Traveling, Teaching, and Helping a School in East Africa

I’m helping a school in Tanzania get computers for their students. I plan to travel there this winter and “take you with me.”

Two summers ago I came back to Minnesota from teaching in China for a year. While there, I started writing here on Area Voices. Perhaps you read some of these pieces about my adventures in the Far East.

Today, I tell you about my next proposed journey and the project that’s taking me there.

Over the last six months I have gotten involved with the school board of Magulilwa Area Secondary School in Magulilwa, Tanzania:

Right about where the arrow is.

The school board is actually located in Minneapolis as the school was founded by native Tanzanian and current-Minnesotan, Evaristo Sanga. When we met I told him about my travel, teaching, and fundraising experience, so we made a deal that they would send me out there if I helped his school raise enough money to buy some computers. Three months later, the board met and decided to use online fundraising as a vehicle not just to get some computers, but to build a lab to house them.

What a project and opportunity!

Evaristo handed me a bunch of footage and pictures, and I went to work on the online campaign. Watching the footage given to me, I was so impressed by the students. Evaristo interviewed several of them on a recent visit, and I found them to be some of the most mature, hopeful, hard-working teenagers I ever saw.

Motivated to get these future leaders some computers, I put together what I think is a pretty nice campaign. Check it out:

fundrazr.com/campaigns/0X14a

Cross your fingers, would ya? Because if the fundraising goes well, I’ll be traveling to East Africa this winter–and writing all about it! Beyond my work teaching English and setting up the computers I will be all the exploring, and Tanzania is a goldmine of nature splendor:

Africa’s three giant lakes and some of the best safaris are in Tanzania.

To top it all off, Tanzania offers the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro:

Which I hope to climb like this guy:

Best of all, from these vantage points I’ll get to observe, understand, and write about our world. I’ll get to know the cultures there and the people’s lifestyles and outlooks. This perspective, in turn, helps us see our lives in a fresh, new way as well.

But this is still months away. And we still have a ways to go.

We’re off to a good start. Some money has been raised online; most has been accumulated from checks, so won’t show up on the online campaign. Though still in Minnesota, I’m nonetheless thrilled to be able to help this school and get a taste of life in this whole other part of the world. You can, too, by enjoying the campaign page:

fundrazr.com/campaigns/0X14a

You can also read more about the school at their website: www.changeitforwardtanzania.org

***

Computers are something we take for granted, and at the same time increase our connectivity and access to information immeasurably. It’s probably the most efficient use of cash to improve a student’s education.

If you are interested in participating with the effort, you won’t just be connected to this school by donation alone. You’ll also literally become connected because we’re giving out rewards starting from interacting with the students via their upcoming blog, to starting a pen pal relationship with a student, and all the way to a trip to Africa.

Please help spread the word of this project to anyone you think might be interested.

I can’t wait to make it out there. I can’t wait to help deserving students learn the skills they need to further their education and career. I can’t wait to connect them to their world. And I can’t wait to connect you to Africa by bringing this far off place to your computer screen.

thanks so much,

-Brandon

p.s. If you don’t want to go to the fundraising page, but are interested in checking out the video, here you go: )

 

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One Response to “Traveling, Teaching, and Helping a School in East Africa”

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