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Tanzania Student Projects

$7,510
100%
Raised toward our $7,500 Goal
69 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 30, at 10:27 AM EDT
Project Owners

Preparing for our Trip- THANK YOU!

June 11, 2018

Officially 1 month until our journey back begins! Our final itinerary is being planned, and we can’t wait to share with you all that we will be doing! Our amazing partners are so excited to work with us and see what more collaboration and experiences we can create together. We want to give a big thank you to everyone who has supported us and our dream to return to Tanzania.  To be able to deepen our learning and passions in such a beautiful part of the world is truly a blessing. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts, and we look forward to sharing our experience with you all in July! - Danielle, Lyndsey & Matthew

Girls' Education in Tarime: Bishop Mwita Akiri

March 23, 2018

As we near the 50% milestone for our crowdfunding campaign, I’d like to thank you for your donation and introduce you to another amazing partner who continues to inspire and challenge us.

 

Please meet Dr. Mwita Akiri, founding Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Tarime. Prior to this post, Bishop Akiri served as the National General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Tanzania for almost 10 years. He has a PhD from Edinburgh University in Scotland and is also a Research Professor of African Church History and Missiology at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

 

To say that Bishop Akiri is charismatic, would be a huge understatement. When he speaks with our students, he captivates them (us) with his passion, sense of humor, and an eagerness to challenge their thinking through provocative questions and fascinating conversations and insights.

 

But even more captivating than his personality is his commitment to improving the lives of the young women and their families who live in the villages of Tarime. Through his visionary leadership, Bishop Akiri is bringing bold ideas and programs to this underdeveloped region where girls marry early and life is difficult and unrelenting.

 

Through a burgeoning sewing project, he asks girls and their families to give him one year before entering into marriage, in order to learn valuable sewing skills and develop a means for self-sufficiency. When we travel to Tarime, our students engage in conversations with the girls, even visiting their homes and learning about life in the villages, and the many complexities and surprises surrounding the practice of early marriage.

 

Although the Bishop is committed to expanding the sewing project to provide graduates with opportunities to earn their own sewing machines, he recognizes that education must go much farther in order to impact lasting change. One of the highlights of our trip is visiting the Pre-Primary School sponsored by the Anglican Diocese, where local children come to learn under the direction of a very dedicated volunteer teacher. Although the school lacks many of the items- such as desks and books- that we consider essential to education, the students are eager to learn and represent the bright promise of the region.

 

But perhaps most inspiring to our students, is Bishop Akiri’s plans for a secondary school for girls in Tarime. Although education for girls is a priority across Tanzania, there are simply too few schools and resources. But as the father of two girls of his own, who are both currently in college, Bishop Akiri knows the importance of educational opportunities and is committed to making his vision a reality.

 

Our students always hate leaving Tarime and Bishop Akiri. And it’s not surprising that Danielle, Lyndsey and Mathew are eager to return. Not only will they contribute to Bishop Akiri’s vision through engaging with educational and training programs, but they will also work to establish projects for future UB students and faculty to work on.

 

We are excited to see where this partnership will lead for the women and girls of Tarime, and for our own UB students.  Please help us spread the word and invite others to support this exciting initiative https://crowdfunding.buffalo.edu/project/8959

 

Social Enterprise and Community Development: Baraki Sister Farm

March 13, 2018

Great news- thanks to your generous support we have just reached 33% of our goal!!! As our campaign continues to build momentum, we wanted to be sure to highlight a community partner who is particularly dear to us.

 

You could say that our engagement with Tanzania, and more specifically the Mara Region, began with this amazing woman, Sister Janepha Mabonyesho. Although she now serves as Development Director of Baraki Sisters Farm, she was a student at D'Youville College in Buffalo, NY when I first met her back in 2007. The story of how I, Mara, first connected with this nun from the Mara Region of Tanzania is a remarkable one, and is detailed in Stories from the Tanzania Education Project, a personal narrative that I co-authored with Dan Nyaronga, Empire State College professor and my co-instructor, who happens to also be from this very same region (talk about coincidences...).

 

Fast forward our friendship 10+ years and imagine our joy in visiting Sister Janepha at her farm in Baraki, a comprehensive agricultural project that both fascinates and inspires our students to explore issues of social entrepreneurship and business. At the center of Baraki is a fully functioning dairy farm that produces milk under the Baraki Sisters brand, while also providing pasteurization and a market for local women, along with raising livestock and agricultural crops to serve the community. Baraki also provides education through its pre-primary and primary schools in addition to healthcare through its full-service clinic. These social services when coupled with the dairy business represent a progressively comprehensive approach to community development. When students learn about Baraki's long history, started in the 1970's as an innovative community development initiative, they gain a new perspective on innovation that challenges their assumptions and cultural biases. But as Sister Janepha shares with our students, there are many challenges to the fiscal sustainability of the project and many opportunities for students and partners to add value through ideas and engagement.

 

Sister Janepha looks forward to hosting our students and involving them in the work of Baraki. She and her fellow Sisters graciously welcome other potential partners to experience the many facets of Baraki and explore exciting opportunities for collaboration.

 

Women's Empowerment: Stephen Marwa and Hope Revival

March 07, 2018

Thanks for helping us kick-off this exciting initiative!   In addition to supporting our students, your generous contributions will also benefit our amazing partners, like Stephen Marwa, Executive Director of Hope Revival Children's Organization.

 

It's hard to imagine a more committed partner than Stephen. A dedicated advocate for women's empowerment and community development, Stephen is a stand-out when it comes to technology, communication and international engagement. His past projects have focused on social entrepreneurship (including the poultry project pictured below), agriculture, and education all in an effort to improve the lives and opportunities of women and girls in this underdeveloped region of northern Tanzania.

 

In an effort to further strengthen our collaboration, we gave Stephen a new computer tablet courtesy of Bak USA during our last study abroad trip in July 2018. Through his effortless mastery of this new technology, he has shared countless videos, social media posts and communications detailing his progress and seeking opportunities to do more for his community, and for our students. When Danielle became interested in the relationship between girls' menstruation and educational achievement, Stephen immediately committed his full support and volunteered to travel to Arusha for a full week of training hosted by Dare Women's Foundation, a non-profit engaged in a reusable pad sewing project. Since the visit, he has mobilized women and community leaders in Musoma, convening trainings and conducting preliminary research in collaboration with our partners at Buhare Community Development Training Institute (CDTI), readying the community for the new initiative.

 

Stephen is also a champion for clean water, working with Friendly Water for the World out of Olympia Washington to bring water filtration to the Musoma community. He looks forward to working with Matthew on sanitation and filtration efforts while also supporting Danielle and Lyndsey's interest in women's health and empowerment.

Learn more about Stephen's efforts by friending him on Facebook (Stephen Marwa) or emailing him at stephen_chacha@yahoo.com.

 

Please continue to support and share - our students are over 20% towards their goal!