Hi, I’m Jonas Jeckstadt, 25 years old and living in Darmstadt, where I have been working as implementing engineer three years now. For my work I need to travel to different countries, therefore I am experienced in implementing projects in unknown cultures.
I am part of engineers without borders and active in the group SoWaDi since 2017. At first, I worked in the group, that came up and improved the manual. But my first months in the group were not easy, quite a few knowledge gaps had to be filled, as experienced members had left and taken much of the knowledge with them.
Despite those challenges, from the beginning I had the feeling that I was doing good work that actually helps people. I feel how every little bit of work that I invest into the project, has a positive impact on the outcome of the project. At the same time, I am able to work with people, that have the same mindset and ideology, people that I can by now even call friends.
Since the beginning of last year together with Sara and Julius, I am one of the group leaders. My responsibilities are keeping contact to our project partners and I have initiated the improvement of our knowledge management, to prevent us from losing valuable knowledge again.
Although it has been only four days since we arrived, I can already look back on some positive events. It all started with our flight through Ethiopia landing at the Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania on Thursday.
Right at the airport Edgar, Julius and I were greeted and picked up by our project partner IchikaelMalisa, which for me personally was a very special moment, as we had been in close contact since June. We had spent months planning our visit in Tanzania and then all of a sudden we see each other in person for the first time and I knew the following two months would make up for all the effort. From the airport we drove to Moshi to leave our luggage at the hotel and went for a walk to get to know the city we are going to spend some time in.
The day after our arrival we had a meeting scheduled at the KCF. Ichikael and the whole team at the KCF are unbelievable cooperative and do amazing work. Already on Friday I felt like time was flying by and that I was longer in Tanzania than I actually was. The same day we meet with the governmental Water and Sewerage Authority for the community of Moshi and surroundings (MUWSA), as we are going to order the analysis of water samples there to compare the quality of water before and after the treatment with our device. After those two bigger events, we had to get things like a SIM card, cash or equipment for the testing of water.
This Monday we are leaving for the Malage VTC where we will spent the next two weeks with our partner Gasianus Senzighe. The two devices that were built there in 2017 must be looked at closely and updated urgently.
For the upcoming two months, I hope to achieve everything we have planned, although the schedule is very tight. Most thrilling for me will definitely be, the meeting of all kind of different people at the three different locations.
With our work here, we are laying the base for the communication about the working and deterioration of the device. After we return, it is essential that all parties involved work hard on obtaining usable data and communicating solutions fast when needed. However, I am confident for the future and one day I am sure that SoWaDi will help a lot of people all around the world without the need of our interference.