The inaugural Unite Scholars Symposium has been CANCELLED.

LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL UNITE SCHOLARS SYMPOSIUM, SENT 9.26.19

Dear Distinguished Speakers, Guests, Scholars, Teammates & Friends, 

On behalf of the board and beneficiaries of Unite the World with Africa Foundation Inc., I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to each one of you for your willingness to attend and participate in our inaugural Unite Scholars Symposium, which was to be held in Dar es Salaam in October 5th at the Ramada Resort.

It is with great disappointment that I am cancelling this event. I am sure that you all are aware that for a number of weeks now there has been an international conversation about a possible death from Ebola in Dar es Salaam as well as a number of subsequent suspected cases. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal newspaper released the article WHO Seeks Answers on Suspected Ebola in Tanzania, which now leaves us no choice but to cancel our travels for the safe of all involved. Clips of the article include:

  • “...international public-health officials suspect... a spate of cases of the virus.”

  • Lawrence Gostin, director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, said he believes “there is credible evidence of Ebola cases in Tanzania.”

  • WHO member states such as Tanzania are obligated under international health regulations to report suspected cases of Ebola to the WHO. The agency’s guidelines for diagnosing the illness also recommend secondary testing of samples at an outside, specialized laboratory—a step the Tanzania government has refused.

  • No one is willing to speak publicly about what is going on,” the official said. “Even our staff in Tanzania have been unable to get any details from their government colleagues given their concerns about prosecution.”

While our hope and prayer is that the media has this all wrong and that, in fact, there is no Ebola in Tanzania, this uncertainty and suspicion has created a fear-based hysteria that is now too pervasive and powerful to ignore. 

***

For years, Unite has been my platform through which to bring people together across cultures and disciplines to love and support one another and to collaborate in the creation and development of original, innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. Ours is a network of people who embrace their duties as stewards of Mother Earth and caretakers of humanity. Having all of you extraordinary individuals come together for this Symposium was, for me, truly a dream come true. Not only were we joining together to support our Unite Scholars in their personal and professional development, we were coming together to align ourselves and seek out active ways to support one another in our individual and combined efforts to serve our world. While my personal commitment is to choose courage over comfort, there are more people involved and we have a responsibility to our families and communities. I hope you all can understand this extremely difficult decision.

As the Executive Director of Unite The World With Africa Foundation, a USA-based not-for-profit, I spend most of my time (when I am not traveling to Tanzania) fundraising. I am always asking friends, family, acquaintances and complete strangers to give money, to travel with Unite to Tanzania, to HELP. And while most people run from me (sad, but true), some do not. There are a few precious souls who do give their time, talent and hard-earned dollars to Unite to help fuel our work to alleviate human suffering and create viable opportunities and healthy outcomes for impoverished youth and women across Tanzania. Each and every one of these supporters put their complete in our Unite team. 

In recent years Unite has been spending large amounts of money to sponsor a number of talented-yet impoverished youth to study in university; however, there have been questions around the cost/benefit of these investments. As the job market grows increasingly competitive, in Tanzania and all around the world, we know that in order to succeed in life post-graduation, these young people need to (in addition to being book smart) be able to differentiate themselves and connect effectively with the world around them. And there are few things that employers want, need and value more than employees who can deliver sustained value over time and who can master the “soft skills” of professionalism—punctuality, accountability, conscientiousness, honesty, creativity problem-solving, resourcefulness, flexibility, excellent written and oral communication skills, etc.

If Unite spends the majority of our funds on a handful of bright students who are not ultimately well prepared for success, have we done our donors a disservice? Unite’s job is to show our donors measurable impact and lasting results. Our Unite Scholars Mentorship Program was designed to address this issue by connecting our Scholars with trained Mentors who are working with them on how to prepare and execute creative and compelling presentations; how to arrange and succeed in informational and formal interviews; how to assess and manage their own strengths and weaknesses; how to be reliable, dependable and key members of a powerful and effective team; and so much more. This Symposium was a cornerstone of this program, and for many months our Scholars have been developing, refining and practicing their presentations with their Mentors. This has been an intense (and often uncomfortable) process for many of them; however, I know they will be devastated not to be able to present in front of you and shine their lights bright.

Please do let me know if you are interested in connecting with Anty Marche (our consultant and program director) and myself via phone, email and/or skype. We would still love to connect and learn more about you and your work and brainstorm ways that we may be able to work togther to make relatively-small investments unleash large potentials. 

Unite’s focus now is on growing our Unite Scholars Program into a global brand that is widely recognized for: Honesty and Integrity; Confidence and Creativity; Quality and Consistency; a commitment to Excellence; and, of course, World-Class Performance. To that end, we are seeking new partnerships to: 

(1) Create a pipeline of qualified Division 1 scholarship candidates for our A-Level sponsorship program [see criteria here];

(2) Develop additional support programs and initiatives in service to our Scholars’ growth and development;

(3) Explore new avenues through which we may “build bridges” between Americans and Tanzanians that will serve the greatest good of all (e.g. professional volunteer exchanges; international tree planting programs; mass media campaigns; school-to-school partnerships; etc.). 

Attached please find a Fact Sheet about Unite and a copy of the Unite Scholars Symposium Directory for your review. All of your contacts are included in the directory. I hope you will still reach out to one another. We are in this together. 

Lastly, I want to thank each one of you for committing to this Symposium as volunteers. No one is being paid to attend (which I am learning is quite unusual). Please know that I too am a volunteer. I am not paid any money to do any of Unite’s work. Instead, like all of you, I believe that with the priviledge of education and resources (of any size) comes great responsibility. Prayerfully I can contribute to creating a safer; healthier; more peaceful, loving, equitable and just world for us all. Time will tell, and I know we all will continue to do our best. 

We are Unite! Asante sana.

Yours always in service,

ANNE

Anne Wells
Founder & Executive Director
314.239.3997, anne@uniteafricafoundation.org
uniteafricafoundation.org

Our Mission: To provide opportunities for marginalized youth & women across East Africa to thrive & prosper by investing in quality education, leadership & business development programs.

***

Unite the World With Africa Foundation, Inc. is a Connecticut nonprofit corporation. EIN: 47-2329890

Greens Farms Academy helps Unite construct a computer lab for the Heaven School

Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT, hosted a “Harmony for the Homeless” this past winter, run by the school’s community service club. They raised funds that helped us to build out a computer lab at the Heaven English-Medium School in Tanzania. In the school library, Unite installed folding tables against the walls and purchased stools, six laptops and a projector & screen. The teachers are using the laptops to enhance their curriculums. We will share more news about the use of the computer lab in the coming weeks and months.



Unite Partners with Swahili Coast to bring you Maasai Sandals & Accessories


SUMMER IS COMING!!!

Unite The World With Africa Foundation has partnered with Swahili Coast Design to bring you a one-time offer of 10% off hand-crafted Maasai-beaded sandals and Kikoy beach wraps made in East Africa. This promotion will run through April 30th, 2019.

PASSWORD: Welcome!

10% off coupon code: UNITE

50% of sales will be donated back to Unite to support our work to provide quality education, comprehensive care & leadership development programs to orphaned, impoverished and at-risk youth across Tanzania. 

CLICK HERE TO ORDER * CLICK HERE FOR THE CATALOG

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Swahili Coast is a North Carolina-based fair trade brand working in partnership with artisans in East Africa to handcraft sandals and accessories. Thier mission is to connect the incredible artistry and talents of East African Artisans to global markets using principles of fairness, dignity, and respect.

Swahilicoastdesign.com

CLICK HERE FOR THE CATALOG

Unite Sponsors Life Skills Training for the Teens at St. Joseph's Orphans Center

This month Unite engaged trainers from the Arusha-based NGO JobOrtunity to run a two-week-long customized life skills and personal development workshop at the St. Joseph's Orphans Center for seven of our secondary students and 10 of our university students who were home for holiday. The workshop included six modules taught mostly through experiential learning or "learning by doing." This was the first time any of these students have received any formal training of any kind, outside of the classroom. While many were a bit shy at first, eventually they stepped out of their comfort zones to seize this rare and unique opportunity to learn and grow. We are proud of them and will continue our work with JobOrtunity to provide our students with further trainings as possible over the months and years to come. CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT.

The Unite Scholars Mentorship Program is UNDERWAY

In 2018 we launched our new UNITE SCHOLARS MENTOR program to provide additional support for our Unite Scholars who are now in university. Our team of trained and dedicated MENTORS are paired with our Scholars to help develop their creative & independent thinking as well as to teach them the essentials “soft skills” of professionalism necessary for success over time (e.g. effective oral and written communication skills, time management, presentation & personal branding, interpersonal skills, self confidence, how to interview and behave on the job, etc.). We believe in each and every one of our Unite Scholars and are committed to helping them maximize their potentials so that they may grow into leaders with the knowledge, talent, connections, and sustained commitment necessary to source solutions to challenges facing their communities and help shape the future of the African continent.

OUR Goal: TO Educate, mentor, empower and prepare
extraordinary Tanzanian youth to become global change agents.

Elements of the program include:

  • Ongoing communications and monthly meetings with their Mentors.

  • Working through our Unite Scholars Mentorship/Professional Development Curriculum as Mentor/Scholar pairs and in group settings.

  • Speaking series by with local professionals (experts in their fields).

  • Site visits to see and learn more about the work of local companies, hospitals, NGOs and businesses.

  • Meetings and networking opportunities with other scholars, mentors, international and local businesses and advisors.

  • Annual “Ted Talk Style” symposiums during which Scholars are invited to present about a topic of their choice to an international audiences.

Above: Mentor Rhoda Lugazia with Scholars Marystella Justine (business) and Winnifrida Gaspar (business); Advisor Anty Marche with Scholar Hosiana Thomas at the Tengeru Institute for Community Development; Mentor Dr. Raymond Mgeni with Godfrey Saitoti (medicine & surgery); Mentor Joan Mnzanva with Scholar Agnes Crispin (business); Mentor Joan Mnzanva with Scholar Simon Daniel (IT) and Scholar Genes Benedicte (Education); Mentor Dr. Raymond Mgeni with Scholar Jackson Daniel (medicine) and Scholar Douglas Fortunatus (Computer Engineering).

OUR HOLIDAY WISH LIST

This holiday season why not give the gifts of hope, love, education, opportunity & joy?

$20: Purchase a mosquito net to help prevent malaria. 

$35: Purchase a new holiday outfit for a child at the St. Joseph’s Orphans Center.
(Each child is allowed one new outfit a year.)

$50: Purchase a goat that will provide milk and meat.

$110: Sponsor the care of an expectant teen to have a safe vaginal delivery
at the Kivuluni Hospital.

$150: Buy uniforms, books & school supplies for a child for a year.

$200: Sponsor a year of “life skills & professional” mentoring support
for a Unite Scholar in University.

$250: Sponsor a Christmas celebratory meal for the 60+ members of
the St. Joseph’s Orphans Center family.

$340: Sponsor the care of an expectant teen to have a cesarean section
at the Kivuluni Hospital.

$375: Purchase a laptop for the new Heaven School Computer Lab
and/or for a Unite Scholar in university.

$400: Ship one 200lb barrel from the Unite States to Tanzania
filled with books & critical supplies.

$500: Sponsor a child from St. Joseph’s Orphans Center
to attend the Heaven Pre School.

$750: Sponsor a child from St. Joseph’s Orphans Center
to attend the Heaven Primary School.

$1,200: Sponsor a Unite Scholar to attend a quality

private secondary boarding school in Tanzania. 

TO GIVE THE GIFT OF ANY OF THE ITEMS ABOVE AND RECEIVE A LETTER FROM UNITE (OR HAVE IT SENT DIRECTLY TO THE PERSON YOU ARE GIVING IN HONOR OF), CLICK DONATE.

A 2018 Winter Update from Unite

We are held back not by the love we didn’t receive in the past,
but by the love we are not extending in the present.

~Marianne Williamson

Dear friends, 

I snapped this photograph above in October while driving through Mkuru, Maasailand, in Northern Tanzania. I include it here because to me it illustrates two of the most compelling stories of Africa: One that is told most often by the mainstream media, which is of the devastation caused by extreme poverty, ignorance and lack; and the other—the driving force behind Unite—which is of the “stupendous potential*” that can be found within youth everywhere, even in the unlikeliest of places and the most challenging of circumstances. Their potential is our opportunity.

Over the years while working to unlock and unleash the “stupendous potentials” of orphans and at-risk youth across Tanzania, I have witnessed time and time again how love, presence, hope and compassion can forever change the trajectory of lives. From “Baby Maria” who arrived at the St. Joseph’s Orphans Center as a severely malnourished and deformed two year old unable to walk or talk and who is now a smiling, healthy three-year old, running around chatting in Swahili and English, ready and eager to start Baby Class at Heaven School to Godfrey Daniel Saitoti who survived as a homeless street boy until he was 10 years old when Sister Crispina Mnate adopted him and enrolled him in school for the first time ever and who is now studying to be a surgeon at the Kampala International University in Uganda... the stories go on and on.

The youth we serve and those with whom we work know that with every privilege comes great responsibility and for their achievements all glory goes to God. Their big dreams are many and range from building an online e-library through which students in the remotest of villages can access books and lessons (Douglas) and working in medicine to care for the sick and destitute (Angela, Jackson & Godfrey) to pursuing careers in accounting and tax to encourage and enforce “ethical” business (Hilda, Lucy & Marystella) and opening “An African Knowledge Village” as a center of excellence for learning and knowledge sharing (Raymond). These youth have the commitment, determination, work ethic, resilience and faith—the potential—necessary for success. Our work is to free them from the chains of extreme poverty by meeting their basic human needs and providing them access to quality healthcare, education, strategic support programs and a global network. Most recently, we partnered with Future Stars Academy to roll out a physical education and sports program for the children of Heaven and lauched a Mentor Program to help our University Scholars prepare for their lives after graduation. As they grow and evolve, so do we.

As always, I am sincerely grateful to each of you for your interest in and support of Unite, and for your big dreams in service to humanity. The future depends on us. May we be fearless in extending our love! 

With blessings and prayers for peace,

Anne 

Anne Wells, Founder & Director, Unite The World With Africa Foundation           * The New African Commentary

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL WINTER REPORT

An October News Update

We’re off to Tanzania again next week and have lots of news to share. Click HERE to read about our upcoming trip, our goals and wish list, and more.

Pictured here, four of the hundreds of girls we will be meeting who have fled the traditional barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and found refuge at the  Hope for Girls Safe House i n Western Serengeti. Photo credit:  “In The Name of Your Daughter ,” a new award winning documentary by internationally renowned filmmaker Giselle Portenier.

Pictured here, four of the hundreds of girls we will be meeting who have fled the traditional barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and found refuge at the Hope for Girls Safe House in Western Serengeti. Photo credit: “In The Name of Your Daughter,” a new award winning documentary by internationally renowned filmmaker Giselle Portenier.