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!

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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

Caregiver Forum

February 7, 2017

The Foundation for Tomorrow invited the parents and guardians of our scholars to a Caregiver’s Forum in the end of January. Forty-six guardians and the TFFT team came together to discuss various issues around the ongoing holistic care for our scholars.

The main message has been that it is important for our scholars to know where they come from, what is happening in their families, and that their parents and extended families are still there for them when they leave home to go to school. The connection between a child and their family is very important, and when a child is away at boarding school and under the care of TFFT, the family’s responsibility to their child must not waiver.

Our Scholarship and Mentoring Program Manager, Stephen, spoke of the importance of ongoing responsibilities of the guardian as detailed in the scholarship agreement signed by a scholar’s guardian and TFFT. Madam Salha, the Manager of one of our partner schools, invited parents to be a part of their child’s school community. She pointed out some of the guardians she knew well, and held them up as role models. Our Psychosocial and Health Program Manager, Hedwiga, encouraged guardians to approach her about becoming part of our livelihood program. I spoke briefly about the positive effect on a child who knows that their parents care for and love them. Viola encouraged the audience to take part in open school days, to talk to teachers about their child’s progress, to be part of graduation celebrations, and to go to academic progress days.

Other practical responsibilities that the guardians were encouraged to ensure included bringing children on time to school at the beginning and end of each term, contributing what they can to everyday items, maintaining discipline while on school holidays, taking children for medical checkups during holidays, and supporting children to go to tutoring during school breaks.

Our Caregiver Forum helped us to become more organized and better connected. Our guardians formed groups depending on geographical areas and identified a leader. This will help with communication and formation of teams for livelihood loan purposes. We have a long connection ahead so these forums are a wonderful way of building shared visions and a stronger TFFT family.

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Teachers’ Observation

February 3, 2017

I started the 2017 school year by conducting classroom observations for a few teachers who attended one of our teacher trainings last year. The ultimate goal of observing these teachers is to see how they have been able to apply the knowledge and skills gained from our trainings in their classroom work.

Prior to the observation, we communicated with ward education officers (WEOs) to discuss the objectives, share concerns with teachers, and set up the classroom observation dates. I observed an entire class period (40 minutes long) for each teacher.

After the classroom observations, we had the opportunity to hold individual meetings with each teacher to share feedback. The teachers were also given the chance to explain his or her own performance, which part of the session they thought went well, and any general comments about the lesson. The exercise was great for professional development, as the feedback we shared helped the teachers better understand how to improve parts of their teaching work and why to do so.

Performing these classroom observations was a rewarding experience for me. I enjoyed watching the teachers at work, they showed enthusiasm and demonstrated a positive attitude towards teaching and learning. The classes I observed were full of energy and movement. Participatory learning methodologies and planning for effective instruction was one of the training programs that we hosted in 2016. Through our classroom observations, we witnessed how these teachers have been able to put this into action, effectively planning lessons and use varied participatory approaches in the classroom. We also observed learning organization and classroom management, mastery of the subject matter, teaching style, instruction techniques used, and teachers’ encouragement to engage in critical thinking among the learners.

As we conduct classroom observations, we also gain insight that helps us to better design and develop our training programs in response to the identified needs.

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Introducing our SHARE the LOVE Team Leaders!

January 27, 2017

caiti

We are excited for our SHARE the LOVE Challenge to begin! We have 12 awesome Team Leaders who have committed to SHARE’n the LOVE this season. Today, meet the Challenge’s phenomenal Team Leaders…you can make a contribution to one of their campaigns! We hope that seeing the creativity and fun these empowering individuals have with the challenge will inspire you to SHARE some LOVE with the TFFT kiddos.

Miller (top left), Talia (top right), Ryan (bottom left), and Jada (bottom right)

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, Colorado, Washington, Florida, Illinois, Scotland, and England. We have a great group of leaders this year. Miller has been a long-time TFFT supporter, visiting Tanzania year after year. Talia is back again after serving as a team leader last year, and we are so fortunate to have her on board! Ryan is another returning leader, and never fails to wow us with his ability to spread awareness in a meaningful way of the reality that exists for TFFT Scholars. Jada participated in SHARE the LOVE last year, and was inspired to see how a little can go a long way, so she is back again for 2017!

Murphy (top left), Blair (top right), Macon (bottom left), and Jerry (bottom right)

Murphy and Blair are both returning SHARE the LOVE leaders from Charlotte Country Day School and they show their dedication to TFFT through participation in their high school’s TFFT Club. This year, they serve as the club’s co-presidents. Macon is another dedicated supporter of TFFT’s work. She has seen our work firsthand throughout the past decade, and says that she is inspired by the improvements that she has seen in our scholars’ lives! We are thrilled that Jerry has joined our Team Leaders this year for the first time. We know that he will make such a positive impact on the campaign’s success.

Katy (top left), Violet (top right), Mary Hill (bottom left), and Julian (bottom right)

Katy has been involved with TFFT since she was 12 years old, and she tells us that this has helped to shape her into who she is today. Violet joins our Team Leaders for the first time this year from Charlotte Country Day School, where she is a member of the TFFT Club. Mary Hill has served as an intern for TFFT, and continued to show her support by beginning a TFFT Club at her high school! She is now in college in Scotland. Julian is excited to join SHARE the LOVE for the first time as a team leader and is passionate about spreading awareness for meaningful work and he also wants to become more involved with TFFT in the future.

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 2017’s Team Leaders, we cannot wait to see what SHARE the LOVE 2017 brings for our scholars. It is amazing to see the difference that we can make when many people work together. 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 News, TFFT's Partners | Comments closed

Star High School Field Day

January 24, 2017

Our Full Circle Program started the year full of energy. We have plans for how to assist our scholars in being active, effective, collaborative, and learn new skills and ideas both in and out of school. We hosted a field day on January 21st for 25 TFFT Scholars from Star High School. This fun-filled day was made possible by the generosity of longtime TFFT supporters Amanda Corse, who opened her home, and Catharine Joynson-Hicks. Before the field day took place, we had a meeting to plan and structure the learning activities that our scholars could participate in, aimed to foster love for the environment as well as creativity and critical thinking. We designed the day in a way that all of them would feel included and want to participate to the fullest. The scholars arrived at 9:30 am, and after an introduction and welcome remark from Amanda, they were divided into 4 groups.

The morning activity was to explore nature. Two experts on tourism were present, who taught our scholars about the environment and the forest. They learned about medicinal trees and they saw animals, birds and insects. They learned the importance of preserving nature, as it is the source of clean water, rain, food for both animals and humans, timber, medicine, and more. At the end of the session, the scholars had the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session.

The second part of the field day was interesting and a much loved activity by our scholars. This was a scavenger hunt. They were given clues about this exercise. It was challenging and required them to work as a team, and to use their brains and think hard. We had 4 groups of scholars, and each group was supposed to solve 8 clues. The first to collect all clues were the winners. The clues were hidden in different places including under big trees, in the car yard, at the river, in the forest, under floor mats, etc. As the first clue was collected, each group read its direction for where to find the 2nd clue, and the game continued in such manner. The scholars really enjoyed this activity. To avoid confusion, these 4 groups were set in different directions, and the paper for clues were marked in 4 different colors with each group assigned a specific color. It took almost 20 minutes for the first winning group to find all 8 clues, the 2nd group took 25 minutes and the 3rd & 4th groups needed 30 minutes.

The last activity for the day was an artistic challenge. The activity required the groups to design an environmentally friendly house. Each group had time to brainstorm and then draw their house. The issues to consider in their house design are building materials, water, energy, waste disposal, recycling, innovation, and environment. At the end, each group presented their drawing and explanation of what they drew and took into consideration. The two best groups that won really took into consideration the type of building materials to use as well as the lifestyle of the house dwellers. The  second placer said they would use “makuti” (a type of grass) for their roof and use mud and cow dung for their walls for temperature control as well as suitability to the weather of Tanzania. The winning group thought of using biogas for electricity generation for their home which would make use of the home’s waste products as well as their cattle and goats. They also thought of rainwater harvesting and keeping bees to produce their own honey and also to pollinate their flowers and other plants around their home. Both groups emphasized planting trees and vegetables as well as planning an effective waste disposal to avoid polluting the environment. Before the winners for this segment were announced, hosts Amanda and Catharine also raised some pointers to consider and other tips such as considering wind mills to harness the power of wind for electricity generation. Amanda mentioned all the good points from each group’s design. Catharine mentioned how some people used milk cartons and empty PET bottles for walls and how some even plant grass on their house’s roof! All in all, the students learned a lot from this well-thought out activity.

At the end of this presentation, the judges added the combined scores from both the scavenger hunt and the artistic challenge together. The results were stunning because no group thought the results would be combined. The overall winning group did not expect to come in first place! The first winners were given nice diaries, second winners were given a fine ball pen, third winners were given a chocolate bar, and the fourth place group was given candy.

All of the participating scholars enjoyed the activities, and at the end when asked what they learned from the field day, they said:

  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Critical thinking

We look forward to having similar activities with TFFT Scholars from other schools throughout the year. We extend our appreciation to Amanda, Catharine, and their families for endless support of TFFT Scholars.

Cheers!

Posted in Full Circle, TFFT Student Work | Comments closed

SHARE the LOVE 2017

January 23, 2017

caiti

Our theme for February is SHARE the LOVE, and this will be the fifth year of TFFT’s fun Valentine’s Campaign Challenge. This year, we are selecting leaders from across the country and even over-seas to help us out. The goals of our Team Leaders are to gather everyone they know and spread awareness of TFFT’s work, while ultimately showing that when working together, we can all make a difference. We are thrilled to have capable and generous young adults serve as Team Leaders for the campaign. You can see last year’s leaders here, and if this is something you are interested in, we would love to hear from you!

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The challenge runs from February 1st through February 14th, and each Team Leader will ask family and friends to make a small contribution of around $10 or $20 to support the vulnerable and deserving children 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!

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

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It is because of individuals like our Team Leaders that our scholars are able to have the opportunity to thrive and succeed in life. You can SHARE the LOVE too! We hope that seeing the creativity and fun these empowering individuals have with the challenge will inspire you to SHARE some LOVE. Please email Caiti (@) thefoundationfortomorrow (dot) org if you are interested in being considered for a spot as a Team Leader for 2017!

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Building Better Local Community Competition

January 19, 2017

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Last year during our Vision Trip in September, groups of students and TFFT Scholars from Arusha Modern School came together for our annual SuitUp competition. Coached by our loyal visitors from the Vision Trip, the groups solved a real life business problem, while at the same time having fun, and spreading their creative wings. This team building exercise inspired us to design a more homegrown team-oriented activity based on the reality that our scholars experience everyday.

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Eighteen of our scholars were divided into teams and asked to draw a map of an African village with as much detail and creativity as they could muster. Each member of the group was encouraged to add to the drawing. After about half an hour, the facilitator added another dimension to the activity. With what they had already drawn, the groups were asked to think about what could make the village better, and they were to add those innovations to the village. They were encouraged to think about what would make the lives of the villagers more comfortable and secure. They were to add services needed, current services that could be upgraded, how business could grow, and how the community could generally be improved.

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This exercise got our scholars thinking about their own communities, and what development means. They were encouraged to work together, be creative and problem-solve issues that have relevance to their lives. One scholar drew an extraordinary outline of a village all in perspective, to scale, and at an angle that reminded me of a drone snapshot. This group included in their drawing factories, storage facilities for crops, and commercial centers. The main illustrator, David, had incredible spacial ability (I think we have a future architect in our midst!). Other groups had each member drawing their contributions, also resulting in a great overall concept. They had tractors, hospitals rather than health clinics, schools with playing fields, parks, transport hubs, and crops filling every space available. Improved access to water was featured in every drawing.

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What a great experience! This exercise also had a final learning dimension: the scholars and mentors who partook in the exercise have been given the challenge to run this activity in their own school community. They have to ask permission, advertise, arrange, and facilitate the Build Better Community Competition with their contemporaries. They have to arrange a judging panel and arrange prizes for the winning group. This will be a practical lesson in organizing, leadership and facilitation and will bring a fun learning activity to their schools. We are excited to see where it leads!

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Posted in Scholarship Program, TFFT Student Work | Comments closed
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