Marcel Vos, the treasurer and Laetitia, the president of SAHFA, went to Tanzania in June to meet with the medical department of the Tanzanian Episcopal Conference (TEC). They also paid a visit to the Ministry of Health as TEC and SAHFA, together, ready to introduce JamboMama! in a niche type environment, the St Mary Kibara hospital in the Bunda district and the Biharamulo district hospital in the Rulenge-Ngara district. The head of the department for obstetrics and gynaecology policies referred them to his colleague in the community health education department and this colleague was immediately very enthusiastic. ‘We felt euphoric, leant back for a second and thought, now there we are, finally we’ll get a go at it!’, Laetitia recalls.
‘Of course, this doesn’t mean we had the green light to start the following day. To obtain official permission is a slow and delicate process, requiring diplomacy at several fronts simultaneously. The text messages sent to SAHFA or to myself by simple rural Tanzanian women met on the way to ask us not to give up to in the face of rejection or resistance, because they need and want JamboMama!, have helped us to overcome the fact that we have not been able to bring back from this mission a clearly signed project document and memorandum of understanding.’