Thursday, 30 June 2016

Road Trip

As Travel Team members of SIHA’s International Branch, we have to make many decisions on behalf of SIHA as an organization regarding projects. Planning projects can be thought of as taking a road trip and planning your route. The project plan ensures our activities (our route map) line up with SIHA’s Guiding Principles (route restrictions) so we can successfully achieve our objectives (reach our destination). While some decisions may come easily, others may challenge our personal beliefs or a clear choice may not be evident. The challenge lies in ensuring our plan aligns with our mission and vision and in justifying actions we wish to take. 

In the spring, the International Team members signed up for projects that interested them, or to which they felt a personal connection. We came to Tanzania looking forward to empowering people or organizations in addressing barriers to health in their community. However, following extensive in-country research and data collection, perhaps a given project for which we initially signed up no longer seems to fit within SIHA’s scope, or barriers have become too extensive to foster effective, sustainable change. This accurately describes the situation some team members are facing with few of the projects this summer.
              Therefore, although we may be passionate about what a given project is trying to accomplish, our plan for the summer may in fact be to implement the steps necessary for it to discontinue. Regardless of the emotional implications of the situation, it is important to remember that our involvement in a project that is outside of our scope or capacity may be more detrimental to communities than helpful. As we are in the midst of evaluating our current initiatives and implementing steps involved in closing out some projects, this topic is especially relevant. Should we continue down the same road, take a detour, or just stop the car altogether? These are all important questions to ask ourselves as we write up our project plans.

       Luckily, each project team was able to submit a rough draft of their project plan before our trip to Zanzibar! Check out this group picture on Prison Island:
Life of Pi-esque Boating Adventure!

Safari njema! (Safe travels!) See you next week!

SIHA International Team

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