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The Organization for Rural Self-Help Initiatives

The Organization for Rural Self-Help Initiatives

Musoma, Tanzania

We believe that empowering local communities to address pressing social, economic and environmental challenges according to their own vision and their own creative potential is the key to lasting solutions. In cooperation with local and international organizations, ORSHI pursues a natural, holistic and sustainable approach to poverty in rural Tanzania.

ORSHI does the following programs:

  • Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture:

ORSHI offers a practical and affordable way to bring food security to families and communities in rural Tanzania by utilizing locally abundant and natural resources. The overall objective is to design an agriculturally productive ecosystem that has the diversity, stability, and resilience of a natural ecosystem that provides for human’s food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Almost anyone regardless of age or literacy can learn permaculture, and in so doing, can participate in the food security and environmental protection and restoration of their communities.

Generous support from ANSAF and other international partners also enables us to facilitate platform for dialogue on issues around agriculture sector in Tanzania. This is radio dialogue on agricultural related challenges including access to extension services and inputs, coffee, etc.

  • Water supply, Sanitation and Hygiene promotion(WASH):

Water is essential to overcoming hunger, poverty and disease, yet worldwide, more than one billion people still lack access to clean, safe drinking water. Five million people, mostly children, die each year from water-borne diseases - double the number of deaths caused by AIDS. Some 60% of all infant mortality is linked to infectious and parasitic diseases, most of them water-related. ORSHI offers a full range of borehole drilling and pump installation services to communities and institutions in the Mara Region.

  • Health care:

Malaria is the number one health challenge for people living in the Lake Victoria Region of Tanzania. According to UN estimates, one child in Africa dies every 30 seconds from malaria. It accounts for one in five childhood deaths. ORSHI is responding to this crisis by promoting and subsidizing the use of a homeopathic neem tincture and mosquito bed nets to prevent malaria, as well as the use of Master Mineral Supplement (MMS) to treat malaria.

To date, we have been conducting Advocacy and Information, Education and Communication on Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) Project in the Tanzania districts. With that intervention, we have managed to reach 97% of the targeted households.

  •  Education:

ORSHI is addressing this demand for educational opportunities through scholarships and “Abundant Living Education” programs. Our scholarships include secondary school and vocational educational grants to AIDS orphans in ORSHI funded programs and post secondary education scholarships.

ORSHI operates orphans support program in Musoma Town for families caring for orphans and vulnerable children. The program provides four types of services to the families enrolled in the program:

1.    Healthcare: we provide natural heath supplements and remedies to children and their guardians, as well as reimbursement for medical attention from a dispensary or hospital. We insist upon and support guardians to care for the child or children in their care.

2.    Educational Support

Primary & Secondary School: The program provides school tuition, uniforms, shoes and school bags for child in primary and secondary school.

Vocational Training/Other Institution: The young adults enrolled are eligible to receive scholarships to the vocational or college institution of their choice. Those that complete vocation training are awarded the equipment and tools necessary for their respective trades.

3.    Nutritional support
Primary and secondary age children receive maize and beans every month for their entire family. We also provide nutritional herbal food supplements like our “super food” powder derived from Moringa olifera and other healthful plants.

 4.    Basic Home Requirements
We distribute mattresses, bed sheet and mosquito nets for each child. This support is provided depending on the condition of the home.

  •  Environmental Conservation and protection:

Trees are one of nature’s greatest gifts. They prevent soil erosion, moderate climate, generate oxygen, sequester carbon dioxide, and provide wildlife habitat and a host of valuable nutritional, medicinal and building products. Since 2011, ORSHI has partnered with government schools and local communities in the rural Tanzanian districts to plant over 1,500,000 trees. ORSHI is distributing tree seedlings in the surrounding communities in an effort to re-forest parts of the Mara Region. Generous support from our international partners enables us to offer these trees free of charge to individuals, schools, NGOs, churches, government agencies and families. Tens of thousands have already been planted.