WGHA & Seattle Sounders FC travel to Tanzania
January 7-January 16th, 2013, the Seattle Sounders FC sent a delegation, including WGHA, to northern Tanzania. The purpose of the trip was to observe global health projects and strengthen the football club’s relationship with the Tanzanian Tourist Board. The delegation included current Sounders defender Marc Burch and Sounders legend and broadcaster, Kasey Keller.
Thursday, January 10- Visit to World Vision and PATH
The delegation visited World Vision’s Community Knowledge Center and two schools, meeting close to 400 students. Kasey had the opportunity to speak at both schools where he emphasized the important connection between education and sport. At each of the schools, students were asked who’d had malaria and nearly all hands were raised. When asked who’d had malaria more than once, the majority of hands remained raised. The delegation spent time reflecting on the reality that most Tanzanian children will, at some point, have malaria and that’s why we need an effective malaria vaccine.
The boys and girls football teams from the first World Vision school had the unique opportunity to play soccer with Marc, Kasey and the delegation. Teams from the two schools received t-shirts and soccer balls from the Sounders. Special thanks to Zelote and Rishiyaeli of World Vision.
In the afternoon, the delegation drove to Mount Meru Hospital to meet with a PATH youth TB club. After getting an overview of PATH’s extensive tuberculosis prevention work, we met more than a dozen beautiful children living with HIV. They sang us a song about preventing TB and destigmatizing HIV. One of the HIV positive girls allowed Kasey to observe her weekly TB diagnostic test . The group was humbled by the opportunity to spend the afternoon with such brave children. The children received t-shirts and balls from the Sounders. As we left the clinic, the group conversation turned to PATH’s innovative strategy involving the traditional Tanzanian healers in TB diagnosis. Special thanks to Adelhelma Ndile of PATH.
Friday, January 11-Visit to Washington State University’s Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health
The group was up with the sun to drive to Kambi ya Simba (literal translation: Lion Camp) at the mouth of the Ngorongoro Crater for rabies vaccinations with WSU. The group went off-road for the latter half of the trip and saw the line of villagers waiting with their dogs. Throughout the day, the line never lessened in size as there were always about 50 people waiting to vaccinate their dogs which they brough in buckets, bowls and boxes. Marc jumped in and started filling syringes with vaccine. Before long, he was vaccinating dogs and by the end of the day had vaccinated 7! We all agreed that when Marc retires, he should consider this as a second career. We capped off the day with a visit to the local primary school where the children received soccer balls and t-shirts from the Sounders. Special thanks to Felix Lankester of WSU.
Other highlights of the trip included meeting Tanzania’s President Kikwete and the Prime Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources as well as the head of Tanzania’s Tourist Board.
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