Letters from Tanzania

Last week MACYS alumna Camilla Jones contributed to our blog series explaining how MACYS had informed her practice with children. This week, MACYS alumnus Rogasian Massue tells us about his work and studying on MACYS. Rogasian joined the MACYS programme in 2011 as a full-time student. Rogasian is an experienced practitioner from Tanzania having worked at the Amani Children’s Home in Moshi for a number of years. Below, in the form of a letter, he shares his experiences of working with street children in Moshi and reflects on the contribution that the MACYS programme made to his professional development.

Dear Melissa,

I hope this email finds you ok. My apology for not having responded to your email sooner. It was nothing more than being caught up with lots of urgent things that landed on my desk over the last couple of days.

I am excited to hear from you again after nearly one plus years since I last got in touch with Rachel Burr. It is even more excitingto learn that you are now taking lead as a convenor of MACYS and that we will get to hear about Sussex stories from the blog.

I am still in Moshi working for Amani Children’s home and in the same capacity as a programme coordinator.

Amani Children’s Home is growing fast; since last year we have had new big projects and new staffing. On the other hand, we have been striving to improve our work practices so that we can give better services to the children we support. More and more children are enjoying our services and about 250 boys and girls in school programmes, from preschool to University level.

I was excited to come back to Amani after one year of study at Sussex. The MACYS programme made a difference in my life that will have long lasting impact on myself and the children I work with here at Amani. Notwithstanding some challenges I face in addressing some behaviour problems of some of the children I work with, there is a reward in every little step I make towards helping the children getting out of some of the problematic conditions they were in before when they lived on the streets.

The work I do here is overwhelming, due in no small part to the changes I see happening in the children I am in contact with. Children often come to us labelled with very serious behaviour problems that makes people think that the child has an “unmanageable childhood” and personality. Over time and working closely with these children talented, skilled and future-focused children emerge.

My own research has now confirmed that with patience, shared experience and relevant skills a lost childhood could possibly be regained, thus opening a new chapter of life to a child. This is where I see the MACYS programme serving as a necessary platform for young and novice professionals to come together, share experiences and find some possible consensus towards supporting children who live in different cultures and conditions.

Rogasian

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