The Finnish Ambassador Ms Sinikka Antila and Programme Officer Ms Kaisa Alapartanen from the Embassy of Finland in Dar es Salaam visited Finnish programs in Mbeya on March 21st-22nd 2013, and they were also interested to visit the Mbeya Living Lab run by the Gushit team so learn what they are doing, how they got interested in the living labs, and what challenges they face.
News of their visit were taken with a lot of excitement and a bit of nervousness but in the end the visit went really well and everyone – Sinikka, Kaisa, the Gushit team and community members – had a great time getting to know each other and what is happening in Mbeya.
Said from the Gushit team sent us following remarks for sharing with everyone in the blog:
“It was so interesting talking to them. The main thing is, they really inspired everybody around here, even the neighbours, they kept asking, how could the ambassador come to your office!? You must be doing really useful things!
Miss Kaisa and the Ambassador adviced us many things, among them are:
- Adviced us to talk with local partners for more support to cut down operational costs.
- To keep up the good work we are doing and take the challenges of our work as business opportunies to atleast get something, eg. having both free and paid trainings.
- They also promised to give us more support.
We also shared with them some challenges we are facing, among them being lack of professionalism in other fields, lack of facilities for after training practicals as well as difficulties in covering operational costs.
We also told them about our future plans such as relocating our office, training special groups (such as ngos, children, disabled, drugs/alcohol addicted etc.) in addition to training individuals and finally is we plan to go to Real Rural (rurals that are real rural means that we want to go to places where people don’t even know what is a computer or what is Facebook).”
Thank you Said, Francis and everyone else on the Gushit team for the important work you’re doing!