We’re in Africa Now! Follow our Live Blog

Devaki with Mwebaza penpalsDevaki Douillard, our Development Assistant, is currently visiting our partner schools in Uganda and Kenya. She is posting daily blogs with the latest updates of our progress with lots of great pics too! If you’re a student, leave a comment with your penpal’s name and she might be able to post a photo of them and a greeting! If you’re not a student, she’d still love to hear your comments and thoughts. She is working on documentary interviews, scholarship programs, solar panel purchases, 2 new school building constructions, and sustainable lunch programs. Whew!

Follow her on this exciting journey from June 30th-July 26th. Go to the Africa Trip blog!

Book Sale Success

DSC_0042This spring, The Mwebaza Foundation’s 6th Annual Book Sale Fundraiser was a huge success! This year, Niwot Elementary and Eagle Crest Elementary held separate book sales. This allowed each school to send all funds it raised directly to its own individual partner school.
The funds raised at Niwot Elementary are allocated for the construction of a new secondary/middle school in the nearby town of Nkungulutale. This new school will accommodate students who graduate from Mwebaza Primary School and middle school students from the village of Nkungulutale.
The funds raised at Eagle Crest Elementary will assist in the development of a sustainable lunch program at their partner school, Empakasi Primary School in Kenya.
Altogether, the funds raised from the sale of second-hand books, framed batiks, and beautiful African beaded jewelry amounted to an astounding $4,900. The Mwebaza Foundation sincerely thanks all the volunteers and participants of this year’s book sales.

Oversight, Assistance, Relationships: Summer Trip, 2013

DSC_0416This summer, the Mwebaza Foundation had an incredible group of volunteers travel to our partner schools in Africa. The President and Founder of the Mwebaza Foundation, Dale Peterson, organized and led the group through the variety of projects on which our team was working. Devaki Douillard, the Foundation’s first full-time employee, accompanied the team to document every aspect of the trip on film. John Mees, a retired Longmont optometrist, tested the vision of the students and teachers of Mwebaza Primary School and the community members as well. Mary Jane Mees, a local Kindergarten teacher and coach of the Love and Logic curriculum, directed a training program for the teachers of Mwebaza Primary School and St. Paul Primary School on effective classroom management. Jenna Olschlager, the music teacher at Niwot Elementary, taught the students at Mwebaza Primary School American songs and dances, while learning traditional African songs and dances to share with the students at Niwot Elementary. Kaitlin Litchfield and Leigh Gilmore, two practicum students from the Engineering in Developing Communities graduate program at CU, Boulder, oversaw the construction of the two new school buildings that the Mwebaza Foundation is currently building, and developed a maintenance manual for the water sterilization system and waterless toilets at both schools. It was a very productive and inspiring trip that has strengthened our relationship with our African partner schools.

Eagle Crest Elementary’s New Partner School

DSC_0030Eagle Crest has definitely made a difference, and now we’re looking forward to a new adventure, new friends, and helping in new ways.

Over the past couple of years, we have raised over $5,000 to help Mapampi School children in Zambia. We assisted in getting them tables, chairs, locks, school supplies, sports jerseys, toys, sports equipment, and even helped with building a house to successfully attract a qualified teacher! But, because of Mapampi’s remote location, communication has been difficult.

Empakasi Primary School is located in the Nairobi National Park in Kenya.  We are looking forward to meeting our new friends through pen pal letters!  There are 350 children and 9 teachers there. They all speak Swahili. Most students are a part of the Masai Tribe, and some may not have a permanent home. They move from place to place, raise cattle and goats, and make lots of jewelry.

Students and staff at Empakasi Primary School face many challenges. They do not have a lunch program. There is poor security. They have no running water or electricity. Transportation is difficult there. Every day, some students have to walk over 3 miles to get to school. On their way they might even see a wild animal and have to turn back!

Eagle Crest students have spoken up about how they’d like to help!  We would like to assist with getting a self-sustaining lunch program started. Students believe gardens or an egg-layer program would be very helpful to the community there. It will take a lot of planning, however, because we don’t want to attract wild animals to the school!

We are very much looking forward to building our new relationship with Empakasi Primary School students and teachers. Our hope is to someday Skype with students there, or even invite a teacher there to visit our school here in Colorado!