Travel with Claus and Teresa Janssen as they study and volunteer in the East African countries of Tanzania and Uganda. Claus recently completed a course with the London School of Tropical Medicine and will speak about health care challenges and successes, and Teresa volunteered in a Maasai school, visited other schools in Uganda, and will share her impressions of the educational challenges and successes of the region.
In the United Nations Statistics Division scheme of geographic regions, 20 territories make up Eastern Africa. Tanzania and Uganda are, with four others, members of the East African Community (EAC). Governments of these countries face numerous challenges in terms of health care, including lack of funds and poor infrastructure. This is compounded by epidemics, poverty and brain drain of homegrown doctors moving abroad.
Africa has the highest rates of educational exclusion in the world. Over one-fifth of children between the ages of 6 and 11 and one-third between the ages of 12 and 14 are out of school. Culture and traditions impact girls’ education in heavily patriarchal Maasai culture. Of those who enroll in the first year of school, barely one in five make it to their eighth year – with dropouts attributed to early marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), poverty, and other factors.
The Janssens give their impressions of the cultural diversity of East Africa and health issues facing the region. They will share stories of educational challenges for the Maasai in Tanzania and for children in rural Uganda.