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Archives – April, 2013

Game for the World is “Crucial” for the Health of Tanzanian Community

We’re grateful to Restless Development for providing a driver and transport to visit Uhambingeto secondary school, the first school in the Iringa area to use Game for the World. Headmaster Selsus Mwilike said that his community faces many challenges: teen pregnancy, substance abuse, high drop-out and failure rates.   He believes that the Game is crucial for the health of his community and that we should apply to the Tanzanian Ministry of Education to have the Game approved for the curriculum in schools. He said that their curriculum includes HIV/AIDS education in biology, civics, life skills and geography. Selsus said, “The Game enables students to talk about HIV and express themselves. The questions are well-organized and increase my student’s HIV awareness. It also helps my students to go back home and talk about HIV.” He said he wants to be our partner in spreading the use of Game for the World in schools.

Headmaster Selsus Mwilike and Anne speaking to Uhambingeto school teachers

Headmaster Selsus Mwilike and Anne speaking to Uhambingeto school teachers

Uhambingeto School has 300 students and 16 teachers. We spoke to teachers and students about the Game. The teachers said that the Game is very relevant to what their students are learning and that it gives them confidence in speaking about HIV.  They said their students are learning about HIV and improving their English. They specifically wanted English Games and so we donated an additional 10 Games to the school.

After visiting the school, we met Jemida Kulanga, a coordinator of Pamoja Twalee project run by Chama Cha Malezi Bora Tanzania (UMATI), an agency which provides sexual and reproductive health education and services for youth and pregnant women throughout Tanzania.  UMATI first used Game for the World with youth who chose to postpone a football tournament in order to play it. We couldn’t ask for a more powerful testimony!  UMATI’s volunteers told us that Game for the World has been used very effectively in UMATI’s HIV testing awareness campaign; it motivates people to get tested and empowers them to know their status. Youth come to UMATI every day to play games, including Game for the World and to socialize. We saw two groups playing the Game while we were there – it is so inspiring to see the Game being played in Tanzania!

Our work in Tanzania is supported by a grant from the Zuckerman Community Outreach Foundation in Tucson, Arizona and by the generosity of family and friends. If you want to make a difference in the lives of young Tanzanians, please consider a donation at our web site, www.gamefortheworld.com.

April 23, 2013

1,000 Games Needed for Tanzanian Education Program

After spending the night in Morogoro, Alan, Uswege, Adam, and I drove south to Iringa through Mikumi National Park. What a treat to see giraffe, baboon, impala, and zebra on our journey.

Iringa is a busy town in the southern highlands of Tanzania. Nearby, tea, tobacco, maize, vegetables, and fruit are grown. The town also has the highest rate of HIV infection in Tanzania.

In Iringa, we met with the staff of Restless Development, a U.K.-based agency using Game for the World to help young Tanzanians make responsible choices about their sexual and reproductive health. Frank Harle, Senior Manager Programmes, called the Game “a good fit for Restless Development” and said he’s impressed with how engaging it is, especially for young girls.

 Restless Dev wheel cover

Program Coordinator Meshack Mulokozi referred to it as a “fantastic tool” for their work with 48 schools. Meshack told us Restless Development plans to use the Game in information resource centers, staff workshops, and volunteer training sessions. On the wish list is 1,000 Games. That’s how many are needed for Restless Development’s community work!

Rachel Kabwe, a John Hopkins intern, added her enthusiasm. Rachel manages Restless Development’s behavior change programs in local schools where students play the Game. She told us, “Game for World helps us attract many youth to participate in our programs. The Game makes it easy for young people to share their experiences in a friendly way and changes their attitude and behavior toward HIV/AIDS. Game for the World is the easiest way to teach young people about HIV/AIDS.”

Anne, Uswege and Adam with Restless Development staff

Uswege, Adam, Anne, Rachel and Meshack with Restless Development staff

That evening, we met with two university students—Innocent Felix, a Restless Development volunteer, and Elias Charles, a volunteer with Dance 4 Life, a Restless Development partner. Innocent and Elias attend the University of Dar Es Salaam where they formed a club to play the Game with fellow students. How inspiring to see their commitment to making a difference in the lives of Tanzanian youth! In fact, Elias is so passionate about the Game, he created a version of it on a piece of wood.

Ignus, Charles, Anne, Alan and Innocent

Adam, Ignus, Charles, Anne, Alan, Innocent and Uswege

We also met with Ignus Kalongola, former Dance4 Life coordinator and RD program coordinator. Ignus also called the Game a great tool to educate and activate students to push back the spread of HIV in the community. Ignus believes it could be integrated into the Tanzanian school curriculum. Its value to schools? It enables young people to feel comfortable talking about HIV/AIDS and make informed decisions. It would be amazing to have the Game be part of the curriculum!

Our work in Tanzania is supported by a grant from the Zuckerman Community Outreach Foundation in Tucson, Arizona, and by the generosity of family and friends. If you want to make a difference in the lives of young Tanzanians, please consider making a donation at our web site www.gamefortheworld.com.

What can your donation do? Help us provide the 1,000 games needed by Restless Development for its community work in Tanzania.

April 10, 2013


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