CYDO in Tanzania – empowerment of marginalized people and communities

By Milena Rampoldi and Denise Nanni, ProMosaik. In the
following our interview with Nurali Rashidi of the organization CYDO from
Tanzania, supporting marginalised people like disabled people, elders, or
people suffering from HIV/AIDS. The key factors that can lead to community
empowerment are gender equality, community participation  development projects initiation, democracy,
rule of law and accountability to public servants.

Rashidi building capacity to the general community at Makanya Ward in Lushoto

What are the issues that brought to the foundation of CYDO?
Youth Development Organization is a Non-profit organization established in the
year 2011 with the aim of helping the marginalized social group such as women,
children, elders, and people with disabilities as well as people living with
HIV/AIDS. Tanzania as among the third World country do faces a lot of
challenges to its citizens including the spread of HIV/AIDS and its impact to
the man power of
Tanzania which tends to be lowered down by
the existence of larger number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS. Some records say
that Sub-Saharan African countries do make the 25% of the total percentage of
spread of HIV/AIDS Worldwide, there is a need to fight that disease with all
efforts because without that fight, number of orphans will increase in the
society as well as dependence ratio will increase while the man power of the
nation will be lowered down which will result to extreme poverty!
What are the projects that CYDO currently carries on?
CYDO has a numerous projects that are now
being implemented in the society of Lushoto District people as it still use its
own collections from its members as subscriptions from members monthly, an
income that gives the organization the power to finance its activities as the
organization was never received any fund from anybody rather than itself by
collecting its membership contributions. C.Y.D.O is now doing several seminars
and workshop by educating women who are engaged in business activities. We intend
to teach some business ideas/entrepreneurship skills to women so that they can
be careful and risk takers when they need to take loans from several financial
situations that are operating within Lushoto district council in Tanzania. We
also motivate farmers to do modern farming so that they can get worldwide
market an increase their market size to get more profit.

plantation in Lushoto district, Tanga-Tanzania, Photo by: Nurali Rashidi,
chairperson of C.Y.DO

How could you define your approach?

We have been doing our projects by using
our self-funding from the members of organization (C.Y.D.O) but this method is
not sustainable and not enough to meet the desired results and the general
population to be served, we need funds from donors so as to have ability to
implement a numerous number of project for the wide benefit of all.
What are the according to your experience the key factors
that can lead to community empowerment
-The key factors that can lead to community
empowerment are gender equality, community participation  development projects initiation, democracy,
rule of law and accountability to public servants. In some African countries
like Tanzania, those factors above are being taken into account so that this
country can enter in a middle economic countries in the World rather than being
among the less developed country .It happen sometimes some of those  factors are not being considered as they are
needed to be, for instance, the political rights of political parties and
politicians soon after general election seems to be very bad as some political
parties were being prohibited from doing their political campaigns. The issue
of gender balance is the issue here where by there are some efforts to make
women participate in development projects and initiatives. Still there is a
slight gender imbalance where women do fail to be elected to hold some higher
positions due to one reason of being born as women. Some civil societies,
non-governmental organizations and several charity organizations do practice
the provision of enough education to Tanzanian society so as to make it aware
of social benefits that can be brought by women in the general community.
We intend to do PETS (Public Expenditure
Tracking System) in our local government and through it we shall get to know
how the government funds are being spent by public officers which will show
their accountability to the management of public funds. We need to advance
funds from well-wishers and donors so that we can accomplish this projected
PETS project.
In what ways do you cope with the problem of HIV/AIDS?
pandemic is a t disease here in Africa. The current situation of HIV/AIDS
transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa is 26.5% .For about 100 percent of the total
spread of HIV/AIDS globally, sub Saharan Africa contributes to about 26.8%
which is very higher percentage to see! As an organization we have been
conducting different seminars explaining ways to combat HIV/AIDS especially to
secondary school students who are in foolish age/adolescent age as a very
dangerous age to be affected by HIV/AIDS. We are now doing a certain project of
helping the children living positively with HIV/AIDS with the supplement
nutrients food especially porridge which is being served within a district
hospital here in Lushoto. Those children who benefit with this help are of the
age between 0-11 years. We as CY.D.O have an intention to help more and more
children but we have no enough fund to do that.
Do you cooperate with local authorities and institutions? If
yes, how?
Yes. We do cooperate with our local
Authority as for instance we have some projects that we match our help and
unite it together with the District Hospital Administration to give nutrients
food help to children affected and living with HIV/AIDS .In fact, the local and
national/central authorities do give us enough collaboration and support when
we need them.