2018 RIDETZ Student Rider: Meet Neema!

May 23, 2018

We are less than a month out from RIDETZ 2018! Our riders are busy preparing for their journey across the world, and that’s not even the fun part! When they arrive in Tanzania, they will embark on a 400 mile, 10 day bike ride across the country. Each year, we like to have student rider join the team. Joining a RIDETZ team gives our scholars the opportunity to meet new people, experience new things, and get excited about the world around them.

This year, Neema is our chosen scholar! Keep reading to see why she wants to be part of this journey. If you’d like to donate to help fund Neema’s trip, click here!

My name is Neema Hassan. I am in form 3 at Shepards School’s secondary section. I am sixteen years old. I love reading novels, singing, watching movies, and making friends. My favorite colors are pink, red, and light green. My favorite subjects are chemistry, mathematics, biology, and English. My favorite food is pilau, chicken chips, sausage, ice cream, and snacks. I was born in Babati on April 3, 2002. I am the third born and have two sisters and a brother.

I joined The Foundation For Tomorrow in 2008. We moved from Babati to Arusha and I am living with my mother. The day that they came to our home, Mama Mive called my mother and this is when I became a TFFT scholar. I studied at Fikiria Kwanza Academy when I was in nursery school, then after went to Usa River Academy so that I could finish my primary level education. Afterwards, I attended Star High School, but only had a little time there before going to Shepards Secondary School.

The reason why I want to take part in RIDETZ is to learn more from new people from different places with different experiences. I want to gain more experience riding since it is among exercises that will make my body strong. I want to make more friends with people that have different characteristics from me and from each other.

I know I will gain a lot from this once in a lifetime experience. Physical stamina and fitness is one thing, by biking through different terrain will test me physically but also make me stronger. Another is the improvement of my language skills. Spending 10 days interacting in English will improve my language skills. I can speak and write English, but I believe this experience will add more to my vocabulary and better my speaking too.

I will gain confidence by interacting with both old and young people from different experiences and backgrounds. It will be an opportunity to talk to other riders about my country of Tanzania and my experience as a TFFT scholar.

I want to thank The Foundation For Tomorrow for entrusting me with this task and I appreciate being among the 2018 RIDETZ riders!

Neema with Team TFFT athlete, Katie Caniglia, after RIDETZ 2016. Katie and Neema will ride together this year!

Posted in RIDETZ, Uncategorized | Comments closed

Hope For Children: TFFT’s Use Of The Child Status Index

May 18, 2018

“When I approach a child, he inspires me in two sentiments: tenderness for what he is, and hope for what he may become.” -Louis Pasteur

TFFT utilizes many innovative tools that help us create our programming and provide our scholars with the best services possible so that they can reach their full potential. Last week on the blog, we discussed how we make use of the Poverty Probability Index when identifying children for our Scholarship Program. Missed this post? No problem! Click here to learn more!

This week, we want to share some information about another amazing tool, the Child Status Index (CSI). The Child Status Index (CSI) is a tool that provides a framework for identifying the needs of children, creating individualized, goal-direct service plans, and monitoring the well-being of children and households. The CSI is important to TFFT because it is a child-focused and can be used across cultures.


TFFT uses the Child Status Index for monitoring and planning purposes. We monitor the programs that we implement to ensure that they are contributing to the development of the different aspects that make up the well-being of each scholar. Based on this, we plan improvements to our programs and services based on the needs of our scholars and beneficiary populations. The CSI gives us a glimpse into these needs and allows us to narrow (and hopefully close!) the gaps. So what all does the Child Status Index cover?

Currently, TFFT staff has six students and approximately 20 guardians to interview. Often, the students are in school and therefore easier to access, versus the guardians live in very isolated places that are hard to reach. By utilizing the CSI, our team members can best assess what the home life of a scholar is like and continue to create and implement programs that address their immediate needs. From the records completed so far, we have found that food security is a big issue for most of our scholars and their families. Legal protection is also a concern, especially since most of the children do not have birth certificates–a document that enables them to access key social services as well as provide them legal identity.

Having this information, through CSI, can help us in planning for strategies to help our scholars and better serve orphan and vulnerable children for years to come. To ensure child well-being and improve the outcomes in the lives of children, the community, household and child must all be involved. As the saying goes, “it takes a village!”

For more information of the Child Status Index, you can check out the CSI Made Easy Booklet and/or Measure Evaluation‘s tools and resources.

Posted in Advocacy, Development, Food for Thought Friday, Tanzania, TFFT's Partners | Comments closed

Friday Feature: Staff Member Meets RIDETZ Rider!

May 11, 2018

Katie is TFFT’s Development and Operations Associate and a first time RIDETZ rider. She has been working so hard to make sure that the RIDETZ experience is an amazing journey for all of nine riders. What is it like being both a participant and a “behind the scenes” staff member? Find out below!

What made you decide to participate in RIDETZ?
I first learned about RIDETZ back in 2010 and have wanted to do it ever since! RIDETZ offers a completely unique opportunity to see a country and experience a culture while raising awareness for an organization I believe in.

Were you a biker before training for this event?
No! Yoga has always been my favorite form of exercise. But, I have loved biking while training for RIDETZ. It is very therapeutic to get outside and ride throughout the week. Fellow rider, Katie Caniglia, has been a great training partner here in Charlotte!

As a staff member, how has your preparation experience been different from that of a normal rider?
I have enjoyed training and fundraising alongside my fellow riders. Additionally, I work closely with our RIDETZ trip provider and guides, Adventure International, to ensure the best experience possible!

What has been your main role when working on all things RIDETZ?
I have the privilege of working with our travel, training, and fundraising coaches and the riders as they prepare for the adventure! Making sure they are comfortable with logistics, gear, fundraising, and more. It has been really fun to see the riders’ communities rally around them as they share why they are committing to ride 400 miles across Tanzania! I also will be introducing our riders to TFFT scholars and staff when they first arrive in Tanzania. It will be very special for our riders to see TFFT’s programs firsthand to better understand the impact they are creating through RIDETZ.

What are you most looking forward to regarding the trip?
I am most excited to share the beauty of Tanzania, the spirit of TFFT and our scholars, and the joy of accomplishing a challenge for a bigger purpose with our 2018 RIDETZ riders!

What words of encouragement or advice would you give your fellow riders/potential future riders?
The hard work and commitment will all be worth it when you see the smiling faces of our TFFT scholars and when you dive into the ocean after biking 400 miles!

The 2018 RIDETZ Riders leave in just a little over a month for the journey of a lifetime! Visit Team TFFT to learn more about RIDETZ and other ways to you can get outside and get active to  support orphan and vulnerable children in Tanzania!

Posted in RIDETZ, TFFT People Features | Comments closed

Behind The Scenes: TFFT’s Scholar Identification Process

May 4, 2018

How does TFFT identify students for the Scholarship Program?

So much goes into the scholarship identification process, we figured you might be interested in learning more! At its heart, The Foundation For Tomorrow aims to serve orphan and vulnerable children. When TFFT began in 2006, we relied on referrals from Tanzanian orphanages we worked with. They were our vetting tool when choosing scholars to participate in our Scholarship Program.
The information provided to us was valuable, but it was not always the only data TFFT needed. It also left out a critical fact when it comes to serving Tanzanian children and following our mission: Not all orphans are vulnerable, and not all vulnerable children are orphans. This crucial information helped TFFT restructure how we choose our scholars and truly provide services for those most vulnerable.


The Foundation For Tomorrow follows a non-discrimination policy, thus, our criteria for selection is not based on gender, religion, or ethnicity. Our selection process seeks to ensure that the Scholarship Program is reaching and providing for the most vulnerable.

Children are selected depending on multiple considerations: history of vulnerability, age and present class, ability to be able to fit within the partnership school community, health status, the Poverty Probability Index (PPI), and more.


TFFT has two ways of enrolling children in the Scholarship Program. The first one, which has been used for some time, is through an application. The second is through community identification. The students who apply and those identified in the community will go through the same process of verification.

Community Identification

In Community Identification, we engage community leaders in identifying MVCs (most vulnerable children) that are most in need. To quality for a scholarship, a child must be:

  • At least 5 years old at the time of application
  • About to start primary school or is currently attending school
  • Must be able to show evidence of vulnerability, orphanhood and/or dire financial situation in the household (verifiable from the Village Leaders and/or Social Welfare Office)

TFFT then allows any other community structure that works with orphan and vulnerable children look over and verify the list of potential scholars identified.

Application

If a child is applying for the Scholarship Program, their parents or guardians do so on their behalf. This would include a representative from an orphanage, should that be the child’s circumstances. A Village Chairperson or Village Executive Officer must confirm the information on the application. A reference letter from the Social Welfare Office must also be submitted with the application.

After receiving all of the application materials, the TFFT team begins reviewing the information received and certifying that is is correct. Next, there is an interview conducted by TFFT staff with the guardian/relative and the child applying for the scholarship. Lastly, there is a home visit following the interview. After home visits, selected applicants will be informed of their acceptance into the program! Agreements are signed by TFFT and the guardian of the new scholar. There are other steps that can be taken prior to acceptance to help the child succeed in more than just academics!

  • With parent/guardian permission, letting the child undergo a medical test including HIV test. The results of these tests will not in any way affect the student’s admission to the Scholarship Program, though it will help guide us in our support of the child.
  • The current guardian/parent can grant TFFT a form of legal guardianship of the child from the date of scholarship acceptance. This will allow TFFT to assist the child in the absence of the actual guardian/parent. This will be verified and made official by a Village Chairperson.

Our former Scholarship Manager, Stephen, meets with a scholar and a Village Leader.

Too often, circumstances out of a child’s control hold them back from reaching their full potential. While the scholar identification process may seem long, the TFFT team wants to ensure that we are reaching and providing access to education for those children that are most in need. By assessing the factors listed earlier, we are able to provide scholars entering our program with opportunities that they might not have had prior to joining us. TFFT believes education is power. Through education access, TFFT hopes one day to see a world where all children contribute to society as active and empowered citizens free of exclusion, disadvantage, and vulnerability.

Interested in sponsoring a scholar? Click the photo below to learn more!

Posted in Development, Scholarship Program, Tanzania | Comments closed

Introducing Laura!

April 27, 2018

Hello friends and supporters of TFFT!

My name is Laura Thompson, and I am thrilled to join The Foundation For Tomorrow to assist with grant writing and development efforts.  This is an exciting opportunity for me that brings together my passion and admiration for TFFT with my love of writing and commitment to non-profit organizations.

While I am the newest member of the team, my family and I have long known the value of TFFT’s mission.  Introduced to the organization through a writing assignment over six years ago, I met Meghann and learned of the passionate and thoughtful work of the TFFT team.  I have worked as a freelance writer here in Charlotte and overseas, covering primarily lifestyle topics, but focusing on philanthropy and volunteerism.  The most fantastic part about covering this space has been meeting a myriad of creative and inspiring individuals and organizations working to do good for others.


A little more background on me:  I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.  A buckeye by birth, but not a Buckeye – I headed to New England for college attending Colby College in Waterville, Maine.  My husband, Chuck, and I spent time after college living and working in Washington, D.C., Nashville, Boston, and New York City.  While Charlotte was a big change for us, we were excited to move south, and it has proven to be a wonderful place to raise our three boys: Charlie, Zan, and Malcolm, who are now 15, 13, and 9 respectively.

After 14 years here in Charlotte, my husband had professional opportunity that took us Hong Kong, SAR.  A radical shift from life in Charlotte and a completely new experience for Chuck, me, and our boys!  Our time overseas was a wild ride, but a tremendously valuable experience for all five of us.   We had the opportunity, as a family and as individuals, to expand our world through friendships, professional and educational opportunities, sports, and travel. While the bulk of our travel took us throughout Asia, we did have the opportunity to take the boys to Kenya, introducing them to a few organizations there that are doing amazing work for children and conservation efforts – experiences that gave them a bit more context and understanding of life in Africa.  Our time in Africa has stuck with each of the boys, they hope to return soon, or join me on a trip to Tanzania to see TFFT at work.


Our traveling band returned to Charlotte in June of 2017 and we have been re-adjusting to life back in the States and back in our “hometown.”  I am desperately missing my weekly hikes in Hong Kong, but have been excited to rejoin my Charlotte books clubs and tennis team.   Rugby – a sport which our entire family became crazy about while living in Hong Kong – has also become a source of continuity while we re-adjust.  While the sport is still growing here in the US, our boys have were very excited to find teams to play with here in Charlotte.  And how could I forget our wonderful and loving source of Hong Kong to Charlotte continuity: our beloved dog, Stuart, aka Hong Kong Stuey!

I have been lucky to have joined two Vision Trips, in 2015 and 2016, giving me the opportunity to meet the fantastic TFFT team based in Arusha, see programs and partnerships at work, and, most importantly, meet the scholar that our family sponsors.  It was a joy to meet Gadiel, a tall, quiet fifteen year old Maruruni boy.  He has become the head of his family through difficult circumstances and works hard to keep up with his academic classes.  But he is keenly aware that opportunity to learn and attend school can impact not only his life, but the life of his family.

Talking with Gadiel about his favorite classes, the books he enjoys reading, and his passion about football was as familiar as talking with one of my own boys about their interests, struggles, and curiosities.  It wonderful to sit with and get to know Gadiel over the course of an afternoon, to learn more about his life experience and understand his learning strengths and challenges.  I was excited to be able to share my visit with Gadiel with our boys, to introduce them to a young man living in a completely different life circumstances, but who has similar dreams for the future and passions for sports and reading.  We have all very much enjoyed being a part of this scholarship program.

I am a believer that a high quality education is the most valuable gift you can be given, and I have seen that TFFT’s work is squarely focus on providing that gift to every scholar they have enrolled.   Seeing firsthand the work that TFFT does to support scholars inside and outside of the classroom, I have been impressed by their deliberate engagement.  It is clear that there are educational challenges that are common worldwide, but the tools that communities have to solve these problems vary immensely.   The gap in that TFFT seeks to narrow through  access to quality education provides not just an opportunity for their scholar, but hope for shaping a different future as well.

Posted in Introductions | Comments closed

Using Creativity To Change The World!

April 17, 2018

 

Happy Creativity and Innovation Week!

The international holiday began on April 15th, Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday. Da Vinci was an inventor, an innovator, and a creator and his influence still has a major impact on modern society. Here at the Foundation For Tomorrow, we encourage students to pursue both their academic and creative interests and passions. One way that TFFT has done this is through creative expression and learning opportunities for Scholars.

Recently, some of our Peer Mentor Scholars attended a Creative Capacity Building (CCB) workshop. CCB comes from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) D-Lab, which focuses on “development through discovery, design, and dissemination.”
The purpose of CCB is to train participants to create or adapt technologies that will improve their lives and strengthen their communities. CCB operates on the idea that relevant technology can contribute toward ending poverty. Instructors invite community members to participate in the entire design process via CCB, providing the opportunity for people whom these technologies are intended to benefit to be an active creator, rather than just user, of these inventions.

Some of our TFFT Scholars attended CCB at Twende, a social innovation center, in Arusha, Tanzania. Twende’s mission is to empower people to design and create their own technology solutions to community challenges. Along with creating their own innovations to benefit Tanzanians, they also host and teach multiple workshops, one of them being CCB.

Logo from http://www.twende-tanzania.org/

Melissa, TFFT’s Country Director, shared some responses from the five peer mentors regarding their experience.

Describe what you did in the workshop.
Monica: “When I was in the workshop, it was very amazing because it was very fun and full of helpful activities. This workshop helped me think more and more. I made a machine for grinding maize which I gave to my grandmother, because in her village, people grind maize using their hands. This machine helped her very much!”

What was the most challenging part of the workshop?
Ndera: “The most challenging part of the workshop was how to make or think of a thing or project that will help society and which is most applicable in my society. Another challenging part was that there was not a lot of time to finish the project.”
Sarah: “The part that I faced the most challenge was coming up with a project that we will do and stick with throughout.”

What was your favorite part of the workshop?
Ndera: “My favorite part of the workshop was watching people introduce and explain their projects that they made. Also when the experts were explaining traditional projects that were helpful to society like the telephone or the blender which began from simple places like ours.”
Joyce: “My favorite part was when the facilitators were explaining about their former projects that they did in their life. I enjoyed it because it was interesting and from them, I learned not to give up in life.”

How do you think this workshop will impact your role as a peer mentor?
Sarah: “It will help me be more creative and help me with critical thinking. It was also help me be able to solve problems easier through the application of the activities that we did.”
Nashivai: “It will help me solve different problems that the society faces. When someone brings you his/her problem, you will be able to advise him/her and help the person.”
Joyce: “I can inspire my friends on how to be more creative in their life.”
Ndera: “I think this workshop will impact my role as a peer mentor. I will have a positive impact because it will help me be a good thinker, it will help me create new ideas and be a good scientist, it will help me to be good assistance in my society by being a good problem solver.”
Monica: “The workshop will help me protect my environment. It also helped me learn to be more creative and will help me be a mentor to people that bring their problems to me.”

 

TFFT is so proud of our brilliant and creative scholars and how they are using their strong minds and unique ideas to change the world!

Posted in Tanzania, TFFT Student Work, TFFT's Partners | Comments closed

Introducing Molly!

April 13, 2018

 

Hello blog readers, internet browsers, and TFFT advocates! My name is Molly Grubbs and I’m thrilled to be the new Communications and Marketing Associate for The Foundation For Tomorrow!

Though TFFT has team members all around the globe, I am currently based in our Charlotte, NC office. I love being here because Charlotte has so much to offer and is where I grew up, so I get to be close to my awesome parents. I live in the wonderful Plaza Midwood neighborhood with my boyfriend, Whit, and my cat, Tubman (yes, as in Harriet). In my free time, I love being outside, reading, perusing the aisles of Target, cuddling with Tubman, and spending time with my family and friends.

Growing up in Charlotte, I benefited from a system that allowed me to be safe, happy, and empowered. In high school, I was involved with another Charlotte based nonprofit, Playing for Others (PFO), that helped nurture and grow my love for the arts. Due to my time with PFO, I began at Appalachian State University in the beautiful NC mountains as an Art Management major, wanting to combine my love of art with something society has deemed more practical…business!

My sophomore year of college, I began taking elective classes in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies department. That was when I first truly learned that not everyone has the same accessibility, safety and advantages that I do, and it was when I first felt the need to use my privilege to ensure that all people have access to these same kinds of freedom. I continued taking Women’s Studies classes, fell in love with the coursework, and ended up making it my major. I felt a fire light under me that I had never felt before–one that fueled my desire to pursue a career fighting for human rights.

I began post-grad life by moving to Asheville, North Carolina to work for a domestic violence prevention nonprofit. Shortly after, I received a job offer from a Charlotte based nonprofit, providing housing and other resources for human trafficking survivors. I loved working in the nonprofit world and felt very connected to my clients, but always knew something was lacking in my positions prior to TFFT. I missed having the opportunity to be creative and I was becoming emotionally burnt out, due to the often heavy nature of working in direct services. I wanted to be somewhere that I could use my creativity and artistic background, help others while also taking care of myself, and have a job that I knew was making a difference in someone’s life besides my own. Enter…TFFT!

Typography by Bob and Roberta Smith

I learned about TFFT only a short while before I began working here, through a handy dandy google search! When I saw the posting for the position as Communications and Marketing Associate, I instantly knew that I wanted to apply. I have always viewed art as a form of activism. This position allows me to express myself creatively and use visual storytelling to communicate the important work that TFFT does and inspire others to feel as passionately about our mission as we do. I am honored to be a part of the TFFT family and am so excited to begin this journey with you all!

Posted in Introductions | Comments closed

With Gratitude: Lighting The Way at the Arusha Gala

March 14, 2018

Meghann, our Founder and Executive Director, discusses the outstanding outcome of our Arusha, TZ Gala this past weekend and the impact made by all of the gracious guests of the evening!
 
TFFT Family,
 
WOW – we are so excited with how the weekend’s event went, it was an evening to remember. Thank you so much for being a part of our success.  We were reminded once again how our collective passion magnifies our impact as we push forward lighting the way for the children and teachers we serve. Thank you for helping us celebrate the power of education!
 
Together we raised $15,825 USD.  These funds will help fuel TFFT’s ability to continue our important work. From helping our scholars maintain healthy minds and bodies, to arming teachers with crucial tools to be effective in the classroom, to showcasing examples of excellence for others to pursue, each and every dollar raised will have a profound impact on the fulfilment of our mission. Thank you to the sponsors who made this event possible – George Mavroudis, George’s TavernSt. Constantine’s School for the venue, TGT for the tent, Singita Serengeti, Caitrin Breslin and Justin Trappe!
 
We are so grateful for those who donated gifts of time, talent and dollars! We also want to thank those who contributed to our auction – as that itself brought in almost $10,000 on Saturday. Rebekah Jasmine,Townhouse Arusha/Lela Mavroudis, Kazkazi Horse Safaris  Dom LeverSidai  Leen SamynGibbs FarmMt. Meru Game LodgeLouise HillShanga  Kili Golf  Polo Safari Club/Golf&Wildlife Resorts, & BeyondNomad Trust, Air Excel and Sanctuary Retreats! If you left your auction items with us they are available to collect at any point in our office on Old Moshi Road, in King Solomon House, opposite Mafao House – top floor.
 
As I look back on this weekend and TFFT’s 11 year journey, I am humbled by the fundamental influence each of you has had on our success. We are proud to call Arusha our home! I continue to reflect on where we started, how the power of one turned into the power of ten, which turned into the power of thousands, influencing countless lives – we could not have done it without each of you! Thank you for not only helping make this event a success, but for learning about our work, our story and sharing it with those you work with, and those who are your friends.
 
As we move into this second decade, we continue to celebrate your influence, which has helped us grow and thrive. I hope the energy in the tent on Saturday carries forward into new collaborations, partnerships and donors. Please post your pictures with the hashtag #LightingTheWay or #FaceofTFFT from the night. We will also post the professional photographs tomorrow on TFFT’s Facebook page. Learn more about TFFT Scholar Fatuma’s reality and how your contribution has helped transformed her life here.
 
Remember when we focus on our students, teachers, and quality educational opportunities, we are allowing these individuals to have their own power of influence, the opportunity to thrive in their communities, and the chance to impact others on a greater scale! Thanks again for being a part of our TFFT Family. Please feel free to reach out to Melissa and I to learn more about how you can be a part of our work throughout the year!
 
In Service,
 
Meghann

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Service Through Sport: The Creation and Collaboration of TeamTFFT

March 2, 2018

It’s a Friday Feature! Katie Caniglia, long-time donor, supporter, volunteer, and friend of The Foundation For Tomorrow discusses the creation and collaboration of TeamTFFT, and joining her passion with our mission in service through sport for all.

How you find your way to push past your perceived limits and pursue ways to be impactful starts with WHY. WHY you pursue something is far more important than what or how and where you pursue it. Motivation doesn’t exist without reason. Without WHY. You can’t go anywhere without it.

Seeking what ignites a spark in you, rather than what you’re good at, comfortable with, or qualified for has been my game changer. Though not always an easy or well-defined approach, it has been a key component of my WHY, yielding sacred moments that have surpassed my wildest dreams – into jungles and deserts, across oceans, to the tops of mountains and to the depths of heart-wrenching disaster areas. Inequality, injustice, people in need, all ignite a spark in me. A good physical challenge (of any sort) ignites a spark in me. Learning ignites a spark in me. Combine all of that with a competitive nature and desire to serve and will you not only understand who I am, but also have the foundation for my newest role in support of TFFT.

There is a longer story to detail how I first connected with The Foundation For Tomorrow, but it can be simplified to these short yet significant phrases – I accepted an invitation. I wanted to learn more.

At 31 years old, I knew little about the world of endurance sports and nothing about triathlons, but I believed the process of learning by doing would be good for me and could do good for others. I allowed myself two years to train for and finish all four triathlon distances (sprint, Olympic, Half-iron and Full-iron). July of 2012, in Lake Placid NY, I crossed the finish line of my first Ironman and raised just over $4,000 for the global hunger relief organization, Stop Hunger Now (now Rise Against Hunger). I felt accomplished but not finished.

The combination of endurance sports and fundraising for people in need was electric. It was motivating and more rewarding than I anticipated. However, the fundraising tools available to me were limited and limiting. In search of a better solution, a way to empower people taking on challenges to do good for those in need without limitations, I decided to take what I learned and create ITRIFORGOOD (ITFG). WHY I wanted to push forward propelled me to figure out HOW to push forward.

I created an online fundraising platform to be a force multiplier for good. A platform that facilitated a meaningful new relationship between powerful communities – the endurance world, deserving non-profits, and the support networks of both. The entire development was personally funded and allowed us to strip away fees for the fundraiser so that every non-profit received 100% of the donations raised on their behalf. Everyone was welcome. Athletes (all ages and abilities) chose their event and their charity or NPO. It was incredibly personal. There wasn’t anything like it.

If you ran the numbers to calculate ITFG’s impact (number of athletes, organizations supported, dollars raised), you would miss the truest measurement of our success. ITFG found strength in the pursuit of quality over quantity. Our success was in knowing the story of every athlete and helping share the circumstances that motivated each of them to race with reason (their WHY). These intangibles – these things you can’t easily quantify were the very heart of ITFG’s mission.

As good as this was, it wasn’t scalable or sustainable in the long term exactly as it was designed. To stand out or even just to find footing in the increasingly crowded space of online fundraising platforms, ITFG would require a significant infusion of capital and a larger team with an expanded skillset. It would take time to realize that more options existed for ITFG besides expanding or closing. While driving back to Arusha from Pangani in 2016 after my second RIDETZ, the path forward for ITFG and service through sport came into focus.

Meghann, a life-long runner, had been using sport as part of her equation too. Aside from her responsibilities as TFFT’s Executive Director, every year Meghann accepts the challenge of running the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon and raising awareness and funds for TFFT. She even convinced me to join her in 2013 despite the fact that I do not share her love of running.

RIDETZ furthered my appreciation for Meghann and TFFT’s roots of service through sport. There was opportunity here beyond ITFG’s partnership with TFFT as a fundraising platform and my family’s personal support for TFFT. Though the decisions to close ITFG and build Team TFFT were mutually exclusive, the connectedness of the two already existed and the opportunity for one to transform the other was real.

The heart of ITFG, along with the platform’s capabilities and technology, could surpass the lifespan of the organization for which it was created. TFFT had already created space for service through sport and found great energy and support within their communities around the concept. Once again, and not surprisingly, Meghann (& Kaitlin), welcomed new ideas and energy to the table in service to their mission. With constant development help from my trusted friends at WebStation and many emails, conversations and phone calls later, Team TFFT started to take shape.

Today, Team TFFT is a platform. It’s also a program and a growing community of individuals and groups who choose to turn their energy into opportunity. Team TFFT is service through sport. We believe in pushing outside your comfort zone and past perceived physical boundaries in pursuit of something greater than oneself, by supporting the life changing educational programs and initiatives of The Foundation For Tomorrow.

To play a role in helping TFFT fulfill their mission, in a unique way that is meaningful and speaks to my heart, is an invaluable gift. I love the ability to know athletes, hear their stories, learn about the challenges that speak to them and support their efforts of service through sport. For those who join us in Tanzania for one of our Key Events, it’s especially exhilarating. Being present in Tanzania to witness TFFT’s work firsthand and experience the culture, land, and people adds layers of perspective and impact.

Making an impact, however, is not limited to those who physically go. One of the greatest aspects of Team TFFT is accessibility. Team TFFT provides opportunity for a growing network of doers, door-openers and donors to work together whether that happens at home or from as far away as East Africa.

Find out more at www.teamtfft.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Why Teachers: Spotlight on The Ripple Effect of Teacher Training at Leganga Primary School

February 23, 2018

It’s another Friday Feature! We are thrilled with the outpouring of support and interest in our new Classroom Champions Program. This initiative is a perfect addition to the core of our mission: supporting students and supporting teachers. Melissa, our Country Director, discusses another Teacher Training/ripple effect success story through the eyes of Mrs. Violet Kimambo.

 

Championing success through creation of teaching aids in literacy/numeracy at Leganga Primary School

The Background:

Leganga Primary School is one of the public schools in the Meru District. Hadija Msangi, a class 5 and 6 teacher at Leganga Primary School participated in a 3-day Early Literacy training coordinated by The Foundation For Tomorrow [TFFT]. After the training,  Mrs. Msangi paid it forward and provided a briefing of the training to the Head-Mistress of Leganga, Mrs. Violet Kimambo.

TFFT visited Leganga Primary and interviewed Mrs. Kimambo [The Head-Mistress] on any significant changes taking place in Leganga as a result of the Early Literacy Training.

The Ripple Effect:

Mrs. Kimambo remembers this training well. She said, “After the briefing of the training at my school by Mrs. Msangi, who participated in the TFFT training, I decided to create a space for her to teach all teachers in our school how to create teaching aids. I bought some materials to support the teachers and developed a policy where all teachers were required to report out on the teaching aids used weekly to the Academic Master.”

“Secondly, I decided to move Mrs. Msangi (the teacher who participated in the training) from teaching class 4 and 6 to teaching class 2, as the knowledge and skills she gained from the Early Literacy Training was aimed even more to equip and empower educators in classes 1,2, and 3.”

Mrs. Kimambo adds, “Before Mrs. Msangi attended the TFFT training, we had many students who struggled to read and write. After the sharing of information by Mrs. Msangi and the creation of teaching aids by teachers to use in literacy and numeracy, our students’ reading and writing skills have improved tremendously.”

Mrs. Kimambo’s Advice:

“I challenge other teachers to identify and support best practice exhibited by teachers within the school since all teachers are gifted in different ways. We can all learn from each other and create an even greater outcome for our students.”

 

Since the beginning of the Teacher Training program, TFFT has contributed to the extended training of more than 350 teachers through a mix of direct and cascaded trainings and benefited more than 8,750 students. In the upcoming year, we will train 103 teachers, who will influence and ultimately impact 2,776 students. To create more chances for success stories like this one, become a Classroom Champion today through April 30th. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed
Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: