Friday, June 29, 2007

Round up

Well, we had a great time at the Kujenga! fundraiser for Foodwatershelter that I blogged about here. Foodwatershelter build eco-friendly children's villages with education, social and health facilities. Their first village for 40 orphans will be near Arusha in Tanzania.

I thought I would end this month with a reminder about the building projects at St Judes.

The Big Sleepover – weekday boarding school

It’s underway, and you’re invited! Work is starting on the weekday boarding facilities for the older kids who live a long way from the school. The boarding school will provide bunk bed dormitories, living/dining/study areas, bathrooms, and play areas.

Instead of sharing a mattress in a two room home,

the kids will have their own bed and mosquito net.

Instead of studying by candle or lamp in homes with no electricity,

the kids will have well-lit study areas with some computers.

Instead of walking an hour to the bus for the long ride to school, they will have a five minute walk to school.

And they will go home at weekends, so their loving families won’t lose contact with these bright children who are on the way to an amazing future with opportunities every parent dreams about.

How can you join The Big Sleepover? Well, the school has prepared a number of sponsorship packages shown in the following picture.

Last month, we opted to 'sponsor' an industrial cooker! I guess we won't get letters from it, but I'm sure we'll see photos. Maybe I can send it a Christmas card now and then!

Please email Gemma – there is a package/s you are willing to support. She will make sure you get lots feedback and thanks.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Budget support for education

In their budget proposals for 2007-2008, Kenya and Tanzania pledged to boost spending on education and health, while Uganda set aside funds for rehabilitating the conflict-ravaged north, where internally displaced persons (IDPs) are returning to their villages.

Finance ministers of the three countries made the pledges when they simultaneously unveiled their national budgets on 14 June.

Tanzanian Finance Minister Zakia Meghji announced substantial increases in spending on education, health and infrastructure: "Those sectors have a great impact on poverty reduction," said Meghji.

Zakia Meghji (l) meets Brigitte Girardin from France

About 18 percent of the country's budget would be spent on education, 12.8 percent on roads and 10 percent on health, while 6.2 percent would fund agriculture and 5.1 percent will be used on water services.

Challenges to Tanzania's education system include a shortage of teachers and teaching aids at all levels, according to Juma Ngasongwa, the planning, economy and empowerment minister.

I have blogged here about the current strains on the Tanzanian education system caused by an extra 2.3 million children flooding into primary schools across the country due to the removal of school fees. This budget shows that Tanzania is trying to manage this transition.

A simple comparison with the NSW State budget shows that NSW spends 24% of its budget on education, and that does not include universities, because they are funded by the Australian Government. NSW spends 28% of its budget on health.

It is great to see that Tanzania is spending more on education, health and infrastructure. But their revenue base is extremely low, even though external grants and concessional financing will contribute 39% of revenue. Their revenue is so tiny that the 18% to be spent on education is ONE HUNDRED TIMES LESS than the amount spent in NSW.

The School of St Jude is a fantastic project that provides essential basic education to bright children from the poorest families. How else are these children to grow up with the skills necessary to help guide Tanzania into the future?

Can you help?

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

A ship that is sailing well

"Everyone loves to be on a ship that is sailing well," says Gemma Sisia, and it is so true! Who wants to be on a rickety leaky boat with a clueless captain?

Gemma is grateful for all the people who are coming onboard the good ship St Jude, and she is especially grateful to those people who helped build the ship, right back at the beginning.

I'll never forget that my local Rotary Club gave it support when the probability of it failing was quite high.

Gemma is featured in the latest issue of Rotary Down Under, June 2007.

Gemma Sisia

In the article, she spells out the full extent of the current building program on two campuses. In the next six months she is building 26 classrooms, two food halls, boarding accommodation for 800 children, three staff rooms, four computer labs, toilets, a water tower and water tanks. All up, it is millions of dollars of investment. She has $60,000 in the bank – so money is needed!

The school sponsorship program attracts lots of people who want to sponsor a child, but the building works for a new high school to serve the kids in future years needs people who are prepared to pay for 'invisible' things like computer cable, cement, steel and timber.

Gemma says,

I've never had to turn a sponsorship away, but it is getting close.

I have a photo I keep in my wallet of a parent who has just seen her child in uniform for the first time. When times are getting really bad, I pull that out and it puts things in perspective.

Wearing the St Jude's uniform has a big reputation in our area now. It basically says you're going to have a good life. Your life is going to be different.

If you are able to help with a little, or a lot!, check out the Current Campaign page on the School of St Jude website. Why not invite some friends to afternoon tea and invite them to contribute $10 each?

Everyone wants to see this ship make a safe trip across difficult waters. The destination is a land of hope for hundreds of bright children.

What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Where is East Africa?

Sometimes it is not quite what you may think it is. Usually Tanzania is counted as East Africa, but for some purposes, it it counted as part of a bloc of countries in Southern Africa.

Perhaps this kind of ambiguity will diminish with the latest steps towards the formation of the offical East African Community (EAC). This community is intended to become a political federation, including a common market for the region's combined population of 110 million, a monetary union and a common president and parliament by 2010.

Three countries at the core of the EAC are Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda which joined in 2005 to establish a common tariff zone. Last week they were joined by Rwanda and Burundi, and the five countries are working towards a shared future with a common East African court of justice, customs union and an EAC anthem.

Rwanda is rebuilding an economy shattered after a 1994 genocide in which 800,000 people were butchered, while Burundi is still in talks with rebels to end an insurgency that has killed some 300,000 of its citizens since 1993.

Their inclusion in the EAC is vital to their future development because both are land locked countries. Land locked countries are severely disadvantaged in world trade because of the transport barriers that cut them off from access to world markets.

In time, the EAC has the potential to help this group of countries that share geography, history and culture to share economic development in mutual harmony with their neighbours and to reap the dividends of living at peace.

UPDATE 7 July: The enlarged East African Community has attracted investors from the Indian sub-continent barely a month after its was launched in Kampala.

The Confederation of Indian Industrialists is visiting the region to explore opportunities for investing in the new trading block that now has a population of about 115 million.

Kenya's Minister for Regional Co-operation, John Koech, took the opportunity to announce that a joint East African energy master plan and other forms of infrastructure were being worked on to boost industrialisation.

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African music – listen in!

There is something about African rhythms and harmonies that delights my ear. I hear it in Brian Kieran’s video of St Jude’s which features the clear voices of the children in many places.

In recent years these rhythms, tunes and harmonies have come to the wide world through performers like Paul Simon and through the whole World Music scene. Now, of course, we have Web 2.0 with its user-generated content.

A great place for musical browsing is YouTube. You can drop in there and put ‘Tanzania’ into the search box to find the latest works tagged ‘Tanzania’. Try it again for ‘Tanzanie’ and you’ll get a slightly different crop of works.

Here’s a favourite of mine from this past week. The clip is titled the Best Swahili Church Song Ever. It has been viewed 3,900 times and favourited 22 times – so there are lot of people who like this kind of music!

The School of St Jude aims to support the best elements of Tanzanian culture, while introducing some core Australian values. Music is a strong element in Tanzanian culture and it is great to see it weaving its way through school life at St Jude’s.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Usa River building progress

On the main road from Arusha through Usa River, this sign has sprouted to announce the arrival of the new campus of the School of St Jude. Ah, I see that they drive on the left in Tanzania. That makes it easy for Aussies!

This is the entrance to the school. With those bright yellow walls, it will be hard to miss!

Here is a view of the foundations being laid for school buildings that will be open for business in January 2008. Over 150 local men and women are getting employment even at this early stage of building. Lots of families are happy that the school is going up in their area.

Usa River foundations

No large concrete trucks here – it's all mixed on site and carried in buckets.

This is where your money is going. You are building a new school.

Perhaps it will last for hundreds of years. Schools generally do. They get added to and renovated. Their old students come back and reminisce about their friends and teachers. The next generation arrives and a new layer of memories are laid down.

Building the future. Right now.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

News Roundup

I seem to have come across lots of bits of news about Tanzania in the last few days, so I thought I’d share some of them with you.

Flaviana Tatata: Miss Tanzania 2007

More about Flaviana later, first....

Economic growth. Most exciting to me is the news that Tanzania's economy is expected to grow by 7.3 percent in 2007, up from 6.2 percent in 2006, according to a government planning agency. You may recall that growth in 2006 was reduced by the extensive power failures that occurred when drought cut off the hydro electricity supply.

The 7.3% figure is very exciting because 7% growth is required if Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved by 2015 and living standards raised. As a reference point, it is handy to know that Australia’s growth rate was 2.8% in 2006.

Africa Competitiveness Report. Good government policies, better access to finance and more infrastructure are all needed if Africa is to expand its economy. Corruption and lack of skills, energy and transport are the main bottlenecks to improving productivity and making the continent more competitive in global markets.

These are among the main findings of “Africa Competitiveness Report 2007,” a 255-page study released today ahead of the opening of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa. The competitiveness study is the first research on Africa carried out jointly by the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, and the African Development bank.

Speaking at the launch, Senior Forum Economist Jennifer Blanke said the economic outlook for Africa is positive and that Africa's economy has grown in the last five years. The rest of the world, however, is growing at a much faster pace.

Investing in Tanzania. Which countries are investing in Tanzania? In the top ten are:

  • Britain with projects worth US$ 1,115m.
  • Kenya, which shares a border with Tanzania. Projects valued US$ 958.21m.
  • India
  • South Africa
  • Netherlands
  • China
  • USA, Germany, UAE, Botswana.

Miss Tanzania. Finally, we know that Tanzania is engaging on all fronts when its cricket team plays in an international competion in Australia, and when Tanzania enters the Miss Universe competition! This is its first year in the competition, represented by Flaviana Tatata, an electrical technician.

Flaviana Tatata: Miss Tanzania 2007

What do you want the judges to know about you?
I am an electrical technician by profession as well as a top model in my country. I never let anyone define me neither by hair nor clothing as I believe God made me perfect as a pure, natural African woman.

I get the impression that Tanzania is on the move!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vanity Fair – winds of change

Look! Can you see? The shape-shifters are at work in the landscape of our lives.

In my youth, extreme and desperate poverty was common throughout Africa, Asia and Central/South America. I thought it would always be like that. I also thought that the Berlin Wall would endure like the Great Wall of China or Hadrian’s Wall.

I got on with my life, raising my kids. The next time I looked, the Berlin Wall came down and I discovered that most Asian and Central/South American countries were well on the way to lifting themselves out of extreme poverty. That left only Africa. And world leaders are taking it on!

I see the power that is being leveraged into helping African countries…. leaders like Tony Blair are REALLY pushing this, philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett are on board, and influential economists like Jeffrey Sachs are driving international policy (e.g. Millennium Development Goals). Celebrity entertainers are leveraging their fame to focus attention on the needs and possibilities of change in Africa.

The winds of change are blowing through our lives.

Jeffrey Sachs at Ruhiira, a Millennium Village in Uganda

The latest (July 2007) issue of Vanity Fair has a special feature on Africa with 20 covers of Annie Liebowitz photos of Americans who are active in Africa. This issue has real information as well as goodies like Youssou N'Dour's personal playlist that you can download from the iTunes Music Store for $US9.99 which goes to the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The hundreds of supporters of the School of St Jude part of this wave of change. We are making history. We are working together on a radical transformation that will transform the world our children live in.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Order of Australia

I'm totally excited to see that Gemma has been honoured in the 2007 Queens Birthday Honours.

She has been awarded the Order of Australia (AM) with the citation:

  • For service to the international community through the establishment and development of The School of St Jude in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Australian honours system confers the Member of the Order of Australia for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.

So, congratulations to Gemma Sisia (AM)!

I hope that this high honour will help to advance the great work you are doing at the School of St Jude. One of Africa's most successful projects, this school will be the first of many that provide free education to the future leaders of Tanzania and fights poverty through education.

Tanzania comes to Sydney!

Have fun at this high-energy cocktail fundraiser in the Rocks on Thursday 27 June, 2007.

The folks at FoodWaterShelter are throwing a party and you're invited. This great group is starting an an eco-friendly children's village in Tanzania. It will be home for 40 orphans in the Arusha district. They know what is needed and how to do it cos they have volunteered at the School of St Jude.

The party on the 27th will be held at Dan's place,the Argyle, 12-18 Argyle Street, The Rocks, Sydney. Dan? Gemma's brother of course!

What's up on the night?

  • A wild performance by Senegalese drumming sensation, Pape Mbaye!
  • A live auction with a money-can't-buy item list, including a 15-day Serengeti safari for two!
  • Exotic African art, exhibiting unique pieces from Africa's and Australia's most talented artists.
  • Gourmet Traveller photographer, Luke Burgess will talk you through his "Tales From Tanzania" photo exhibition.
  • Exceptional and substantial canapĂ© cuisine plus an unlimited access to tantalizing alcoholic beverages.
  • A renowned African artist will paint the entire evening onto canvas. This canvas will be auctioned on the night!
The dress is cocktail, and the price is $125. I think I'll be there!!

You can find out more about this FoodWaterShelter fundraiser on their website.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sophie's Choice – Violet and Margaret

The harshness of extreme poverty makes many parents face choices like Sophie's Choice – the choice that no parent should have to make – to choose between your children.

The School of St Jude takes bright children from poor families. What if a poor family has five bright children? That is usually the way, isn't it? All the doctor's children grow up to become professionals. The School of St Jude tries to help as many families as possible, and right now, they have a policy of helping only one child from each family because one child will be able to help the whole family.

Gemma hopes that, in time and with help from supporters, she can grow the school sufficiently to allow them to accept more than one child from each family.

Here is the human face of the decisions that poor families have to make all the time. Violet and Margaret are both academically gifted. Margaret was a little too old to be accepted into the School of St Jude and she stayed at the local primary school where she completed Year 7 – a special accomplishment for a poor girl in her district. What is more, she passed the exams for High School. Only a small proportion pass these exams.

But her family could not pay the expenses of sending her to High School, so she is learning to be a tailor.

Her younger sister Violet was one of the 150 students out of several thousand who won a place at St Judes in 2005. She has learnt to speak English, her secondary schooling is assured and she wishes to be a teacher.

In this two-minute video, you can meet the two sisters whose paths will be very different, and see the difference you can make when you support the School of St Jude.

Go to the School website now, to add your contribution.

This is a clip from the video made by Brian Kieran. You can see his video about St Judes on YouTube.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Upskilling and YouTube

Nothing compares with buzz of a good, meaty learning curve.

My latest venture has been to learn a bit about video editing so I can put video about the School of St Jude on Youtube. Why? Cos it will be cool if lots of people can SEE the school, LISTEN to the kids and FEEL the impact the school is making.

The kids are on a learning curve at St Jude's, and all of us who support the School are figuring it out as we go along. We take the skills we have learnt as teachers, builders, architects, business people, marketers, administrators, etc, etc, and we apply them to this amazing project. Nothing is like it used to be, so we have to adapt our skills and learn heaps. What a buzz!

Here's the first fruit of my latest self-tutorial.

This is a clip from the DVD about the school that was distributed with Gemma's book. It was made by Brian Kieran, Mary-Elaine's brother, in April 2007. He's a clever chap, isn't he?

Check it out. It's only two minutes – you'll hear the lovely clear voices of children singing the school song, see the school at the foot of Mt Meru and hear Gemma talking about the very beginning of an idea.

More to come! As time permits.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

The Big Sleepover – weekday boarding school

It’s underway, and you’re invited! Work is starting on the weekday boarding facilities for the older kids who live a long way from the school. The boarding school will provide bunk bed dormitories, living/dining/study areas, bathrooms, and play areas.
Instead of sharing a mattress in a two room home,

the kids will have their own bed and mosquito net.

Instead of studying by candle or lamp in homes with no electricity,

the kids will have well-lit study areas with some computers.

Instead of walking an hour to the bus for the long ride to school, they will have a five minute walk to school.

And they will go home at weekends, so their loving families won’t lose contact with these bright children who are on the way to an amazing future with opportunities every parent dreams about.

How can you join The Big Sleepover? Well, the school has prepared a number of sponsorship packages shown in the following picture.

Please email Gemma – there is a package/s you are willing to support. She will make sure you get lots feedback and thanks.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pulling up stumps

In the ICC World Cricket League Division Three competition just completed in Darwin, Tanzania lifted its ranking from 7th to 6th in the Division of eight teams.

Tanzania's captain, Hamisi Abdallah, bowling in Darwin

That’s a good effort! And what a great experience for these cricketers to have the opportunity to travel and play against seven other countries from around the world, including Argentina and Italy as well as smaller nations like Fiji and Cayman Islands.

I hope that the kids at St Jude’s get the chance to learn cricket. Perhaps cricket is one of the many opportunities that will develop as the school becomes more established and the children grow into the high school years.

It seems to me that things are changing rapidly in Africa because so many countries are on the path of economic growth. A recent OECD report, African Economic Outlook 2006/2007, indicated that GDP growth rate in Africa has averaged about 5 percent annually in the past six years, rising to 5.5 percent in 2006, and is expected to reach 6 percent in 2007.
The report noted that sound macroeconomic policies in most African countries has increased business confidence leading to a pickup in private sector investment.

The Chief Economist of the African Development Bank, Dr. Louis Kasekende pointed out that,

Yet, the continent still needs to accelerate and sustain growth to the level of 7 to 8 percent to be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual report on sub-Saharan Africa said,

Optimism over sub-Saharan Africa has grown in recent years, thanks to debt relief, global economic expansion, high prices for commodities such as oil and a general improvement in policy-making.

The IMF said it was too early to assess whether the higher growth rates were helping poverty but noted governments had been using the proceeds of debt relief to provide key services.

With these gains, it is likely that when the kids of St Jude’s graduate, they will be poised to step into the professional roles needed by their growing economy. Perhaps they will also get to play cricket and travel the world!

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A school must act as a lighthouse

At the upper end of possibility, a school can act as a lighthouse for society, providing direction and guidance, because each child is potentially the light of the world, a future conscious and proactive member of society.

All the greatest educators are able to envisage the highest levels of human possibility. They have an almost uncanny knack to hold exceptionally high, ‘off the graph’ possibilities in one hand while diligently checking spelling and inventing clapping games that help reinforce the multiplication tables.

Here are three visionary educators –

Dame Marie Clay, the New Zealand educator who developed the Reader Recovery program is acknowledged by her peers as

A world-class scholar, researcher, and visionary educator, who has inspired scholars, regenerated teachers, and touched the lives of children in all parts of the globe. She has been an unwavering advocate for world literacy, and her program, Reading Recovery, taught in all English speaking countries has been translated into many world languages.

Marie Clay

Dr Maria Montessori established a teaching method now taught in thousands of schools world-wide. She said,

  • The teacher's skill in not interfering comes with practice, like everything else, but it never comes easily. It means rising to spiritual heights. True spirituality realizes that even to help can be a source of pride.
  • Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy.
  • We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.
Dr Maria Montessori

Gemma Sisia is a visionary educator.

Whoever said there is no such thing as an ugly child must have been thinking of African children.

By simply donning the St Jude’s uniform, a child’s persona changes from quiet and shy to proud and confident with head held high. This is one of the most rewarding parts of admitting new students. It’s wonderful to see the joy on their faces and their parents’, and know we’re in this community together for the long haul, all the way through to the end of secondary school.
Gemma Sisia

Visionary educators don’t teach to minimums, instead they point towards the highest possibilities of human endeavour.

I encourage you to reach for higher possibilities and lend your support to the School of St Jude.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

TED comes to Arusha

In January, I wrote about the TED conference which was to be hosted in Arusha. Well, it’s on now.

TED is a high-powered talk-fest that attracts the most powerful and influential people on the planet. While their core business is to showcase clever and creative ideas in technology, entertainment and design, in recent years they added heart to their mandate and have taken a humanitarian focus. This conference will be their first in Africa and 1200 delegates and speakers are expected.

I hope that a few of the delegates take the time to follow the famous jellybean buses of St Jude’s back to the school to check out Africa’s most successful project!

In the coming weeks, I’ll check the TED website to see if they have added any of the Arusha talks to the great selection of video presentations online.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Montessori – visionary educator

Gemma Sisia started the School of St Jude in 2002 with 5 pupils and a vision for a grand possibility. In only five years her school has grown to 850 students and she has started a second campus. She is well on the way to achieving her grand vision.

Gemma Sisia on book launch tour

Like other successful educators, Gemma has an optimistic view of the potential of children. In this respect, she follows the footsteps of Dr Maria Montessori, possibly the most influential educator of modern times,

The discovery of the powers of the child is the most important discovery humanity has ever made and uncovers the very roots of our life.

Maria Montessori, a ninetheenth century Italian doctor, observed young children and established classrooms based on the principle of learning by doing. Her teaching methods have spread to most countries of the world. Indeed, the world’s largest school, the City Montessori School in Lucknow, is based on her principles.

City Montessori School, Lucknow – one of the four campuses

The story of this amazing school, sounds a lot like the School of St Jude, only it is further down the track.

The City Montessori School (CMS) Lucknow, India, was founded in 1959 by a young visionary couple, Mr. Jagdish Gandhi, a socially motivated Gandhian, along with his wife Dr. (Mrs.) Bharti Gandhi, M.Ed., Child Psychologist. Rich in enthusiasm, the devoted pair launched their first campus on borrowed capital of three hundred rupees, housed it in rented premises and began with only five students on roll. The young couple had to face a myriad of initial difficulties in making their vision a reality. Over the years, however, they have successfully overcome these difficulties with unflinching devotion to their original mission.

Like Gemma, the founders started with a huge vision and limited resources. Now, the school educates 30,000 students on three campuses in Lucknow. It is estimated that 250,000 people have been educated there.

Most importantly, the school has a strong ethos of teaching peace and unity and this has made a impact on the city of Lucknow. This was recognised in 2002 when the founders, Jagdish and Bharti Gandhi were awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. The City Montessori School has been their lifework, and what an achievement it is!

I hope that all of you who support the School of St Jude feel that you are part of something momentous for the country of Tanzania. In decades to come, the generations of children who graduate from the School of St Jude with a sound education and good moral values, will be as proud as you to have been a small part of a large vision.

School of St Jude: Fighting Poverty Through Education. Educating the future leaders of Tanzania.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Rotary: Male, pale and stale?

Keely doesn't think so!

You may have read my posts here, here, here and here about the great work of Rotary International and the help they have given the School of St Jude. Have you wondered what the local Arusha Rotary Club does? Here are some interesting insights by Keely Stevenson.

She discusses some of the great work done by Rotary International, especially work to eradicate polio, then she draws comparisons between the context of Western philanthropy and African philanthropy.

Rotary is about fellowship. We meet weekly for lunch, learn from each other, and enjoy each other’s company. It has been a great way for me to understand the perspective of the Arusha business community. Our club also has many interesting projects, including the distribution of mosquito nets to prevent malaria, a rainwater harvesting project, a cataract surgery and more.

The connection [of African Rotarians] to poverty is many degrees closer than those Rotarians I met in Silicon Valley.

The African philanthropist likely sees the realities [of poverty] daily because his/her cousin, neighbor, employee, grandma, etc. is asking him/her directly for money to treat malaria, to pay for school fees, to get access to family planning services, to treat HIV, or to pay for food because lack of rainfall didn't yield good crops this season. All deserving cases for financial support from a charitable soul.

When we support the School of St Jude, we know we are making a massive difference to hundreds of children and their families. But it is not right up close against us, on our doorstep, in our back yard the way it is for Africans. We don't feel the impact of our assistance in the same way. We rely on news and letters and blogs from those who are close at hand.

So, I'm very glad for Keely's blog from Arusha -- it gives me another window into the context of life in Northern Tanzania. By the way, here's an amazing resource I just stumbled across. It is a collection of material about the history of Northern Tanzania, especially Arusha -- the personal scrapbook of David Marsh.

What wonderful trails there are to follow. The path just keeps leading us forward.

Note: Check out Mark Riffey's blog (April, 2007) on the topic of 'Male, pale and stale?' Rotarians.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

A minute of beauty

Remember the team of ten women from around the world who climbed three of the highest mountains in Africa in fewer than three weeks to complete the 3 Peaks 3 Weeks Challenge in January this year? They raised $295,000 for three projects in Africa, including the School of St Jude.

St Judes greets the climbers

Their great effort was filmed by Serac Adventure Films. The film will be released later in 2007, but you can check out a trailer here.

3 peaks 3 weeks climbers on Mt Kilimanjaro summit

Take time to watch this minute of beauty. Then think about going yourself!

Cricket update

The Cricinfo points table for ICC World Cricket League Division Three, 2007, shows Tanzania ranked 5th out of 8 countries in the competition.

Now that's not TOO bad is it? It is good enough to keep them in Division Three. The bottom countries will drop down to Division 4 (*gulp*), while the two countries in the final, Uganda and Argentina, will be promoted to Division Two.

Yellow River, Kakadu, Northern Territory

I wonder whether the visiting teams will get to visit Kakadu? I hope so. I remember the sunset tour on the Yellow River – so many birds!

I guess you can tell that I'm a bit of a cricket tragic....