Social Reality Tour Moshi
In Moshi, the Social Reality Tour is run by the NGO MANO - Man Alive Network Outreach, a community-based non-profit organization. MANO is dealing with the challenges of vulnerable community members such as people living with HIV/AIDS, drug addicts, sex workers and albinos. MANO supports these people by providing spiritual counseling and by trying to make them become respected and independent members of society, for instance by educating, training and empowering them in alternative options of income-generating activities.
In Moshi, Social Reality Tour was the idea of the committed social worker Mama Kishe, who in 2010 needed an alternative form of funding to continue her community support, when the NGO she was working with by that time ran out of funds. Kishe, who is also a nurse and HIV/AIDS counselor has been working for more than 30 years providing social and nursing services to Moshi urban and rural communities. She knows these communities like no other. Even when the original funding was stopped, she continued her home visits, financing them from her own pockets. Social Reality Tour is a great way of guaranteeing the continuation of the services provided by this brave woman. Her brother Gabriel, who is a pastor and social worker, assists his sister by guiding Social Reality Tours in Moshi.
When you book the tour, Mama Kishe will tell you a central meeting point in Moshi Town, where you will get an introduction about what you will see during the tour and background information. You will travel by Daladala (public transport) to the outskirts of Moshi Town, where the poorer families live.During the tour you then spend two to three hours with one of the locals in order to engage in an active, personal communication to learn about the people's goals, hopes and daily struggles. Mama Kishe will translate from Swahili to English and provide backround information and explanations.
The visited families are often stigmatised by the community due to diseases such as HIV/Aids or disabilites of any kind.
The different groups of individuals visited are older people taking care of grandchildren, child-headed families, widows and widowers or families and individuals where different diseases have impacted their lives severely.
Each participant pays 10 US$ for the tour. A fixed amount of money is given to the person visited no matter how many guests join the tour. A part of it is also used to directly buy goods such as food, soap or medicine, that are then brought to the families or individuals. The leftover money is put in a bank account. During holidays such as Christmas the money from that account is then used for all the 60 families that are part of the Social Reality Tour so all can enjoy time with their families. The money from the bank account is also used in case of sudden sickness of an individual in order to provide the necessary medicine immediately or to pay for the school fees for the children.
After the Tour Mama Kishe will answer any remaining questions and drop you off at the meeting point again.
Please be aware that some families in Moshi might be Muslims or conservative Christians who are not used to the contact with Westerners.
Female visitors should make sure to wear a top covering their shoulders and not revelaing a lot of cleavage, and trousers/skirt/dresses that cover their knees. Out of respect, don't openly display symbols of wealth such as expensive clothes, jeweleries or cameras. If you want to take pictures, always ask the families.