KASODEFO Tanzania – empowerment of communities

By Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. In the following our interview with Ezekiel Kassanga of the organization KASODEFO working in Tanzania to struggle against poverty, and to support marginalized and discriminated people. Would to thank Ezekiel for his important information and photos.



What are the issues that brought to the foundation of KASODEFO and what are its activities?
KASODEFO was found and is operating with strong commitment to fight the abject poverty, shortage of water, environmental degradation, persistence of diseases and poor health services (such as malaria, infants fever and deaths, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, etc),  human rights violations (based on gender based violence over women and children, discrimination and segregation characterized by the killings of elders and Albinos, forced and child marriages, beating of wives, raping, child pregnancies and  denial of education right to children especially girl children in Sukuma pastoral society).  Kawiye Social Development is a Non Governmental Organization registered to operate in Mainland Tanzania (National wise GNO). It was officially registered on 24th February 2012 with registration number 00NGO/00005153.
i.    Legal aid and education, and human rights campaigns (advocacy and sensitization)
In this we train and support Paralegals who works with our team in provision of legal aid and education in five districts of Simiyu region. We have five Paralegal units in five districts and the sixth at our office. Additionally, we have mobile legal aid clinic to serve the interior rural communities. Also we have different human rights campaigns using local radio stations, TV, sports and games. We have established and support human rights clubs in different secondary schools in Maswa district. 
ii. Entrepreneurship training and micro financing
We offer training in entrepreneurships and running microcredit scheme (revolving fund) since 2014. We give small (Tsh 300,000/=) and medium (Tsh 500,000/=) loans with soft interest which is used to give new loans every month.  
iii.   Vocational training (computer, tailoring, embroidery and knitting)
We have vocational training center offering computer training (in basic computer application and simple maintenance), embroidery, tailoring and knitting in Maswa. Our targeted trainees are youth and women. Youth are mostly those who failed to continue for further studies or training after completing class seven or form four due to poor academic performance or economic constraints. 
iv.    Water wells (boreholes drilling)
We are drilling boreholes in Maswa district using simple (rope drill) technology. Also we are installing rope pumps for water pumping. Drilled water are for domestic and commercial (irrigation and fish farming).
v.       Improvement of health services provision and fight of diseases
We have sensitization and demand creation projects as well as training of community health workers who are working as voluntary health workers hence support the employed/government health officers. In our area we have big shortage of health facilities and workers. Since September 2015 we have trained about 200 community health workers working in dispensaries and health centers in Maswa district.
Our focus is on five main areas namely Malaria, Family planning, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis as well as maternal and child health.  With our community health workers and district health department we are running sensitization campaigns as well as provision of voluntary counseling and test for Malaria and HIV. For family planning we sensitize the community members and give referral to the government health centers to get medical services e.g. use of contraceptives. 
vi.    Farming projects (gardening, fish farming, poultry and pig farming)
We train and support different farming projects include fish farming, poultry, pig farming and gardening. We have partnership with the government veterinarians who are used in training and technical support to our clients. Our microcredit scheme is also giving loans to different clients engaging in farming. 
vii. Education support project
We are supporting primary school pupils from orphanage and those from poor families through provision of learning materials and uniforms. In Tanzania, primary and secondary (ordinary) education is free provided in public schools. So, we support those who can’t afford the above mentioned materials because those are not provided by the government. 
viii. HIV/AIDS impacts mitigation
In HIV/AIDS impact mitigation we are providing notorious food and sanitary materials to the people living with HIV/AIDS especially the children (below 18 yrs old). We do than in collaboration with the District CTC where children living with HIV/AIDS are gathering in every last Saturday of the month.
ix.    Carrying out researches
In order to identify the underlying causes of the community problems we are addressing, we use to conduct different baseline surveys and researches. With that, we deal with what is really need intervention. 
How would you define your approach?
Our approach is basically capacity building/development as per our motto “We help community members to help themselves” through training and support. Advocacy, victims support as well as research and development are supplemental approaches. We term them as very successful approach because they are participatory in nature. All key stakeholders/players including the targeted beneficiaries, local government authorities (LGAs), policy makers, community at large and other key players are involved accordingly. This enhances sustainability of most of our interventions.  
What are according to your experience the most effective ways to foster community empowerment?
Training and support (teach the beneficiaries to fish rather than giving fishes).
In what ways do you promote gender equality?
Inclusive approaches, advocacy, sensitization and women integration and women empowerment. For example, our microcredit scheme since it begun it gives loans only to women.  
Do you cooperate with local authorities and institutions? If yes, how?
Yes, through joint planning, activities implementation, joint monitoring and evaluation in most of our community activities. Also we share our reports (activities and financial) to the local and central government authorities.