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Habari gani? Nzuri! Greetings from social work intensive course in Mwanza

Hi! Warmest greetings from Mwanza, Tanzania! I participated in August for a two-week intensive course about globally sustainable social work in this pretty little city of Mwanza - the city of God as the locals say. The intensive course was arranged by North-South-South international program through which there have been exchange programs and intensive courses for students and teachers during the past ten years. The topic of the course was sustainable social work and the comparative point of view between all there countries. Basically, the idea of the course was to join together from different countries to study, learn, discuss and share together ideas about sustainable social work.

In all we had about 30 participants on the intensive course. We had students and teachers from Mozambique, South Africa and the local University of St. Augustine in Tanzania...and then 6 students and 5 teachers from Tampere University and TAMK University of Applied Sciences.

During the two weeks we had lectures, group works, discussions, small essays to write and field visits, but I think that the pictures are the most fascinating way to tell about my intensive experiences!

So, remember to stay open-minded for the world which is full of opportunities...and read carefully your email since you never know what kind of offers and opportunities to apply there can be found ;)


In the classroom at the University of St. Augustine, Mwanza. We had some opening ceremonies where all the participantsfrom Tanzania, Mozambique, South-Africa and Finland were introduced. Social work is the one to unite us all :)

Starting a group work by sharing knowledge. During the intensive course we had some lectures, presentations, group works and discussions considering sustainable social work!

The local office of Head Department of Sociology at the University of St. Augustine :) Not the funding but the knowledge and desire to gain scientific understanding!


Locals on a market. It is usual to sell some local products or to have your own

small business such as small animals, food, handicrafts or jewellery to sell.

A street view from a crowded street in Mwanza city center. Mwanza is the second or third biggest city in Tanzania and according to Wikipedia there have been about 210 000 inhabitants in 2002. Altought the locals tell that it may be even a million living in Mwanza - who knows? :)

The city view from the lake Victoria. This view only tells one image of the city - these are the so called squats where mostly the poor people live in. Population density is high, infrastucture and sewage treatment are not so well organized. There have been a lot of improvement but still there squats are quite poor places to live.


Local primary school kids saying "hello"! In Tanzania kids go to school around 7-year-olds, before that they go to pre-school at the age of 5 or 6. The sad truth is that sometimes when one's family is too poor or the parents are sick, the older children have to stay at home to take care of it. Luckily most of the children still have a chance to go to school :)

Saying back hello by saying "Mambo!" to some pupils. There were in total about 2 200 students in this primary education school and usually between 100-150 on one class with one teacher :o Support for these children in learning in extremely important.

Something donated from Finland, Tampere in a local primary school! Tampere and Mwanza are sister-cities so they have quite a lot of cooperation via student and teacher exchange programmes for example.

Also visiting a center for children who used to live on the streets. There are plenty of childen living on the streets since their families cannot afford or are not in other ways able to take care of them. In this center named Upendo Daima the childen get to live and have a normal housing with food and other daily issues. They are also supported to go to school and some clubs together to gain positive experiences about themselves. They also have an acrobatic group in which they learn to do thing together and trust the other - and the most importantly themselves <3


A great cultural evening with dancing, an exiciting snake-dance show, having some nice tanzanian food and sharing experiences among all the cultures. I also got meet a very pretty 4-month-old friend ;)

Get to meet new people, get to meet people that are from different cultural and normative systems than you are, get to hear, talk about or visit new places, challenge yourself as much as it feels good in each moment and remember - sustainable social work is about bringing the resources to the people and teaching them to use them by which they have a chance to be the artists of their own lives :) <3 This is everyday empowerment!



a fourth-year-student of social work and the Vice Chairperson of SOS ry

ps. More information from the blog of the intensive course: !

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