SEGA students visit organizations in the Morogoro community to understand the lives and daily challenges of others.
SEGA students regularly visit community organizations as part of their leadership development program. Since the majority of SEGA students are from vulnerable backgrounds themselves and often have been on the recipient side of community support, community outreach offers them a chance to volunteer and give back to their own community. In so doing they see how they can lead and offer support to others. Last month, SEGA students visited a school for the deaf and an orphanage to understand their experiences and challenges.
Half of SEGA’s Form 1 class visited Kilakala Primary School’s “Deaf Department.” According to the SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia, nearly 40,000 children in Tanzania are deaf, and less than 1% have access to deaf education. SEGA students learned about this marginalized group and the challenges they face. Students left the visit feeling greater understanding and empathy for deaf people, and feeling more confident that they could communicate with someone who is deaf. One SEGA student said, “We learned how to live well in a society with deaf and mute people, like how to communicate with them by using sign language. They welcomed us and we greeted each other by using sign language and we laughed to each other, so now we are not afraid to meet them, like we were before our visit.”
The other half of SEGA’s Form 1 class visited the Mgolole Orphanage. The students first met with the Matron of the orphanage, who explained to them the daily activities at the orphanage. Students asked many questions and took notes. They divided into groups and helped the orphanage with chores, including sweeping, mopping, hanging laundry, and caring for the children. Then they learned about the history of the orphanage and spent more time with the children. The students told us that they learned how to protect children and how to be kind to children whose mothers have mental illnesses. A SEGA student told us, “We learned many things about how to take care of orphan children and how to support mothers who cannot take care of their children. It was good to learn about the history of Mgolole and the challenges they have.” Staff reported that the farewells were very hard, as the young children bonded with the SEGA girls in just one afternoon, and the SEGA students did not want to leave them!
In both outreach visits, SEGA students gave gifts to the organizations and thanked them for the opportunity to learn about their experiences. We are very grateful for SEGA’s Community Outreach program and the learning opportunities it provides to SEGA students.