Tanzania – Tanzania off to a good start
Manhardt opens training college
Adjutant and Mrs. Francis Dare began the work in Tabora, Tanzania (formerly known as Tanganyika) in November 1933, as part of the East Africa Territory (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania). In 1950, at the request for assistance from the colonial Governor, the Army set up Mgulani Camp, where the Tanzania headquarters is now located. Tanzania became a separate command on October 1, 1998.
The command has 85 officers, 47 corps and 7 outposts, 2,466 senior and 1,481 junior soldiers.
MAJOR LINDA MANHARDT reviews a lesson with a cadet.
Western Territory officer Major Linda Manhardt, training principal for the newly opened Tanzania Command Training College, is clearly proud of her cadets.
“This is the first session of cadets trained in Tanzania,” she says. “We have six couples–some had been in charge of corps for 10 years before they came here. These are capable men and women.” She explains the cadets are focused and motivated: “They want to be holy people.”
Only married couples are accepted for training; children must be left behind with relatives. All courses are taught in Swahili, which Manhardt is learning.
Starting a training college from scratch is no easy task. Manhardt arrived at the regional command in February 2000, straight from serving at USA national headquarters, and the college started two weeks later. When she arrived, there was no furniture, no curriculum. She had to find both. “I just followed the Orders and Regulations,” she states. “We have been reviewed and told our standard of training is as high as anywhere.” Serving on staff with her are Captains Samuel and Mary Mkami.
She is quick to point out–and is appreciative of–the office equipment and vehicle that the Western Territory funded.
Empowering and developing Tanzan-ian officers is a priority. “I believe in empowerment. My whole being tells these cadets I love them and believe they can do anything. They won’t have a vision for themselves if they aren’t empowered.”
In Africa, only one session is trained at a time. The next will start in 2002. She reports that nearly 40 couples have applied for that session. “I hope to expand to eight couples,” she says. “If we have the funding, we can.” Funding is a problem–not only for the college, but in supporting officers after they are commissioned.
Manhardt’s background has served her well. Previously education officer at the Western Territory’s School for Officer Training for four years, she has a Master’s Degree in Marriage, Family and Child counseling; her thesis was on active learning for adults. She has also served at the training college in Thika, Kenya.
She has strong feelings about the role of overseas officers. “We are no longer called missionaries; we are reinforcement officers,” she explains. “In sewing, when you reinforce something, you strengthen it from the inside, unseen. That’s what we are called to do, to reinforce.”
What’s life like in Dar es Salaam? Not easy. It took more than half a dozen months to get a phone installed in her quarters. The water supply is erratic, as is electricity. Malaria medicine is a necessity (“Are you taking Lariam?” she asks. “Some people can’t take it; it causes nightmares and emotional problems. It’s the best one, though.”); yellow fever inoculation is required to enter the country. To be safe, one should have a hepatitis A shot. Intestinal problems are common; water for daily use must be boiled and filtered. Oh, yes…the mosquito netting around her bed is not decorative.
“I feel privileged to be here. I couldn’t be in a better place than here, with these 12 people,” she says.