Friday, August 29, 2014


We are limited.

Because EdPowerment’s Tomorrow’s Scholar-Leader sponsorships commit to funding students from Form 1 through the highest level of education that they can achieve, we are limited in how many students we can accept. 

Our sponsorship family now totals 35: 18 Secondary School (Form 1 – 4) students; 7 High School (Form 5 – 6) students, 3 University Certificate students; 5 Vocational students; 1 University Law student and 1 University Medical student.  Because of the rising costs of university studies and the problematic government higher-education loan process, EdPowerment  now must say “No”  more than ever to so many deserving young people.  Our Discovery Sponsorship Contest that accepts one new female and male Form 1 student each year is being suspended for two years.

But sometimes, we have to say “Yes.”

This summer two students wrote compelling letters (shown here with edits for length and privacy) and came in person to plead for our help – not to begin secondary school – but to be able to continue secondary and higher education, having already proven their motivation and academic strength.

The first student, Joseph, was being turned away from his school because his parents could no longer pay fees.  This is the norm in many Tanzanian schools - private and public.  In Joseph's case, despite a disadvantaged primary education, his high grades had earned him a strong ranking in his class - still he would not be able to continue.  His recourse?  To go back home.  SEE PART OF HIS LETTER ABOVE.

The second student, Deus, scored highly on the Form 4 National Exam at the end of Secondary School, earning him a posting to a reputable High School.  But he couldn't go.  He too no longer had financial means – government high schools are not free in Tanzania.  His recourse? To go back home.

Both young men learned of EdPowerment through fellow students.  Both brought letters to us, followed up with phone calls, and one even showed up at our Enrichment Camp to demonstrate first-hand what he could do.  This initiative, along with their stories (which we fully vetted by visiting their homes and checking with school authorities) was overwhelming.

And so our EdPowerment sponsored student family now totals 37!

Please try to enlarge your viewing screen if necessary to read their letters - the best we could do !

Friday, August 22, 2014


In their own English, here’s what our sponsored students said about this summer and the “family” that they have become:

Lodga  “One thing that is unique about the EdPowerment scholar leader program that has benefitted me is the unity.  EdPowerment scholar leaders are very united.  For example we were interacting with different people as a group which makes us to be more confident”

Lodga assisting one of the Kilimahewa campers this summer
Jessica  ”Being a part of EPpowerment helps us at home if we are in poor condition. And it helps make us not to feel lonely and encourages us that we can make it together.”

Kelvin  ”Being a part of EdPowerment’s program has helped me to go to seminars and help me solve problems which can fear me.”

Veronica  “EdPowerment encourages and motivates students to help them learn many different things concerning studies and health and diseases.  Every year the founders come to Tanzania and see the continuation of the students… through EdPowerment I can now stand in front of masses and speak and I know how to keep myself safe and do better in my studies so as to reach my goals.”

William  ”EdPowerment not only gives sponsorships in school but they create workshops which help people gain skills and new opportunities to be a leader by teaching others.”

William explaining a science concept

Mary  “I gained a lot of things that are important but most important confidence. I didn’t have enough confidence before but now I am okay. “

The hallmark of EdPowerment’s “Tomorrow’s Scholar-Leader Program” is that it commits to funding each participant’s education from Secondary School Form 1 through the highest level of education that he or she can achieve. The goal? For each student to become gainfully employed.  This can mean a ten-year commitment for those who are talented and motivated enough to succeed in a medical or equivalent professional degree.

Equally important, however, is our commitment to nurture and educate the entire person.  Take this year for instance.  

  • In the Spring, Grace Lyimo, our Field Coordinator, organized the most recent in a series of LifeSkills seminars that tackle issues many of these teens and young adults never get to explore within their families, schools and communities: topics such as healthy relationships, responsible sexual activity, strategies for handling difficult home lives, building confidence, setting goals, avoiding destructive habits and staying on track! Each year, EdPowerment funds several of these workshops – because we know that IT IS NOT ENOUGH JUST TO PAY A YOUNG PERSON’S SCHOOL FEES. 
Getting some extra math tutoring from Godlisten, our dedicated math teacher.

  • This summer, we added a new layer to our personal coaching, so to speak. Stacey Lauren, an executive skills tutor from New York City who recently joined our Board, met individually and in pairs with our Sponsored Students and the older students who attend the Kilimahewa Educational Center. Equipped with planners, she introduced concepts that most Tanzanian students have never been taught: how to organize a study schedule, how to study for a test over several days, how to prioritize, how to combine studying with other responsibilities…. a how-to list that will be invaluable to these students as they progress in school, and in life. 
Learning what a planner can do!
  • And last… but definitely not least! During summer break our sponsored students served as teaching assistants at the Kilimahewa Enrichment Camp. Here, they are the leaders – they serve others, they share their knowledge, and they share empathy for those who come from equally poor circumstances.
Mary takes her turn as demonstrating in science

Chatting about the future with one of our sponsored students.

Monday, August 11, 2014

DID ALL THAT REALLY HAPPEN?#3 Teenagers – The Most Fertile Ground

Science, math, English, art, physical education/health, computers… in every subject taught at this year’s Kilimahewa Enrichment Camp, teens revealed their eagerness to learn.   These photos and evaluation comments (unedited) from Camp share the spectrum of learning that planted curiosity, knowledge and excitement in our secondary and high school teens.


Absorbing the hand-outs 
When asked how they could apply what they learned: " I now know how to save a person who is choking. I know how to make my body healthy... I can help by urging others to do the daily exercises in order to make their body healthy and help them not be easily attacked by disease."  

The benefits of stretching...     and even a little yoga!

Colleen, a science teacher from the U.S., and Godlisten, Kilimahewa's Science teacher, use visual demonstrations. 

When asked about what subjects they enjoyed, students responded: 

"To learn science because I was doing experiments. I know now I can understand and solve questions."

"The subject which was good was science because they do experiments and hands-on activities which is why I understand very much."

"The most important skill gained… was doing practical hands on [activities] and understanding all the practical things I am doing because I am able to see me in my own eyes."

And maybe most striking....

"I learned how I can cooperate with teachers in obtaining an education since I was not aware of it before. I will now be able to feel confident in cooperating with my own teachers to approve my academic performance. "

The color wheel... pattern.... Jillian, assisted by Neema, one of our sponsored students, opens up a new world to students...

As does Carly, a soon-to-be U.S. college freshman, who led the computer sessions.