What's Hot
ideas, squibs, photos to:
What's new with us and the schools we assist in East Africa.
Click any red box ( . . . ) for more.
Weather, TEAA reading project: Principal Okunya at Gunga, in Kenya, is home now after marking KCSE exams, enjoying every moment before the new term, despite the weather. "The rains are washing away our roads again... I have read the story of your Kajiado colleagues with a lot of interest. The strange thing of nature is that right away that region is actually flooded and animals are being carried away by swollen rivers - the ironies of this country!... Am excited at the titles we purchased with Bill Jones's assistance and looking forward to seeing the program in place from next week."
Christmas Greetings to TEAA - with remarkable photos of a difficult time - arrived this morning (December 16) from Mike Rainy, who as part of TEA's Wave 4B, taught at Kagumo School in Kiganjo Kenya and stayed on as a rancher, tourguide, environmentalist and friend to neighboring Maasai. He and his wife of over four decades, Judy Rainy, live in the Kajiado District of Kenya's Rift Valley Province, where they graciously hosted TEAA-ers during the itinerant 2003 conference that took us from Kampala via Kenya to Arusha. Click here for the story of a year in their life.
Technology and Education in East Africa
Worldwide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee will visit Kenya and Uganda for the Web Foundation, which exists to bridge the digital divide in Internet usage. He plans to "meet with government leaders, development workers and educators to help support local Web initiatives - such as improving local health and education." NY Times, Nov 16 Kukupreneur project from Kenya has gained international recognition. Maseno University students reached the semi-finals of the Students in Free Enterprises competition in Germany for their efforts to economically empower the community around them with their winning poultry rearing project. Standard, Nov 18
Two Principals We Met at their Former Schools
Tanzania friend and excellent principal Sister Mary Shaija (upper left in photo) has taken a new position as head of Notre Dame SS Njiro, a small start-up school not far from Arusha. She wrote to Henry with thanks and to report that she "managed to get one book in each subject ... The teachers and students are very, very happy to have those books... I hope you will come to visit our school when you come next to Tanzania... These students are from very poor families and some of them are runaways, orphans and so on. So I want make them someone great in the society with the help of God and with the help of people like you who believe in the power of the youth... I love them much because they are interested in studies and I want to give them my best for their future."

Kenya friend and excellent principal Okunya Milton has written to Ed from Gunga HS - in the southwest, near Lake Victoria and the Tanzania border - that he's delighted at the prospect of having his school join TEAA's reading project. "As a matter of fact, ... our students come to secondary school with very poor background in reading and writing from lower levels, which affects their secondary school education. Since this term, we have programmed for each class 40 minutes daily of what we call library hour, during which the students get copies of past editions of newspapers to read for pleasure... We have also started a monthly essay writing competition." Okunya came to Gunga a few years ago from Mukuyu where we knew him as the deputy head.
MacKay seeks to reduce its recurring expenses with an economical printing device and solar-powered computing. Principal Gertrude Sekabira informed TEAA-er Betty Castor that "We have requested providers to give us costs for comparison and for us to make a fair budget. I will be back to you after that. Tomorrow is our independence Day. We are going to celebrate. So I wish you the best."   Reply:  → Hi Gertrude. We spoke of you and MacKay fondly at our Teachers for East Africa Alumni meeting last weekend. We all share pride in your good work. We will await the information of the costs associated with solar panels. Meanwhile, we too will celebrate your independence day. I remember my first visit on October 9, 1962! Have a happy and safe celebration. Sincerely, Betty
"Book harvesting was a big success" at Butonge, writes teacher Tobias Wafula on behalf of principal Vincent Wekesa, "as almost all the parents and the invited guests turned up and we were able to collect a good number of books. The ratio of books to students has changed and therefore we will be sending you the up-to-date ratio after compilation. Thanks."
2009 Conference was a huge success. Meeting in Atlanta, Oct. 1-4, we learned much about the goals, activities and methods of other NGOs, raised our own solidarity, and resolved to continue our efforts to assist education in East Africa. Comments welcome. Your comments on the conference are welcome - organizational issues to goddard@rcn.com and those intended for the Newsletter to eschmidt1@sbcglobal.net . Also, check out post-conference items at Atlanta
Four new grants to Uganda schools have resulted from the recent school-visiting trip of Betty Castor and Sam Bell: the one described at right; awards to two other schools, Tororo Girls and New Kabale, for academic materials; and a small books grant to Kitengesa Community Library which also serves neighboring schools. With over 1400 students, Tororo Girls plays a critical part in secondary education for its region. New Kabale, near Kampala, encourages students to earn their fees. They are committed to teaching practical job-related subjects in addition to the required curriculum. Unusual assistance: A water system with majority funding by TEAA has been approved for St. Bernard's, Kiswera. The school needs a well closer to the buildings for health reasons and to eliminate the time and burden of carrying water uphill. The well will be within the school land, adjacent to the compound. With enrollment of about 500 students, many of them orphans, the school receives no government support, yet continues to maintain high academic performance and commitment to scholarships for students in need.
Appreciation: Fred Tukahirwa and some colleagues started the school he mentions and he heads its board of governors. Betty Castor and Sam Bell paid the second TEAA visit a few months ago, and the first to occur with school in session. Betty and Fred worked out the particulars of a grant for textbooks and laboratory equipment which has now received approval. See note of thanks at right.   → → Dear Betty,   We are really humbled by the generous grant you have approved for New Kabale Busega. Saying that we are overjoyed would be an understatement! We will send ... at least 3 quotations...for the lab equipment. Kindly extend our sincere appreciation to the members of the steering committee - Ed, Henry, yourself, Brooks - and any others I have not known yet. Best wishes, Fred
Tanzania Principals and a Teacher Write

Best news yet for the reading initiative. Sister Mary Shobha (mostly hidden, at left, in photo above), the new head of Ngarenaro Girls (Arusha) reports, with regard to recently purchased books, that "the students are making use of them already for independent reading. Not only the students, but also all the teachers and the supporting staff are reading the books. I see them reading at all spare times, from the oldest (Sr. Mary Neelima, the head of the English department) to the youngest in the school."

This is the most positive report we've had for our independent reading project, originated and championed by Bill Jones. Book selection advice has come from Kate Parry and a financial contribution for books here and at MacKay from Students Against Lack of Education at the University of Massachusetts, via TEAA.
Lab equipment raises hopes. "Many greetings from Moringe Sokoine Secondary School, Monduli,", writes the principal. "Hope this e-mail finds you and all officials of TEAA in good health. Thank you for supporting our Laboratory with different equipment. Mr. Samwel Sumari went to Arusha last week to pay for the items he had in the invoice sent to you previously...

We hope that now we are in a better position to uplift our academic standards as the students will be doing science practicals more often than before. Once again thank you for your support.

Truly yours, Kwayu"
Better and faster computing. Computer teacher Bernard Mlemeta of Ngarenaro writes: "We are so much grateful for your help and services that the two good men (from World Computer Exchange's eCorps, at TEAA's request) have done for our school. We are able now to use the computers (sent by TEAA-WCE collaboration in 2008) better and faster than before. We are thankful and next time if some volunteers are coming please pass by and help us again."
News from TEAA-assisted schools
Kenya, August 7: Website for Gunga. Thanks to an Elimu project that aims to build "a website for every learning institution in Kenya," the words of principal Okunya is available to all. "A door of opportunity has opened," he declares there, and he promises a positive answer to "whether truly we are a people of dedication, innovation and sound judgment."

Tanzania, August 7: Technical exchange: Three TEAA-partner schools in the Monduli-Arusha-Moshi area recently participated in the eCorps project of the World Computer Exchange. Losivu Lembrice, the computer teacher at Moringe Sokoine, was part of the team that went to help with repair, maintenance and coaching of faculty at other institutions. He "learnt a lot and we did great things." Two of the schools visited, at our request, were earlier recipients of WCE computers paid for by TEAA: Ngarenaro and Weruweru.

Uganda, August 12: Not one but two projectors will soon arrive at MacKay, thanks to careful shopping by Principal Gertrude Sekabira, who has found prices roughly equal to those for delivery in the USA. The funding comes from donations in memory of Arlone Child, long-time organizer and major contributor to the scholarship fund at the school.
Kenya, August 14: Down the road from Obama's grandma, at John Osogo HS in Port Victoria, comes word that our grant has been received for math books at that school, the alma mater of Calestous Juma, a professor of international development at Harvard and organizer of the Victoria Institute for Science and Technology; he is also, thanks to Brooks, a TEAA friend.

Uganda, August 21: Back in action, after being bedridden for a month with an injury, is Sister Clare Migisha of Iceme Girls School. She wrote Ed to say that she can now "move freely and sit at a computer." She has "informed the school commnunity about the funds you sent us. They were very grateful to you for your quick response and kind assistance." Most of the planned books and laboratory items have been purchased.

Tanzania, August 21: Ever conscientious about involving his faculty in various phases of school responsibility, Headmaster Kwayu of Moringe Sokoine writes that it will be the head science teacher and his colleagues who purchase the chemistry equipment specified in our grant. Despite excellent teaching witnessed during the recent TEAA visit, exam results have been disappointing, says the headmaster, "due to insufficient experience with practicals."
Uganda and Kenya, August 22: Cross-pollination. In an unusual situation, we plan to support a badly needed school well at St. Bernard's, Kiswera, respecting a major donor's interest. To provide perspective for all involved parties, Ed is consulting with his old friend Peter Indalo, our TEAA representative in southwestern Kenya, who has long-time first-hand experience in appropriate technology for water projects.
JULY 2009
The main platform address at the Ethical Society of St. Louis this month will be a presentation by Ed Schmidt, who is a member of that organization as well as the founder and editor of the TEAA Newsletter. An anticipated audience of 75 will hear about "What TEAA and I are doing in East Africa."

Ed is at work assembling TEAA trip photos that tell our story and give a sense of what school visits are like. The event is a successor to his presentation to a smaller group in early 2006 that focused on Education in East Africa.
The head of a TEAA-assisted school, St. Joseph's Centenary in Ndeeba, near Kampala, writes:

Hullo Henry. We hope this letter finds you well and in good health and my sincere regards to all of you at TEAA. Once again thank you for the kind donation of the science books and laboratory equipment. These have been of tremendous use to the students and staff. More students have joined the science class at A-level this year, a sign that their attitude towards sciences has changed with more access to experiments and personal study enabled by the availability of more textbooks. We are happy to report that our senior four students passed highly their National computer studies examinations of year 2008 and generally both O- and A-level National exams were performed well.

We thank you for being generous partners in the development of our school and giving the less privileged students that we serve hope to look forward with optimism. We wish you a happy July 4 and look forward to working together. Peace and God's blessings upon your work. - Sr. Bernadette Nakafeero
JUNE 2009
Collaboration with Other NGOs

Friends of Tanzania leaders are in touch with us in person and via email. FoT president Candy Warner and TEAA treasurer Henry Hamburger met in Washington to discuss how we can collaborate as we pursue overlapping goals. Most FoT members were in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, though anyone who shares their interests is welcome. The ex-PC-ers served in a wide variety of roles, so not many of them were in secondary education, but Bill Svoboda, who is in both organizations, taught at Morogoro Teachers College. He and I have discussed a potential joint jaunt to visit project sites of both organizations. TEAA reunion chair Shelby Lewis reports that FoT-er Karen Schaefer will participate in our Atlanta event. You can check out FoT by clicking on FoT.
Educate! Through a long chain of events, a school supported by Educate! for social entrepreneurship is now supported by TEAA for new textbooks, and - thanks to linkage by TEAA-er Ed Schmidt - also by Children International, with used books. The message at right is the latest in a complex correspondence involving all three NGOs, the school, called New Kabale, and its founder, Fred Tukahirwa. From Ed to Children International: "I want to say a big 'THANK YOU' to you and your organization and let you know that Fred has gotten together with the folks at your organization in Kampala. As a result, the school has received more than 200 books. I assume these books will get good use as there were very few textbooks at the school when we visited in February."
MAY 2009
Click for info on Betty and Sam's
current TEAA school visiting trip
with report of
new building at MacKay dedicated to Arlone Child
in appreciation of her many years of fundraising and
contributions to the scholarship fund she founded.
Prefect's appreciation: TEAA-er Leal Dickson "got a very nice message from a student at Nyakato, Emmanuel Elias, Academic Prefect. It is a note of thanks for the recent books, and according to [Leal's correspondent] Henry Bitegeko, unsolicited - something the students wanted to do."
The Tanzanian student who helped set up and maintain the computer system established by Frank Mitchell at Bwiru Boys Secondary in Mwanza has resurfaced in London where he is pursuing an advanced diploma in Business Information Systems. Bill Marwa, who twice appeared in the 'What's Hot' section of this website - in March, 2006 and October, 2006 - now writes "I see the difference you are making by supporting the EA schools and may our good Almighty Lord always grant you that spirit to help those schools in need." Then known as Willy, Bill is now a friend of both Frank and the TEAA webmaster on Facebook, where he lists his activities as: "video editing, website (flash, css, html) designing, character animations, systems engineer/analyst, network associate..."
Origin of TEA
Spring-09 issue of TC Today
Teachers College, Columbia University

... a new program, International Education Development [IED], led by R. Freeman Butts and James Russell, grandson of the great Dean. Initially funded by the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and the Ford Foundation...

Under IED's aegis, the College launched its Teachers for East Africa (TEA) program in 1961 with a grant from the International Cooperation Agency, precursor to USAID. TEA recruited and trained American teachers for educational service and provided technical assistance to help increase the number of local qualified teachers trained in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, three countries that were in the process of transitioning to independence from colonial rule. Between 1961 and 1972, TEA, headed on the ground by faculty member Ralph Fields (later an associate dean of the College), provided more than 600 teachers who served two-year stints in secondary schools and teacher training colleges. The effort served as a model for the federal Peace Corps program, and TC continued to train Peace Corps recruits.
Altered States, Ordinary Miracles by Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society, will, I think, appeal to TEAA-ers on many counts. For one thing, it "aims in part to correct the negative stereotypes" of Africa, according to two-time Pulitzer winner Nicholas Kristof, writing in the NY Times. Second, there is the issue of foreign aid - whether and how it can succeed. Kristof cites and endorses Dowden's view that "outsiders can help [Africa], but only if they understand it." Another informed and positive review of this book that is also relevant to TEAA readers comes from Tim Butcher whose Blood River recently caught the attention of many of us. Butcher calls the book "a masterly overview" as well as "the story of Dowden's love for the continent, first kindled in 1971, when he arrived in Uganda as a teacher." I have to leave now; I'm off to the bookstore.
APRIL 2009
Where elephant tusks belong is demonstrated in the photo. Two men who thought otherwise were recently arrested en route to Nairobi. For this story and how an "Illegal Quarry Devastates Communities and Wildlife Area," click on TEAA-er Mike Rainy - April 29
Five Interesting Recent Grants
Total: $5,000
Twenty computers to Weruweru Girls, an all A-level Secondary School 6 miles outside Moshi, Tanzania. The cost to TEAA was reduced by a co-sponsorship via our partner, the World Computer Exchange. The grant is our first to this school and follows a TEAA visit this February.

In memory of Arlone Child, an LCD projector and smaller items go to MacKay College near Kampala. Arlone had worked from the beginning of TEAA to raise funds for scholarships at MacKay from among her friends in Colorado. These folks along with a few TEAA-ers are the source of the funds.

Click for grants in: 2008, 2009 or all years.
First TEAA grant to Lunza Secondary, is for microscopes and books. Their board chair is a former diplomat and an old teaching colleague of TEAA founder Ed Schmidt.

TEAA reunites with Nyakato after the link had been broken by departure of two teachers we had worked through. Each was called on to run another school, which is recognition of their abilities and in a way is a vindication of our work with them. The grant is for books, mainly in geography.

Special donations from our new student partner S.A.L.E. at the U. of Massachusetts have made possible book grants to MacKay and Ngarenaro.
Stormy conditions in southwest Kenya. "The rains here are heavy and the road to our school greatly washed by them. Some unemployed villagers are now collecting passage fees from vehicle owners. Imagine!" wrote headmaster Okunya Milton. I asked if these unemployed people were also helping in some way or just extorting. His reply: "Actually these boys are quite naughty. They assist you to pass after which they make the road impassable until the next motorist pays. In the evening motorists remain stuck till morning as boys go merrymaking with the day's collection." - April 27

East African friends write

Book project. Fred Tukahirwa is co-founder and board chair of New Kabale Secondary School. His follow-through on a recreational reading project has been exemplary.

"Dear Ed, The list [a book list compiled and forwarded by TEAA-er Kate Parry in collaboration with another school] contains titles that are not only for general reading but also set books for Literature in English at O and A levels (2009-13). We will carefully select the titles according to need. This afternoon, I am going to Aristock Bookshop, to establish the prices of the selected texts.

"May I also happily inform you that I have been to Janet Muhindo's office [Children International, with whom Ed put him in touch] to gain an understanding of how to access donated books from them. I have been advised to write and submit an application with details about school enrolment and location and payment of handling fee. I had some time to skim through the books and as I mentioned before, some books are highly relevant and we will take what is useful. I will let you of the final selection. I and my fellow directors are really excited about this. We applaud your generosity of spirit and thank you greatly. Kind regards, Fred"
Lira, in northern Uganda is recovering from a 20-year war. Quilinous Otim was a most gracious host, guide, liaison and driver on Ed and Henry's recent visit to serveral schools there.

"Dear Mr. Ed Schmidt, I read your letter with great excitement and joy. We are happy to hear you are back home and doing well and that your tour of places in Africa, especially Lira, left you with good memories. I'd like to thank you very much for the grants that You've said we're due to receive from TEAA through you. I have already informed Ave Maria, Bishop Tarantino and Unity College. They have received this news with great appreciation. We shall continue wishing you and all the members of TEAA the best in your work and prosperity. Your visit to this remote part of the world has created a great impact. May I again wish all of you all the best. Warm regards, Quilinous Otim"

Season's greetings to TEAA, below, from the head of Bishop Tarantino College were followed by a note that he and the faculty agreed to devote TEAA funds to math books.

"Dear Henry, I send you warm greetings and love from the students and staff of Bishop Tarantino college. I also express our gratitude for your visit to the school. We hope you were able to travel back safely. May you send our regards to the members of TEAA. We are grateful to them for remembering and putting East Africa in their thoughts and plans. We wish you a happy Easter and God bless you all. Thank you, Mr. Maxwell Engola, Headmaster"
Somali Pirates. "It makes me want to cry to read so many well intended suggestions that imagine that Somali piracy started in reaction to toxic waste dumping and commercial fishing in Somalia's territorial waters just a few years ago. That is not my experience," writes TEAA-er and 44-year Kenya resident Mike Rainy.
African Diaspora Note. Tanzanian-born architect David Adjaye, son of a Ghanaian diplomat now working in England, leads the team that will design the National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015. At right, a rendering. New York Times, April 14. (Note: Museum of the African Diaspora already exists in San Francisco.)
Well over a thousand dollars was donated in memory of Arlone Child, with the intent that it go to MacKay College. Gertrude Sekabira, the headmistress of that school, has been in correspondence with Gene Child and now writes the following:

"I received a message from Gene about funds collected for the Arlone Memorial. We have agreed to spend it on a projector/beamer (LCD projector) because the numbers of students have gone up and a screen canvas can be viewed by many during general presentations. We have been borrowing but it becomes expensive in the final analysis."
Talk of the town. Okunya Milton, head of Gunga has seen the photos and liked the comments. His students appear in their fabulous lilac shirts in the first collage of photos in the trip report. He writes:

"Your visit is still the the talk of this place and everybody is very appreciative of your continued support and interest in us... Yesterday our school athletics team did very well in the inter-school competitions while our drama team represented this district in the just-concluded festivals. One of our students will be in the Students' Leaders conference in Nairobi from 5th... Pass my regards and be blest. - Okunya."
Paper entrepreneur Mike Ocholla and I [Henry] met among seven passengers in a five-passenger vehicle en route from Siaya to Nyadorero near Lake Victoria. Ed and I had a further destination that day which we subsequently mistakenly pursued on bicycles (bodaboda), ending up stranded at a soda stand, but that is another story. Mike has a small business selling paper products to schools, so we had something in common. Here is his second message in our correspondence:

"henry i believe things are well since yu went back home - i guess yu are still home. kenya is fine and hope yu are too. thanks for your good work in our country. i believe one day my rural and home school will benefit. i believe yu are aware my home area - kabondo of rachuonyo district in nyanza province is one of the poorest with high rates of HIV cases hence needs visits like what yu did to such schools. keep up being good and say hi to your partner. it's a bit hard for business but i believe my enterprise will not fail. good time"
Responding from MacKay to SALE, a student organization at UMass, working through TEAA, Gertrude Ssekabira writes: "I would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to you and the SALE members who have found it fit to support the children in Uganda. [The school has pioneered in access to secondary education as well as] a scholarship scheme for needy and orphaned children and we are committed to the best education to help them become self-reliant, integrating practical and entrepreneurial skills in the curriculum..."
TEAA school-visiting trip: For the new, improved and e x p a n d e d, story of the February-March, 2009 TEAA school-visiting trip, along with full-size photos, and captions that are big enough to read, click here or on the photo-collage at left.
As a result of this trip, we have just begun to assist Iceme Girls Secondary School, whose headmistress Sister Clare, writes: "What you have thought of by donating to improve the teaching and learning processes here is the greatest tool to real empowerment. My former secondary school's motto is 'Knowledge is power' and that is exactly what you are doing for our school: empowering our teachers so that they are able to empower our girls!"
"Secrecy surrounds Kenyan election poll: A U.S.-paid exit poll in Kenya's 2007 elections predicted a different outcome than was announced once ballots were counted. But the poll's results were not released." NY Times, January 30

Students Against Lack of Education (S.A.L.E.) is a University of Massachusetts student organization that sells books at bargain rates while managing to turn a profit with which to assist education in Africa. They are now collaborating with TEAA. Above, Lonai Noble co-President of S.A.L.E., gestures to indicate our combined effort. To see and hear her and other students telling about it, click the photo to go to the UMass newspaper; then click on the video (a big black rectangle) to start it.

TEA alums from Wave 4B, 1964-66

Click Newsletter 20 for more on this event.

Front row: Joan Wilkins, Frank Manley, Jeannine Goddard, Ward Heneveld.
Middle row, Robin Wilkins, Martha Manley, Brooks Goddard, Cheryl Heneveld.
Back row: Charlie Guthrie, David Newbury, Catherine Newbury, Dennis Huckabay, Dan Callard, Judith Callard.

Click here on Brooks and Jeanie to see them at Kili in '73.
U.S. history and politics buff and principal of a TEAA-assisted school in southwest Kenya, Okunya Milton writes: "We are picking up from the long holidays despite the teachers' strike that has paralysed learning in many public schools. Am yet get the full text of Obama's speech on that day but I thought his voice carried conviction. I intend to compare it with others and see the contrasts."