Why Teachers: Spotlight on Mr. Henry Sanga

February 16, 2018

It is an exciting time for TFFT, with the announcement in our January newsletter for our new Classroom Champions program: an addition that we look forward to engaging with the community on in the near future. More details to come, but in the meantime, Melissa, our Country Director and previous Teacher Training program leader, shares the true impact of our teachers through Outstanding Teacher Winner 2014, Mr. Henry Sanga.

 

“TFFT’s Teachers training has improved my student’s performance in their national exams and my capacity to create and testing teaching and learning techniques that engages students in their learning process” said Mr. Henry Sanga, a TFFT Most Outstanding Teachers awardee in 2014. He used to be a teacher at Star High School where TFFT conducted teachers training from 2011 to 2015. Currently, Mr. Sanga teaches English at Tengeru Boys’ Secondary School.

In his own words, teacher Henry Sanga said “Before participating in the TFFT’s teachers training my students were not performing as well as they perform now. Their performance has been improving since 2012 as a result of my application of teaching and learning techniques that I learned in the Teacher Training program. The trainings that I participated in includes: Classroom Management to maximize student learning, Understanding Learning Styles, Instructional Techniques and Methodologies, Developing Higher Order Thinking Skills and Planning For Effective Instruction. Star High School earning the number 5 position in English subject in the 2013 national exams is the result of my application of the lesson learned from my participation in TFFT’s trainings. After participating in one of the trainings, I started using teaching aids in all of my classes, applying different learner centered techniques like group work, student’s composed exams and marking scheme (i.e with my guidance—one class composes exam and marking scheme, administer the composed exam to another class and mark it), encouraging students to be creative and bring up their idea. All these techniques activated my students’ mind, make them to own their education, and in marking exams students learn how other students answer different questions in the exams.

After attending the leadership training which includes School Management Team mentoring its staff to support them, I decided to adopt it and introduce it to my students. At the end of every class lesson, I ask my students who needs support to pick a student who understood the lesson taught, work with them and report their learnings to me. I am doing this due to the acknowledgement that different students have different understanding and this approach makes students work as team and improve their relationship. This training made a difference and I became a better teacher because of it.”

Mr. Sanga continues to be thankful to The Foundation For Tomorrow for helping him excel as a teacher, implementing these strategies to help his students succeed today and throughout their life.

 

We are so excited to officially launch our Classroom Champions program and wanted to share a sneak peak for our supporters on the impact that can be made and the outstanding teachers that make our work so worth it! Email info@thefoundationfortomorrow.org for more information or check out our Classroom Champions initiative online today.

Posted in Teacher Training, TFFT People Features | Comments closed

Introducing Our SHARE the LOVE Team Leaders

January 26, 2018

We are excited for our SHARE the LOVE Challenge to continue through February 14th! We have 10 awesome Team Leaders who have committed to SHARE the LOVE this season. Today, meet the challenge’s superstar Team Leaders…you can make a contribution to one of their campaigns! We hope that seeing the creativity and fun these individuals have with the challenge will inspire you to SHARE some LOVE with TFFT teachers and scholars.

Our Team Leaders this year will represent TFFT throughout the nation and even overseas! We have leaders who will be SHARING the LOVE from North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Washington, Italy, and Scotland. We have a great group of leaders this year.


From left: Violet, Kenia, and Mary Hill

Violet joins our team again from the Charlotte Country Day School TFFT Club — but this time she’s spending the year studying abroad in Italy! Kenia joins us for the first time from Furman University in South Carolina. We cannot wait to see her strong belief in the power of education in action! Mary Hill has served as an intern for TFFT, spent time in Tanzania, and continued to show her support by beginning a TFFT Club at her high school. She is now in college in Scotland and continues to volunteer with TFFT in her free time.


Top left: Cameron, bottom left: Murphy, top right: Richard, bottom right: Cate

Cameron joins TFFT as both an intern and a Team Leader! We are so excited to use her passion throughout the coming months and are so fortunate to have her on board. Murphy is a Team Leader for the fifth time! We are so grateful for her commitment to spreading awareness of TFFT’s mission in a personal way. Richard is a first time Team Leader, but you may recognize him as our outstanding TFFT alumnus currently enrolled in college in Seattle, Washington! Cate joins us from Meyers Park High School. She is bring her passion for calligraphy to the challenge and will be selling homemade valentines. We are so excited to see her art inspire others!


Top left: Perry, bottom left: Quinn, right: Ellie

Perry is a first time Team Leader from Providence Day in Charlotte, who is also spending the year studying abroad in Italy. We know that she will make such a positive impact on the campaign’s success. Quinn is a long time supporter of TFFT’s work and first-time Team Leader. We are so excited to have her bring the Florida sunshine to the challenge. Ellie is excited to join SHARE the LOVE for the first time as a team leader and is passionate about sharing TFFT’s meaningful work. We can’t wait to see all her creative ideas put into action!

Thank you so much to our wonderful Team Leaders! We are so fortunate to have this group of motivated, enthusiastic young adults who will serve as 2018’s Team Leaders. We cannot wait to see what SHARE the LOVE 2018 brings for teachers and their students. You can SHARE the LOVE too! Each year, we send homemade Valentines to the TFFT Scholars. Gather your friends and family to craft Valentines and we will hand deliver them in Tanzania! You can read more information here.

Posted in Development, Events, Introductions, TFFT People Features | Comments closed

SHARE the LOVE 2018

January 22, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sixth year of TFFT’s fun SHARE the LOVE challenge has begun! This year, we have 9 awesome Team Leaders who have committed to SHARE the LOVE this season!

We are thrilled these compassionate and driven Team Leaders have committed their time to spreading awareness of TFFT’s work. Their hard work proves that when we work together, we can all make a difference!

The challenge runs now through February 14th, and each Team Leader will ask family and friends to make small contributions of $5, $10, or $20 to support the children and teachers we serve. Even though a small donation may not seem significant, SHARE the LOVE shows us that what starts out as something small really can have a life-changing impact.

You can SHARE the LOVE too!

This campaign presents a fun opportunity for YOU to send some homemade love to TFFT scholars! Gather friends and family to craft valentines for the TFFT scholars. We will hand deliver them in Tanzania! You can read more information on this here.

Thank you so much to our wonderful Team Leaders! It is because of individuals like you that our scholars are able to have the opportunity to thrive in life and teachers are empowered to build leaders in their classroom.

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12 Reasons To Add Biking Across Tanzania To Your Bucket List

January 19, 2018

Whether you’re a seasoned biker or just like going out for a spin, join The Foundation For Tomorrow on the experience of a lifetime. Register and roll with us: www.teamtfft.org/ride

1. See 400 miles of beautiful Tanzania, from Mount Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean.

 

2. Meet and be inspired by local Tanzanians.

One of the most special things about Tanzanians is their ability to create. Spend 10 days crossing the country by bike and you will meet so many different individuals, seeing the way they live and what they value.

While Africa seems so far away and like one place to many people, Tanzania is just one of over 50 countries on the continent. Tanzania is a unitary republic with a President as head of state. one third of the population is Muslim, another one third are Christians, and the remaining one third follow different religions. The official language is Swahili with English being the de facto language used in the government and global economy. Most tribal languages are spoken first, then Swahili, and English in education. There is about 120 different tribes in Tanzania that have been categorized into 5 ethnic groups distinguishable by their physical characteristics and languages.

3. Build new friendships with your fellow bike warriors as you work to achieve a goal bigger than yourselves.

Each day will be both emotionally and physically draining. Whether you come with friends or you make new friends on the ride, the common thread of doing something hard to improve the chances of orphan and vulnerable children thriving will unite you.

>4. See all kinds of wildlife.

While we steer clear of national parks so we don’t have run ins with antelope and lions, our traffic challenges tends to be traffic in the way of goats, camels, and cows.

5. Prove to yourself that you’re capable of much more than you thought possible.

6. Be led by adventure travel experts that know and love Tanzania.


7. Travel off the beaten path Tanzania.

This unscripted journey across Tanzania is not something you will see in your friends itineraries, it is unique in its path and its execution.

8. Camp each night in a new and beautiful place under the African stars.

Have your night be light up by the iconic, untouched night sky (it is truly one of the most spectacular things we have ever witnessed).

9. Bike through all types of terrain.

The Challenge is held close to the equator in Tanzania, East Africa. The route starts outside Arusha, the safari capital of East Africa. From here it heads across to the slave & trading routes from Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean. On route it ascends into the ancient crystalline Eastern Arc mountain ranges of the Usambara before descending all the way to Pangani, a former gateway to the world.

In the immediate area of our expedition there are some key features that you cannot avoid seeing. Most of the obvious mountains and mountain ranges are all as a result of igneous intrusions – lava and superheated rock coursing through weak points in the earth’s crust and in some cases, erupting right out through the surface to create volcanoes.

Mt Meru is the starting point for our challenge and from it’s base we head East. Kilimanjaro will be hard to miss for at least 2 days and yet to the south much more ancient mountain ranges are also obvious. From the first day of riding looking south you will see the Lalatema Mountains. The mountains have become exposed over time and were initially hidden beneath the earth’s surface. As molten lava intruded beneath the earths surface it melted the country rock around it – creating metamorphic rocks. These mountains are special – they contain rare gems such as Tanzanite, only found right here.

As we head towards Kilimanjaro we eventually head South, along the Pangani valley. This valley is a trough. As the earth has split so a chunk of land has dropped down. Lying lower than the surrounding surfaces it has become an obvious route for water, the Pangani river system.

Further down we head East once again, through and around the Pare mountains, and then ascend into the Usambaras. These are part of the Eastern Arc mountains and are ancient mountains that have been standing proud for over 250 million years (and more!). As ecological islands they have a wide array of endemic species of reptiles, birds and even mammals. Dropping down from the Usambaras we head to the coast and before reaching the coast a noticeable drop can be seen which a shelf is created by the formerly high water levels.


10. Unplug and spend 10 days refocusing

On yourself and what matters most – physically remove yourself from the clutter that we all become used to and enjoy !

11. Experience unscripted Tanzania

This trip is far from staged. RIDETZ is your chance to truly understand and connect with Tanzania at its core: its culture, people, and land.

12. Bike for a cause bigger than yourself

By raising money for The Foundation For Tomorrow’s fight to provide educational opportunities for orphans and vulnerable children while working to improve the quality of teacher instruction, classroom resources, as well as school management, to ensure widespread, sustainable impact across Tanzania.

All photography and videography from The Image is Found and Halle Project. Map from Travelersfinders.com.

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Why Students? Why Teachers?

January 12, 2018

Our founder and Executive Director, Meghann, discusses our focus on student and teachers, why both populations matter, and the goal of the ripple effect across communities…the power of education can truly transform lives. All images copyright of The Image Is Found

 

Welcome back and Happy New Year. As we start the year off fresh and reignited, I wanted to spend some time sharing with you, our TFFT Family, why we invest in teacher and in students, and what we envision it will do for the communities we serve.

Our mission is to secure quality education and emotional support for orphan and vulnerable children so that they may reach their full potential and thrive in their communities.

TFFT focuses on addressing vulnerability using the power of education. When we say we invest in students, we are talking about offering orphan and vulnerable children the opportunity to succeed through access to quality schooling, health and psycho-social support and life skills programs.  When we discuss our investment in teachers, we are referring to our efforts to improve the quality of instruction by training excellent educators, providing access to quality resources and training of school management to ensure widespread, sustainable impact.

Our intent is that through investing in these two groups, we can empower individuals to become change agents in their own communities and stronger leaders for our world.  It is why I give my time, talent and financial resources to The Foundation For Tomorrow.

TFFT has worked in Tanzania for over a decade. We began by providing orphan and vulnerable children access to quality education through enrollment in private boarding schools. As TFFT evolved, we developed and implemented programs to compliment and enhance our scholars’ education. We continued to evolve and start to look at the whole child, simply based on the need to provide our scholars with life-skills lessons such as health and hygiene. We then designed our Teacher Training Program to improve the quality of educational instruction at our partner schools, and now focus on supporting scholars and teachers in both private and government schools. We see teachers as the front line of defense, our partners in ensuring vulnerable children can reach their full potential and truly thrive. The goal is to create a ripple effect across Tanzanian communities through a strong educational foundation for those our program touches.

Investing in our teachers’ growth matters. On top of being a main goal set by the UN in their 2030 agenda, ensuring quality education for all is the right thing to do. Our organization sees it as a moral obligation we have to our next generation. Teachers are central to achieving access to high quality and equitable education for all learners. Research in diverse countries and education systems show that teachers are the biggest in-school influence on student achievement and learning, especially for disadvantaged students. The success of education objectives and reform depends on solving teacher shortages where they exist, creating conditions for teacher motivation and a sense of professional responsibility as key factors in individual learning and education system success.  (UNESCO – Teacher Policy Education Guide)

A child’s right to primary school education is non-negotiable, regardless of the child’s wider family economic, cultural or social background. However, for children living in a family extreme poverty, the likelihood of access and completing their primary school education is sustainably reduced. Their best chance to escape extreme poverty is through education, which can empower youth to make the best choices for themselves and their communities.  When you deny a child access to primary schooling, you are stripping them of their dignity (ATD Forth World – Tanzania, Access to Primary School Education For Children Living in Extreme Poverty). We see power in equipping the next generation with the tools they need to lift themselves up. That is why we invest in students as well as the teachers whose work in the classroom can change the trajectory of an individual’s life!

Thank you to Meghann for getting us even more excited for the new year and why we do what we do to influence what the power of education can truly do for so many. Stay tuned for how we will invest even more in teachers in 2018 with our supporters’ help around the world.

Posted in Advocacy, Food for Thought Friday, Scholarship Program, Teacher Training | Comments closed

#HopefulFor: Why We Do What We Do

December 31, 2017

In 2018, We are #hopefulfor more children to have equal access to quality education because we believe that education transforms lives. Haruni recaps this past fall, discussing the exciting accomplishments that took place with 16 scholars graduating to their respective next levels.

From August to October this year, the TFFT family celebrated the graduation of our sixteen (16) scholars from different partner schools.

On August 26th, Mandu Joseph and Yusuf Logeria completed their final year in primary level from Usa River AcademyLikewise, on September 16th, 8 of our scholars—Abednego Augustino, Namayani Lindimi, Rehema Juma, Robert Sirili, Joshua Daniel, Philimini Julius, Happy Dismas, and Esther Emanuel—completed their primary school at Arusha Modern School. Asha Juma and Faidha Shaban, our lone scholars at St. Catherine’s in Lushuto and Amani Primary School respectively, also bid adieu to their primary school mates in September. The TFFT team in Tanzania along with members of our US team were all happy to see these children accomplish this milestone in accessing quality education that will enable them to reach their full potential and thrive in their communities.

At the Arusha Modern School graduation, Abednego was among the students who received “subject recognition awards” clinching the award for Best Student in Mathematics. At Usa River Academy, Mandu Joseph also received the Best in Sports award.

All of our Class 7 graduates performed well in their primary level national examination with 2 scoring A’s, 8 scoring B’s, and 1 a C. We couldn’t be happier with the results! All of these scholars exerted their best efforts to achieve these results. 

On September 30th, 3 of our secondary scholars also had their graduation from their O’ Levels (Form 4), Paulina Karienge and Dickson Simon from Star High School and Joshua Mbwambo from Tengeru Boys’ Secondary School. We were happy that Denise MacFadden, a member of our US Board of Directors, was there with us as we celebrated Dickson and Paulina on their special day. Rounding out graduation for this period was Rosemary Pallangyo, who also finished her O-level at Sega Girls’ Academy in Morogoro. Rosemary was so proud of her achievements. I was there to congratulate her and her foster mother also traveled from Arusha to Morogoro to attend this important event. All of our students who completed Form 4 are hopeful to score well in their Form 4 National Examination, which will dictate whether they move to A-level or take a certificate course from a tertiary institution.

Celebrating the graduation of our scholars is something that we relish and take earnestly because we know the challenges our scholars have surmounted to get this far. The scholars and entire TFFT team are grateful to the support of their sponsors, TFFT donors and supporters without which these celebrations wouldn’t have happened. Asante na nashukuru sana.

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A Year of Strong Investments: Meet Katie Caniglia

December 29, 2017

In 2018, We are making strong investments. We want to build momentum through our doers, donors, and door openers. Every step of the way, each of you are part of this bigger energy, and our goal is to help you see what role you play in our success and feel the glow to help others invest with us.

 Meet Katie Caniglia, volunteer and supporter of TFFT. She first learned about our organization through joining RIDETZ after attending our gala as a guest. She launched her own platform, itriforgood, and turned it into a platform for TFFT. She aligned her passion with our mission. Learn more about her below!

How did you become involved with TFFT?

Endurance athlete and long-time TFFT supporter, Meredith Dolhare introduced me to The Foundation For Tomorrow. Meredith and I were both TRYSPORTS Ambassadors and members of the TS endurance team though we’d never met. We never raced together either, mainly because Meredith competed at a level and pace that few people can. Meredith sent me a direct message on Twitter, commenting on our common passions (triathlon & serving others in need). Meredith invited Kyle and I to attend an event in Charlotte benefitting a non-profit organization run by a young woman whom she called, “one of my heroes”.  She was speaking about Meghann Gunderman. I was so curious.

In early November of 2011, Kyle and I attended the 5th Annual S.O.S. Gala as guests of Meredith and Walter Dolhare. It was a fun evening filled with poignant moments & laughter…and certainly a night that captured my attention. The following day, I emailed Kaitlin (Rogers Perez), simply taking up her offer to reach out and have coffee. The conversations and invitations flowed from there. If I had to sum up my entire relationship with TFFT from the beginning to present day, I would say this: “I accepted an invitation. I wanted to learn more.  I’m so glad I did.” These simple phrases ring true for each and every step along the way.

How does your passion align with TFFT’s mission?

I believe in the power and purpose of community and the potential to create unyielding opportunity when we share our time, energy and gifts in service to others. TFFT is rooted in these ideals.

Why do you give to TFFT and believe in the organization’s work?

I think at first glance, any one of us would be hard-pressed NOT to care about the children and communities that TFFT serves or the right for all children to receive a quality education in a healthy environment that nurtures their development while being surrounded by the love of great encouragers. One of the key differences for me that distinguishes TFFT from other organizations is how quickly and intentionally you are welcomed to move beyond that first glance and in to action. TFFT invites you to grow in community with them, in service to others. The emphasis placed on quality has resonated with me from the beginning.

To accomplish meaningful change and build lasting, sustainable opportunity for those without it, requires a relentless commitment by many. I have witnessed this commitment from TFFT and seen creative inclusion of many to advance their mission. I am continually impressed by the thoughtful attention given to cultivating each relationship. Everyone plays an important role in the success of this ongoing effort. Over the past 7 years, I’ve watched a dedicated team of people continuously measure and evaluate the changing needs of their students, team & partners, then adapt and rise to the challenge of meeting and exceeding those needs. I’ve seen a constant desire to collaborate. I’ve experienced the welcoming of a difficult conversation as readily as an exciting new idea in order to advance the mission of educating and caring for people in the most holistic approach possible. I give to TFFT because they are the greatest magnifier of possibility & potential.

What program within TFFT resonates with you?

Though not exactly programs, The Learning Center and RIDETZ have struck the biggest chord with me.

RIDETZ has been one of the greatest adventures and learning experiences of my life, tapping into my deepest sense of purpose and everything fundamental that ignites a spark in me.  RIDETZ is my favorite example of service through sport, allowing me to explore what is possible while creating possibility for others. Among many lessons, challenges like RIDETZ teach you that just outside your perceived limits, awaits everything you never knew was possible. Beyond self-discovery, the physical and emotional aspects of the journey connect you to the cultures, peoples and land in unimaginable ways. It will be a privilege to return to Tanzania in June to continuing learning and serving through sport with a debt of gratitude to TFFT. I can’t wait to see who joins us this year!

The Learning Center resonates with me for many of the obvious reasons and a few more personal ones. It is bold and unabashedly built by and for transformation.  Quality resources (of place, people and materials) all made accessible, expanding education and dreams for communities of people. I believe the depth and breadth of its impact will take generations to accurately measure.

In early 2013, I was in Tanzania for the first time, shadowing Meghann for a few weeks, learning and trying to soak up as much as possible about what I was experiencing. Among the many meetings and conversations that I was graciously included to attend, was a first meeting with architects for what is now The Learning Center.  Prior to the meeting, I had listened to Meghann explain the concept and goals, saw the plot of land where this extraordinary dream would grow and examined a draft floorplan sketched out on a piece of scrap paper. During a trip of so many firsts that filled me with joy and sent me scrambling for my journal, these memories stand out for two reasons – the magnitude of the idea was palpable and my belief in TFFT was certain.  Bold ideas require bold people to carry out bold actions. The Foundation For Tomorrow delivers nothing less.

 

We are grateful for Katie’s dedication to TFFT and her most recent alignment of passion through sport with our organization through turning her own itryforgood platform into our future TeamTFFT technology platform, which will be launching in the new year (more details to come). We are excited to share more stories about other supporters who align their own passion with our mission in 2018!

Posted in Events, RIDETZ, TFFT People Features, TFFT's Partners, Uncategorized | Comments closed

Introducing Katie!

December 20, 2017

My name is Katie and I am thrilled to be the new Development and Operations Associate in the Charlotte, NC office! Originally from Chicago, I have been privileged to have had access to tremendous education (and tremendous deep dish pizza) my whole life. I experienced how one teacher could alter the trajectory of my career and passions, offer a whole new perspective of the world, and give me the confidence to fight for my dreams.

I entered Elon University as an education major, hoping to help students see and realize their own potential as my teachers had done for me. As I became more involved at Elon and was privileged to spend time internationally, my passions expanded to the impacts of education in a larger, global context. I switched my major to business management in order to grow my skillset to be effective in the field.

After graduating from Elon University, I moved to the Rocky Mountains for the opportunity to work for an East African skills-based education nonprofit. I was able to learn the ins and outs of nonprofit development and was further inspired and motivated by the tremendous potential of millions of youth eager to be utilized in East Africa.

My commitment to improving the access and quality of education is rooted in my own experiences and in the multiplying effect of education. Studies have shown that the longer and higher quality an education one receives, many other facets of their life are also transformed — improved health and livelihoods and a lower environmental impact.

TFFT’s deep, transformational commitment to each student and teacher set it apart in my mind since I first heard about their work years ago. By ensuring that each student has all the tools, skills, and support necessary to tackle every obstacle, reach their potential, and improve their community, TFFT will have generational impact.

When given the opportunity to work for TFFT, I quickly jumped! My role within the larger TFFT family involves stewardship, campaign and event logistics, and operations. TFFT proves the power and influence that lies within a community of exceptional and dedicated people. I am eager to meet and experience the full impact of the TFFT family.

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Introducing Alex!

December 20, 2017

Hello! My name is Alexandra Lawrence and I am thrilled to be joining the TFFT family as the Communications and Marketing Manager. This past month marks my 12th move around the world as my significant other, Danny, and I recently moved to Phoenix, Arizona: a new adventure for us in our personal lives, and also in our careers. It is very exciting to represent TFFT on the west coast as we grow our communications and development strategies. Family and friendships mean everything to me, and I enjoy traveling to see loved ones, being outdoors, and teaching hot yoga in my free time.

With most of my childhood spent in Cleveland, Ohio, I became connected to the arts and the story of expression. Thanks to the support and encouragement of my parents, I attended Elon University in North Carolina as a Dance major, but my college experience led to much more than the arts world. I took a class on child and family counseling, and was hooked on what expression meant not only through dance, but through the lens of human services in helping others make meaning of their experiences to become resilient in the face of adversity.

My counseling background led me to work in Human Resources for a global manufacturing company: working and living within different cultures to tell a consistent story of our accomplishments across the world and help employees develop their leadership skills and passion for their work. I found a specific group of employees that I loved: new graduates post-college. Their compassion, spunk, and willingness to be self-starters made me want to learn more about this population that was entering the workforce.

I began recruiting college graduates for a marketing analytics company, which then led me to graduate school in my home state, receiving my master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. Studying the student experience intrigued me. I focused on understanding access to education and how where one comes from often dictates his/her opportunities for life. I focused on social justice and student activism, first generation college students and guidance needed to and through college. I continued to stay on at the university post-masters on the fundraising side of our alumni association in a communications role for our president.

My themes of storytelling, rallying others around a singular message, and working with students and employees to find passion in their work, have evolved over time. I couldn’t be more excited to take the next step with TFFT to combine my own passions for access to education, holistic development, and communications. The mission, vision, and values of this organization align with my own and give us all a chance to work together towards one goal.

In my first month with TFFT, I was able to jump right in on the ground level and head to Tanzania with Meghann, Sarah, and a group of our wonderful donors for two weeks. While I continue to process my experience, the stories of our children and their families will stay with me forever, and the time I had to get to know them and our Tanzanian staff was priceless. The impact and progress we have made as an organization on an individual and systemic level is evident, and as we head into this next decade of significance, I cannot wait to continue to shape our messaging and grow with our children, families, teachers, donors, and Tanzanian communities.

 

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World AIDS Day: The Importance of Health Care for Our Scholars

December 1, 2017

Today is World AIDS Day. Our founder and executive director, Meghann, talks to the work TFFT does in relation to health care support as part of our whole child experience and the importance of advocacy for our children in the health and wellness sector.

 

“Good health is not only a consequence, but also a cause, of development. Healthier individuals, living longer lives; are more productive and contribute to national income, job creation, and economic development and growth; have fewer and healthier children, invest more time and greater resources in their children’s education, and thus secure the future for their societies; reduce costs of ill health to society and companies and enable resources to be directed to economically productive activities” (Harmonization for Health in Africa, Investing in Health for Africa).

TFFT serves scholars health and psychosocial needs in conjunction with their academic and life skills needs. Many of our children have been impacted by the AIDS pandemic and this makes them inherently vulnerable. These children have either lost parents and family members because of the disease, or are living with it themselves. We work in partnership with the DREAM clinic in Usa River, Tanzania to serve those scholars living with HIV/AIDS. DREAM was started as a program aimed at not only making antiretroviral therapy possible and accessible, but also addressing the complex measures and factors surrounding overall health care access for those affected by HIV/AIDS: health education, nutritional support, advanced diagnostics, staff training, malaria, tuberculosis, opportunistic infections and especially malnutrition. With the help of this program, our scholars are able to live productive lives and thrive in academic settings. The challenges are great, but the possibilities for these students are even greater.

Our work addressing our scholars’ health and psychosocial needs started when we noticed how the financial constraints led to our children becoming perpetually sick. Illnesses worsened, and student school absences increased due to health matters. Our first intervention was providing comprehensive health insurance for our scholars. When a child or family has health insurance, their ability and probability to go to a local clinic or hospital in town significantly increases.  Our children receive wellness check-ups, and have access to eye and dental care. Those living with HIV are provided additional nutrients while in school, vitamins and anti-retroviral therapy when needed. Our staff has been trained to counsel and address health and psychosocial matters. Additionally, we have created partnerships with other NGOs (Arusha Mental Health Trust and REPSSI) to best serve those needs. We also work directly with our partner schools to ensure they have trained professionals serving as nurses in their clinics and they are able to respond in adequate time to serve the children at their schools.  A World Bank study in Tanzania suggested that HIV/AIDS may reduce the number of primary-school children by 22 percent and secondary-school children by 14 percent as a result of increased infant and child mortality as well as lower attendance (International Institute for Educational Planning).

Beyond health insurance, we also look at how early childhood trauma impacts our scholars’ ability to thrive. We address vulnerability, and we do that through securing educational and emotional support. In order to achieve these goals, we have to improve their support structure, with health being a key component. We believe that sending scholars to school, while ignoring the health component of their mind and body, will act against the students in being able to reach their full potential.

Join us in supporting the whole child. If you be interested in sponsoring a scholar or learning about how you can support the whole child experience for the students we serve, please email me at Meghann (at) thefoundationfortomorrow.org

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