Published on 5th September 2012
Going to Brazil might seem like an unlikely way to round off a VSA assignment based in Tanzania, but that’s what Anne Perera did to complete a project she first began while she was working as a food and nutrition adviser in Arusha.
Anne, who finished her two-year assignment in July, was the driving force behind the newly formed Tanzania Institute of Food and Science Technology (TIFST), a professional body for people involved in food processing and distribution.
The main objective of TIFST is to provide a forum through which members can share knowledge to help improve food supply and nutrition in Tanzania, as well as food safety, quality and use.
TIFST held its inaugural general meeting in Dar es Salaam in April this year but Anne was keen to oversee the final stage of the process – representing TIFST as it became a formal member of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST).
That meant that just a few weeks after arriving back in New Zealand Anne found herself travelling again, this time to IUFoST’s biennial World Food Congress held in Brazil during August.
Becoming an “adhering body” of IUFoST means that TIFST members now have access to the latest information about what’s happening in the world of food science and technology.
“For me, going to Brazil was kind of like completing my project," says Anne. “Being linked to IUFoST will help put Tanzania on the world food science and technology map, and hopefully help improve food security in Tanzania.”
For Anne, the trip to Brazil had a secondary purpose – to catch up with the students she and her husband Conrad taught when they helped set up a department of food science and technology at the State University of Londrina 30 years ago.
“The students we taught are now professors at the university and they asked me to give a talk to their students. My son accompanied me on this trip — he was born while we were working in Brazil.”
Read more about how VSA volunteers are working to strengthen education in the wider Pacific and Asia.