Dar es Salaam. It is a sunny morning at Muhimbili and Umoja wa Mataifa Primary Schools. A few pupils at the schools’ grounds are playing as the two heads of these schools, and other few visitors get set for the interview on Global Ismaili Civic Day on September 26, this year.
After a warm welcome, Mr Shehzada Walli, the National Coordinator of Ismaili Civic in Tanzania, expounds on various issues.
According to Mr Walli, the Ismaili Civic Day is a global initiative under the banner of Shia Ismaili Muslim Community and will be carried out in 27 countries where Ismailis live in.
He says a total of five cities will be involved in the community activities on the day and a total of 220 events will take place on that day globally. The cities are Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Mbeya, Dodoma and Zanzaibar. However in Tanzania the target is a minimum of 1,000 hours.
“The purpose for having this day is, for decades if not centuries, the Ismaili community has been giving a lot to the communities they live in around the world. The main purpose is our voluntary spirit to be recognised and be able to keep data on how many hours and how much money are we spending in and what is it exactly we are doing as Ismaili’s in terms of supporting the improvement of quality of life for our cities and the world in general,” says Mr Walli.
Commenting on the activities that will take place on that day are environment cleanups, painting walls, tree planting, rehabilitation and renovation of place in these regions.
In an interview with two pupils from two schools that will be involved on that day Muhimbili Primary School and Umoja wa Mataifa Primary School pupils claimed to have lack of cleaning materials and access to clean water.
Doreen Isaack is a grade VI pupil at Umoja wa Mataifa Primary school. She says, at her school they sometimes miss access for drinking water as well as in their toilets. This forces them to go to their neighbouring school, Muhimbili, to use their toilets.
Responding to Doreen’s comment he says they will engage environment partners like NipeFagio others and to create environmental awareness and education that will continue even after the launch. Improving water and waste systems management at these schools will also be part of our activities.
Ms Jovitha Mushi is the head teacher at Muhimbili Primary School. The school started in 1971. It has a total of 1,280 pupils and 35 teachers. For the past three years all pupils have managed to perform well and sail through to secondary schools.
She is happy and excited that her school is among many schools that are considered for
Shia Ismaili Muslim community initiative. She will work closely with them and will be on top of the programme that will also be given to the teachers on environmental issues.
Thomas Kisike is the Muhimbili Primary School chairperson of the School Committee representing parents. He says that, among other challenges parents discuss at parents meetings how best can parents contribute towards infrastructure at the school.
“At this school both parents and teachers work closely and I am happy that the initiative comes at the right time as the school will be given a different look and stimulate pupils attendance,” says Mr Kisike.
Methodia Francis Kibasa is the Deputy Head Teacher at the Umoja wa Mataifa Primary School. The school has 887 pupils and 22 teachers. The school performs well and for the past three years all students passed to Secondary schools despite Covid-19 challenges.
“I am looking forward to working closely with them closely. Despite the fact that they are very specific that the initiative is mainly on improving our environment but we are kindly requesting for them to touch other area at school that needs a helping hand,” says Ms Kibasa.
Willhard Shishikaye is a representative from NipeFagio, a programme which aims at systematically educating and sensitising the public on behaviour change and promoting a culture of cleaning and maintaining our beautiful city and street image.
He says, the partnership will help them give education environment to teachers and pupils at both schools for six months continuously.