Hai District Study Tour

March 27, 2017

TFFT works to spread awareness about children’s rights and we work to ensure that all of our scholars know their rights and feel comfortable speaking up to a trusted adult if they experience a rights violation. In order to better our knowledge and abilities, we decided to do a study in Hai District, Kilimanjaro Region. This district has some of the most well-established structures for child protection in Tanzania. Melissa and I represented TFFT, and we also had 17 government officers with us for the study tour. The government officers included were individuals from from the social welfare office, ward education coordinators, ward executive officers, a city lawyer, and police officers.

Our tour started at Hai District’s hospital. We visited the center that takes care of people who experience abuse. At the center, a police office first receives the information when someone comes in. Then there is office of social welfare, where counseling, following up on the incidents, and processing treatment to see the doctor takes place. The last office is the doctor’s office. This center is efficient and keeps confidentiality. We were also impressed to hear that there are no street children in Hai District.

Hai District has a child protection team, and we were able to hear them explain how they began their work to spread awareness about children’s rights. They told us that through community advocacy, their work has become well respected and understood. This team has advocated for children’s rights in churches, mosques, markets, and other large gatherings. They also have a weekly, one-hour radio segment. Now, the community in Hai District is aware of children’s rights and supports child protection.

The second stop of our tour in Hai District was to a department within the police station that deals with children’s rights issues. The office has 10 staff trained on child protection and how to handle issues reported to them. They deal with issues of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and neglect. After the district’s advocacy began to take hold, the department saw many cases reported, receiving around 10-12 cases each day. Once the community members became aware, they would report any child’s rights issues in question. Teamwork and support from the district executive director is key in making their work successful.

We had a valuable experience and learned a lot from the trip. Everyone was impressed with the work done to spread awareness about children’s rights in Hai District. TFFT’s next step will be to host a training and plan to implement all that we learned from our study tour.

 

 

Posted in Psychosocial + Health, Scholarship Program, Tanzania | Comments closed

MG in TZ

March 23, 2017

A month in Tanzania flies by. Up first was the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon, followed by three trainings and several important meetings in Tanzania’s business capital, Dar es Salaam. In the midst of this serious work, I’ve had a ton of fun with our scholars. I even worked with our Alum, Richard Augustino on college applications, which was a first for me!

As soon as I landed, I joined our staff in hosting TEAM TFFT visitors who came for the Kilimanjaro Marathon. I was also in some serious need of altitude training for myself. With a 4am wake up, TEAM TFFT was ready to rock, and we made it through the literal up and down of 21km on Kili. We are grateful to the incredible individuals who traveled over to tackle this challenge (shoutout to Kautia and Aileen who were also 2014 RIDETZ riders) and everyone who donated and encouraged us in this journey.

After a week of sharing our work with our guests, it was time to roll up my sleeves for a series of trainings.

As a grantee of One Mobile Projector Per Trainer Training, facilitators came in from Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, and the U.S. to train us on how to use video as a tool in the classroom.

Next, it thrilled me to geek out for an entire week with our team participating in a training on psychosocial support through REPSSI. We have been studying the dynamic relationship between the emotional and social aspects of a person’s life. Ensuring there is a child-centered and collaborative approach including the children’s entire family and community surrounding them is incredibly important. REPSSI uses the wheel model, which illustrates each child’s need for support in five main categories: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual support. The child is in the center and if one spoke is missing, the positive development of the child is hindered.

Last week I got to dive into a seminar on Tanzanian Labor Laws with Melissa. Yes, I really mean got to. I love this stuff.

Meetings to connect with our Tanzanian funding partners took me to Dar es Salaam to garner support for the Lighting the Way Campaign we just launched. Seeing and gaining support from our Tanzanian business community on this exciting new endeavor inspires and gives us confidence. We have good company in our belief that we must go beyond rudimentary education and invest significantly in QUALITY educational resources!

As always, time with our scholars is the highlight. I came bearing lots of homemade valentines. TFFT family members from all over the world made and mailed in valentines for our TFFT Scholars to receive. This is a tradition we all love. It kind of feels like I am Santa as the glitter, stickers, and pom-poms delight our kids! They made a point this year of saying they want me to bring supplies next year so they can make these types of valentines to send back to their friends all over the world.

The Career Day with 600 students at Star High that was a true success. I also attended Academic Progress Day at Usa River Academy and Visiting Day at Arusha Modern School. Finally, thanks to technology, our scholars were able to celebrate World Book Day with 5th and 6th graders from Wickhambreaux Church of England Primary School. The read folk stories from the U.K. and Tanzania to each other and talked about their favorite characters.

All and all, my month has been nonstop, filled with the precious smiles and hearts of the young gems we work with, while also getting down to business, building our capacity, training our boundary partners, and pushing forward on our effort to provide QUALITY education. Together we are creating a community of learners and leaders.

Until next time… Meghann

Posted in Development, Tanzania | Comments closed

TFFT’s Bold Next Step

March 22, 2017

For over a decade, your support has made it possible to offer life-changing opportunities to some of the world’s most vulnerable youth. Thank you for your passion, your commitment, your partnership and for your faith in TFFT to offer hope and make such an invaluable difference. We are thrilled to come to you now with an exciting announcement and an invitation to shepherd TFFT into its next chapter.

United by our shared hope for a better future for our world, the TFFT family has proven that the development of sustainable pathways toward opportunity does change lives. We now celebrate the accomplishments of over 100 capable and thoughtful scholars who are meaningfully contributing to their communities.

These children have captivated our hearts from the beginning and remain the center of our mission.

Your support and our strategic growth has positioned TFFT well for our bold next step. Our work–the structure we have developed to support our scholars, and their educators and the hope it represents–has earned the recognition of government officials including the Ministry of Education, other NGOs and leaders worldwide. We now need to broaden and deepen our impact and ensure lasting change for the people of Tanzania.

With the support of our most steadfast partners – like you! – we will construct a 17,000 sq foot innovative and interactive learning centre. This facility will both bolster the support we are able to provide to our current and future scholars, as well as extend our service in a more holistic way to the entire community. Housing a unique array of learning and training opportunities, the learning centre will serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who are eager for a better future.

For both our financial and programmatic sustainability, this is a crucial moment in the life of our organization.

It is only with the support of our entire family that this learning centre can become a reality.

We are humbled by the passion and commitment that has allowed us to grow to such an influential point. We ask that you please join us now by helping to ensure the success of this new chapter for our organization.

We look forward to sharing more about this monumental undertaking in future communications.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me or Kaitlin (Kaitlin at thefoundationfortomorrow dot org) if you have any questions or would like to talk further about this project or your investment in our future.


Thank you for believing so strongly in the power of TFFT to help individuals reach their full potential, thrive in their communities, carry the future of their nation and strengthen a world in desperate need of competent and contributing leaders. We look forward to working together to make this dream come true!

Posted in Development, News, Tanzania | Comments closed

Star High School Career Day

March 14, 2017

An aspect of mentoring is to assist the mentee with formulating visions of the future, establishing goals, thinking about their skills, and to help them work out what they would like to do with their lives. With this in mind, TFFT’s Scholarship Program arranged a Career Day for over 600 Tanzanian high school-aged students in our partner schools. Some students already had a firm idea about what they aspire to do, and others were keen to explore options.

Four professionals volunteered their Saturday morning to engage with this group of young people. Each one is passionate about his or her field of work and happy to share stories of their work experience. We had speakers from four professions – architecture, law, business, and tourism. Mr. Sune Mushendwa is a young accomplished architect who is a partner in an international architectural firm based in Arusha. Ms. Elizabeth Reece is a successful businesswoman, and she has traveled to many developing countries and worked with local people to build entrepreneurial skills and microbusinesses. Ms. Desderia Philip Haule is an experienced lawyer who works for local government, but whose passion is for grass roots women’s rights. Our final speaker was a young man called Mohamed Kassim, who climbed the ladder in the tourism industry to become the operational manager of multiple luxury camps for Nomad Tanzania in the Northern National Park Circuit.

Informal mentoring was also the order of the day. TFFT’s driver, Mr. Godliving Tesha, is a law student and he advised some of our students on educational options for a law degree. Our Scholarship Intern, Mr. Yunia Emmanuel, is a teacher and he spoke to small groups of students about how he gained employment. TFFT alumni, Mr. Richard Augustino attended our Career Day to help with logistics, and he also explained his post-graduation experiences with the students.

Above the practical talk of each particular profession, our speakers inspired our children on many different levels. Mohamed spoke of how he started in a humble way and worked to build the appropriate skills for the tourism industry (such as learning to speak English, nature studies, and logistics). He showed the students that with ambition, exacting standards, and high-level goals, they can achieve unimagined successes. Elizabeth encouraged students to work towards their “sweet spot” – a place where they are skilled at and enjoy what they do, and people will pay for it. She told the young people that this is the key to balancing one’s life and finding success on many levels. Desderia’s passion for justice and empowering women got our lawyer-hopefuls thinking a different way about the law. By the end of the day, Sune found it hard to leave, as he had about 25 young people surrounding him asking many questions. I don’t think our young people had met a person quite like him before.

When asked for feedback from the speakers, all of them were pleasantly surprised at the level of interest and the number and quality of questions they had to answer. We can say that the day was very thought provoking for all involved.

 

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Video Education Workshop

March 8, 2017

TFFT’s Teacher Training Program conducted a four-day workshop on video education for teachers in Meru District and Arusha City.  TFFT collaborated with One Mobile Projector per Trainer (OMPT), focused on training teachers to create and disseminate videos, see the importance of incorporating videos into lesson plans, and improve the quality of education by sharing the best practices among teachers and students through videos.

Educational videos are powerful professional learning tools for nurturing the culture of teaching, learning, and connecting ideas and innovations. Ultimately, the more we develop and grow as teachers, the more we help our students grow as learners. We believe that the use of educational videos will contribute to TFFT’s efforts of securing quality education because we can reach more teachers through sharing videos produced after our workshop.

We had four trainers from OMPT and TFFT who led the workshop. The training participants learned through group activities, watching videos, experiential learning through creating videos, and lecture sessions to make quality short videos for educational purposes. Everyone at the workshop engaged in a number of activities including script writing, development of a storyboard, and editing and screening the videos. Initially, it was not a simple task, as it was the first time for some of the training participants to use video production computer programs. By the end of the workshop, all training participants were able to create videos and start to appreciate the importance of incorporating videos in to their work as teachers.

Each training participant was also provided access to equipment for making their own videos to use while teaching. This includes cameras for shooting the footage, projectors, recharge kits, and laptops for editing videos. The equipment works well in our environment, as some schools in rural areas do not have electricity. The recharge kits include solar panels to recharge the batteries in areas with no electricity, or if there is a power problem.

This workshop was a great opportunity for TFFT’s Teacher Training Program as we can make videos to use in our teacher trainings. We will film the best practices done by Tanzanian teachers in schools and during training this will show teachers how to put these practices into action. In our last day of training, we viewed the videos created throughout the course of the workshop.

Posted in Teacher Training, TFFT's Partners | Comments closed

Livelihood Initiatives in Engaruka Village

March 1, 2017

Daniel interns with our Psychosocial & Health Program to build TFFT’s Livelihood Initiatives. His strong passion for our mission is inspiring, and we have seen him bring a positive impact to TFFT’s work. Read Daniel’s reflection about his latest experience meeting with a community of women from Engaruka Village below.

In mid-February, I went to Engaruka Village to meet with a group called Moyo Africa which leads various groups of women in Engaruka village. One group that I met with was called Neema group, with 23 members, and the second group called Namunyaki with 29 members. I went there to interview them and explain The Foundation For Tomorrow’s Livelihood Initiatives project.

I explained TFFT’s Livelihood Initiatives, based on improving the livelihood of the family by providing a loan of 500,000 Tanzanian Shillings (~$220) per participant. Each loan will be repaid after one year without interest.

Many women that I spoke with showed an interest in taking a loan to improve their livelihood and provide for their families. They spoke of goals to start businesses such as buying and selling maize, sugar, drinks like soda, beer, tea, and buying sheep and goats to eventually sell.

So far, each group of women has begun projects. Neema group purchased sheep and goats, with the plan of feeding, growing, and after six month selling them. Now the group has 10 goats and 5 sheep. Namushaki group also bought livestock to feed and sell. This group now has two cows and two sheep.

I also explained that we have given loans to other women who produce beaded work. The women of Engaruka said that they believe buying livestock to raise and sell will be a profitable project. Through that profit, the women will provide for their children. The group has a longterm goal of buying a grinding machine (for corn). Neema group also agreed together to buy and sell maize at Engaruka Market as a way to develop their livestock project.

Each group is full of hardworking women with the experience needed for the projects they want to start. TFFT helps support them to achieve their goals.

Posted in Psychosocial + Health, Tanzania, TFFT's Partners | Comments closed

TFFT Annual Review 2017

February 23, 2017

What drives The Foundation For Tomorrow? First and foremost, TFFT is driven by the collective desire of its founder, team members, and its supporters to do the right thing for children.

We developed our first strategic plan in 2012 with the participation of our stakeholders and partners. From that time on, we have invited our stakeholders and partners at the beginning of each year to review the year past, celebrate successes, and learn from our challenges and mistakes. It is one of the ways by which we uphold accountability, transparency, and participation—three values we uphold as an organization. While it is certainly easier to just send annual reports to our partners and supporters (which we also do), we value this opportunity to come together with our TFFT Family and also allow them the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and network.

This year’s Annual Review took place on February 3rd and was attended by a good mix of partners from government institutions, other non-profits, private individuals, scholars, and guardians/parents. This year’s celebration was a bit different. We stayed away from the usual PowerPoint and conference-style presentations. Instead, our team walked them through their prepared “galleries” and, with the help of pictures, presented what they have achieved during the year.

Another highlight of the Annual Review was the presentation by two of our partners about their journey with TFFT in 2016, explaining their engagement with us. TFFT Alumni Richard Augustino talked about his quest to go to school in the US this year and how his time with TFFT allowed him to dream big dreams and believe in himself. He also talked about what he is doing to make sure he achieves his dream to study abroad and his way of giving back to the community for now—talking to students in different schools to motivate them to work hard and have a purpose in life. Mama Einoti talked about her and her daughter Einoti’s experiences last year—how Einoti’s studies suffered for a short time to Mama Einoti’s tireless trips to school and our office to make sure her daughter stays in school and working with us to help Einoti. Now Einoti thrives in school and has registered a good performance in the recent Form 2 National Exam. Mama Einoti also talked about how her household has improved through TFFT’s livelihood grant. What showed through this talk, more than our role in their journey, is this mother’s grit and determination to improve her family’s life.

The last part of the program was the Idea Café, when we presented to our partners three challenges that we struggled with in 2016. They went from table to table to write down their ideas on how to resolve these issues as well as discuss with their co-participants their experiences of encountering the same challenges in their organizations. It was a very lively exchange of ideas and generated good pieces of advice that we intend to study and try this year.

Posted in Annual Reviews, Events, TFFT's Partners | Comments closed

Full Circle Leadership and Entrepreneurship Club

February 21, 2017

Our Full Circle Program has initiated life skills clubs for secondary scholars at three of our partner schools, Arusha Modern School, Usa River Academy, and Star High School. The purpose of the clubs is to teach leadership skills, entrepreneurship, mentoring, and proper management of business. Our scholars and their peers at school practice their leadership skills during club meetings, and work on projects both in groups and individually.

Each school club has a maximum of 40 members with an equal ratio of male to female students. In January, our Full Circle team prepared the curriculum for the club topics. This was followed by recruitment of members. Club application forms were provided to all interested students. The criteria for selection included students who would be able to :

  • Attend 80 minutes of leadership and entrepreneurship lessons each week
  • Mentor and assist younger students in school
  • Actively participate in club meetings
  • Actively participate in business activities (for example, watering the school garden)

Students who marked yes for the above were eligible to become a member of the club, and those who did not mark yes on one or more of the above were not eligible. We decided to use this criteria because we wanted to have a maximum of 40 members per club. Club members are currently enrolled in forms one and three. Next year, students currently enrolled in form 2 will be able to participate.

Last Friday, we had our first club gathering for the students at Usa River Academy. During this meeting, we introduced the club and gave an overview of the lessons that will be taught. We also selected a club name, leaders, meeting rules, and logistics. Students were happy and excited about the first club meeting. Many shared that they believe it is difficult to find employment, sustain oneself, and survive, without exposure to entrepreneurship and business and learning these important skills.

The club members were each given a leadership journal to track completion of topics to covered and any activities involved in order to learn and practice entrepreneurship skills. Also, these journals will be helpful to track progress of individual work completed outside of club meeting times.

This week, TFFT Scholars and student club members at Star High School and Arusha Modern School will have their first Leadership and Entrepreneurship Club meeting. I will keep you updated with our club meetings and activities as we proceed.

Posted in Full Circle, Tanzania, TFFT Student Work | Comments closed

Blown Away by SHARE the LOVE!

February 17, 2017

We are FEELIN’ the LOVE!! This year’s group of Team Leaders deserves many thanks for all the time and effort they dedicated to SHARE the LOVE with the TFFT Scholars.

In this year’s challenge, we selected leaders from all across the United States and even overseas! Our Team Leaders represented North Carolina, Colorado, Washington, Florida, Illinois, Scotland, and England. We had lots of brand new faces, which brought fresh energy to this challenge. We also had some veteran Team Leaders who make this commitment to TFFT year after year.

These hard working, motivated individuals used their creativity to spread awareness about the reality that exists for our scholars. Collectively, this group achieved their fundraising goal and raised a total of $15,030. We are amazed at the outpouring of love and generosity of our Team Leaders’ friends and family and grateful to Team Leaders for using their voices to SHARE the LOVE!

Ryan deserves a special shoutout for his hard work that (quite literally) paid off. He alone raised just over $6,000 for our scholars with nearly 50 donations. WOW!! Ryan is a great example of a champion of TFFT’s work, and we are grateful for his efforts!

On top of her hard work fundraising for RIDETZ, Katy was ready to once again commit to support TFFT. In addition to fundraising, she did an awesome job spreading awareness. She gathered her friends to make heaps of valentines to send to our scholars in Tanzania. They will be delighted to receive them!

Some of our leaders gathered friends and hosted a bake sale or pizza party at school. Thank you Murphy, Blair, and Violet for organizing that! Violet also set the bar high for a first time SHARE the LOVE leader. She received the greatest number of donations out of all the new leaders, and far surpassed her $1,000 fundraising goal!

Jerry was another very impressive first-time Team Leader. He worked diligently to spread awareness with among relatives and friends. Even as the youngest team leader of the bunch, Jerry set a high bar for himself and exceeded his fundraising goal!

Jada and Mary Hill both came back strong as returning leaders this year. Each of them generously hosted a get together with friends, and they put in the time and effort that it took to beat their fundraising goals. Mary Hill brought SHARE the LOVE to Scotland!

We had a couple of sibling duos serve as Team Leaders this year. Talia returned to SHARE the LOVE for her second year. Her brother Julian joined as a leader this year, and brought fresh enthusiasm to the challenge. Our group of Team Leaders would not have been complete without sisters Macon and Miller. Macon organized a spin class to benefit her SHARE the LOVE efforts. Miller represented TFFT internationally for our Valentine’s campaign, from England.

Sydney was another returning leader that knocked it out of the park and exceeded her fundraising goal this year. She first traveled to Tanzania for safari with her family and has creatively supported throughout middle school, high school, and now college. We are always thrilled to have her back!!

We are so grateful to all of these young adults for spreading awareness to SHARE the LOVE!

Posted in Events, TFFT's Partners | Comments closed

Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fist!

February 14, 2017

Last year, TFFT implemented Family Cells in order to better support all of our scholars and to help our staff respond to the individual ongoing needs of each scholar. Each family cell is made up of around ten scholars who attend school together and led by one of our team members. Family cell meetings provide a safe space for the scholars and staff to have free-flowing conversation about relationship building and self-expression while also participating in team-building activities and developing interpersonal skills. Discussion topics at these meetings center around the meaning of family and how unity and support will strengthen child development. In a recent family cell meeting, our team covered bullying, educating our scholars on what exactly bullying is and how to prevent it. We want to make sure that TFFT Scholars are happy while away at school.

During the meeting, our team described what bullying is and how it can start. Many children have been teased by a sibling or a friend at some point, which is not harmful when done in a playful, friendly way, if both children find it mutually funny. When teasing becomes unkind, hurtful, and constant, it crosses the line into bullying and must stop. They also explained that some reasons for bullying may include height, color, size, where one is from, how someone talks, and what one believes in. It is not the recipient’s fault. Bullying can cause serious problems, such as fear, stress, and sadness. TFFT is here to help and support our scholars. We want to educate them on how to handle these situations if they arise at school.

The team taught our scholars that they must take action and prepare what to say. Body language plays a significant role in talking to a peer, and confidence is key! Using a sense of humor can diffuse a situation. Avoiding situations in which bullying might arise is also important. The scholars participated in role-play to demonstrate how bullying can happen, what to do in a given situation, and how to mitigate it.

The family cell meeting also educated our scholars on the importance of telling a trusted adult including a school official, parent, or TFFT team member about any kind of uncomfortable situation. Children look to adults for advice and help on tough situations, and we want to ensure that our scholars know where to turn and how to handle an uncomfortable situation before it has any lasting implications. Our scholars enjoyed the role play activities and learned that there are many ways to beat bullying!

Posted in Psychosocial + Health, Scholarship Program, Tanzania | Comments closed
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