Unfortunately many tourists who visit the Eastern African countries never really get in touch with an average local family. Most tourists get picked up at the airport, stay and eat at the hotel, do safari, climb Kilimanjaro and fly back home so they will never get a feeling of what living in Tanzania feels like. They will never see, feel and smell the every day struggle many families in Tanzania have to deal with.

For five months in 2012 I worked for a project, the Social Reality Tour, that wants to face this problem. In small groups of 2 or 3 people tourists get the chance to visit families living in the slums around Moshi in Tanzania together with a local social worker called Mama Kishe. She supports more than 50 families in the poor villages around Kilimanjaro area for many years. 100% of the money the tourists are willing to spend, will be used to support the community.

My goals while working for that project were collecting money to support the families, pay school fees, pay medicine and secondly make the project better known, spread information, flyers, write articles.
I took photos of every family we visited and collected their stories. I published the photos online on different platforms, online magazines and communities. And the responses were amazing: We were able to collect some hundred dollars from people on the internet who wanted to help.

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Mama Kishe is a social worker in Moshi, Tanzania. She works as a nurse in the local hospital and in her free time she supports more than 50 families in the slum areas around town. Mama Kishe is the heart of the Social Reality Tour, she brings the tourists and the family together, explains the family’s challenges and hopes. The guests will be able to ask questions to the families who are mostly very happy and thankful to have guests in their houses.

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Bernhard is 19 and he lost both parents when he was a child. He was not able to afford the school fees so he quit visiting school. For a few months in the year he is able to work on the fields earning about 1 US dollar per day which barely keeps him living. For the rest of the time Bernhard needs support from the community. Especially his neighbors bring him food and clothing. The Social Reality Tour was able to collect money for Bernhard. He is now visiting a school where he learns the job a carpenter which is what he loves to do. Hopefully this boy will be able to find a job, work and help himself very soon.

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This girl’s name is Queen. Her mother dropped her in front of the grandmothers house and left forever when Queen was only a few months old. She grew up with her HIV-positive grandmother who was, because of her illness, not able to work more that a few hours per day. She was not able to pay the school fees for Queen and the was about to quit. We managed to collect some money online from wonderful people on the internet to pay the girl’s school fees so she will be able to support her grandmother.

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You will get more information about the Social Reality Tour on their website: www.socialrealitytour.com and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/socialrealitytour

 

 

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Konstantin Escher:
Konstantin was born in Berlin in 1988. He fell in love with photography while spending a high school exchange year in the United States when he was 16 years old. He taught himself how to work with a digital camera and how to edit photographs. How Konstantin studies psychology and works as a photographer and ad writer in Basel, Switzerland. The photographs from his five months in Eastern Africa were published in international photography online magazines. In 2010, Konstantin received the award for best single picture on the Fotomarathon Berlin.