Milton Finger, the Director of International Programs for the Livermore, California Rotary Club joined me (Janice Lathen, Founding Executive Director of Powering Potential) on this trip to Tanzania. He is committed to securing a Rotary International grant to expand our program. He wanted to see firsthand our work and meet local Rotarians and government officials.
We meet with Rotarians in Arusha town, and in Karatu town I arranged for him to meet with Mr. Berege the Karatu District Executive Director. (Tanzania is divided, from large to small, into regions, districts, cities, towns, and villages. Karatu is the name of a district and a town, and Arusha is the name of a region, a district and a town. So to distinguish, people say Karatu or Arusha town if they mean the town not the region or the district :)
Mr. Finger wanted a letter from district officials confirming the need for computers and stating their commitment to maintaining the program. In preparation for that meeting, I gave Mr. Finger's Rotary proposal to Mr. Godfrey Marisham and invited him to view our program. Mr. Marisham is the Assistant Education Officer - Karatu District Council and the Ministry of Education's representative in Karatu; he advises the District Executive Director on education matters.
Below are photos of Mr. Marisham's visit to view our program at Welwel Secondary School on November 10. He is accompanied (left to right) by Severine Herman, Elibariki Magnus and Albin Mathias - Powering Potential's Welwel school trainer, Karatu Representative and Country Director respectfully; they explained our program to Mr. Marisham and answered all of his questions.
Mr. Marisham commented on the practicality of our program and was especially impressed with the RACHEL digital educational content. After reading Mr. Finger's proposal and visiting our program, Mr. Marisham was eager to advise the Executive Director to accept Mr. Finger's proposal and give him the letter which he requested.
On Monday November 12 before our meeting with district officials, Mr. Finger and his companion, Eileen Velen, and I also visited Welwel school. Below Mr. Finger is watching a Khan Academy video from RACHEL on Moles and Avogadro Numbers. There are more than one kind of moles :) this one has something to do with chemistry. Mr. Finger is a highly respected chemist.
Mr. Finger, Eileen and I also visited Banjika Secondary School (see photo below). Milt and Eileen were somewhat surprised to see how inexperienced the students were with computers. For those of us from more developed countries it is hard to imagine that there are people in this world who have never even seen a computer. These beginning students were learning how to hold a mouse, point, click....think back to when you were first introduced to a computer...
The photo below shows our meeting with Messrs. Berege, Mbwambo and Marisham, the Karatu District Executive Director, District Education Officer and Assistant Education Officer respectfully. Mr. Marisham advised the Executive Director to accept Mr. Finger's Rotary proposal and to give him his requested letter, which he did. The next day I picked up the signed letter.
Below are Albin and Elibariki on a beloved motorcycle leaving Welwel school. I am always asking them to PLEASE wear helmets. I want these guys alive :)
And Milt, Eileen and I at the Ngorongoro Farmhouse, the Kibo Safari Lodge where Milt and Eileen were staying:
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