Canadian projects funded through the 2010 Muskoka Initiative are wrapping up here in Tanzania, including a World Vision Canada project in Singida region called SUSTAIN.
On my first few days here, I spoke to Rester Boniface, the SUSTAIN project co-ordinator. She said World Vision has submitted a proposal for the 2015 to 2020 round of funding (that call for proposals, under Canada's Partnership Branch, which works directly with the NGOs as opposed to bilaterally or multilaterally, went out in January). But because the team sees as great a need in some of the districts that weren't covered under SUSTAIN, the proposal covers only one of the districts that were included in the first round, and adds two new districts.
At the same time, the district health officials I spoke to say they need at least another year of funding.
I asked Rester about that decision. Here's the transcript of her answer, as well as the audio.
"That's very difficult. Because there are a lot of need, there are a lot of challenges you face. And when we work in an area, we keep on identifying more problems and more problems. And these are there. We wish we were able to address all the problems. And sometimes it reaches a time where we have to leave, like now, where we have not reached where we thought maybe we could reach, or we have not covered all the needs. Clearly it is a challenge. And when we leave, like when we were handing over the project, all the speeches were saying we are sad because we feel we still need you. Those words were making us feel bad because we know the problem. We know they need us. We know the budget they have is not enough. And they still have a lot of things they have to do. So clearly it is very hard and it is very challenging but since these projects are small, small, we have nothing to do. Sometimes we have to leave and when we get an opportunity for writing proposals, we write; when we get funds, yes we support, but we can't address all of the challenges."