Snippets of Outcomes or Impact: A bird’s (Hawk’s) eye view:
Sometimes I imagine that I am an angel, watching over what is happening on earth and taking stock of the things I see. I hope that someday, in my rich imaginations, this oversight over mankind will provide reflections for the most vulnerable children. If you don’t imagine, brother and sister, then it is time to start dreaming.
I became more keen and curious after deliberating with the team during the Annual M&E and Budgeting week of October. I was able to make sense of all the outcomes that our programs have harvested (not on their own, but with their boundary partners) and justifying why they are intended or unintended. This drove me to begin to listen more to what the TFFT team, our visitors, partners, and beneficiaries actually say about our work at TFFT.
This blog is therefore a loose collection of some of the powerful statements that I have heard between the months of August thru October 2014. These words continue to provide encouragement towards our efforts to do MORE with LESS and in staying true to our banter of “small organization with big dreams”. To better understand their impact, I have tried to place the following statements, spoken by TFFT staff, scholars, partners, and potential partners, under the context of which they were spoken:
We were asleep, but TFFT (The Foundation For Tomorrow) woke us up…In fact, you may think that these materials you support our TRC (Teacher Resource Centers) with will only help the early grade kids. Even for us (teachers), we learn a lot more on reading and speaking English from these kids’ literacy resources.
-Redempta’s (TRC coordinator-Leganga) statement at the Leganga TRC when asked by a visitor what TFFT has done for teachers.
I was promoted (from TRC Coordinator in Meru District to District Academic Officer in Geita) because of the improvement in my capacity as a result of the teacher trainings done by TFFT and through TFFT support. Although I am relocating to Geita, as I have been using these skills in Meru District, I will still be using and sharing them with other teachers to improve teaching and learning in Geita.
-Kassim Musa, sharing with us when he found out he had been promoted, and had to relocate from Meru District to Geita.
When I asked teachers the three key priorities that they need, they said, “Continuing professional development, laboratory equipment and water filters.”
-Kimberly Fog of Global Sustainable Partnership, when she introduced the Hydraid-bio-sand water filters project to the TFFT team and Peter Coughlan of WaterBridge, who was our guest during the same period.
I saw the potential in establishing a savings and lending group in Njiro where I stay with my foster family, because I thought it is a good opportunity to help us save. So far we already have a group of more than 20 people who contribute TZS 6000 every week. I managed to borrow from our savings group (we call it SACCOs) and invested in maize and beans farming in Tanga. Since I have already harvested the maize and beans from my 2-acre farm, I am confident that with the incomes from the sale, I can now afford to pay for my college fees and complete my diploma, but as well, support some of the needs of my grandmother living in the village.
-Vaileth Pallangyo, Post-Secondary TFFT scholar (currently pursuing a diploma course in procurement at Institute of Accountancy-Arusha) during the soft-launch of TFFT’s mentoring and coaching program.
Honestly, we are impressed by the networks that you have so far developed with other SFF partners’ post-annual partner meeting in July 2014. We believe that such strong networks are important for our partners to learn, share and leverage themselves for additional support from alternative sources to keep the good work going.
-Eve Omala, Segal Family Foundation, during a partner visit to TFFT offices in Arusha-Tanzania, commenting on the importance of networking among partners of Segal Family Foundation.
(Question): How many of your scholars have dropped out of the program? (Answer): So far, out of the 103 scholars we currently sponsor, only one dropped out of the program because of circumstances beyond our control. Although we boast a near 100% retention and transition rates of our scholars through the education systems, we also have to accept that, we are now dealing with a higher number of teenagers in the program. These teen-age scholars have their own development challenges and sometimes break school rules or get pregnant and are expelled, for which we give them time to reflect and learn before reviewing their scholarships and continuing their educational/career support under revised agreements. We have the obligation to secure their opportunity to education and skills development. We expect them to learn from their mistakes and make better choices.
-Karen, a sponsor of two TFFT scholars, when she asked questions that help her understand the impact of the scholarship program when compared to other OVC support initiatives.
By sharing these statements, I myself have learned something. There is a lot of insight to gain in being honest with our programs, listening to what people say and reflecting on the questions they ask. All while appreciating how best to evolve, improve services, and provide solutions to the most vulnerable children. When we learn together, we develop greater trust and are able to discuss alternative solutions that work. These statements add fuel to our work and to our strong belief that by transforming mindsets, developing solutions and creating opportunities, we are catalyzing human development in Tanzania.
 SACCOs are Savings and Credit Cooperatives