situation holds them back. I am really proud to be involved in building something that will help to improve that situation here in Tanzania.”

ECDs provide a place not just for young children to learn, but also to help them integrate with their peers, learn through play and discovery, and develop key skills that are vital for their transition into primary school. Once they arrive at primary school, children who previously attended an ECD are much easier to teach, as they are already used to school environments.

Communities also benefit because their children are able to read, write and count at an earlier age, increasing their development at a crucial stage of their lives. Whilst their children are at the ECD, parents will have more time for income-generating activities.

“I think it is really hard for me to pick one single best moment as every day I have been around people who have made me really happy. Raleigh has been the best experience of my life. Living with people who only know what country you are from and nothing else is a great experience.”