Eleanor Meegoda, 2012, Woodrow Wilson School

Working with the Center for Community Initiatives (CCI), gave me the opportunity to experience different types of development strategies. I had the chance to structure and conduct interviews with slum dwellers on the impacts of participating in a savings and loans group and to learn about their challenges and successes with respect to planning and implementing community development projects. CCI introduced me to the exciting prospects of climate change adaptation. With representatives from the city government and other key NGOs, I helped to plan a forthcoming climate adaptation research project for the Dar es Salaam district. I also saw the innovative settlement where a group of slum dwellers bought land, conducted planning, and are now building houses, markets, schools, and recreation facilities. I interacted not only NGO workers from the non-profit Water AID and other government officials, I also had the opportunity to learn about the life stories of NGO workers from Tanzania and the ways they constantly adapt to the changing needs to best support the growth and empowerment of slum community groups.