While at TED Global, i got a chance to speak with William Makali, the president of a company called Full Dimensions in Tanzania, and a TED fellow. His view of development is what he terms ‘The Big Idea!’.
The Big Idea is to create a Rural Development Community Role model sustainable Project. The Community members from other areas will be invited and get immersed in the community activities to learn the Power of Ideas to eradicate poverty. This will help to transfer information to other communities which will evidently result in transforming other communities.
The project is already underway in Singida region, Yullansoni Valley Tanzania, a remote rural village. Please click here for a google earth placemark of Singida. What they have been able to do so far is expand a mobile clinic that started in 1996 into a health center that caters to the community, and install a 38000 liter water tank to store rain water. The exciting thing is is what Mr. Makali is working on now. In his own words:
Installation of the Solar Power at the clinic to upgrade the medical services.
Upgrading the Clinic to become a referral Hospital in the future.
Education of the Solar Power cooking to the community to protect the environment from deforestation and erosion.
Installation of the Sunflower Oil Press industry.
Provision of modern Agricultural tools.
Initiation of Rural Microfinance Credit Bank Facility
Mobilizing the community to create communication Infrastructure.
Mobilizing the community to preserve the environment.
Introduction of Vocational Training School.
Well drillings and water harvest to introduce irrigation system.
Upgrading the Pre school to Primary school and to a secondary school level.
For more details of Mr. Makali’s inititiave in rural Tanzania, please click here for a word document. (He can be reached at wn_love [at] yahoo dot com.)
As you can tell from the list of things he is doing, these are initiatives that aim to serve and involve the community. Although it is still an early stage project, it has a bottom-up component that i particularly like. The initiatives are formulated by him a Tanzanian who is familiar with the realities and challenges of rural development, and not from without. Not only did i find what he is doing laudable, i really liked the by line on his business card. It says “Think Big, Think Smart, Think Creative, Think Positive, Work Smart, Make a difference”.