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From day one, TEMBO Canada has believed in the power of working together as demonstrated in our long-standing partnership with TEMBO (Tanzania) for more than 14 years. Together, we have supported more than 430 girls in secondary school and over 200 women with micro-business loans...and so much more.

The theme of our November Newsletter is 'partnership' as we share with you 4 initiatives that exemplify how working together to address local challenges can lead to success.

Protecting girls from the practice of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is a formidable task in an area where the practice is a deeply rooted cultural practice. But through the work of many individuals and organizations, attitudes about FGM are slowly changing. In 2016, TEMBO (Tanzania) partnered with MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) to  strengthen and expand the work that TEMBO had been doing on child protection and the dangers of FGM.

MCC has provided two consecutive grants, each for multiple years. TEMBO is currently in the second year of the second phase of grants.

With funding from MCC, TEMBO conducted 3-4 seminars each year in 4 villages on the dangers of FGM. Men, women, elders, and village leaders attended the seminars.

MCC offers training to all of their partners and through these meetings, the staff at TEMBO meets people from other agencies working in northern Tanzania. Some of these sessions of up to 20 people are held at TEMBO and the staff is proud to showcase TEMBO.

The TEMBO staff continues to gain knowledge through their work with MCC that helps to build organizational capacity in areas such as policy development, accountability and evaluation.


TOTS Group, May 2021

Then there is the partnership with the TOTS (Training of Teachers) who work with and for TEMBO in the community. When the program was launched, TEMBO worked with 8 Masaai women from 4 remote villages. Today, there are 22 TOTS including men and women in six villages. TEMBO staff has helped them become leaders in their communities. They represent TEMBO and share the message about the harmful effects of FGM. This has allowed TEMBO to reach more people in the community and to ensure that there is a presence.

Paulina Sumayani, Executive Director of TEMBO, sees a great benefit in the partnership with MCC. “Not only does MCC offer excellent training,” she says, “they also provide an opportunity for TEMBO to reach large numbers of people in the community where they can raise awareness of the dangers of FGM.”


In 2015, Carleton University initiated an exploratory relationship with TEMBO examining water related challenges within the district of Longido. The initial plan was to bring expertise in water information to the community while listening to a variety of leaders, educators, and community members on water needs.

Water Taps in Longido Village

Through a series of meetings, Carleton faculty members managed to focus their water questions on the area of provision of improved (safe) water and education. Thus, after 3 years of meetings, pilots, and conversations, a team of faculty and students was able to come up with a plan to bring Ceramic Water Filters to the community. However, based on prior studies, it was clear that many projects fail to have long term impact because the water filters fall into disuse. Carleton was able to avoid this by implementing a program through TEMBO and working with groups of women in the Women's Literacy Program. As this program runs in cohorts that last 2-3 years, this gave the Carleton team an excellent opportunity to explore long term teaching and training with the filters to assess for water filter usage over an extended time period.

TEMBO Staff and Water FIlter Team, 2019

 Dr. Ontia Basu, Associate Professor of Engineering at Carleton University noted, "We could not possibly have done the program without TEMBO, who have the connection and trust with the community. In addition, by partnering with an existing educational program it was a seamless transition for the women participating."

Onita's most favorite quote from the program was collected in an interview by one of the community water coordinators. A participant said to her, “ I always thought stomach pain was normal. But now with the filter, I have no more pain. It was because of the water” --

Distributing Filters, October 2021

Currently, the Carleton team is working with two literacy groups in the Longido District. These 80 women share the water filters with their immediate families and with others close by. In this way, the impact has been estimated to reach up to 400 people and they are hoping to add a third group in 2023.


In the early years of TEMBO’s girl sponsorship program, volunteers realized that you can’t just educate the girls: you need to educate the community.  Thus began a unique partnership between TEMBO and the District to determine the best community educational model for Longido,

TEMBO spent almost two years in conversation with the District and with Longido village leaders. Once the decision was made to build a learning centre, everyone agreed that the project would succeed only if there was a true partnership. TEMBO, the District and the village established a Board of Directors and created a memo of understanding: TEMBO would build and resource the Learning Centre and the District would donate the land, provide architectural services and fund an elementary, a secondary and a computer teacher who would develop and deliver programs for children and adults at LIL.

Longido District Learning Centre

Today, TEMBO pays the salaries of the Executive Director,  two outreach teachers, a security guard and housekeeper. The District covers the salary of the school teachers.

LIL opened its doors in 2015 and since then it has been a vibrant educational centre with ever expanding programs for all members of the community. It houses a dynamic nursery school program and the Learning Centre is buzzing with school children after school and during school holidays. On long breaks, the rooms are filled with students of all ages.

Primary School Students, Computer Room

Under the direction of the secondary teachers, private candidates who have not been able to attend school prepare for national exams in the library.

Education often happens organically in a place such as LIL. Women in the sewing program learn literacy and numeracy skills. Others will learn about food cultivation and food security from Fortunatas, the gardener.

Arlene McKecknie, Vice President of TEMBO Canada, feels that  the partnership between the District and TEMBO is very positive. “LIL is good for the community, she says. “It is a symbol, serving as a beacon of education. The community is very proud of it.”

TEMBO Canada would like to thank all the participants and donors who contributed to making our second fully online auction such a success. Our final tally brought us to our fundraising goal.  We had such a wide variety of items in the auction including WestJet tickets, gift baskets from local businesses, original works of art by talented local artists and makers, and of course products and fabrics from Africa.   It seems that many of us are very ready to get out of the house as there was a lot of interest in the two cottage properties.  Restaurant certificates were again a favourite as was the "Dreams of Thailand" package, a home-prepared Thai dinner for six.  These may be uncertain times, but our donors and supporters were there to help us build the funds that will keep the doors of opportunity open for the girls and women in Longido.

Asante Sana!
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