First Business Trip – Pemba Island

This blog is adapted from the original post on lisadalimonte.blogspot.com

My last blog for YCI was about my IYIP internship with ZANGOC (Zanzibar NGO Cluster for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control) was back in April and at that time I was just starting to figure things out in terms of my my role within ZANGOC and especially how ZANGOC operates. It feels like I have come a long way since then. One of my main job duties for ZANGOC was to create their new strategic plan and the end of June, I accomplished that task by completing the first draft of the plan. The past 2 weeks I have been meeting with a few members from the Executive Committee and we have been going through the plan literally page by page to incorporate ZANGOC’s suggestions and inputs into the plan to make it “ZANGOC’s” strategic plan and not “Lisa’s” strategic plan!

Another one of my main tasks has been visiting with the, now 45, member organizations that are under the ZANGOC umbrella. From my visits with the members I have been collecting basic information in order to create a database of NGO members as well as to analyse the strengths and weakness of each organization so that YCI and other donors can address the gaps in organizational capacity, for example, human resource and financial management, IT and website design, proposal writing and resource mobilization and monitoring and evaluation.

Of ZANGOC’s 45 member organizations, four are based in Pemba, which is the smaller island to the north east of Unguja, which together make up the Zanzibar Archipelago.

Map of Pemba highlighting the 3 towns of ZANGOC operation: Chake, Wete and Micheweni

At the beginning of my time here I was really keen on going to Pemba to visit with the members and facilitate a workshop but after looking into costs, the idea was put on the back burner for a little while. However, in late May I attended a workshop for ZACP (Zanzibar AIDS Control Program) and met a man who is from Pemba, works for ZACP in Chake (the main town in Pemba) and who is also on the ZANGOC Board of Trustees. After talking with him about ZANGOC and Pemba, he convinced me that I just must go! So I drafted a proposal and budget and submitted it to YCI. In June, it was approved as my first business trip!
On Friday July 15, I jetted off to Pemba with the ZANGOC Deputy Executive Secretary, and a box of supplies for the Pemba sub-office! After a short, and very beautiful flight over the Indian Ocean, we arrived at the Chake airport 30 minutes later.

Airplane shot of the Cost of Pemba

We arrived Friday late afternoon so I had just enough time to check into my hotel and go for a walk around town before the sun set. It was more like a stroll as Chake town is so small that if I walked at a normal pace I would have seen the whole town in about 20 minutes! Also, the shops close around 5:00pm so I wasn’t able to browse or do any market shopping. Topographically, Pemba is very different than Unguja. While Unguja is flat, Pemba is very hilly even with some small mountains in the background of Chake. It was a nice change though, I know Unguja is very green in terms of forestry but in Pemba you can definitely notice it a lot more. Especially when you drive up the windy roads you get an amazing view of the villages below surrounded by palm trees and just general beautiful nature, I feel like my pictures didn’t capture the essence of Pemba as much as I hoped.

Photo of Chake

On Saturday I woke up early and met my Pemba colleagues at the ZANGOC/WAMATA office in Chake. WAMATA is a regional NGO in Tanzania, and a ZANGOC member, that works to help those who struggle with HIV and AIDS in Tanzania. The topic of my workshop was project design and proposal writing and my participants consisted of 10 people, two people from each member organization in Pemba: WAMATA, NOAC (North Pemba Organization for AIDS Control), PEYVO (Pemba Youth Voice Organization) and YOEPA (Youth Organization on Education for the Prevention of AIDS), and the ZANGOC sub-office. The workshop ran for 3 hours and I feel as though it was well received, the participants were active in group discussion and, although all of the information might not have been new knowledge, I feel as though each participant walked away with useful information on project design and proposal writing.

Outside of the WAMATA Office, Chake, Pemba

Before I left for Pemba I met with Shaib, who is the YCI Volunteer Manager here in Unguja. Shaib is originally from Pemba and he still has a lot of family members there whom he gave me some contacts. On Saturday after my workshop I contacted Cholo, who is Shaib’s brother in law and who also is the manager of the hotel I stayed at. I was very grateful for his hospitality in showing me around Chake and taking me to meet Shaib’s mother and family then even inviting me to his own house to meet Shaib’s younger sister and their new 7 day old son.

All in all, my first business trip was a success but I wish I had a few extra days to relax on the pristine beaches and visit the city of Wete, which I am told is a must. Perhaps it will be a must that I go back in October before I leave to sit in on the Q2 meeting!

– Lisa D’Alimonte, IYIP Intern, Tanzania 2011

For more International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) blogs, check out our IYIP section.

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