On the island of Zanzibar, Saskia Tenberg wants to finds methods of sustainable health education in and outside of State University. The 25-year-old biology didactics student will work together with students and teaching staff on site. The results will then be incorporated in her dissertation.
Christmas with family and a New Year’s part with friends were cancelled last year for Saskia Tenberg. Just a few days before Christmas she flew to the island of Zanzibar via Amsterdam and Dar es Salaam. Saskia Tenberg is currently writing her dissertation in the field of biology didactics within the Faculty of Biology/Chemistry at the University of Bremen. “Together with the people there I want to find methods for a sustainable health education in and outside of the university,” she says. “In Zanzibar there are problems regarding supernutrition and malnutrition.” The medical health training area at the State University Zanzibar will provide scientific input. The Chemical Glycobiology working group at the University of Bremen and the Leibniz Institute for Prevention research and Epidemiology (BIPS) will also provide support.
Protecting People against Diabetes
Biology didactics student Tenberg will contribute her special expertise: “How can one communicate this knowledge expediently? Who is contact person? Which means of communication work?” The aim is to protect people against diabetes and other nutrition-based metabolic diseases using didactically prepared materials and activities. She will work closely with teaching staff and students to develop new methods and will research their effectiveness by means of qualitative interviews. This will all then be incorporated into her dissertation.
Waste No Time
Directly after her arrival in Stone Town, the young woman will move into an apartment that she is already familiar with. She spent three weeks there last September. The University of Bremen has a stable, friendly relationship with the State University Zanzibar. Saskia Tenberg wants to waste no time and immediately begin with her research and the development of didactic methods. She has exactly five weeks. She already knows the local scientists with whom she will find paths towards good nutrition and with whom she wishes to promote professionalization in the field of health education.
The Bremen PhD student knows that there are great differences in comparison to her home. “Religion plays a different role than it does for us,” she says. “You have to respect the traditions and as a woman, for example, cover your shoulders.” More than 90% of the people there are Muslims. For the early career researcher, who initially studied biology and German with a teaching orientation and is now in the first year of her PhD on biology didactics, there is one important question: “With what attitude am I going to the country on Africa’s east coast?” The European-German perspective is simply not enough. She is quite aware of the intercultural dimension.
Business and Pleasure
The traveler is sure that “It will be super interesting. I will learn a lot.” Alongside the scientific work, she also wants to enjoy a few pleasures. The exotic markets, the fresh fruit, 30-degree heat, maybe a snorkeling trip, delicious food, freshly caught fish… “I am a big fan of spices,” says Saskia Tenberg. She is looking forward to culinary discoveries.