TOBFC operates numerous campaigns throughout the year highlighting important issues and programs
The Restoration of the Sangu's Chief Palace and artifacts in Utengule-Usangu and Revival of the Usangu Plains' Music and Dances
The Olive Branch for Children worked in the Usangu Plains, the land that historically was ruled under the Sangu people, for the last 15 years. We aim to preserve the vast history of this land, and the Sangu people, documented and recorded by the Sangu, Maasai, Sukuma and other ethnic groups residing in this area. The proposed project is multi-dimensional and holistic, envisioning a comprehensive revival, restoration and preservation of the cultures of the Usangu Plains (including ethnic groups Sangu, Maasai, Sukuma) for the benefit of the residents of the Plains and Tanzanians, a need specifically expressed by the current Chief Merere (the Chief of the Sangu).
We hope to complete the following within the $250,000 budget;
A complete restoration of the Usangu Chief’s Palace, ($150,000)
Opening the Usangu Chief’s Palace as a cultural centre, and museum open to the public ($50,000)
Refurbishment of the various historical buildings within the main community of Utengule-Usangu, including the courthouse and surrounding buildings, ($20,000)
Restoration of the “Malejela”, the set of one large and five smaller drums kept by the Chief, ($10,000)
Collection of dance videos of the respective ethnic communities represented on the Usangu Plains, recording of songs from the various ethnic communities represented on the Usangu Plains and extensive trainings for Sangu youth in the dances and songs, documentation of traditional stories, and creation of children books ($20,000)
The Olive Branch for Children has been approached by Chief Merere on multiple occasions expressing the interest of collaboration between the Sangu tribe and TOBFC, stating that the Chief Palace’s condition will continue to degrade to a point where conservation efforts are ineffective. As seen in the attached photos, the Chief’s Palace is at the point where the safety of the structure is compromised and large portions of the building needs to be re-built. Since large portions of the building are open to the elements, after this next rainy season, it is questionable as to whether or not the building will be able to withstand another season without further degrading the structure. As it is shown in the attached budget, the majority of funds will be funneled to conserving the Palace.
The motivation of the community, including younger generations, is at a record high. The dilapidated state of the Palace has roused significant interest in the community, encouraging the Sangu to take an active interest in their history. The Chief fears if the building’s degradation continues, the community will feel helpless and become less interested in documenting and preserving the culture. The Olive Branch staff recognize the key informants regarding this project are reaching old age, and if the history is not documented within the next few years, history that has yet to be passed down accurately will be lost. If the documentation process regarding the Palace and Court does not start in the next year, the entire history as well as the opportunity to preserve these cultures and histories will be lost completely.
History of the Sangu People
The available documented history of the Sangu indicate that historically there were three kindred groups; the Mgawa (who settled in MIlamba and lived in the north of Ruaha), Mhami (Settled in the area of Madundasi and Utengule) and Mswaya (settled in the West of Sangu) . These various groups, spread across the Usangu Plains, the catchment area of The Olive Branch for Children, and were ruled by one royal line of Chiefs, the Merere, since the foundation of the Sangu Royal line . Utengule is documented as the location where the line of Chiefs has ruled Usangu in the Chief’s palace, until Tanzania was granted independence in 1961 . The house is described as a “two story white building in the center of the village, the only structure of its kind in the area” [1, pg. 4]. This is the single building that captures the above kindred groups and their history, and is believed to be the last chance to preserve the Sangu Culture . Chief Merere has emphasized that within Utengule, the standing Palace is a symbol of Sangu culture and emboldens a sense of cultural preservation in the communities. If the Palace is to degrade to a state beyond the scope of conservation efforts, the Chief believes the younger generations will have no motivation to preserve and participate in traditions. Thus, this project is time sensitive due to the current state of the building. Without conservation efforts the building will not survive many more rainy seasons. Within the palace, various artifacts are kept, including the Malenjela .
In the 1950s, the Sangu chief’s powers were limited to the surrounding area of Utengule (ibid). With the accession of Alfeo in 1953, “many traditional practices and rituals of the chiefship fell into abeyance” [1, p.11]. Today, the Sangu Chief reiterates this statement, emphasizing numerous traditional practices and rituals are at risk of being lost due to the lack of authentic documentation and transferral of knowledge between generations . Historically, the chief has taken “the role of the author” when it comes to Sangu history. Elders in the community are respected for their historical knowledge that is passed down for generations [1, pg. 7; 2]. Walsh (1984) acknowledges that without blessings from the Chief, the elders are not allowed to pass down any information to foreigners. Thus, having the blessing of the Chief allows this project to access a wealth of knowledge regarding the Sangu, the Chief’s Palace and the Malenjela.
If the Palace is to degrade to a state beyond the scope of conservation efforts, the Chief believes the younger generations will have no motivation to preserve and participate in traditions.
 Walsh, M. (1983) Merere The Arab: Legitimacy Upside-down and Inside-out. Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge.
 Chief Merere (2018) “History of the Sangu” Interviewed by: The Olive Branch for Children
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emergency fundraising campaign 2020
The Olive Branch for Children Fundraising Campaign 2020 is over and was a huge success. Thank you for your generosity - we exceeded our target!
This year is an amazing year at The Olive Branch for Children! We have 4 of our talented young women starting College and University. Mlombwa, Winni, Ikupa and Lucy are taking the next steps toward success. Mlombwa starts at The University of Dar-es-Salaam. Winni joins The University of Dodoma. Ikupa begins at Mzumbe University and Lucy joins the Bulongwa Health Sciences Institute. We are so proud and know their academic journey is vital to addressing gender inequality in their communities. According to UNESCO, in 2015, 2.67% of the gross female population of Tanzania was attending a tertiary education institution, versus, 5.22% of the gross male population of Tanzania enrolled in a tertiary education institution. The more girls we can connect to higher education, the brighter the future will be for Tanzania.Post-secondary education comes at a significantly higher price than earlier academic levels. Not only does The Olive Branch for Children cover school fees, living costs and stationaries, we must equip our College and University students with laptops so they can complete their course work.
This year, Mlombwa decided to run the Dar Rotary Marathon to not only raise funds for her University costs, but also to help cover costs for her sisters, Winni, Ikupa and Lucy. Mlombwa, who will begin her Bachelor's Degree in Science Education at The University of Dar-es-Salaam, knows University is her ticket to not only transforming her life, but positively impacting her entire community.
Of course, we whole-heartedly support her decision to run and some of us even registered to join her.
Sikiliza Mngurumo Wake: Hear Her Roar
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE THIS CAMPAIGN SUCCESSFUL!
The Hear Her Roar Campaign is ongoing and will be an annual fundraising campaign, specifically for University Fees. Donate today!
We are 7 runners! Mlombwa, Deborah, Winnie, Putiyei, Allison, Roma and Tanzanian Freestyle Champion and Kubuni Artist, Selementally. We hope to raise $15 per person, per kilometre we run. We are all registered to run the half-marathon.
WE RAISED $1,980 SURPASSING OUR GOAL OF $1,890
TOBFC First Online Silent Auction
Due to the incredibly generous support from Four Seasons Serengeti, Lakeshore Lodge TZ, Tandala Tented Camps, Rawley Resort Canada and the Armada Ireland, TOBFC is hosting its first ever online auction! There are four Tanzanian vacations to the Serengeti, Ruaha National Park, Lake Tanganyika and Matema Beach, and two international vacations to Spanish Point, Ireland and Port Severn, Canada. The purpose of this auction is to raise funds for The Olive Branch for Children’s upcoming year. The funds will be divided into various ongoing projects including, the Zion and Peace Homes, our Montessori Programs, Community Health Initiatives, the Kubuni Centre, and Nufaika Savings Groups.