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Interviews with our first facilitators and collaborators in Tanzania

The first group of facilitators in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2011) share their reflections on NAMWEZA:

“Namweza creates hope, joy and health – this will lead to people loving each other more and understanding that other things are possible- people start to value each other, people care about each other”

“Different people will know each other’s abilities. People share abilities and then, when they feel good about themselves, they can start to support each other, share their status – if you share your status you also can get good service for your HIV infection and you will be able to help others. This will all lead to people feeling that they are valued- that people value others- share with others, experience other people’s value and share HIV status.”

“The programme has changed my life. I talk to my children in another way”

“Yesterday I spotted my sons abilities when I talked to him and shared the abilities I saw – I said to him for example that he has a good memory. I have also asked my son about his dreams”

“Namweza makes it possible to create an image of a safe community and this is very important. In African culture we are not used to think further than each day. But if we can conceive of a positive future and picture what life would look like, what we might do, we will reduce stigma. If people feel better about themselves they also take more responsibility for their life”

“If I would meet someone in the street I would tell them that Namweza means Yes together we can, but this will not be enough. We are able to reduce HIV transmission when we are united. We are learning to see the capacity in each other. It is a way of educating each other, getting to the community level, to be able to speak with the local leaders. We will capture abilities and then people will become agents of change because we expect them to use their skills.”

“I would like to say with all my heart that it has changed me – when I first got the training I didn’t understand but then I became completely different. Yesterday I taught the tree of life.  I can see how much my ideas have changed since the beginning. We live/ I live in a district where they now know what I am doing. One person in my village had a visitor from another part of Tanzania and this person was worried about his visitor and asked me to come and give him advice. I introduced myself and I gave him advice. I explained to her and gave her the advice to go and test herself and that this would give her a good opportunity to getting to know her status, to be able to live a healthy life. I told her that after testing you can live a healthy life.”

“I used to feel angry and be short tempered and I felt like living in the dark. Namweza is the light and the Map of life”

“The influence from the programme helps me in my daily activities- I have adult kids and the approach has supported me in developing my relationship to them”

“I have used I statements and circular questions, for example when my children have brought a friend home and I have bought something for them to eat and they just take it all, then I have asked them: How do you think about how your fellow feels when he didn’t get anything? I have used it to increase their awareness about others”

“My wife says that I am now talking very calmly; I am aware of using I statements to control my temper. I feel very proud of my wife in a way that I didn’t used to be. Over the weekend I went with her to the market to buy vegetables, we do more things together. My wife would say that I have become changed, that I am a calmer and nicer person. Yesterday when I came home and I was very tired my wife had not cooked the dinner I had hoped for. Previously I would have got angry and upset, but instead I used I statements, so my wife understood how come I was upset, and she got me the food I wanted. I use the I statement a lot in a number of different contexts. My wife and I did some dreaming of three years hence last night and then backlighted. We both felt very happy as we felt good things would be coming. I now see problems as invitations to use and to find a way to use my strengths to solve the problems.”