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SVETAN's Autumn Meeting 2016 Print E-mail
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Svetan's Autumn meeting on 12th November 2016 was held succesfully. The theme of the day was Volunteer Work in Tanzania.The  Guest of Honour was Ambassador Dora Mmari Msechu who gave an opening speech. 

Dear Ms. Emma Kreu– Chairperson of SVETAN
Distinguished Board Members of SVETAN
Dear Friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure and honour for me to be here today. Allow me to express my sincere gratitude to the Chairperson, Emma Kreu and all members of SVETAN for inviting me to grace this auspicious gathering.

I am delighted to note that SVETAN continues to play an active role in enhancing friendship between Swedish and Tanzanian communities. We deeply appreciate your love for our country and reaffirm our support to your efforts and initiatives. Let me assure you that we will continue to work closely with you for the sake of deepening friendship between the peoples of our two great countries.

On the same note, I am happy to mention that our two countries continue to maintain excellent relations and are putting more effort into strengthening economic, political, social and cultural ties.

We remain confident that this special relationship between Tanzania and Sweden will continue to grow from strength to strength for many years to come.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I know that most of you, due to your deep attachment to Tanzania, are closely following current developments in my country and I believe that you are impressed by the efforts being undertaken so far by, the 5th phase Government under the able leadership of H.E Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, to achieve economic growth and eradicate poverty. The President has just completed his first year in office. Since coming to power, his Government has waged serious war against corruption and mismanagement of public funds as well as maximizing tax collections in order to channel more funds to sectors, like education, health, water, and energy and infrastructure development for the benefit of all Tanzanians. In short, Tanzania is changing for better and we urge you all to continue to participate in assisting the country to become a self reliant nation, and ultimately, a Middle Income Nation by 2025.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Back to today’s theme, ‘volunteer work in Tanzania’, I think, it is true for me to say that, most SVETAN members who are here today are former volunteers or experts who have worked in Tanzania and know the country very well. I am also informed that most of you speak or understand Kiswahili very well.

Tanzanian Diaspora who live in Sweden tell me that when they are in the "Tunnel Banan" and talking Kiswahili, often times they see a Swedish man or woman looking at them and smiling. It means that she or he understands Kiswahili. That is a crude measure of how deep volunteerism was in Tanzania and that many Swedish people who have been to Tanzania and East Africa can speak Kiswahili.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In discussing the history of our long standing friendship we will always refer to the arrival of Swedish Missionaries in Tanzania in 1930s. We will always mention one of those missionaries - Mama Barbro Johansson, a legendary volunteer woman who was very instrumental to Tanzania’s close ties with Sweden. Mama Barbro arrived in Tanzania in 1946 and started a girl’s school in Bukoba. She later on became a Tanzanian, entered into politics and became a Member of Parliament.

After independence in 1961, bilateral cooperation between Sweden and Tanzania was enhanced. The support came along with a large number of Swedish aid workers every year who came to work in various projects which were funded by Sweden. In the early years, apart from missionaries working in Tanzanian Churches, and other Faith Based Organisations, volunteer work was also in the health and education sectors including the establishment of Folk High Schools. Therefore, Volunteers were tied to these areas of Swedish support.

Later on, volunteers came to work with other Civil Society and Community Based Organisations, NGOs, businesses, government agencies, municipalities and political parties in Tanzania.

Volunteers today are not tied to a funded project in government or religious institutions. The modality of recruiting volunteers has also changed but human resources with knowledge on various skills is still very much needed in Tanzania. The doors are still open for volunteers to come and offer their skill and knowledge in different sectors and different parts of the country. There are still challenges in financial and human resources. Many work places that are looking for skills and knowledge are not able to recruit workers and pay their salaries. The skill can be as simple as dealing with online correspondence, writing project proposals and reports, teaching various subjects or offering health care in a clinic or dispensary. In order to increase efficiency, most of these work places and employers in Tanzania still need the support of volunteers.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Embassy has observed that when one wants to work as a Volunteer in Tanzania they feel comfortable to go where others from Sweden have been or are currently working. We therefore feel that some sectors, work places or regions are privileged to get Volunteer workers on a regular basis. The Embassy is willing to search and identify other work places and regions where willing volunteers can go and give the needed support in various skills and knowledge.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In conclusion, allow me to commend the Swedish volunteers who have worked in Tanzania and those that plan to do so. Former Swedish volunteers therefore are a human resource with knowledge and understanding of Tanzania Development needs. They have been and are still part and parcel of driving the development wheels of Tanzania. Volunteers have been involved in all kinds of work and activities in Tanzania; i.e. teaching various subjects, arts & crafts, theatre play or dance, health care etc. You have helped to change life paths of many; you have empowered Tanzanians for employment and in self-reliant projects. You have lived in humble accommodations and ate our traditional food. You accepted to leave the comfort of your beautiful homes and country to help us. Through you, Sweden has developed a very deep knowledge of Tanzania and needs of our people at the grassroots’ level. Through this knowledge Sweden is able to shape its development assistance strategies over the years.

At personal level, families that are half Swedish, half Tanzanian are common in both countries. We therefore value the relationship by people and families that has developed out of the cooperation between the two countries since independence.

On behalf of the Government of Tanzania and my fellow Tanzanians, I sincerely thank you. Once again, I welcome your continued support in the development and friendship to Tanzania.

I thank you for your attention

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