Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Letter from Board Member Rich Segal

Dear Patrons,
My name is Richard Segal. I am a member of the Powering Potential Advisory Board as well as a Board member of the Segal Family Foundation, a strong supporter of Powering Potential’s Educating-Through-Technology program since its inception.

My wife Joanna and I made our first trip to Tanzania this past summer. I wanted to see firsthand the positive impact Powering Potential was making as well as to learn what more could be done to achieve our goal of improving rural education using technology. What an experience! With Janice as our guide, the impact of Powering Potential’s work was evident in the two secondary schools we visited and with the many students, teachers, heads of schools, and government officials we met. Photos of our trip.

We had many memorable moments. A headmaster told us about the parents in his local community organizing to build a new classroom to house a Powering Potential computer lab. Students were seen studying Khan Academy instructional videos hours after their school day had finished. Several former students of Powering Potential programs sought Janice out to thank her for giving them the opportunity to learn the computer skills they needed to get their current jobs. Powering Potential is engaging communities, improving education, and creating better employment opportunities for its graduates. This is what it is all about!

We participated in a workshop with the heads of schools and computer teachers from all six Powering Potential schools. The value the schools place on the Powering Potential computer labs was evident in the lively discussion. We learned how the schools use their computers and what more we can do to maximize their usefulness. As the result of these conversations, we are now increasing our efforts to train all the school teachers (not just the computer teachers) in order to leverage the computer labs in more subject areas. Additionally, we plan to raise funds to add a projector to each lab to make hands-on-learning demonstrations more effective.

It was a pleasure to meet the Powering Potential staff headquartered in Karatu. Albin, Elibariki, and Happy are dedicated employees who truly appreciate the value of Powering Potential as they themselves are beneficiaries of Powering Potential’s program. 

They are passionate about giving the same opportunities to the students served by Powering Potential, and it shows in the quality of their work.

It has been an excellent year for Powering Potential with Phase 2 of our Educating-Through-Technology program being implemented in two schools which serve over 1,200 teachers and students. Installation costs have been significantly reduced by having most of the technology-installation work performed by the Karatu staff.

We launched our 3 in 30 campaign with the goal of providing computer labs in 3 schools in each of the 30 regions of Tanzania. This ambitious project will need your help to complete. Every dollar you contribute will help improve the educational and employment opportunities of young Tanzanians. 

To donate online, click here.
To donate by check, please make payable to ICSEE-Powering Potential and mail to:

Powering Potential
PO Box 230913
New York, NY 10023

Note: ICSEE (International Collaborative for Science, Education and the Environment) TIN: 22-3158263 is a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity and serves as fiscal sponsor for Powering Potential. Donations to ICSEE-Powering Potential are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

With best wishes for the holiday season and New Year,

Richard Segal, Ph. D.
Powering Potential Advisory Board

Friday, December 13, 2013

Meeting at UN with the TZ Commission for Science and Technology

The TZ Mission to the UN arranged a meeting with Dr. Hassan Mshinda, Director General of the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, V. Ena Haines, Director of Information Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University and Janice Lathen of Powering Potential. The meeting was held at the United Nations on Dec. 11. It was a very productive and fruitful meeting and we were invited to meet with him again next month when we are in Tanzania.

Dr. Hassan Mshinda with Powering Potential's Janice Lathen

Dr. Hassan Mshinda with V. Ena Haines

The United Nations Women's Guild Holiday Luncheon

Powering Potential's Founding Executive Director, Janice Lathen, attended the United Nations Women's Guild - Manhattan Group holiday luncheon at the Porter House Restaurant in the Time Warner building on Dec. 10. 

The UN Women's Guild is a group of dynamic, committed ladies from around the world, several of whom are PhDs.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Presentation at the Society for Ethical Culture

On December 8th, Powering Potential Founder Janice Lathen gave a presentation to the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture

Formed in 1948, the Society for Ethical Culture is an extension of the Ethical Movement set in motion by Felix Adler in 1876. This event was coordinated leader Jim White and came about at the suggestion of David Kornbluh and Francine Scherer. 

After a thirty minute talk, Powering Potential held a Q&A session. It was well received. We are thankful for the opportunity to share our cause. 

The New York TZ Community Independence Day Celebration

Ambassador Manongi makes three cuts to the cake,
indicating love, freedom and unity.
On December 7th, Powering Potential Founder Janice Lathen attended the  NY-TZ Community Uhuru Independence Day Celebration in New York. 

Among those attending: the Tanzanian Ambassador to the United Nations Tuvako Manongi, Deputy Ambassador Ramadhan Mwinyi and the Ambassador from Somalia along with his wife.

A presentation was given regarding the preservation of historical buildings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 

The audience also heard a brief talk from the Somalian Ambassador's wife , who is from Zanzibar, about her experiences being in Tanzania on Independence Day. Guests enjoyed a fashion show, music, dancing, and a delicious buffet dinner. 

Guests enjoying the menu 
and social aspects of the event.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Today is #GivingTuesday. It is a movement dedicated towards both fundraising and raising awareness for humanitarian efforts on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Powering Potential could use your support today in the following ways:


If you are able to make a financial contribution, visit the donation page of our website:

Follow us on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook:

Spread the Word:

Help us spread the word about Powering Potential by posting the following message (or your adaption of it) on Facebook and Twitter:

"Help a child in #Tanzania learn about #technology by supporting @PwringPotential on #GivingTuesday. Visit Poweringpotential.org to donate today!"

Thank you for your continued support!

- The Powering Potential Team

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The NY-TZ Community Presentation

Powering Potential presented our Educating-Through-Technology program to the New York Tanzanian Community on Nov. 3. The audience had an opportunity to use a Raspberry Pi computer and the RACHEL educational content that is the hallmark of our program. 

Janice Lathen during the presentation 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mwalimu Nyerere Day at the United Nations

Powering Potential founding executive director Janice Lathen attended the commemoration of Mwalimu Nyerere Day at the United Nations on Monday, October 14.

Mwalimu Nyerere Day dais
Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere was a visionary leader of solid moral integrity. He served as the first president of Tanzania from 1964-1985, which earned him the title "Father of the Nation." His influence reached multitudes during that time, including Nelson Mandela. He is known as a model of peace and unity, and was a dignified African presence on the world stage. A famous quote of Nyerere: “A country or a village or a community cannot be developed. It can only develop itself. If real development is to take place, the people have to be involved.” 

Economic and Social Council Chamber
Held in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, the prestigious event began with opening remarks by the Permanent Representative from the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations Ambassador Tuvako Manongi, and a keynote address from the UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson. Afterward, ambassadors from around the world paid their respects to a hero who set an example for leaders across the globe. 

Book signing 
After closing statements, a book launch was held for the release of Julius Nyerere: Africa's Titan on a Global Stage by Prof. Ali A. Mazrui and Prof. Lindah Mhando; and a reception followed at the Tanzania Mission to the United Nations.

Ms. Lathen said, "The first time I went to Tanzania, the cooperative spirit of the Tanzanians was palpable to me and I was spiritually uplifted by it. When I asked about it, I was told it was because of their first leader, Mwalimu Nyerere. Tanzanians are truly blessed to have such an inspired first leader and the world can benefit from following their example."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


 Hello i'm Elibariki Magnus Powering Potential's Karatu representative.

Dr;Lorri visited Wel wel secondary school on 25,July this year,as the only school among of six secondary schools which are in our project at Karatu district
Dr;Lorri is the Governmental officer who works in President office
Below are the photos of Dr; Lorri with Elibariki Magnus who is the Powering potential's Karatu Representative
Elibariki narrating the RACHEL content 
to Dr. Lorri

Dr. Lorri, searching material in RACHEL, 
and Mr. Mndeme, a teacher at 
Wel Wel Secondary School with Elibariki.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shimbwe Village

On August 2, I joined Ambassador Maajar and her sister Dr. Eve Hawa Sinare for a weekend at their Shimbwe village home for the purpose of visiting Sia Secondary School which would like to receive the Powering Potential Educating-Through-Technology program. It had been raining and we needed to buy boots for the muddy trek to the school.

Ambassador Maajar at the market in Moshi
buying the most fashionable boots she could find.

The future computer lab at Sia Secondary School in Shimbwe village. Left to right: Ambassador Maajar, Dr. Eve Hawa Sinare, Sia School headmaster, other school official.

Ambassador Maajar and I also met with officers of the Moshi Rotary Club to discuss a collaboration with the Livermore, CA Rotary Club for a Rotary International grant.

Left to right: Arthur Kiwia, Janice Lathen, Samuel Renju, Ambassador Maajar, Lucy Renju at the Honey Badger Lodge owned by the Renjus

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Segal visit to Tanzania

From Janice Lathen, Founding Executive Director:

I finished up a three week trip to Tanzania, returning home on August 10. It was a very fruitful trip. The Segal Family Foundation had invited me to escort Rich and Joanna Segal on a trip through Tanzania to visit grantee sites and for a three day animal viewing safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Thank you to the Segals for treating me to an exciting trip. It was a pleasure to spend a week with Rich and Joanna.

We visited two Powering Potential schools, Florian and Welwel, and had a meeting at the District Commissioner's office and the District Executive Director's office. We also met, at Welwel Secondary School, with district officials, heads of schools, computer teachers, and Powering Potential program graduates and staff and spent the afternoon discussing the best way forward. It was an informative meeting for all involved.

Assembly at Florian Secondary School

Janice, Rich, Albin, Elibariki and Happy
Powering Potential office

Meeting in Karatu District Executive Director's Office

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Powering Potential at the United Nations

At the invitation of V. Ena Haines, Janice Lathen joined her on June 11 for a UNESCO event in the Trusteeship Chamber at the United Nations. Ms. Haines is an active board member of Powering Potential and is the Director of Information Technology at Teachers College/Columbia University. Ms. Lathen is the Founding Executive Director of Powering Potential.

The event was part of the UN Secretary-General's Global Initiative on Education and was titled: Moving from access to learning in the post-2015 dialogue: Why indicators matter and how we can use them well.

Janice Lathen in the Trusteeship Chamber

V. Ena Haines and Janice Lathen

Friday, May 31, 2013

District Education Officers visit Powering Potential Installation at Welwel School

Below are photos posted by Albin Mathias, Country Director

Sitting from left Elzabeth Kipandwa, Head of the school,Wel wel secondary school,  Bernad  Mnyenyelwa ,District Education Officer(KARATU) Sijanona District Academic Officer  Mr Bryson Joseph new computer teacher and
Albin Mathias, Country Director (standing)

Elaborating the system to district officers

Thursday, May 23, 2013


 Hello i'm Elibariki Magnus Powering Potential's Karatu representative

Bellow are photos of what we have done!

It took a week to complete Computer classroom expansions at two school Florian and Wel wel
Yesterday we finish installation at Wel wel Students were very exited to see the new class

The new computer classroom with 18 computers for students one computer for teacher and the twentieth at staff room

Also Server which contain Educational content which can be accessed by student at each computer through wireless Router

we have offline selected Wikipedia from  http://worldpossible.org/

Friday, May 17, 2013

Phase 2 Installation Florian and Welwel Secondary Schools

Hello,I'm Albin Mathias, powering potential country Director .We have started phase 2 Installation at Florian
 and Welwel Secondary schools This time we have visitor Mr Mtituh from Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB)
 The two schools have computers studies as part of their curriculum  now. After this Installation we will have three schools with computers studies as part of curriculum in which both phase 1 and phase 2 are completed

Mr Mtituh From Tanzania Postal Bank

Assembling new raspberry pi low power computers

Albin and Mtituh configuring the system

 Elibariki Magnus
 Unpacking New Monitors and computer at Florian

Mr Mtituh  briefing students on search Engines such as Google 

With New computer Teacher assigned by the government to teach computer at Florian

At office preparing for next day work
Solar Fundi from Ensol explaining the new system installation

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I am Elibariki Magnus Powering Potential's  Karatu Representative. Below are some photos of our office

At our new office preparation for upcoming computer lab expansion Florian and Wel wel secondary school

Albin and Elibariki busy at office

Albin Mathias,Powering potential country director
Elibariki Magnus Karatu Representative

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Important people in the history of development of technology in Tanzania

Below is an email from Tumaini Rweyemamu to Janice Lathen, the Founding Executive Director of Powering Potential. Tumaini was a student at our pilot school in 2006 and is now attending college.

hello Janice!

how are things going with you my dear friend? it is long time since we contact each other but i do hope that my email will find you fine.
i am doing well with my studies, i just miss to hear from you so much. You are HERO, i appreciate your work,i visited  powering potential blog and you tube Chanel, honestly you are doing something i never expect to see, you are one of important people in the history of development of technology in Tanzania. your effort,creativity and confidence has made greet changes in advancement of technology for youth and teenagers of Tanzania especially KARATU. (I AM THE EVIDENCE OF YOUR STRENGTH). much love to you and i wish you all the best.