FranzTanz 2.....

And so I have survived my first week back at SEGA!
Why am I back?
Because I believe in why Polly and Nurturing Minds started SEGA. That educating girls in a developing country empowers them and gives them choices! I also want to support and nurture the Graduates and the ongoing programs that we started in the Lifeskills areas.

So much is familiar…. So much has changed. Progress does this. I am excited by what is happening here.

If you are not familiar with my journey thus far, I suggest you flick back through the pages of my blog and catch up.
My journey between 2010 - 2013 was spent in helping build the foundations of SEGA as a start up school. (Founded in 2008). I have returned to find a viable, competitive Tz Secondary school producing girls who are already successful in many areas and girls who are hungry to follow the examples of their older sisters. Our Graduates are making a real impact on their journeys to success and in empowering other young girls and women in their paths.

I arrived at SEGA, Thursday 24/2. 30 hours of my time had been spent above the earth chasing time and waiting in airports for my journey to continue. I had left my Dutch friends, Liesbeth and Fredrick (ex-Tz vols) after a wonderful week of sharing the joys of their current lives in Singapore.

Friday I was starting to absorb being in the Volunteers’ house which I had only visited in the past... and loving being back on campus!
I was greeted with overwhelming excitement and enthusiasm when I visited Madam Clementina and our Graduates who are leading the Msichana wa kisasa (Modern Girls) program in their own communities. These are the girls with whom I had spent a lot of time and so it was an emotional reunion!

Back in the driver’s seat, I drove the volunteers into town for supplies! So familiar!

Saturday afternoon:
Many many little Tz challenges later (I remembered very quickly why we become so tolerant and patient here!) I arrived with all the Msichana wa kisasa leaders and all their girls squashed into a dala dala made to carry 18 people. …… 😊
Our Graduates:
Lucy, Siwema: Kihonda Magorofani centre. 12 girls
Subira, Nuru, Happy: Mjimpya centre. 10 girls
together with Madam Mia …. a SEGA teacher with a wealth of knowledge in baking… and a fundi (worker).... helped their girls learn the skill of baking cake.
It was almost overwhelming experiencing first hand a ripple effect of the Lifeskills program I had nurtured into place over 4 years ago! Here were our Graduates educating and nurturing Lifeskills in the young girls from their own communities. It was so obvious that these young girls respected and loved our Graduates and Madam Mia!

Lucy told me on Monday that her girls “knew everything and they are making cake for their families!”
The groups meet Saturdays for practicals and Sundays to reflect and attend to relevant theory.

A Half Marathon back home in Oz...Sunday, October 13th, 2013.

Late 1970’s I was at Uni in Melbourne… running, young and fit! Inspired by the very first Melbourne Marathon held in 1978,

Big M Melbourne Marathon
Sunday 5th November 1978
Frankston, VIC

I trained for but, due to injury, failed to compete in this grueling event!


Whilst I was in Tanzania, I ran the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon!
(see also Blog: 2012, 28 October....Hongera!...)

I had joined in with the VSO team and left Dar es Salaam anticipating running the 6km Fun Run. By the time our bus had arrived in Moshi, 11 hours later, Margaret had convinced both Liesbeth and I to run the 21.1km Half Marathon with her! The difference was….. Margaret had been training and we hadn’t! I wasn’t entirely unfit as I had been swimming 1km after school each night for nearly 3 months but hadn’t pulled on my runners since I had arrived in Tz …16 months prior.

Mount Kilimanjaro herself.....!
 Margaret, Liesbeth and I after completing the Half!
Where it began and finished!

On Sunday 26th February 2012, having ascended 700mtrs over a wet, hilly course, I finished the 21.1kms in  2:40 hours, loving the fact that I had actually finished and not caring what my time was!!

This event ignited our enthusiasm and resulted in VSO entering a team in the Kigali Peace Marathon, to be run 4 months later.

My training program was indeed unique and I have reflected on these training sessions many times since! It was easier to run the rural tracks near SEGA than around Kihonda where I lived. Daily at 5pm after Clubs were over and the heat of the sun subsided, I would don my running gear and pound the dusty red soil. I would happily greet the locals who soon got used to seeing this ‘crazy mzungu woman ‘ running their tracks!

 Naturally, the girls wanted to know everything: what?/ why? /how? /where? I trained. Their enthusiasm inspired me to challenge them to join in….not dreaming that they would!!

At assembly I invited anyone who wanted to join me to be ready and meet me at 5:15pm the following evening…….. ALL 85 girls turned up!!!.....

And so the first of many training/running/power walking sessions began. In two lines and paired, we sang/laughed/puffed/panted/sprinted/shuffled ourselves off the campus and into the freedom of the country tracks! I ran from the front to the back of the long drawn out line of girls and at the half way mark we stopped to regroup and exercise. Many girls really wanted to improve their fitness; others simply wanted to be involved in the fun and venture out… (Especially when the local school boys were doing footy training and Madam Fran took the SEGA training session past them!!) From this initial enthusiasm we ran other fun fitness sessions but more importantly, it launched us into nurturing an active, regular sports program!

This event allowed me to fund raise for my beloved SEGA girls and some of the money I raised enabled the purchase of much needed sporting equipment. The girls had prayed for me before I left asking that I 'win the race'. Knowing that I would be lining up at the start with many Kenyans....renowned for their stamina and speed, I didn't have the heart to tell the girls I didn't have a hope of winning!!....
I considered myself a winner before I had even started the run because I had had the amazing support of so many of my friends and family in raising much needed money for the SEGA girls. I came in on a time of 2:20 which bettered my Kilimanjaro run by 10 minutes! I was later to learn that I was actually the first woman to come in for my age group!!! It seems that not many  women over 50years of age run distances in Africa!!!!


Over 30 years later, the Melbourne Marathon was still calling me! Having been back in Australia since March, it seemed appropriate that I do my third Half here in my own state of Victoria!

Sunday 13th October, 2013 finally arrived! This was the event I had been training for after having made my decision back in June to compete. Jo, my long time friend, took on the challenge with me…. Thanks Jo for sharing the SEGA journey and doing your bit towards fund raising too!

I don’t do winter and cold weather very well, having lived in the tropics for the past 6 years, so the prospect of me training outdoors in Ballarat (renowned for its ‘bitter’ winters….Australian ‘bitter’ … not Canadian/American ‘bitter’!!) was not appealing!

My local gym and I established a great relationship as I hid from the elements and slowly improved my fitness, and eventually ventured outdoors to train as the weather improved.

I was also able to incorporate some local fundraising events into my training. I trained consistently and enjoyed once again, using this event to fundraise for our beautiful, deserving SEGA girls! I trained consistently …always with my girls in the forefront of my mind. Working towards this goal has made my separation from them a bit easier to endure! I was so excited to be running on my own turf; to have reached my fund raising goal..... and ecstatic to realise that I had smashed my PB..... coming in under 2hours (1:56)!!!

everyone who has donated, supported and encouraged me in my fundraising journeys for SEGA. 
We are making a difference!


2013.......Back in Oz ... My SEGA journey continues..... Fundraising: Food Fun!!

How did that happen???
How can nearly 12 months have gone by without having made a blog entry when soooo much has happened and changed!
I will try over the next month to fill in the gaps but for now I want to share with you how I am managing to cope with being home in Australia and so far away from my beloved SEGA girls and life in Tz!

On returning to Australia in March this year I came to live with my darling Mum in Ballarat, Victoria which is the southern most state on the east side of mainland Oz and close to my family!
I became a Nurturing Minds Board Member.... It is such a privilege for me to have joined the people whom I respect so highly. Having worked closely with them during my time at SEGA I know how hard they work to raise money, create awareness and make productive decisions for now and the future of SEGA!!
Bringing SEGA to Oz has been exciting and challenging yet extremely rewarding. I have been able to stay connected with the girls and feel that my time spent 'on the ground' at SEGA is continuing here!

During this time of acclimatising back into my own culture (I don't think I have both my feet back here yet!) I have engaged in two fundraising events; established Aussie pen pals for many of the SEGA girls; printed the Australian versions of our Nurturing Minds brochures....Many, many thanks to Ian Clarke and his printing business:
for donating their expert service and time to Nurturing Minds to make this happen; spoken to numerous classes of Primary and Secondary students and to many, many interested people about my SEGA journey.... and continue to receive generous donations to help educate our girls!

Our First Food Extravaganza Fundraiser

Monday 2nd September, I traveled to Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar Secondary School in Melbourne, where Donna my good friend with whom I had taught for many years, was setting up for our Food Extravaganza Fundraiser. She had secured the School Home Economics room for the function and we worked furiously for 2 solid hours until suddenly it was 6.30pm when our guests arrived and filed into the dining room in excited anticipation of a great night.

Donna had been planning the food side of the night for weeks. Together with the amazing support of the Ivanhoe Info Tech Department who printed the flyer and recipe books; Ivanhoe Grammar management for supporting our event and an extensive repertoire of supportive colleagues and friends, Donna arrived at the set date armed with ingredients purchased with a keen eye to savings.
Donna was demonstrating the main courses and had enlisted two of her current colleagues and our friends, Rong and Liz, to demonstrate entrée and dessert! 

                             My role was that of sous chef and chief dish washer!!!!..... …..and informant: Intermittently throughout the night, I shared the SEGA story and answered many questions from our very eager and interested guests!
….and so the night unfolded…

With lots of preparation; planning; laughter; team work; cooking…cooking….fixing behind the scenes challenges; creating the atmosphere; demonstrating and distributing each course to the 30 guests; sharing with the very receptive crowd who were acquiring new culinary skills, sipping on quality wine and learning about our beautiful SEGA girls……..

We all had so much fun whilst raising a very impressive $2,000.00 for SEGA!
ASANTE SANA.... THANKS HEAPS.... everyone involved for your generosity... 
you are THE BEST!
We were very happy with the outcome of our inaugural culinary event…. We have already started planning and refining how we can make next year’s event even better and more lucrative!

November...Business Families....

Happy and I negotiating the price of 'the juice made of secrets ingredients!!'

Our14 Mentoring Families have combined to create 7 Business families and, as part of the Learning By Doing process, are competing with each other and have been actively working their businesses to try and make as much money as possible.Eventually they will liquidate and settle their books and we will know which Business Family has won. 
During the semester the Business Families have been meeting every Tuesday and Thursday 4-5pm and, led by The Foundacion Paraguaya;

L-R Dris, Melissa, Isaac.Some of the FP team

 supported by the SEGA staff who were trained on how to lead a Business Family during an FP run workshop at the beginning of the semester; and have been learning the whole Business process....

Pili....."YES I CAN DO IT!!!"
FP and SEGA staff together with the Business Families....taking the first steps to understanding how a business is formed and the steps in essential planning before a business is materialised.
They have learned about the structure and responsibilities of members in a business then elected their own President, Treasurer and Marketing Manager; decided on their product or service; wrote their own business plans; have been producing their products, marketing and selling etc...FP, a team of energetic people both from Paraguay and Tanzania, secured a grant by Master Card to work with 3 selected schools in Tanzania for 5-10 years to implement and integrate businesses into the schools.
Eme and Isaac in action

Nuru leading a warm-up activity....Melissa and Dris sharing the fun.

SEGA also won recognition and is now the model business school for this project together with The Professional College at Njombe where I recently spent 2 weeks. It has been an amazing, realistic experience and a huge learning curve for everyone! SEGA hopes to be financially self sustaining by 2017 and already have the chicken business happening and developing skills in the Hospitality industry! Form 3, are learning the kuku business and have been actively involved in each production stage since we got the day old chicks back in April this year. We are now busily selling eggs from the 1000 layers and have had broilers (chickens to sell for meat) which Form 3 (and me!!) killed, gutted and dressed...nearly 1000 chickens and sold them over 4 weeks!!
The Business Families are working on domestic businesses in this program so that the girls can learn these skills and be prepared when they leave SEGA. Many of them will go back to their families/environments and begin their own family businesses! Very exciting! 

I went to school several times early this month to share the freshly produced chapatti (burrito...type flat bread commonly eaten in Tz) made by Mentoring families #1 and #2....or Business Family A: many times I would go early to support them as they are making mandazi (deep fried donut type bread also VERY common and popular here) and a sambusa (samosa with potato, green pepper and onion filling) ...kachori na pilli pilli sauce (tasty battered potato similar to what Aussies call potato cakes..with hot chillie sauce). One Business family won the tender to produce fresh bread rolls for the whole school for morning tea during the weekend....SO nice when I visited on weekends.  These items are produced early morning or closer to dinner in the evening.
Shopping once a week to buy the necessary resources for the businesses. One representative from each business family would shop.

Martha doing a quality check
"mmmmm....shiling ngapi? How much? hapana...pungumza na bei?? no....lower price??" Good bargaining girls!
Martha and I....Sokoni sisters!! I had just had a very interesting lesson on shopping at the market..... I actually thought I was good at bargaining until I was with these experts!
...and so after shopping the girls can continue preparing their goods. Happy and Mwanamisi making the very popular fresh fruit juice. SEGA staff are going to miss this nutritius treat at chai and lunch after 29 November when businesses end....I am sure that it will have to return through popular demand!!
Market research was done during the planning phase: Subira and Prisca are testing the market to ensure the staff knew their product and would be interested in buying the bread!

The outcome of the market research was very positive!
Driving a hard bargain....our girls certainly know how to shop and get the best buy for their money!
Some families are selling freshly made juice...avocado/mango/passion/fresh ginger and maybe banana and ubuyu from the baobab tree we think???...  nobody was ever told the exact ingredients....good business strategy girls!...Staff could buy this at morning tea time. YUM!!! Others have been making wrist bands and other  jewellery; tie dyed t-shirts; baskets; scrap material floor mats (another one of Lucy's family's products)  woven mats like the bookmarks I made when I was first here in Tz..... etc etc.... many skills were being learned and shared between the students. The families are vertically organised. The youngest students mixing knowledge and skills with the older students! It has been so rewarding and has contributed to building trust and friendships between them all!
One thursday evening I went to the sokoni (market) with the 7 nominated shoppers, one from each Business. They all had shopping lists and the predicted cash from their sales to purchase the necessary items to continue working their businesses. They proved to be very discerning and diligent shoppers, getting the best quality for a competitive price…and managed to get extras thrown it when the duka owner learned of the purpose for their shopping safari! Good work girls!
The only challenging moment was when a mtoto mdogo (small child) burst into tears and cried and cried at the sight of me!!!!..... Everyone gathered around and tutted “pole sana… so sorry” and were very friendly… but the little one just couldn’t understand what this white skinned; long haired; very strange looking; walking, talking thing was !!!!! Oh dear…. I still like the description that we are exotic…. Not monstrous.
This has been a pilot project for all involved so as it has progressed we have been monitoring and evaluating the positives and negatives of each phase so that next year the girls can move forward and establish their own ongoing small businesses from the ones they have been involved in or new ones. One possibility might be to get an internal sewing cooperative started so that initially 5 girls will learn the skill from a skilled tailor and when they have established their skills, will teach another 5 girls. When any mending/sewing production etc is required at SEGA these girls will be given the business. We are hoping that it will broaden their visions and help them understand the whole business process...wins/losses/the whole picture!! There are many possibilities in which the girls will be integral in designing and pursuing.

The following pictures give you a visual of the activities generated through the business clubs:
Enjoying breakfast whilst preparing boiled eggs and omelettes

cooking 'bites'

Learning how to weave baskets. A local skilled fundi, craftsperson, visited and shared her skills then the girls perfected their own skills as the weeks passed by.
Lots of concentration.... I was so impressed with the quality of this basket, I bought it and donated it to the raffle at the MIS Fayre. Good work Lucy.

Madam Anastazia, sharing her knowledge and skills with her Business Family.
Happy team work!!
Hongera...."I DID IT!!" This was the beginning of learning a skill which eventually helped her produce a beautifully crafted rug
High finances...ensuring correct money changes hands so the Treasurer can correctly record the Business dealings.

Everyone was involved in teaching and guiding the girls. Mama mpishi Loyce (Loyce our cook) overseeing and ensuring the girls are following suggestions.

One Business Family secured the business of supplying lunch for the team of hard working fundis. SEGA has started the water harvesting project. The first phase is to put in place the huge water storage tanks so whilst this is happening our girls were being paid to provide their lunch. Good work girls for identifying an available market and securing the tender 
The fundis hard at work digging by hand the pit for one of the water storage tanks which will be fed by water run off from every building as well as from its own ability to capture the water from the heavy rains which are yet to come. The short rains have been very late in coming this season so our environment is very, very dry. This has, however, meant the fundis have been able to make fast progress on construction!
Josephine working her sales charm for their business on my 2 VSO friends, Margaret and Barbara, who recently enjoyed some time visiting us at SEGA.

Celina frying karunga ..(ground nuts / peanuts) sweet batter
A typical scene during this semester!

When Form 2's finished their National exams, they planned 2 days and sought a market for our fresh eggs in and around the central township of Morogoro. It was hard work but, like last year's venture of selling t-shirts in town (previuos blog), the girls learned many valuable lessons, especially during their first day of selling! They became very smart in their approach during the second selling trip.This was a perfect example of:

 'learning by doing'

Thanks to the Fundacion team, Melissa, Ema and Isaac, and to all the SEGA staff for giving our girls this insight and practical opportunity to experience real life business!

Businesses were liquidated 29 November and both students and staff presented very honest reflections about their Business journeys. One team will be given an award for being the best Business team. They will be taken to the CDRB Bank for a visit then out to lunch by the Fundacion Paraguayans. The winning team will be announced next week.
As we did last year, we participated in the Morogoro International School annual Fayre, Friday 30 November. Thanks MIS for your generosity. Here we shared with the Morogoro community a glimpse of the SEGA story so far

L-R: Rhema, Angel, Me, Naomi, the treasurer, Nuru wearing one of our beautifully tie dyed T-Shirts which were on sale. The girls were selling woven baskets, jewellery, fabric mats, T-Shirts, AND of course our prize winning, nutritious, freshly laid eggs!! The girls mingled with the crowd and shared the SEGA story, encouraging patrons to support our school and to buy our produce especially encouraging them to place regular orders for the eggs. The activities at SEGA were also presented visually in photos, brochures and handouts.

The SEGA tables in the middle of all the action!
Naomi dressing me in a pair of SEGA made earrings which I just had to buy!!
Alex Omany, one of the SEGA Staff responsible for integrating the SEGA businesses with the SEGA curriculum, with the girls.
Everybody enjoyed the day...especially Martha and special little Tz  friends

One of my favorite moments....
Chapatti na Chai tamu Chukula za asabuhi  saa moja asubuhi.
Chapatt and sweet tea for breakfast at 7am.