Ruth Eileenema is one of the winners of Engage Africa Foundation's Health is Wealth Competition. Through this effort, we fight non-communicable diseases in a way that empowers communities and builds the public health capacity of local change agents.
We are working with her to use physical activity (soccer) in weaning youth off risky behaviours that put them at risk for non-communicable diseases, helping them develop positive habits, and generating capital through their leagues which can be invested in businesses and skills that will sustain them financially. Thank you for your donations that make this possible.
Here is Ruth's latest update:
Gongali Youth preferred to name their teams after the Tanzanian Teams in Premium League
I had several meetings with the Gongali Village Youth on how we can implement the Health is Wealth Project.
1. From their perspective, they suggested that they would rather imitate Home Football leagues instead of the European ones. I agreed with them because my objectives are "far beyond the football" issue.
So they have begun organizing themselves into teams based on Tanzania Premium League (Simba, Yanga, Azam, Mtibwa, etc).
2. They suggested that January and February is the planting season (agriculture) so they can not devote enough time for soccer. I agreed with them and we jointly planned to start a league over the weekends (I will update you) and culminate it during the Passover week (around April). The first winner will be given a cup/trophy, two footballs, and a 16 jazz for players. The second winner will receive a shield, one ball and a 16 Jazz. The third winner will receive a ball and 16 jazz.
Best players, particularly those who have accepted to change behaviours leading to non-communicable diseases (We will call them HEROS/MODELS for Health is Wealth Initiative) will be highly appreciated. This will motivate others and serve as an incentive.
3. We are planning to have at least three leagues per year - March/April, June/July, Nov/Dec).
4. We are starting the census now (just for my community). With this I will also administer a base-line survey for youth, in relation to non-communicable diseases.
5. The idea of Youth Empowerment suggested by Nadege of Engage Africa Foundation is powerful! Nadege suggested Youth/Women Entrepreneurship along with our initiative of Health is Wealth. We are already doing something small along this line and now we will integrate this with our activities.
I welcome advice on the way forward!
More updates to come,
Ruth from Tanzania