Getting to know our community: Neema Craft & RDO Kilolo

Authored by:
Delina Auciello

Delina Auciello

The past two days have been spent learning more about the community around us. We have toured both Neema Craft and Rural Development Organization (RDO) in Kilolo. Neema Craft is a large yellow building that can be found in Iringatown. It is home to a cafe, hostel, and small shop that are all sustainably maintained by local Tanzanians with disabilities. We were able to take a tour of the workshop thanks to our wonderful tour guide, Titus, who doubles as the store manager at Neema. Many of the highlights of the tour was seeing bracelets and necklaces be made out of recycled glass, paper made out of bananas and elephant dung, and designs being painted onto fabric. The girls also enjoyed learning what the workers names were in sign language and visiting the wood workshop.

This morning we traveled down dirt roads to the Kilolo site of Rural Development Organization (RDO). Rural Development Organization is a locally based organization that serves various villages throughout Tanzania. RDO began as an agricultural organization and had a Best Farmers Association program in which it would help village members develop technical agricultural skills. RDO now serves orphans and their families and provides vocational training as well. Many times the services that they provide to orphans come in the form of exercise books, cooking oil, and schooling for children. Many orphans in the areas that RDO serves in end up living with their grandparents because their parents die of HIV/AIDS. This becomes a large burden on the grandparents as they do not have the means to provide for all of the children.

In Kilolo, we visited the dispensary and learned about the various levels of health organizations in Tanzania (national hospital, health center, and then dispensary). We also learned more about HIV/AIDS and how prevalent it is here in Tanzania.

After our morning tour we had some time for pumzika (relaxing) where we spent time playing cards and chatting about our experiences here. We then split up into two groups and traveled on foot to visit homes that receive services from RDO. Each group visited four separate families and learned about their stories and the services they receive.

That is all for now! We are excited to watch the final of the World Cup tomorrow and to get a traditional healer in Kilolo.

Asante sana (thank you!)
Dee and the Iringa Session 2 Girls

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