(eTN) – Through humanitarian support to local communities, the Seychelles Tourism Ambassador to Tanzania Maryvonne Pool has established a philanthropic project to help poor communities in Tanzania through provision of basic services.
This week, Ms. Pool lead a way and launched clean water facilities, including solar powered wells, to local communities living on the South Coast beaches of the Indian Ocean outside Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam.
Earmarked for clean beach tourism development, the South Coast of Dar es Salaam has been moving at a snail’s pace in tourism investment, due to lack of basic facilities, including water, electricity and a bridge that would link the main part of the city to the beach sites.
Local communities living in the South Beach area lack basic needs, while benefiting nothing or very little from tourism, despite the beautiful and rich tourist beaches abound in their locality.
Ms. Pool, who is also the Seychelles Consul in Tanzania, had established the African Reflections Foundation 2004 to support poor communities with basic living needs.
Through the African Reflections Foundation, Ms. Pool and Ms. Karen Flewelling from Karen’s Water Fund in New York (US) have donated clean water wells to two local communities along the South Beach area, as part of numerous deep bore hole wells donated to other poor communities in the coastal area outside Dar es Salaam.
Ms. Pool has been operating a responsible travel project, the Delfina Eco-Tourism, which has been advocating green travel initiatives, hence travel philanthropy that calls for humanitarian support to poor communities living closer to tourist sites.
“I traveled all over Tanzania, and all I saw was none other than people who needed our helping hands”, she told eTN.
The Foundation is also supporting four projects in community development, education and healthcare other than in Mkuranga, which include water and sanitation.
It was like a routine to women and girls to walk long distances in search of water which then they carry back home. This was not only bad for their health, but also the situation made them prone to the risk of being attacked by wild animals and sometimes to be raped; which all together put their health and life at risk.
“With these wells, water shortage is no longer a problem and now women can easily engage in agriculture and other activities that would enable them and their family to earn their living”, Ms Pool said.
“I had a dream to help others from my childhood. In Seychelles my homeland, during my childhood, I was raised to know what we had
and what others did not have. My father, a philanthropist, made the difference and this was engraved in my heart, he taught us
how to give when we have enough to give to others,” Ms. Pool told eTN.
“After so many years of fancy life at University in Switzerland and working in Italy, I felt I wanted to move to Africa to start a business to help others. It must have been my destiny. I want to live in a close community with the rural people. I fell in love with the place and suddenly realized how good I had it”, she said.
One of the worst things that Ms. Pool saw, were the women and young girls carrying large buckets of water on their heads. Schoolgirls carry empty buckets at schools to find water on the way back home.
If not they rush home to help their mothers fetching water, there is no age for this burden, you will find young girls and women looking for water far from their homes. Sometimes the women will carry one child on their back, one bucket on their head, another in one hand.
“Go to schools in Africa, see how many kids cramped on the floor, with no desks, not enough classrooms, no toilets or latrines”, Ms Pool lamented.