Issue No. 1   

March - December 2013

Dear Partner and Friend of the Babawatoto Centre

and the FIT FOR LIFE project

Welcome to our first newsletter about the project FIT FOR LIFE - Educating vulnerable youngsters in the arts and creative industries in Dar es Salaam - a project financed by the European Union.

The Goethe-Institut Tanzania is the Coordinator and the Partners of the project are the Parapanda Theatre Lab Trust, Dar es Salaam and the ICC ufaFabrik, Berlin.

The project started in March 2013 with the preparation for THE BIG WHEEL, the first international artistic Workshop meeting, which kicked off in June 10,  2013. Over 60 children and youngsters participated in the first THE BIG WHEEL.

The international trainers who provided further education to the Babawatoto trainers came from the ufaFabrik / Terra Brasilis, one of the partners of the project, and from a culture and education centre in Cambodia.

About these partners and co-operators in the project you will find more infomation on our website:

FIT FOR LIFE Training Courses

The Samba Reggae music course was implanted by the founders of Terra Brasilis during the first BIG WHEEL in 2013, June.

The local trainers continued these courses on a regular weekly schedule of workshops in the Babawatoto Centre. The local trainers divided the participants into two classes so that there are no more than 26 participants in each weekly session. The class has no new repertoire but they are now perfect and solid for performances with the rhythms and grooves they were taught so far.

FIT FOR LIFE project training courses include beside the Samba Reggae Percussion three different acrobatic genres like air - acrobatic on the trapeze, floor-acrobatics and juggling. The courses take place on four days in the week. Beside the classes from the FIT FOR LIFE project, Mkude Kilosa and Mwajabu Omary, the local trainers from Babawatoto, are providing artistic workshops too.

Public Performances

The results of the ongoing courses in Babawatoto are presented monthly in an indoor-show at the centre since 2013 July. The regular performances take place every last Friday of the month. On our website you will find announcements of events.

October 2013

35 young artists of the FIT FOR LIFE project presented an outdoor performance on the Trapeze, Floor - Acrobatic and Samba Reggae Rhythm at Mabibo Wards under the Network for Vulnerable Rescue Foundation (N.V.R.F) on Humanity World Day.

November 2013

French International School
The FIT FOR LIFE team was invited to perform during a Talent Day at the French School in Msasani, Dar es Salaam. About 150 visitors, students and teacher, attended the show.
Although the performing artists from FIT FOR LIFE was limited to eight people the hosts from the French school liked the show.

Hananasif Orphanage Centre, HOCET
Hananasif Orphanage centre, an orphanage managed by a NGO, in Kimara Bonyokwa, Dar es Salaam.  For this event 20 children from FIT FOR LIFE went to perform Trapeze, Juggling, Acrobatic and Samba Reggae.
Mr. Timothy Leavy, coordinator of the orphanage, asked for an additional peformance and if the FIT FOR LIFE could train HOCET children acrobatics and percusion music after everyone was really impressed by the show. If possible FIT FOR LIFE will perform again in HOCET during the school break since most HOCET children attend school.

December 2013

The first FIT FOR LIFE charity event for the benefit of the arts and craft courses in Babawatoto took place on December 10, 2013 at the International School of Tanganyika (IST).

Since November 2, 2013 three trainers and eight children from Babawatoto Centre trained Wednesdays and Saturdays with six IST students for the charity event.

The performance was very successful because 300 guest paid entry to see the show. The income from the show (entrance fee and raffle) and from different contributions from volunteer actions  were donated to the Babawatoto Centre.

Craft Workshops

The Sewing and Stage Setting/Design (Carpentry) workshops started on the 3rd of December and lasted for 20 days. The 11 young participants came from the wards of Manzese, Mabibo and Makurumra in Dar es Salaam. The workshops focused on the basics of woodcraft and tailoring.

In the FIT FOR LIFE carpentry course, the participants learned how to use basic equipment needed for carpentry. In addition, they learned the specifics of the different types of wood, how to cut wood, join different pieces with wood glue and nails, polish the wood and make wood design for the stage.

The participants in the tailoring course learned how to measure, cut and sew different pieces of clothing e.g. gowns, skirts, blouses, trousers, shirts, coats.

This knowledge will help the participants in the second part of the arts and crafts courses which will take place in 2014.


The FIT FOR LIFE project manager, Habiba Issa took up contact to TAMASHA, an NGO which deals with youth in different communities. She visited Tamasha in Newala from 22.10. - 7.11.2013.

Together with the Hananasifu Orphanage Centre (HOCET) at Kimara Habiba is following the idea to provide daily activities, especially in the arts for the children in Kimara, Dar es Salaam.

Voice of a FIT FOR LIFE Participant

Mwajabu Omary is a 16 years old girl, a form three student at the Baptist Secondary School in Dar es Salaam. She came to Babawatoto Centre in 2008 still a standard six pupil at the Mburahati Primary School. Here is what she said about FIT FOR LIFE and her time at the Babawatoto Centre.

What I learned and liked

Since I have joined the centre I learned several traditional dance, acrobatics, and acting. Under the new FIT FOR LIFE project I have learned carpentry and tailoring which I think are very useful for me as a woman later in life. For example after the tailoring training me and my friends can now sew skirts and gowns. I can also make a stool and other simple woodcrafts after the carpentry training.

Another thing I like about being part of FIT FOR LIFE and Babawatoto Centre that I have met artists from Germany, Sweden, USA, China and Tanzania.  Moreover, I have performed in different shows here in Dar es Salaam and other regions of Tanzania.

The challenges and benefits
My father never really liked the idea of me going to the center. However my mother and brother encouraged me continue to attend the programs at the centre. They witnessed my progress since I had joined the centre as a primary school pupil. But nowadays he has seen the benefits and considers me as role model for other girls in our area.

Under FIT FOR LIFE I was appointed as an assistant trainer for percussion and acrobatics exercises. This chance provided me with a small in-come earning opportunity which helps me to take care some of my needs at school and home.

I feel lucky to be part of Babawatoto Centre and FIT FOR LIFE because of the plenty of learning opportunities in arts and life skills.  Me and other girls from the neighbourhood had our eyes opened because when we come from school we have something worthy to do.  Unfortunately there are other girls who waste their time after school loitering or hang around bad gangs. They get pregnant or already have babies while still very young. Therefore I would like to advise my friends and other young people to join the Babawatoto Centre to learn acrobatics, percussion and life skills.

Meet the team behind the project by visiting our website

Dar es Salaam, January 20, 2014
Habiba Issa
Project Manager

This project is funded by the European Union. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.