TEMBO Newsletter - July 2020
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If you are in Longido and looking to have a dress made, we encourage you to look for Hawa. Just look for the young woman with a radiant smile, a brightly coloured hijab and a new sewing machine.

In 2016, Hawa attended TEMBO's Primary and Secondary Success (PASS) program with dreams of going on to secondary school. Unfortunately, she did not pass the required national exam but, with the help of the TEMBO staff, Hawa was able to explore other options. In January 2017, she headed off to Mariele Training School and a 3-year program in tailoring where she learned to make school uniforms, dresses and suits.

Hawa graduated in December 2019 and like so many youth today, she wondered how to find employment. Her father passed away when she was in primary school leaving her mother to raise 5 children. After completing her studies, she returned home to live with her mother but she had no resources to move forward with a business.

In January, TEMBO launched a development program to support girls like Hawa who have successfully completed their vocational studies. According to Paulina Sumayani, Executive Director, TEMBO Tanzania, "graduates from vocational training courses have no facilities for starting to do their work and also no capital for buying the necessary materials that help them to start their business. These girls come from economically challenged families and it is important to continue to support them in attaining skills in their fields of study. This program will help them improve the economic situation of their families and the community at large in the future."

Hawa was identified as one of five girls who will receive support. For Hawa, this means a new sewing machine, thread, scissors, needles, etc. and support to pay rent for her 'business' operations. 

Hawa once dreamed of an education beyond Standard 7. Today, at the age of 19, she dreams of becoming a successful business woman. "It is challenging to wait for the customers to come, but my business is new. I like to sew dresses and women's clothes. I know they will come soon."  Given her location in town - and  her welcoming smile - we know that she will make it!

When schools in Tanzania closed because of COVID 19 on March 17, it meant big changes for the girls in the TEMBO community. The TEMBO Hostel closed its doors and the Girl Care Program and TEMBO English Camp were cancelled. But most dramatically, the students had to leave their schools and return to their villages.

At home, girls faced enormous challenges to try to keep up with their studies: they could not study during the day because they had to help their parents by collecting firewood and water and doing kitchen chores. And at night, when the sun set at 6 p.m. it was difficult to study because they had no light. When they did get a chance to do school work, they missed the feedback that they get at school from teachers and classmates. As Angel (Form 1) said,” It was hard to work without teachers or fellow students. There was nobody to ask questions that needed clarification.”

TEMBO responded quickly to this new reality in many ways. Each girl received a monthly package of toiletries including extra soap and pads.


For girls like Naitwaiti who lives in a remote village, TEMBO ensured that the toiletries were distributed in a timely manner by sending packages out by motorcycle.

Forms 1 and 2 girls received novels and chapter exercises and all 140 girls received copies of Tanzanian Syllabus Review Books for studying. Local secondary school teachers were sending study sheets to students using phones but because the girls had no way to access this material, TEMBO staff printed the sheets and delivered them to the girls.

Given the extreme poverty and challenging situations in some households, girls were facing many difficult challenges. For these girls and their families, TEMBO provided emergency food packages.


Most importantly, TEMBO staff stayed in touch with the girls, providing them with motivation to remain positive and to focus on their studies. As the girls returned to school, they took the time to thank TEMBO for the toiletries, books and learning materials and they say they felt secure and cared for by the staff.

Now that they are back at school, the girls are happy. Margaret, a Form 4 student spoke on behalf of all the girls when she said, “I am very happy because the schools are open and I will work very hard to pass my exams."  They also promise to abide by the COVID19 safety protocols at their schools.


Women in TEMBO's micro finance program felt the negative effects of COVID. With higher commodity prices and fewer customers, they had trouble making sales. Often their produce would rot before it could be sold. They kept themselves safe while working by setting up hand washing buckets with soap, wearing masks and avoiding crowds.

TEMBO provided the women in the literacy program with soap and education on the importance of handwashing. After learning about the seriousness of the disease from TEMBO and from village leaders, the women set up a bucket with soap near their bomas. “It is difficult to get people washing their hands when they come,” one woman says, “because it is something new and for them, you only wash hands when you eat.


TEMBO Canada has continued to stay in contact with the staff of TEMBO Trust throughout the pandemic to determine needs within the community and to ensure the health and well-being of all. Working with local authorities, the staff have ensured that they are safe and that the working conditions at TEMBO follow guidelines for handwashing and physical distancing. In April and May they worked from home using their phones to stay in touch with the girls and women, and when someone was required to be in the office, they came in on separate days. 

Today, the TEMBO staff continue to take the necessary steps in creating a safe and healthy workplace as they monitor the situation of COVID 19 in the community of Longido.
LIL Staff happy to reopen doors to community

The doors of the Longido Learning Centre (LIL) have reopened and staff are enthusiastically welcoming back the community. Closed since March 17 because of COVID 19, LIL delivers programs for the entire community: adult and children’s library, computer centre, tailoring classes, independent learning program, outreach literacy classes, and so much more.

During the closure, TEMBO staff provided emergency food packages to the women in the tailoring program. They also stepped up security at LIL to ensure that the building was secure.

Since the reopening on July 1, LIL staff have been working on resuming programming while taking proper measures to protect themselves and the community from COVID-19.

Here’s what the staff say about what it means to them to reopen:

Judith and Namnyak say they are keen to “work hard to make the programs a success.”They both look forward to improving their programs while continuing to practice proper safety measures." 

Colman, who oversees the Independent Learning Program, plans to take precautions against COVID as he restarts his programs. ”To open the Learning Centre again means happiness because we are going to work instead of staying jobless,” he says.
LeLya Masai, the newly appointed computer teacher plans “to inspire and motivate the community by raising awareness of the importance of Information Technology.”  He feels that “innovation and creativity are needed to recover from the gap created by COVID-19.”
Angela is working hard to clean up the LIL environment and has plans to beautify it by adding many flowers.
Hear directly from the women in the tailoring program at LIL as they acknowledge the support of TEMBO during the global pandemic.


In Summer 2019, TEMBO helped launch the Water Filter Project in partnership with Robbie Venis (PhD Candidate) and Dr. Onita Basu (Supervising Professor) from Water Education Research (WatER) at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. The program aims to increase access to safe drinking water in Kimokouwa, a sub-village of Longido, by providing Ceramic Water Filters (CWFs) and associated education to women participating in TEMBO’s Adult Literacy Program. For 14 weeks, lessons on topics such as handwashing, proper hygiene, sanitation and filter use and maintenance were provided as a part of the Literacy Group Meetings, and CWFs were given to every woman in attendance to use in their homes. Through this program, 49 households were provided with filters, which made clean drinking water available to nearly 400 people in the community!

WatER also provided filters and education programming to girls participating in TEMBO’s Education Camp (TEC), PASS program, as well as to students and staff at Learning in Longido (LIL), improving safe water access in the broader Longido community.

Women in the literacy program learn how to clean a water filter.

Over the year since its inception, the project’s local staff have regularly engaged with women from the literacy program, as well as staff from TEMBO and LIL, to learn about the filters’ impacts and what steps can be taken moving forward to ensure safe water is sustainably accessible for all. Steps have also been taken in recent weeks to modify the program to include information pertaining to COVID-19, in an effort to support the community’s overall health during these unprecedented times.

You can learn more about WatER and TEMBO’s partnership at WatERCarleton.org, or by following them @WatERCarleton on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


OCTOBER 24th, 2020


On Saturday, October 24th, please join us for our annual luncheon including an online webinar, program update from Tanzania and more. As a registered attendee, you will receive recipes from chefs and cookbook authors. Make a bowl of soup and sign in for a unique lunchtime presentation.

Tickets go on sale September 15, 2020.



TEMBO's Annual Online Auction returns with many great offerings
from businesses, artists, gardeners and more.

October 10th - 24th, 2020
Stay tuned for more information coming in September.
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