C.M. HUMANITARIAN ASSOCIATION (CONSULTANCY)
“It always seems impossible until its done.” - Nelson Mandela
Chagga Mzungu C.M. Humanitarian Association is a private, international consultancy. The consultancy is made up mainly of an association of people concerned about the humanitarian and community development needs required to reduce the violence of poverty and the wildlife poaching (animal terrorism) it produces. It aims to work with communities trying to articulate a quality of life alongside the wild life rangelands of Tanzania with objectives to enhance wild life conservation in the face of range land/migration destruction and poaching. The consultancy association is open to all professions and donors helping in achieving these aims and objectives.
All members of C.M. consultancies agree to honour the following principles:
Chagga Mzungu provides assistance to communities endeavouring to protect Tanzania’s wild life inheritance irrespective of race, religion, creed or political convictions with the proviso that the community is not engaged in criminal activity or the destruction of wild life.
Chagga Mzungu observes neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal humanitarian and conservation ethics and the right to humanitarian and wild life assistance with the proviso of liaison with and support from the Tanzanian government. Within this proviso Chagga Mzungu maintains international donor status and claims independency in the exercise of its functions.
Members therefore undertake to respect this code of ethics and working with the Tanzanian Government maintain a complete independence from all political, economic or religious powers.
All Chagga Mzungu workers, voluntary or otherwise understand the risks and dangers of the projects they carry out and make no claim for themselves or their assigns for any form of compensation other than that which Chagga Mzungu might be able to afford them.
Chagga Mzungu’s ethics are first and foremost community development and conservation. We carry out our work with respect for the rules of humanitarian and conservation ethics, in particular the duty to provide care without causing harm to individuals, groups, communities, and wild life.
Our decision to offer assistance to Tanzania is based on an independent assessment of community and wild life needs. We strive to ensure that we have the power, in liaison with the Tanzanian government, to freely evaluate needs, to access populations without restriction and to directly control the aid we provide. Our independence is facilitated by our policy to allow only a marginal portion of our funds to come from governments and intergovernmental organisations.
Impartiality and neutrality
Chagga Mzungu offers assistance to people based on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. We give priority to those communities trying to integrate constructive wild life care and management into their well-being. Our decisions are not based on political, economic or religious interests. Chagga Mzungu however will support Tanzania in its efforts to eradicate wild life terrorism – poaching in all its forms.
The principles of impartiality and neutrality are not synonymous with silence. When Chagga Mzungu witnesses extreme acts of violence particularly against wild life it will speak out publicly seeking to bring attention to the state of Tanzania’s wild life inheritance.
Chagga Mzungu is committed to regularly evaluating the effects of its activities. We assume the responsibility of accounting for our actions to the Tanzania Communities we work with and the donors that empower our independence.
Concerns about crossing East African cultures.
Even when Chagga Mzungu volunteers speak the same language and share a common national identity, they are often strangers to a given community and do not know the basic customs, let alone the deeper concerns of race or culture within the community. This lack of knowledge can translate into awkwardness, errors in judgment, and even the application of stereotypic assumptions. What the local community understands as signs of trouble, distress, or coping could easily be missed or misunderstood. In most settings where cultural diversity will be a factor, the volunteer has the time to do research, get supervision, and utilize cultural gatekeepers such as offered training and local expertise to add necessary skill and knowledge in order to work with an unfamiliar culture. To do otherwise the volunteer engages in what is known as ‘professional colonialism’ (I know better than you). Each individual volunteer of Chagga Mzungu must manage their professional colonialism.
In Tactical Operational policy Chagga Mzungu will employ Strengths-based community engagement and development which recognises that communities have many strengths that can help achieve a wide range of objectives.
This policy will focus on strengths and aspirations rather than problems and deficits. This isn’t to say it will ignore problems and needs, but the way it responds is by building on what is already working. If the policy application sees communities as being full of strengths and resources, it makes sense to involve them in the work and ergo to engage community members. Through this level of community engagement a primary objective would be to discover how communities can help Chagga Mzungu achieve our objectives (which hopefully have been created based on their interests). The processes we use will encourage a focus on individual and community strengths.
Chagga Mzungu has a responsibility to act in ways that builds social capital. Once again, using community engagement processes that help build or strengthen relationships rather than undermine them. While community engagement is often about vertical community engagement, Chagga Mzungu can do it in ways that promote horizontal community engagement as well.
Chagga Mzungu will be genuinely curious about the people it is working with: e.g., what they think, what they want, what inspires them and what they can offer. Rather than coming in as an ‘expert with the answers’, Chagga Mzungu come in with a spirit of curiosity where we hope to learn as well.
Chagga Mzungu in its efforts will attempt to re-define poaching as ‘Wild Life Terrorism’ where the act is seen as a criminal activity that corruptly seeks sustenance from the vulnerabilities and fragility of the violence embedded in poverty. At all points Chagga Mzungu will link the benefits encased in community development in an endeavour to minimise the impact of poverty where communities have a relational environment with the Tanzanian wildlife ranges. At all points Chagga Mzungu will collaboratively assist recognised authorities and agencies to combat wild life terrorism.
Communities are not homogenous – there are differences and competing interests. Chagga Mzungu should be strong enough to be willing to explore areas of contention and disagreement. Once again it can create processes that promote a cooperative approach to differences rather than processes that encourage argument from entrenched positions.
Chagga Mzungu is a ‘coordinating group’ it will identify shortfalls and issues, and provide reports to The Tanzanian Government, wild life agencies and sponsors. At the same time, it will harness energies within in the communities to address objectives as identified by respective community members and also relate them to the Chagga Mzungu Charter. It can hold regular meetings with relevant stake holders in order to address shortfalls and critically in regard to the Chagga Mzungu donor funding it will track progress with a bi-annual public report.
While the term community suggests cohesion and equality, this is not necessarily the case. In planning community engagement the Chagga Mzungu will need to think about power imbalances and to think about how it can ensure that some people do not dominate or over-ride others.
Chagga Mzungu appreciates community engagement is a complex problem and it cannot just follow a recipe to ensure a positive result. Community engagement takes creativity, intuition, and experience. It requires cultural sensitivity, creativity and appropriate programming – project support.
Chagga Mzungu will constantly reflect on practice. Each time it is involved in community engagement it learns something. It can learn from mistakes and from successes. It will obtain feedback from people involved so it can learn from their insights as well. It will work with a wide range of practitioners such as Community Leaders, Wild Life Rangers, and Veterinarians who have a different approach ergo – what can be learned?
BASIC HUMANITARIAN PRINCIPLES ADHERED TO:
The ethical principle of fidelity in helping relationships involves integrity at every professional level possible. It has to do with honesty, reliability, and good faith.
Beneficence refers to doing good when the opportunity is available. It exhorts us to seek and promote the benefit of others, prioritizing this benefit over any potentially gain for ourselves. With beneficence as the guiding principle, any assistance offered must stand a reasonable chance of bringing about more good for the recipient than harm or pain.
The principle of non-maleficence is related to beneficence. It refers to doing no unjustified harm. In humanitarian work, this is an especially challenging principle. The potential for unintentional but significant harm is ever present due to the vulnerability of impoverished people. Further, in crisis situations, resources are often scarce or almost non-existent. Therefore, unskilled and/or uninformed volunteering—taking up space while having nothing to offer—can be a form of harm.
The ethical principle of justice has to do with the fair distribution of benefits, risks, and costs, or equal treatment for equals. Justice must also grapple with unequal treatment for those with unequal status. In any poverty based crisis, individuals will not have exactly equal needs, and the available resources will never be sufficient. Therefore, determining a just method of offering services and goods can be a most challenging task.
The ethical principle of autonomy has to do with the notion that human beings should have authority over decisions affecting their health and well-being.
Although many have noted that Western culture emphasizes autonomy more than other cultures, this principle also can apply to persons from collectivist cultures. These individuals have the right to decline their individual authority to make decisions in favour of communal authority. However, in practice, the autonomy-based ethic can sometimes be experienced as challenging or even supplanting a family-oriented approach.
As a Humanitarian change agency Chagga Mzungu will also employ where it can and within its charter the internationally recognised Fundamental Principles of Humanitarian and Conservation movements.
1/ The primary objective of Chagga Mzungu is to use community development methodology to eliminate poverty and to fight poaching – defined as animal terrorism for corrupt profit.
The vulnerability of poverty and the corrupt drivers of poaching are multiple and complex. Both sit on a platform of violence and violence is always the removal of natural expression both animal and human. – Dan Baschiera
2/ The secondary objectives of Chagga Mzungu are to introduce community development projects into the communities that border the wild life range lands to seek alternative local benefits to those gained by animal terrorism.
This will be achieved by the following activity:
Raising funds from individuals and corporate systems;
Inserting trained Community Development (CD) workers into range land communities;
Designing and developing CD projects that creatively articulate the strengths and benefits that are often latent in the vulnerability and fragility of poverty;
Providing educational foci within all CD aimed at both adults and children;
Providing educational media for mainstream communities;
Developing tertiary course content for schools in CD, Wild life conservation, agriculture, livestock management and Social Work;
Stimulating the development of wildlife sustainability through industry and livestock strength and in turn wildlife resuscitation and rehabilitation;
Researching methodologies, intelligence and technologies to combat animal terrorism and providing wildlife rangers with access to those outcomes;
Providing regular reports on activities – what is working and what is not and looping this information through funding donors and government agencies;
Working collaboratively with agencies, NGOs and government in addressing the above.
Chagga Mzungu needs funding support.
In a world where we see increasing levels of donor fatigue due to the never ending plethora of environmental stress and social dysfunction and where funding is mainly reactive to immediate disaster relief and the generation of dependencies. Chagga Mzungu is saying to funding agencies that our approach is a unique and new approach using community development to drive long term sustainability and empowerment. Chagga Mzungu is not just a reactive short term service. Chagga Mzungu is looking for long term sustainable solutions to poverty and wild life preservation:
Chagga Mzungu needs to immediately develop and run an intense CD based media campaign on the benefits of protecting and not destroying wild life;
It then needs to back the media campaign with ‘on the ground’ community development and educational projects raising thus linking benefits in agricultural/livestock economies with wildlife sustainability management techniques;
We need to do this immediately or face the irreversible loss of wild life and the compound of poverty this will create;
The more funds we can raise the more CD projects and networks can be implemented;
All donations will be acknowledged, all donors supplied with an annual report and bi annual newsletter;
“Will you help?” – Donor details are available on the website.
Support of the Tanzanian Government and other conservation organizations is an initial and ongoing goal. Chagga Mzungu will also research for a needs gap to see if there is a conservation need that no other agency is addressing and which Chagga Mzungu could instead.
Chagga Mzungu has a broad based training capacity to support individuals and agencies with tailored humanitarian training needs. This training will combine the Chagga Mzungu Charter and policies with its objectives in the sustainable alleviation of poverty, combating humanitarian crisis, and Strengths based Community Development. This in order to articulate the change of thinking needed in the farming of wild life ranges to harvest tourism. Finding the economies and work to divert people away from the animal terrorism of poaching.
Please help us, the African wild elephant has only got ten years before corruption will purposely drive it into extinction.