Wednesday, June 15, 2016

10th Anniversary Celebration

An evening to remember 
A fun time was had by all on June 9th at the kick off event for Powering Potential's 10th anniversary celebration held at the Hemingway African Gallery located in the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center.

At the height of the evening, more than 60 people were enjoying fabulous hors d'oeuvres provided by Curious on Tanzania and its founder Justa Lujwangana.

The TWIGA ladies prepared Mandazi (Tanzanian donuts), Vitumbia (Swahili rice cakes), Chapati (flat bread), Muhogo (fried cassava or yucca) and fresh Tanzanian fruit salad - all mouth watering!

As guests filled their plates, the ladies provided descriptions of each food. Sponsors Heritage Link Brands and Corks on Columbus also provided our guests with wine throughout the evening.

Guests sampling Tanzanian cuisine 
Founding Director Janice Lathen was introduced and, in an emotional presentation, she awarded a Certificate of Appreciation to The Segal Family Foundation.

This honor was accepted by Katherine Anderson, the foundation's Knowledge and Communications Manager.

Members of Powering Potential's management team, Rich Segal and V. Ena Haines, as well as our founding advisors, Scott Morgan, Anand Sethupathy and Surya Sayed-Ganguly also received Certificates of Appreciation. Our Country Director Albin Mathias was recognized too but could not be present.

Several honorees and Board President Milton Finger remarked about Powering Potential's achievements over the past 10 years, citing our growth and outreach that has impacted more than 7,500 rural students in Tanzania.


Dahlia Farrar,
Curious on Tanzania Founder Justa Lujwangana,
Founding Director Janice Lathen and Cheritha Saulsby

The presentation was followed by a spirited, interactive performance of "MAJI MAJI: The Journey of Fetching Water" given by Curious on Tanzania. In colorful costume, Founder Justa Lujwangana, Cheritha Saulsby, and Dahlia Farrar had our guests singing along and everyone got with the rhythm.

Ellen Friedman and Mary Jane Cross
A wonderful committee headed by Betsy Kovacs and Ellen Friedman assembled an impressive group of items and services for our Silent Auction, which brought in approximately $1,400.

Our upcoming plans are to implement a Computer Lab - Phase 2 program at two schools (Endallah and Slahhamo) and a Computer Lab - Phase 1 program at three additional schools. Over $10,000 was raised toward this goal during our June 9th fundraiser. And Barry Segal of the Segal Family Foundation donated $10,000 in honor of his son Rich Segal.

Special thanks goes to Brian and Logan Gaisford, owners of the Hemingway African Gallery, Selena Cuffe, CEO of Heritage Link Brands, for wine; Brad Segal, Corks on Columbus, for wine, and our event organizer Georgia Allen for her incredible work.


We extend our gratitude to the Silent Auction Committee members: Betsy Kovacs, Ellen Friedman, Marcia Fingal, Carol Iannone, Mary Lennon, M.J. Cross, Nicole Sullivan, and Jean Van Buuren. Henry Seggerman and Richard Mushi were also valuable volunteers working with us the entire evening to ensure the success of our event.

Additional thanks to Sophia Yona-Luangisa and Doris Rweyememu from the TWIGA Ladies Organization and members of the NY-TZ community for going above and beyond to give our guests a great time.

Generous contributors to our Silent Auction included:

Brad Segal, Corks on Columbus
Ailene Fields, Sculptor
A Touch of Art 
David Sem, Serena Hotels, Tanzania
Edwin Montalvo, Artist
Frederick Renz, Early Music Foundation, Inc.
Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, Author
Grace Roselli, Fine Art Photographer
Greta Muller, Executive Coach & Corporate Trainer
Jeff Bayone, Honors Bridge Club
Jen Gentile, Life Coach
Jennifer Binder, Aces and Cavendish Bridge Clubs
Jennifer Tyler, Knitwear
Jordan Auslader, Genealogist
Jeffrey Badler, Mauric Badler, Jewelers
Michelle Lechner, Belford Knits
Mick Chiodo, Photographer
Peter Wise, Guitarist
Richard Barclift, Artist
Robbyn Tongue, Saxophonist
Shannon McLinden, Farmhouse Fresh
Ric Kallaher, Photographer
Edwin Montalvo, Artist

The success of Powering Potential is dependent on the generosity of our sponsors, patrons and individual contributors. We thank you from our hearts for participating in the fundraiser and hope to have just as much fun during the next one. Onward & Upward!

Guests browsing through the Gallery

o o o 




Swahili is the language of Tanzania. The following African proverbs are another taste of that beautiful language:

Anikio huzaa fanikio.

Success breeds success.
______

Huwezi kujua ukiwezacho mpaka umejaribu.

You cannot know what you can do until you've tried.




Friday, June 3, 2016

Zanzibar Pi-oneer Project Completed

Arriving at Kisiwa Pannza island in Pemba
A few words from Albin Mathias our County Director:

Powering Potential has been hard at work in the Zanzibar Archipelago. Wikipedia lists this remote chain of islands off the coast of East Africa as a network of four main islands. Only three have active human populations.

Our efforts have been on Unguja and Pemba Islands, the first and second largest of the three. The fourth consists of coral. Journeying as far as Mafia Island takes you into the Pwani Region and additional islets beyond Zanzibar.

This May, our team implemented the Pi-oneer Program for 16 schools in Zanzibar. Each school was selected by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training-Zanzibar (MoEZ). A total of 11 secondary schools were selected from Unguja Island: Jongowi, Tumbatu, Uzi, Michamvi, Charawe, Ukongoroni, Kijini, Pwani Mchangani, Kidoti, Mbuyutende, and Kandwi. An additional 5 schools are located on Pemba Island: Kisiwa Panza, Makoongwe, Fundo, Shungi, and Tumbe.

To our delight, we were accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Education-Zanzibar which provided a car and driver for our implementation team. We thank them sincerely for their presence! We were also given a great welcome by the teachers and students. Below is a photo of me with the officials as we headed to schools in Pemba. The following people are from left to right: Five students from Makoongwe Secondary School in Makoongwe Island; Musa Khamisi Musa, Operation and Service, MoEZ Pemba; Albin Mathias, Country Director for Powering Potential; Mwalimu Haji Kombo, Regional Education Officer for South Pemba; two students.


Our Team 


Working together bega kwa bega (shoulder to shoulder) with the MoEZ has allowed our program to be successfully implemented in Zanzibar. Every team player loved the work and participated with commitment.

In fact, the commitment was so apparent that the photo below was taken at 5am. Our driver and the head of the store were wide awake to load the equipment to take to the Zanzibar port for Pemba shipping.

L to R: Babu Ally the Driver and Rajabu Omari,
the head of store in MoEZ Zanzibar

We took some photos at Mbuyutende Secondary School. Powering Potential gives each school a "Pi-oneer." The Pi-oneer is an innovative teaching tool comprised of a Raspberry Pi computer with RACHEL offline educational content that includes Khan Academy videos, a mobile projector, screen and a solar recharging unit. Teachers can take the Pi-oneer into the classrooms to display video and other teaching materials to the students. 

Training at  the Mbuyutende Secondary School 

At Mbuyentende Secondary School, Mr. John Panga, our solar technician, assembled a Pi-oneer recharging unit while Mr. Ramadhan Othman Juma, Officer for Student Services, MoEZ and some of the primary kids watched. They were excited by the process. Then someone snapped a photo (below) of me with Mr. Rajabu Omary at the temporary desk we set up for Powering Potential Equipment Testing and Configuration at MoEZ.

The Powering Potential
Equipment Testing and Configuration
MoEZ 

At each school, I led the groups in training on the Pi-oneer. Everyone was eager to learn and helpful in their questions. After each session, the teachers had an opportunity to practice what they learned on the equipment. 


Pi-oneer training at Kandwi - Unguja



Pi-oneer training Tumbe- Pemba


Teachers practicing Pi-oneer at Kijini -Unguja


I am very pleased that this portion of the installation went so well. Our gratitude goes to the Raspberry Pi Foundation for their generosity in donating funds for this project. Special thanks to the Segal Family Foundation for providing a matching grant towards its completion as well! This month we continue the program by installing the Pi-oneer at 40 schools on the mainland of Tanzania. Powering Potential continues to flourish in our efforts due to the contributions of foundations and individual contributors like you. If you would like to help us continue giving rural Tanzanian students access to technology and modern educational resources, visit poweringpotential.org to donate. Asante sana (thank you)!

o o o 






Swahili is the language of Tanzania. The following African proverbs are another taste of that beautiful language:

Maarifa ni kama bustani: isipolimwa haitavunwa.

Knowledge is like a garden: If it is not cultivated, it can't be harvested.


Bega kwa bega.

Shoulder to Shoulder.