On July 19th I will have the pleasure of leading a BTEP trip to Tanzania. I will be joined by Dr. Kathleen Kost from the UB School of Social Work along with three of her graduate students; Dr. Dan Nyaronga from Empire State College who is actually from the Mara Region; and Anne Wadsworth, a BTEP community member intersted in girls education and health care.
This trip- which promises to be an important one- will be my second visit to Tanzania. And as I immerse myself in preparations I am amazed at how much we have accomplished since our first visit in summer 2009. The projects themselves have been impressive: 12 solar cookers delivered in January in partnership with Solar Liberty Foundation with an accompanying research study led by Katie Biggie; the first building of the Early Childhood Center constructed in partnership with the Association for Childhood Education International under the leadership of Dr. Jim Hoot; support for the secondary girls school, with the first building constructed and an opening planned for January 2013; and the first phase of our water/sanitation project completed (a bore well dug in spring 2011) through a partnership with Buffalo Sunrise Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Musoma, and many area Rotary clubs that have contributed to this initiative.
With Phase 1 completed, we are looking to Phase 2 to deepen our partnership with the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Africa, our core partners, and to broaden our engagement with other stakeholders in the community and across Tanzania. Our visit will provide important opportunities to gather information and data related to community needs and assets, on which we can continue to build in the months ahead. Our Buffalo team is quite impressive. Every day I am humbled by the researchers, students, community members and organizations that find us and express interest in participating in our project. We have representatives from diverse units throughout the University including Public Health; Education; Social Work; Global Gender Studies; Management; and many more. We have community organizations including Solar Liberty Foundation; Mothers Clubs of Tanzania and Haiti; and Buffalo Sunrise Club. And we have members who are interested in traveling to Tanzania to learn more about Rorya and Kitenga and find ways to get involved, with a second Community Trip planned for January, 2012.
Hopefully this wiki site will serve as a means to capture the evolution of our project and to share the various facets with interested communities and individuals throughout the world. I will try to post as we prepare for our trip, and throughout our stay in Tanzania. Thank you for your interest in our efforts and in the Village of Kitenga.