For those who don't know about WEP

 
  
 
WEP is a result of cooperation between Kiruna municipality in northern Sweden and Makunduchi Wards in the south east of Zanzibar. The project started in 2013 with research and recruitment of students for the project. The students are women from 18 until 25 years old and joined the program because they want to learn more English, computer, entrepreneurship and more about human rights. They are part of this project prepare for further studies and to get jobs within different projects and sectors. Some of them want to start their own businesses.
 
In January 2014 18 volunteers from Malmfältens Folkhögskola in Kiruna arrived in Makunduchi to teach a group of 12 women from different villages in the area. Each of the 12 students had their own teacher, which made the learning very individualised. The subjects the students were taught was English, Computer and Entrepreneurship and trough these subjects they learned more about empowerment, democracy, human- and women’s rights. The rest of the volunteers worked within different projects and sectors in the community; waste management, teaching at a nursery, handicraft, teaching project management and courses in English.
 
 
 
 
 
The teachers from Kiruna all have different background; one is a nurse, one is a social worker, two work as journalists and so on, but they all have one thing in common; they all want a world where the resources are shared equally and where every human being, irrespective of gender, place of birth, or ability, have the right to choose their own path.
After four months they went back to Kiruna to inform people there about their work and to work against xenophobia and discrimination.
 
 
 
 
 
The idea of the festival came from members of the Makunduchi committee and Nasima Haji, a journalist in Zanzibar Leo that is working on a cookbook with recipes and stories of the traditional dishes of Zanzibar. The students and teachers immediately started to prepare because they saw this as a great opportunity to learn more about project management and entrepreneurship.
In June two of the Swedish teachers came back to assist in the work and in September two more will come to continue teaching for three more months.
 
In January 2015 a new group of teachers and students will start their path towards more knowledge, not only in the subjects taught but also about each other, themselves and the world we live in and are supposed to share. 

The students from this year will be a great resource for the new students and also good role models for them and other young women in Makunduchi. They are strong, independent women with the will and ability to make a difference in their community and in the world.

- Marit 

Festival veckan är kommen till Makunduchi


 
 
 

Festival veckan är kommen till Makunduchi och det arbetas för fulla muggar i de olika grupperna, Management, underhållning, hantverk, matlagning och marknadföringsgruppen! Det är helt nytt för bygden och många munnar pratar om vad som komma skall. MAKUNDUCHI TRADITIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL kommer att presentera ett utbud av inte mindre än 46 maträtter som folk från byn kommer att laga med kärlek och omsorg med hjälp av WEP – studenterna. Det kommer att säljas hantverk av olika slag, där kvinnor från ön har chansen att visa upp sig och sälja sina alster, allt från väskor av palmblad till kläder och bruksföremål. Våra studenter har beslutat att bara tillfråga kvinnor, för att vårt projekt även ska peppa och vara en resurs för andra kvinnor runt om. Under våra besök på Shehia mötena, där vi pratat om utbildningen och ansökan till nästa år och festivalen, har vi fått positiv respons på att delta med hantverk, det ligger mig varmt om hjärtat och det studsar av lycka när flitiga händer visas upp!

Underhållningen är spikad och scenen kommer bjuda på kangashow http://kirunazanzibar.com/2014/july/how-to-wear-a-kanga.html och kofiashow under både lördag och söndag, liksom Kidomback, som är traditionell musik med trummor och dans.

 
 
 

Det skrivs brev till olika instanser och myndigheter, för att få tillåtelser att hänga upp reklam, att använda elektricitet, att få hålla en festival på den platsen vi valt m.m. Eleverna lär sig att formulera sig formellt och se hur viktigt det är med framförhållning, trots att allt löser sig, även i sista sekund och det gör att mitt hopp aldrig försvinner på denna ö. Hamna noma! Inga problem!

Våra kära kollegor på ICT–center, Nuru och Jecha kommer stå för guidade turer runt Makunduchi och prata om de stora bawbaw träden med en historia för sig och om hur folk lever och lär här i byn. Besök i en grotta och promenad uppför fyrens alla trappsteg för att höra på berättelser och blicka utsikt.

Möten för matbudget tar tid. Det inväntas många människor, från komitén, elever, festivalkokerskor för att ta beslut om priser och volymer, de bästa plasterna att hitta varje ingrediens till alla olika rätterna som ska ta avsmakas till helgen. Alla får sina röster hörda om de vill, ibland i mun på varandra. Jag infinner mig där och försöker följa med på swahilin med en speciell dialekt från Makunduchi, det är inte en lätt uppgift men jag förstår att många maträtter kommer att innehålla kokosnöt och mjölk från nöten. Säsongen just nu gör det svårt att få tag på och priset är högre än vanligt. Det finns lösningar, för här arbetar folk tillsammans. Pamoja! Mina tankar snurrar kring lokaldemokrati, på hög nivå, jag är imponerad och tar med mig det jag lär.

Området Koba ska dekoreras och studenterna hoppar av lycka när vi i dag investerade i material för ända målet, som de själva bestämt! 100 meter rep från kokosnöten http://kirunazanzibar.com/2014/march/fran-not-till-rep.html och tyg i loggans fyra färger. ICT – centers golv ändrades snabbt till en färgprakt och vilda röster om hur det ska klippas, sys och hängas upp! I samma veva köptes ett sidenband som hedersgästen Waziri Kiongozi Mstaafu Mheshimiusa Shamsi Vuai Nahodha ska få klippa av och öppna MAKUNDUCHI TRADITIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL.

Jag är förväntans full och pirrig i magen inför denna helg, som kommer att innehålla mer än vad jag kan föreställa mig! Vi bjuder in varenda kotte till Makunduchi och tar emot med öppna armar! Välkomna att se, smaka, känna och lyssna på vad WEP – studenter dragit ihop!

Välkomna! Karibuni sana! Welcome!

/ Hanna    

 

 

 

 

The festival week is here in Makunduchi and we work a lot in the different groups, management, entertainment, handicraft, cooking and Marketing Group! It is brand new to the area, and many mouths talking about what's to come. Makunduchi TRADITIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL will present a selection of no less than 46 dishes that people from the village will cook with love and care using WEP - the students. It will be sold crafts of various kinds, in which women from the island have the chance to show and sell their work, ranging from bags of palm leaves to the clothes and appliances. Our students have decided just to ask women to our project also will pep up and be a resource for other women around. During our visit to Shehia meetings where we talked about education and the application to the next year and the festival, we have received positive feedback to attend the craft, it is close to my heart and it bounces out of luck when the industrious hands shown up!

Entertainment is nailed and the scene will offer kanga show http://kirunazanzibar.com/2014/july/how-to-wear-a-kanga.html and kofiashow during both Saturday and Sunday, as well Kidomback, traditional music with drums and dance.

The written letters to various bodies and authorities, to get permissions to hang advertising, using electricity, to hold a festival on the area we have chosen, etc. Students learn to express themselves formally and see how important it is to look ahead, despite the fact that everything will work out, even at the last second and it makes my hope is never lost on this island. Hamna noma! No problem!

Our dear friends at the ICT center, Nuru and Jecha will stand for guided tours around Makunduchi and talk about the great bawbaw trees with a story in itself and how people live and learn here in the village. Visit a cave and walk up the lighthouse stairs for all to hear the stories and look to the view.

Meetings of the food budget takes time. It awaited many people, from kommitee, students, festival cooks to take decisions on prices and volumes, the best places to find every ingredient to all the different dishes to be savored to the weekend. Everyone gets their voices heard if they want, sometimes in unison. I summoned me there and try to go on swahilin with a special dialect from Makunduchi, it is not an easy task but I understand that many dishes will contain coconut and milk from the coconut. The season right now makes it difficult to obtain and the price is higher than usual. There are solutions for this, people work together. Pamoja! My mind is spinning around local democracy, at a high level, I'm impressed and I bring what I learn.

Koba area will be decorated and the students jumping for joy when today we invested in materials for the end goal, they have prescribed! 100 feet of rope from coconut http://kirunazanzibar.com/2014/march/fran-not-to-rep.html and fabric in loggan four colors. ICT - center floor was quickly changed to a display of color and wild voices about how it should be cut, sewn and hung up! Around the same time bought a silk ribbon as the guest of honor Waziri Kiongozi Mstaafu Mheshimiusa Shamsi Vuai Nahodha will get cut off and open Makunduchi TRADITIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL.

I am full of expectation and tingly stomach before this weekend, which will feature more than I can imagine! We invite every single person Makunduchi and receive with open arms! Welcome to see, taste, feel, and listen to what the WEP - students arrange together!

Welcome! Karibuni Sana! Welcome!

/ Hanna

Hilsen til de nye volontärene / A greeting for the new volunteers

Kjære nye volontärer! I dag var det deres første dag som elever på Malmfältens folkhögskola. Jeg husker så utrolig godt hvordan denne dagen var for meg for et år siden. Jeg kom til Kiruna med tog fra Narvik på søndag ettermiddag.

Ove hentet meg på togstasjonen og da jeg kom til Malmfältens fikk jeg omvisning av Ove med Lina og Ebba. Første møte med to av de fantastiske jentene jeg skulle tilbringe natt og dag med de neste 9 månedene. Tøffe Ebba med turkisblått hår og med en aura av selvtillit og feministisk initiativ. 19 årige mamma Lina som fra første sekund framstod som det klokeste mennesket jeg har møtt i mitt liv. Senere har jeg erfart at det er hun nok også.

Jeg var så nervøs. Så jævla nervøs.

Tankene fløy rundt i hodet mitt. Ingen kommer til å forstå meg fordi jeg er norsk. Alle har mer erfaring og mer kunnskap enn meg. Det var i trappen på kursgården jeg virkelig fikk bekreftet de negative tankene mine. Her møtte jeg Theres for første gang. Jenta fra Stockholms förort som hadde bodd i Tanzania før, pratet Swahili fra før og som visste ALT om ting som jeg ville vite ALT om. Malcom X, miljøarbeid, utviklingsarbeid, øl, ost og vin. Theres som så ut som et stort spørsmålstegn da jeg åpnet munnen og noe helt annet en stockholmsk kom ut av den.

Den neste jeg møtte var Iris som var 100 ganger kulere enn meg med sine tatoveringer av Pippi og Lille My. Veganske Iris som med sitt engasjement for dyrs rettigheter fikk kjøttetende Marit til å skjelve i buksa og slutte å spise kjøtt. Dette var første kvelden og jeg la meg med sommerfugler og mursteiner i magen. Hvordan i all verden skulle jeg kunne måle meg med disse menneskene? Og enda hadde jeg ikke møtt alle i den nye klassen min.

Morgenen etter møtte jeg Charlotta og Greta nede i kursgårdens kjøkken. Nå var det min tur å se ut som et spørsmålstegn. Ut av munnen til Charlotta kom det svensk som jeg til da hadde trodd var tullesvensk. Svensk som bare snakkes av personer som er med på tv-programmet Nordens Herligste med brødrene Ylvis. Charlotta skulle forresten hatt sitt eget talk show. Det hadde sett slik ut: Charlotta åpner programmet med sang og dans. Kveldens gjest er Gudrun Schyman og Charlotta gråter fordi hun er så engasjert. Publikum gråter fordi det store hjertet hennes skinner gjennom TV-skjermen. Etter det musikalske innslaget der Ylvis og Charlotta gjør en remix av ”what does the fox say” er det tid for programmets høydepunkt (for Charlotta) og avslutning. I denne delen av programmet spiser Charlotta ost og brød.

Hvis noen skulle ha baket brødet eller laget maten på programmet så skulle det vært Greta. Hun som hadde med seg et helt kjøkken av utstyr fra Uppsala til Kiruna og hun som kan trylle fram smaker jeg ikke visste fantes. Jeg lærte senere at selv om Greta er lita er det store mengder swag i den kroppen. Hun kan få selv den verste, mest ekstreme rasist til å skjelve med hjelp av fakta, gode argumenter og en gestikulering som setter 50cent i et dårlig lys.

I klasserommet vokste mursteinen seg enda større. Jeg kunne ikke forstå hva jeg gjorde der. Hvorfor i all verden hadde Johanna og Harald valgt meg til å bli med i prosjektet? Etter hvert som klassen presenterte seg en etter en ble jeg mer og mer overbevist om at de hadde gjort en feil. Ringt til feil person. Eller kanskje det fantes en norskkvote som måtte fylles og jeg var den eneste norske søkeren?

Etter lunsj ble mursteinen mindre. Vi hadde snakket i munnen på hverandre i en time og nesten ikke hatt tid til å spise. Klassens kunnskapsnivå og erfaring var kanskje ulik, men det var ikke engasjementet. Vi var alle klare til å dra lasset til prosjektet sammen og i samme retning til og med. Jeg innså etter bare noen dager på Malmfältens at Harald og Johanna hadde slett ikke gjort noen feil, det fantes ingen norskkvote. Jeg hadde blitt valgt fordi jeg som alle andre i klassen hadde evnen og viljen til å lære, til å engasjere meg og å påvirke retningen verden går i. Jeg innså at verden er syk og i ferd med å miste kursen, men også at det finnes minst 18 andre i denne verden som er villig til å ofre alt for helbrede den og å få den på rett kurs igjen.

Så husk dette, kjære nye volontärer: Senk forventningene til dere selv og ikke bruk tid og energi på å måle dere selv mot de andre i klassen. Bruk den heller på å suge til dere så mye lærdom, erfaring, perspektiv og engasjement til de fantastiske klassekompisene dine som dere kan!

 

Dear new volunteers! It's your first day as students at Malmfältens. I remember my first day too well. One year ago I came to Kiruna by train from Narvik on Sunday afternoon.

Ove picked me up at the station and when I got to Malmfältens he gave me, Lina and Ebba a tour of the premises. That was my first meeting with two of the most amazing girls I would spend night and day with the next 9 months. The cool girl, Ebba, with turquoise hair and an air of confidence and feministic initiative. 19-year-old mama Lina that from the first moment appeared to be the wisest human being I've met in my life. Later I learned that she is.

I was so nervous. So damn nervous.

Thousands of thoughts were flying around in my head; no one will understand me because I'm Norwegian, everyone has more experience and more knowledge than me. In the stairway up to the dorm my negative thoughts were confirmed. I met Theres for the first time. The girl from a Stockholm suburb, who had lived in Tanzania before, spoke Swahili from before and knew EVERYTHING about things that I wanted to know EVERYTHING about; Malcom X, environmental work, development work, beer, cheese and wine. Theres that looked like a big question mark when I opened my mouth and something other than Stockholmska came out of it.

My next encounter was with Iris. She was 100 times cooler than me with her tattoos of Pippi and Lille My and her air of badass. Iris the vegan, who got Marit the carnivore to tremble and stop eating meat because of her commitment towards animal rights. This was my first few hours in Kiruna and I went to bed with butterflies and huge stones in my stomach. How on earth could I compare myself with these people? And I hadn’t even met the rest of my class.

The morning after I met Charlotta and Greta in the kitchen. Now it was my turn to look like a question mark. Out of Charlottas mouth came a Swedish dialect I until then had thought didn’t exist in real life. A dialect only spoken by people who are in the TV show “Nordens Herligste” with the Ylvis brothers. Charlotta should have her own talk show. It would have been like this:

Charlotta opens the show while singing and dancing. Tonight's guest is Gudrun Schyman and Charlotta is crying because she is so engaged. The audience is crying because of Charlottas big heart that shines through the TV screen. After the musical element in the show where Ylvis and Charlotta do a remix of "what does the fox say" it's time for the show’s highlight (Charlotta's highlight). In this part of the program Charlotta eat cheese and bread.

If anyone should have baked or cooked for the TV show it should be Greta. She brought enough kitchen equipment to supply a medium big restaurant from Uppsala to Kiruna and she can conjure up flavors I never knew existed. I later learned that even though Greta is tiny there are large amounts of swag in her body. She can make even the worst, most extreme racist tremble with the help of facts, good arguments and gestures that put 50cent in a bad light.

When I met the rest of the volunteers in the classroom the stone in my stomach got even heavier. I could not understand what I was doing there. Why on earth had Johanna and Harald chosen me to join the project? As my class introduced themselves one by one, I became more and more convinced that they had made a mistake. Called the wrong person. Or maybe it was a quota for Norwegians that had to be filled and I was the only Norwegian applicant?

After lunch the stone in my stomach was almost gone. We had talked to each other for an hour and hardly had time to eat. The class' knowledge and experience was perhaps different, but the amount of commitment was the same. Everyone was ready to cary the load of the project together, even in the same direction.

I realized after a few days in Malmfältens that Harald and Johanna had made no mistake, there was no Norwegian quota. I had been chosen because I, like everyone else, had the ability and willingness to learn, to get involved and to influence the direction the world is going in.

I also realized that the world is sick and on the wrong course, but also that there are at least 18 others in this world who are willing to sacrifice everything to heal it and get it back on course again.

So remember this, dear new volunteers. Lower your expectations of yourself and do not spend time and energy to compare yourself to the others in your class. Use the time and energy to absorb as much knowledge, experience, perspective and commitment from your wonderful class mates!

- Marit