Aktualisiert: 28. Okt 2018
Some of the participants of the GlobalMatch programme have been selected to participate in the first real life exchange (sponsored by Engagement Global on behalf of BMZ) between Uganda and Germany. This is the story of Abella and Alexandra, a tandem from Tanzania and Germany, reviewing the time in Jinja, Uganda.
The two weeks here in Jinja, Uganda, are almost over, so here is our feedback about what we learned for our project "Jambo Sanaa".
After a few days of getting to know each other and the environment we started to formulate our personal mission statements.
Abella’s mission is: “I want to empower girls!”
Alexandra’s mission is: “I want to make sure children can express themselves creatively and freely, and that they become aware about racism and global power balances at an early stage, in order to create a more happy and loving society.”
As you can see these two statements don’t align completely. This became particularly obvious to us when we were offered some coaching sessions by Prosper and Katharina during the exchange. They asked us many questions to dig deeper into how our partnership can work and what we learn from each other. As we already have a project together called Jambo Sanaa (“Hello Art”) and Abella has a project called Wasichana Tunaweza (“Girls, we can!”) it is worth explaining what we do in these projects, in order to understand the different missions.
Jambo Sanaa has started with Alexandra’s idea of exhibiting artworks made by the children at Kayanga Primary School, where Abella works as a teacher, alongside her own art works. She then decided to continue this project as she had the privilege to experience art education in her childhood that impacted her positively. Abella and Alexandra then conducted art workshops on topics like “The Role of the Woman” or “Ndoto Yangu” (“My Dream”) at Kayanga Primary School. Alexandra did fundraising in Germany and also wrote a teaching aid. During her studies at the University of Cambridge she then, however, realised that this cooperation was not on eye level; she was taking somehow a “white saviour” ( http://afropunk.com/2018/06/white-savior-your-volunteer-trip-to-africa-was-more-beneficial-to-you-than-to-africa/) role, which didn’t allow for both, her and Abella, to contribute equally with ideas and workforce to Jambo Sanaa.
Wasichana Tunaweza, on the other hand, is a project that Abella had started as part of the organisation Jambo Bukoba. Abella empowers girls through Menstrual Hygiene Management courses with girls at the age of 11-14. She taught them how to prevent early pregnancies and how to deal with their menstruation. In order to finance the activities, her group also makes jewellery, which they sell at different events.
So it becomes obvious through the initiation of the two projects how we differ somehow in our mission. And we still have to find out how we go about fulfilling both our missions through the projects. Because we learned that only when we both burn for what we are doing, the projects can be successful and both tandems but in equal efforts to fullfil the mission.
Aditionally we learned during the exchange how other projects are working to support themselves financially, such as African Arise Youth Organisation and that through sharing ideas in this community of young ambitious people, we get more ideas for our own projects. Moreover, the Design Thinking workshop held by Felix helped us to generate ideas fast and how we can learn for our project by constantly asking for feedback from our target group. Another workshop that was vey crucial for us was the workshop on postcoloniality, as it helped Abella to feel more empowered and Alexandra to be more critical about global power structures and how they can be reproduced in the partnership. We understand that without this process cooperation between someone from the Global North and someone from the Global South cannot work on equal terms. We are now getting closer and closer to have equal responsibility and equal say in Jambo Sanaa, which was not the case before. Alexandra acted as the head of the project, made all decisions and did all the fundraising, which made Abella feel inferior.
After having made so much important progress during this time of the exchange, we are now ready to formulate our goals and To Dos for after the exchange:
1. We want to make sure that we both contribute equally to the strategy of Jambo Sanaa, both have access to the money, and make decisions together
2. We want to have regular biweekly calls, where we set goals and report back to each other whether we have achieved the goals
3. We want to continue GM sessions and find out who our target group is
4. We have to make a financial plan for the cost of the menstrual pads à How many bracelets/ earrings/ to sell at Jambo Bukoba Bonanza in January to buy a certain amount of pads à We have to do research with Tanzanians and Germans who attend this event, of which designs thy like most à then create the products