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TAMA

TAMA

Bukoba, Tanzania

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Water and sanitation project, a need for

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Climate change mitigation

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Pre-Grant Award Assessment Team with TAMA staff

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Peer education programs at work

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Project Equipment donated by RFE

Dear Colleagues, Partners, Supporters and Collaborators!

 

Greetings from TAMA, Bukoba!

 

While we joyfully wait for the celebration of Easter Day, let me share with you the TAMA's Five Years (2013-2017) Strategic Plan and Annual Program Reports for Years 2012 and 2013 for your continued support! Take few minutes to read the document find out where you are ready to partner with TAMA.

Happy Easter!

Amua Campaign in response to HIV/AIDS Prevention reaches the unreached community

 

 

The amazing lifestyle in the fishing community changes considerably

 

“Over ten years time ago my life has been spent in the fishing islands where there is “honey” and “milk”. I was taught to fish to earn living. But this cannot be done without “honey”. I believe that fishing without playing sex with “honey” you cannot get “milk”. For example, yesterday I got fish in abundance because I sexually met a very beautiful woman before departing for fishing activities in deep Lake Victoria water. The woman used to call me honey and she is a very loving one and also lucky. Playing sex with her means many fish catch in that same day. It’s difficult for me to abstain sexual relationships with my honey, Jonia and other blessed women”. However, I understand the risk behind this, but the question is how will I manage fishing without women? Hassan Abdul, one of the fishermen questioned while responding to the speech delivered by TAMA’s Project staff during HIV/AIDS awareness creation meeting in response to HIV/AIDS prevention among fishing community in Musira Island, Miembeni ward in Bukoba Municipal.

 

In Bukoba, fishing community is one of the most risk groups exposed to high risk of HIV/AIDS contraction. Fishers have different myths that encourage misbehaviors as regards HIV/AIDS transmission is concerned. Life in the islands is very unfortunate. Most of the fishers have no long term plans about their future. As soon as one earns money, he thinks of getting to “honey” (women for sex”), drug abuse and alcoholism. They believe that women are for multipurpose in the fishing business. They serve as tools for pleasure as well as lucky weapons for super profit fishing. This situation calls for immigration of many women into the Islands as they earn much money from the fishers. A single action of sexual intercourse is sold at 20,000/- to 50,000 Tanzanian shillings. One of the drivers for this situation is inadequate HIV/AIDS peer education programs in the Islands which leads to myths and unmannered traditions and taboos.

 

Speaking to the congregations, one of our Peer Educators and the Counsellor from the group of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Bukoba, said, “Fishing community has a lot to perform so as to do sustainable fishing”. She said, “If you fish without precaution in HIV/AIDS prevention, you will not last longer in this profitable work. Please, abstain, be faithful or use condoms appropriately, she said and added, having sex with a woman before you fish and the number of fish you catch on that same day never relate. These are the myths that we should abolish for the betterment of our health, family support and government. People call fishing community as deviant group. This is because of our culture, traditions and lifestyle. In this world of HIV/AIDS we should abstain such beliefs that do help us thrive”. Sylivia Joseph said and added, “we should walk with Amua campaign objectives so as to save our life and family. Luxury life does not mean having unsafe sex with multiple women but achieving much money and prosper in all your daily activities and improve our livelihood”. She concluded.

 

During the meeting, Mr. Karumuna Alphonce, a fisherman was just seated on the big stone but very keen with HIV/AIDS preventive messages. He drew near and rose up hand before he posed a question: “do you mean that all of fishermen have big chance of HIV/AIDS infections? How can I know that I am not infected?” Karumuna asked and the questions raised awareness of other fishermen about their HIV/AIDS sero status. Another participant, Mr. Apolonary Ishengoma said, “I came here not just to hear HIV/AIDS preventive words but the music and dance at this meeting. However, I feel some change with me. I am sorry for my life because I have been playing unsafe sex with multiple women, over 7 women who call me a real husband. I am ready to change my behavior but how will I manage to divorce the other six and remain with at least two?” He asked and continued, “it’s difficult for me. Please help out!” He said.

 

Responding to queries from participants, TAMA’s Executive Secretary said, “life is important than luxury. Also, fishing is possible without women. Unsafe sex shall lead to loss of life, money and everything. We should choose the most important one in order to sustain fishing activities. Thus, our behavior, taboos, customs and traditions should abandon any chance of HIV contamination. With viable decisions, it’s possible to stay safe without HIV/AIDS.” He concluded.

After the meeting, over ten fishermen came forward requesting for HIV/AIDS testing and declared to have undergone opinion’s social behavioural change in response to HIV/AIDS. We advised them to appear at the dispensary for necessary assistance.

 

 
   

One of them sang a song to deliver a message that, “today is unique, I am half born again. I promise to never engage in unsafe sexual behaviors. I am looking for a girl to marry, remain faithful and love her forever. Oh Lord, help me”. He sang a prayer. We awarded him for his innovative and educative entertainment. Moreover, two fishermen who showed up positive response were selected as assistant peer educators one at Nyabesige Island and the other one at Musira Island. The Chairman in the islands evidenced by saying, I never thought that such people (fishermen) could change their sinful life and become God’s people. It is real wonderful to me, I don’t even believe.