Thursday, July 12, 2007

Good meeting with the Director of Youth affairs

This afternoon I had a meeting with Mohammel S. Ali, who is the Director for Women, Children and Youth Affairs of Zanzibar. Mohammed has been active with the project since the very start, and I think he has done his best to support us where he could. So he is really a good guy, if you ask me.

But, as you know, I have been away for a month, and I had left some very important to do's in the hands of Aziz and Mohammed, like the registration of the NGO, without which I am still at point zero. When I returned a few days ago, I found out that not a lot had been done in my absence.

That is, until today. The goal of the meeting was to explain my situation, and the present situation in the Netherlands, and to ask Mohammed into really helping me out with the registration of the local NGO, the securement of a building for the accommodation of the center, the search for local teachers and the organization of a residence and work permit for myself.

Well, after greetings we got down to business. I started my story, explaining my problems and trying to make all the issues as clear as possible. After hearing out my story, it was his turn to talk:

- Monday morning at 10.00 we have a meeting with the chief register of the registration office of Zanzibar who will approve the registration of our NGO with haste;

- Monday afternoon we have a meeting with the Director of Labour, who will at least give me a temporary work permit, with which I can get my residence permit;

- He has spoken with a computer expert who is also a teacher, and who is interested in working with us (I have a meeting with him tomorrow);

- A week ago he has sent a letter, under the flag of him ministry, to the owner of a perfectly situated location where we could accommodate the Zanzibits center. Mohammed has also taken the initiative to look for more locations that would work for us. He promised me that he expects a reply within one more week;

- He has had a meeting with the just retired First Secretary of the President, who is very much willing to become a trustee, so we can see what comes out of this. What I have learnt is that we must try and keep the Zanzibits initiative small and manageable, especially in the first year of two, so I don't know what to do with this, but I will keep it in the back of my mind, though I am eager to meet the retired first secretary;

So anyways, things are rolling. Slowly but steadily. Also I had a good meeting with a journalist from Dar es Salaam, who is enthusiastic about the project and is very much willing to give us written support (she writes for the Sunday Citizen).

For the rest nothing much interesting to mention. Am trying to get a hold of ZIFF for a meeting about our eventual cooperation in 2008, but have had no luck so far. Hinda, if you read this, by some miracle, please contact me.

I hope to have more news soon.

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