I have been in Mwanza for over 2 months now and I’m looking forward to making the most of my remaining month here (the countdown is on)! Upon returning back from the Serengeti, Megha and Kathy have begun their nutrition intervention project at Foundation Karibu implementing the Fiti juice and uji (porridge) in a breakfast feeding program and observing the effects among different groups of children who are being fed the different Fiti products. We will hopefully be seeing some results from their study soon!
In the meantime, Diane (one of the SAUT interns) and I have been continuing our visits of the different Fiti kitchens in Mwanza and collecting qualitative and quantitative data via interviews. Many of our recent visits have been to Yogurt Mama’s operating out of their own houses and it has been really inspiring to see their work ethic and dedication towards making their business successful! One of the Mama’s (Mama Iqra) even designed her own pamphlets to hand out to her customers so that they would know what exactly probiotics are and how they are beneficial to your health! Another Mama, (Mama Edna) has her own NGO called EAHP Tanzania (Enhancing Access to Health for Poverty Reduction) and runs her yogurt business on the side. It was amazing to hear some her future visions with the organization, including continuing Mikono Yetu’s vision of women’s empowerment through training girls on how to own and operate a yogurt kitchen to make them financially independent and not only increase their wellbeing, but the wellbeing of their children and family as well. I have learned a lot from the Mama’s over the past two months and have used their experiences as a source of inspiration towards creating new ideas and solutions to the challenges that they are facing.
We hope to focus the rest of our time here towards continuing to promote the Fiti brand and its benefits through a variety of different platforms and implement a long term plan to ensure that these efforts are ongoing and continue to have an impact on the community. I just finished drafting an information pamphlet the other day that we hope to begin distributing at the yogurt kitchens and surrounding areas! I look forward to seeing some of our work begin to have an impact on the community and see more people become informed and aware of the health benefits of probiotics to them.
Kathy, Megha and myself have been continuing our visits to the Tukuamwane kitchen twice a week where we were able to observe them making their yogurt as well as teach them the procedure for Fiti mango juice. Unfortunately, our mango juice turned out bad but we had lots of fun with the Mama’s learning how they run their kitchen. They are also involved in a breakfast program with a nearby school so we learned how to prepare and serve chapati (a type of flatbread), chai, milk and yogurt to them – it was a great experience and I had a lot of fun trying to talk to all the kids who came by.
Time truly is flying by and I cannot believe that there is less than one month remaining here! It feels like we had arrived in Mwanza just last week and were finding our way around the town! I am looking forward to what the next month has in store
Until next time,