Tanzania Trip Reflection

by | Oct 5, 2023

Hello everyone! My name is Micah and I am the Operations and Projects Coordinator here at One Day’s Wages. After getting the chance to go on a partner visit with my colleague Daphne, One Day’s Wages’ Grants Director, to Tanzania, I wanted to share my highlights and reflections from the trip. Hope you enjoy it!

With the help of media images and news pundits, it is easy for the average person who has never traveled to the African continent to only see the physical poverty. Equipped with these stereotype perceptions as well as having a degree in global development, which has gifted me largely with head knowledge, I embarked on a journey to Tanzania to visit two organizations One Day’s Wages has partnered with. Before arriving in Tanzania, I decided to release any stereotypical thinking that I held, apply my academic knowledge to my perspective, and most importantly enter with a heart to learn and listen. 

Working in global development is a life-long commitment to learning and I can admit that holding a knowledge-based understanding is vastly different from experiencing its pulse at the grassroots level. My experience in Tanzania brought me face-to-face with the tireless efforts of countless individuals striving to uplift their communities from within. I encountered the essence of grassroots development—where advocacy, belief, and the provision of essential resources converge to grant everyone the freedom of choice and quality education they rightfully deserve. 

Two of my highlights were my time at Empower Tanzania’s Same (pronounced Saw-May) Learning Center for vulnerable children in the community and witnessing Asante Africa’s “Bridging The Gap” program that helps students transition from primary to secondary school. Listening firsthand to the stories of progress and empowerment from the students and teachers, I was awe-struck by their unwavering dedication and resilience. Their journey illuminated the very essence of education – an undying flame of hope, determination, and growth. It was humbling and inspiring to witness.

Students at Empower Tanzania’s Same Learning Center for vulnerable children in the community.

Theo Seuya, Asante Africa’s Tanzania Country Director encourages a group of students from the “Bridging The Gap” program at Malibwi Secondary School.

The warmth of the Tanzanian people is unparalleled. Their genuine spirits welcomed me, teaching me about the power of community and the invaluable lessons of simplicity. In this place, development isn’t about imitating Western modernization but rather about granting access, choices, and opportunities. To paraphrase a note by Theo, the country director of Asante Africa, during our time there: the root issue of poverty is not physical, it lies in the mind. It is the poverty mindset that must be addressed and changed. Her words resonated with me deeply. For Tanzania, the true remedy for physical poverty is embedding quality education in the heart of every community.

Pictured is a group photo with Yoeza, Empower Tanzania’s Education Director, Theo, Asante Africa’s Tanzania Country Director, Daphne, One Day’s Wages Grants Director, Micah, One Day’s Wages Operations and Projects Coordinator, Florence, Asante Africa’s Tanzania Education Director.

As my plane ascended, leaving behind the Tanzanian landscape, I was filled with inspiration. The souls I’d met, their unwavering spirit, and the monumental work they undertook left an indelible mark on my heart. To truly know a place and its people, you must immerse yourself in their stories, hopes, and dreams. While not everyone can go and experience this for themselves, I’m invigorated to know we each contribute a vital component in the work to end poverty by coming alongside hopeful, talented grassroots leaders as they invest in their communities. I would like to say Asante sana (“thank you very much”) to everyone I met in Tanzania, for your warm hospitality and kindness!

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