Discussing Common Social Issues with Tanzanian Teens by Maya and Jessie

(Note: we are off to the village, and will get back to Internet in about 10 days.)

Discussing Common Social Issues with Tanzanian Teens

By Experimenters Maya and Jessie

The other day, we went to a secondary private school. We were split into groups with the task to come up with an issue in both American and Tanzanian society. Groups talked about teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and street children/homelessness. Each group turned their meaningful discussion into a poem, song, or skit. We then performed with our group in front of the entire secondary school. The experience of working with students our age, but in an entirely different continent was really cool. Talking to the students about our topics, but also about our life and culture was so interesting. It taught us that even in totally different lifestyles, teenagers act the same and can connect with one another. Overall it was a very special opportunity and unique experience.

Poem written by group #2: Experimenters Cara, Courtney, Daniel, and Carly in collaboration with six Tanzanian high schoolers


The poor buy from the rich in Tanzania

Which causes more corruption

But most of all, it causes greater poverty

And there is an increase of use

Even though there are a lot of laws


In the US, 17 is overloaded

Into the music, the TV, the movies

They lead to more violence and racial issues

Which one goes to jail

And the other is free


It grows by the fuel of capitalism

And people are pushing others

Leading to addiction

As in school, kids think it’s cool

But don’t know the consequences


Even though separated by the ocean

The problems still are the same

So together in the classroom,

People need to know about this enemy

The culture needs to change


You can’t know the risk if ignored

Drugs can bring laws if no laws are against it

As a society working hard can elevate poverty

If everyone is committed, drugs can be omitted

And together we can make a better world


Experimenters Ciara and Jessie with their new friends.

Experimenters Maya and Ali hanging out with new friends.


Experimenters with Tanzanian high schoolers.

Experimenter, Ali, preforming a skit about social issues in front of her peers.