“So how far is it to Moshi?”
“Well it depends who’s driving…”
And so began our 6 week adventure in Moshi, Tanzania. After 36 hours in transit, including a healthy dose of turbulence, unexplained delays, beautiful airport sunrises and surprisingly good quality breakfasts in Johannesburg, we groggily entered Moshi about 9pm Saturday night (in 40 minutes, definitely on the shorter end of the travel times thanks our speedy driver).
Our group is made up of Caroline (Team Vista director, our guide to Moshi and our contact for everything we’ll do here), myself (helping with Team Vista through a scholarship with W&G), mpenzi Sam (working with both Team Vista and KWEICO providing legal aid), Olivia (teaching English with Team Vista as part of her gap year) and Thomas (volunteering with Team Vista and connecting Engineers Without Borders). We are based at the Haria Hotel in the centre of Moshi, which Team Vista recently took over in December 2014. The hotel is the perfect base with awesome staff, a charming rooftop restaurant and bar and postcard views of Mount Kilimanjaro
How Tatu Rafiki & the Upendo women’s group are sewing themselves a brighter future!
To empower is to make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
Empowerment is a concept close to the core of Team Vista’s overarching principle. Our aim is to help empower those less fortunate to build positive, sustainable futures for them selves, by giving them a hand up, not a hand out.
In effort to empower the community of Moshi, Team Vista have helped 7 women off the dump by establishing the Upendo women’s group, who have recently started working closely with our legally deaf master sewing group, ‘Tatu Rafiki’.
Tatu Rafiki is a group of talented, determined and dedicated sewers who have come together because of a handicap and created a bond over a shared passion for creativity.
Due to the corrupt nature of some of Africa’s poorer areas like Moshi, a more affluent ‘mentor’ exploited these skilled craftsmen and women. They were overworked and underpaid. They were unable to provide for their families. Their families disowned them and they were left to fend for themselves.
The name ‘Tatu Rafiki’ means “three friends” in the group’s native, Swahili, and they are a real story of triumph. Tatu Rafiki, are trained in tailoring and business and have become mentors for Team Vista’s Upendo women’s group, helping them improve upon their very modest sewing skills and empowering them to create a sustainable life for themselves away from the rubbish dump, thanks to a generous donation from Adelaide Torrens Zonta group.
Tatu Rafiki work from Haria Hotel creating traditional batik, clothing and bags, which are then bought at a fair trade price by Team Vista and sold in the local community, as well as Australia. They have come up with their own business plan for their ventures, an empowering step to creating a more comfortable and sustainable future for themselves and their families.
Thank you for all your support that allows us to help empower such a courageous community!
Watch this space to hear more about the creative ventures of these two inspirational groups.
This is Siadi. He is one of our sponsored children from Moshi. Saidi has just finished his schooling and is now off to Health College, a stepping stone to his dream of being a heart surgeon.
This is just one of many amazing stories, where children living in poverty receive educational opportunities and a chance at a new life.
To all our donors and supporters of Team Vista, THANK YOU! You truly are making a difference.
I flew into Moshi on the 30th of December and haven’t stopped. I’ve been flat out setting up our newest venture The Haria Hotel. The Haria is a small hotel/hostel in the main street of Moshi. It’s a budget, no frills accommodation with a rooftop bar & cafe and of course stunning views of Mt Kilimanjaro
Team Vista has had a great relationship with The Haria for many years. It’s always been our favourite place to stay each time we are over from Australia. And as of January 1st we are thrilled to announce we have taken over as new managers.
We decided to close for the first few days to get the rooms prepared and it’s been trades person central! So far we have installed a new cover upstairs on the rooftop, set up the kitchen, had new sheets and bed covers made and are in the process of having all the furniture repaired, installing new lighting on the rooftop, general repairs and maintenance.
After a few hiccups (as to be expected), we are making progress. Our landlord, the lovely Mr Haria has been fantastic, helping us to organise painting, new mattresses for all the beds and has been bringing us appliances to use in the kitchen each day.
We are looking forward to Team Vista supporter, Pippa arriving tomorrow from Perth. Pippa is a chef and has worked at resorts throughout Africa. Pippa will be working with our cooks here to set up a new menu and get the kitchen set up in time for our official opening party on Saturday the 17th January. If you are in or around Moshi, please come celebrate this exciting venture with us and check out our hotel website - www.hariahotel.com
In September this year we received a very generous $10,000 grant from LUSH Cosmetics to purchase a mini-van to use in Moshi. The vehicle arrived a couple of weeks ago and it is already being put to good use to transport students to and from school and medical appointments, as well as to collect supplies for the school and children’s home. Prior to receiving this grant, our staff in Moshi relied upon taxis for transport, which was very costly, and there was a real need for our own means of transport. Ndiko, the Team Vista Tanzania Coordinator and Chairman said he keeps looking out of his window every hour at the car and it feels like a dream to see it there.
The grant from LUSH Cosmetics is made possible by their Charity Pot initiative. Team Vista has their own Charity Pot, a hand and body butter, which is available to purchase in LUSH stores around Australia. The proceeds from these sales go towards grant projects. Lola Figuero, who manages the Charity Pot initiative said “LUSH Cosmetics has always been an active campaigning company that supports small grassroots groups in the areas of environmental protection, human rights and animal welfare. The Charity Pot funding program is a key way for us to support projects that create long-term change and make a real difference”.
We are so grateful for LUSH Cosmetics’ generous support of Team Vista, which has enabled us to purchase our mini-van. A comment in a recent email from LUSH highlights just what a wonderful support they have been to us: “We are very proud to support the work Team Vista is doing to support the community of Moshi, Tanzania. We hope that through the purchase of this mini-van Team Vista staff will be able to continue their work in the region and with the help of the community make positive and long lasting change”.
The mini-van will change the lives of our staff and students in Moshi and make our work even more sustainable. We would like to thank LUSH Cosmetics again for their incredible generosity. Our director, Caroline received a lovely comment from a LUSH employee, which we think epitomises the company’s caring and supportive ethos – “welcome to the family” – and we are so happy to be a part of it.
Last Thursday 11th December saw the collaboration of internationally acclaimed artist, Emma Hack and Team Vista to help paint a positive future for children in Tanzania. Emma’s art takes the unique form of body paint installation, captured in a photograph. As part of her 25 Days of Christmas exhibition at her North Adelaide Gallery, Emma generously hosted an event exclusively for Team Vista’s supporters.
With drinks and nibbles a plenty, the Team Vista team, along with a number of Team Vista’s nearest and dearest supporters, “ooooh’d” and “ahhh’d” as they feasted their eyes on Emma’s incredible works of art that adorned her gallery’s walls.
Emma generously donated a copy of her limited edition Wallpaper Collection Book for our raffle on the night, as well as donating 20% of all sales to Team Vista. We were all treated to a special artist talk from Emma, during which she recounted the journey of her artistic career and the creative process she goes through to make her pieces a reality (and may we say, it involves a remarkable amount of passion, dedication, and a stroke of genius!).
Guests also had the opportunity to purchase our brand new Team Vista gift cards, as well as our Team Vista wine, which has been specially bottled for us by Lengs and Cooter of McLaren Vale, South Australia.
This unique event proved to be a great success and all who were in attendance have remarked at what a wonderful night it was. We would like to say a special thank you to Emma Hack for hosting us in her beautiful gallery, her generosity, and incredible support of Team Vista.
You can see the magic of Emma’s 25 Days of Christmas exhibition for yourself at 67 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide.
On Sunday 14th September our super fit athletes from Team Vista Adelaide participated in the Color Run. After months of contemplating training and minutes of actual training we set off. We had a ball and raised over $1400 for Team Vista. We had so much fun we are definitely planning on entering next years run.
We are tantalisingly close to raising $1500 for Team Vista. Its not too late to help us out. Just follow the link to the color run donation page.
This week we have a guest post from one of our volunteers, Lily Culbertson. Lily is a Civil Engineer with Wallbridge & Gilbert, one of our amazing and generous sponsors.
Lily recently went to Tanzania to help out on our school maintenance project, and brought her professional knowledge with her. We'll let her tell the story, but as always, if you're interesting in supporting us, there's many ways you can get involved!
Thanks again Lily, you did some great work with the team on the ground!
In June this year, I was sponsored by Wallbridge & Gilbert to travel to Tanzania and work with Team Vista for 4 weeks. During my time in Moshi, I focussed on maintenance work at the Msasani Secondary School, and investigations relating to the Newlands project.
Our work begun at the Msasani Secondary School in Kaloleni. We sourced all the materials required and worked with a local tradesman to re-concrete 6 classroom floors and 3 verandas. I feel as though this experience enhanced my skills as an engineer, as I had to overcome many challenges along the way. The language barrier was difficult from the beginning, but we were lucky enough to have a dedicated Team Vista staff member with us for most of the time to help us translate. We worked within a budget, and tried to improve the tradesman’s methodology where we saw fit, without impacting greatly on the budget (or offending him!).
The Newlands project also brought about many challenges and achievements. We surveyed the land using a handheld GPS device for the purpose of defining the boundary points and met with the Councillor of Newlands to confirm and agree on the set-out points. We also investigated building ideas for future uses for the land. Team Vista volunteers had drafted up plans of the caretaker’s hut prior to our departure, and we used these plans to obtain quotes from builders to undertake the work. We took note of different materials available in the area, including mud bricks and concrete. We also investigated water sources in Newlands, and met with the Pangani Water Basin Board to discuss the feasibility of drilling a bore. Other investigations related to building ideas the workshop, for example using shipping containers similar to the set up at the Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation (CCBRT) centre in Kaloleni.
Together with the team, I am proud of the achievements across both projects. I'm looking forward to progressing further with the Newlands project and assisting Team Vista to raise the funds needed to get the construction works off the ground.
In the last week of my time in Tanzania, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. This was truly a lifetime experience that I will never forget. The scenery was beautiful and although the journey was difficult at times, there were some incredible moments. We submitted on the morning of the fifth day and were lucky enough to reach the top just as the sun was rising over the glaciers - it was amazing!
I am grateful for all the memories, and lessons learnt from the challenges I faced during my time in Moshi. It was a fantastic experience having an insight to the work of Team Vista; my inspiration and respect for the organisation has grown even more. I am thankful for the beautiful people I met in Moshi, and will always remember their warmth and positivity. I'm sure I'll make it back in the future!
Kerry & Caroline, together with many Team Vista friends and volunteers are working hard in Moshi/Tanzania.
Check out some great pics below!
Team Vista Blog
Here you will find the latest information about events, fundraising, trips to Tanzania and more.