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).


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. 


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


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.

UNITE: Reflections, 10 Years Later...

We rise by lifting others.

~Robert Ingersoll

anne with sjo kids.jpg

Dear friends, 

I first landed in East Africa in 1991 as a 19-year-old student of wildlife management and almost instantaneously  the beauty and vastness of the land and the kindness and generosity of the people rooted themselves deep within my heart. During the three years that followed spent traveling, living, studying and working in and out of Tanzania, life was filled with wonder, adventure, excitement and, at times, great challenge and severe discomfort. When things became unbearable, as they did more than once—due to the mere good fortune of where and to whom I was born—I could evacuate and access safe lodging; clean water and healthy food; quality healthcare... Those around me could not, and the injustice of that inequality has haunted me ever since.

Years later, in January 2008, while sitting with my husband David in our suburban Connecticut home watching our three daughters, then ages 2, 4 and 6, play, I surprised even myself when I said out loud: “It is time for me to go back Tanzania and find a way to be part of the solution.” With no clear plan besides a heartfelt calling to serve, David and I landed in Dar Es Salaam five months later. There we were met by our friend Father Dennis Mnyanyi who picked us up in a borrowed vehicle from his village, an ancient Izuzu belonging to the Bishop. For hours we bounced along over barely-there roads to reach Dennis’ home, a simple cement structure with a tin roof nestled in the forested foothills of the Uluguru Mountains. Along the way, groups of smiling barefoot children chased our car calling out “Mnzungu! Mzungu!” (White person! White person). This familiar chant followed David and me over the next few weeks (and throughout every visit since) as we traveled the country meeting with NGOs (non-government organizations), clergy and non-profit leaders; visiting schools, hospitals and development projects; and witnessing what extreme poverty, resilience, courage and hospitality looks like.

It was then that the vision for Unite was born. Shortly thereafter we launched Unite The World With Africa LLC, a social enterprise under which we operate our Unite Tours Service Safaris, partnering with local outfitters to combine personalized wildlife safaris with opportunities for travelers to discover, learn, share and serve in the field. Under the LLC we have also purchased and sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of African product to drive job creation and security for artisans across East Africa and to redefine what ethical fashion looks like here in Ameria. For the first few years we searched for and partnered with existing NGOs who were doing transformative work (and could meet our strict reporting criteria) and drove donor support through them; however, the call to venture farther afield, deeper in the bush, to serve and empower those living in greatest need was too strong, so in 2014 we incorporated our 501c3 Unite The World With Africa Foundation.


According to professor of African political thought at Cornell University Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, Africa’s largest crisis today is not a lack of water or food but instead it is a lack of knowledge. In Tanzania alone, there are ~25 million children under the age of 16 (43% of the population) who are eager to learn and desperate to receive an education; however, few will get the opportunity. Unite’s current key programs all now focus on addressing this knowledge crisis by creating and providing access to high-quality education—pre-primary through university—international mentorship and comprehensive life skills programs to empower the growth of leaders who can and will become the positive change agents and thought leaders of tomorrow

The flow of knowledge, of course, goes both ways. I personally have learned countless lessons working in and out of a culture so different than my own, where strangers are regularly welcomed to share last cups of tea, celebrate new life and honor the sick and dying; where there is no perceived need for speed; and where divine intervention is assumed, anticipated and even incorporated into life plans.

In Africa I have witnessed the enormity and complexity of human need and the fall out of good-yet-misguided intentions. I have felt the despair and loneliness of being met by cynicism, judgement and greed and the hope and joy of being met by open hearts and open minds. And I have learned that no matter how humble one’s circumstances, every human has a desire—and a right—to be seen, honored and validated. During a women’s meeting in rural Tanzania, each participant stepped forward to introduce herself... “I am Lightness. I have two children, and one rabbit.” “I am Sarah. I have five children and two goats.” “I am Mary. I have seven children and three cows.” A roar of applause followed each speaker who would then stand a bit taller, smile brightly and soak in the adoration. I think of these lovely women often when I am working with our sponsored children and am reminded me to slow down, be present, listen fully, validate even the smallest of accomplishments and say: “I see you. I hear you. You matter, and I love you.” 

Years ago I traveled with Sister Crispina Mnate, director of the St. Joseph’s Orphans Center, to a boarding school to visit a few of her teenage boys who are sponsored by Unite. When the boys walked to meet us, I noticed their toes sticking through their worn and tattered shoes. Since the school required them to run ~5 miles every morning, I thought it would be nice to buy them each a new pair of sneakers and a new pair school shoes. Sister Crispina reprimanded me. “Anne Wells,” she said sternly. “No more than one pair each. You must never take away their struggle.” Time and time again, I have experienced the wisdom in these words: More is not always better and easy can undermine. With this in mind Unite is small and focused by design. We are “in it” for the long haul, working closely alongside those we serve with near daily communications, in-country support staff and regular site visits by myself and other Board Members and Advisors not only to protect our investment but to do all that is necessary to achieve our shared greater goal of breaking the complex and multifaceted chains of extreme poverty—one of the greatest threats to Planet Earth today.

I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you who has supported this work in any and all ways, big and small, over this past decade; to our team of Advisors for their time, generosity and expertise; to our Board of Directors for their remarkable commitment and for making it possible for 100% of every donor dollar to be allocated directly to our programs in Africa; and to the couragous souls I have met along the way who have given up everything to live on the frontlines of this work. Together, you fuel my passion and help me resist the occassional tug of fatigue or allure of apathy. May we continue with our individual and collective efforts to love, heal and honor one another and ourselves. 

The stakes are high. All outcomes are possible. 

Yours in service,  
Anne Wells

The Knowledge Crisis

  • Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest number (202 million) of children & adolescents on Earth who are in school but not learning the fundamental subjects of reading and math, with nearly 9 out of 10 between the ages of ~6 and 14 not meeting minimum proficiency levels.
  • Of those who complete primary education (~elementary school in the USA) in Tanzania, only 10% each year continue on to secondary school (~middle & high school in the USA), giving Tanzania the lowest secondary enrollment rate in Africa. Of those who do enroll in secondary school, only ~6% will pass their Form 4 Exams to successfully complete lower secondary; and only ~3.2% will enroll in higher secondary to complete their equivilent of an American high school education. 
  • Less than 1% of all Tanzanians complete any form of higher (tertiary) education.

Sources: University of Sussex, World Bank, Human Rights Watch; UNESCO; Girls Education Collaborative; Unicef; Problems Facing Education in Tanzania 

Introducing the TANZANIA TREK 2019 in support of our Unite Scholar's Program

To support Unite's efforts to ensure that talented youth across East Africa can access quality education and comprehensive mentoring, Board member David Wells will lead the TANZANIA TREK 2019 to raise funds for our Unite Scholar's Program. This new adventure will combine a descent into the Empakai Crater (in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area) with a climb up the steep and rugged Oldoinyo Lengai, Maasai Mountain of God, and a trek to see the Gorillas of Rwanda. For more information, CLICK HERE and/or email

Photo courtesy of JorAfrica Safaris.  CLICK HERE FOR THE ITINERARY

Photo courtesy of JorAfrica Safaris. CLICK HERE FOR THE ITINERARY

Welcome our new Summer intern Lauren Murphy!

Unite is thrilled to welcome our new summer intern Lauren Murphy. Lauren just completed her Junior year at High Point University in North Carolina where she studies Strategic Communications and Documentary Media. She has worked with many non-profit organizations before including Reading Connections where she helped provide video and PR marketing for events. Lauren is currently apart of Ascension 336, which is a public relations agency at High Point University, and she is also a member of High Point's news team, Triad News 360. For Unite, Lauren is working on editing images using photoshop and editing video clips to be featured on our social media platforms.


Lauren Murphy.jpg


While often overwhelming, debilitating, humiliating and dangerous...extreme poverty is NOT insurmountable. 

While often overwhelming, debilitating, humiliating and dangerous...extreme poverty is NOT insurmountable. 

The great Ophelia Dahl, daughter of author Roald Dahl, co-founder of Partners in Health and modern-day warrior in the fight to end global poverty and "serve as an antidote to despair," is defined in this December issue of The New Yorker as a Searcher. In the world of development, a Searcher is one who is just on the lookout for favorable opportunities to solve problems—any problem, no matter how big or small. 

Here at Unite, we too are Searchers. We make long-term commitments and understand that in order to reach our very specific and targeted goals we may often be pulled this way and that by favorable opportunities to solve problems, big and small, which cannot be ignored.

For example, education. In order to empower a child to succeed, one must ensure far more than a seat at a high-quality school... Instead, in order to thrive EVERY CHILD needs a safe, clean place in which to live; clean water, proper sanitation and nutritious meals; a safe way to get around, to transport; at least one trustworthy adult to supervise and advocate; peer support; opportunities to explore their talents and interests outside of school; and medical care -- preventative and acute. And, by paying close attention, we often uncover other needs and challenges that we may or may not be prepared for. So, with our Tanzanian partners, we search for ways navigate these often unexpected potholes and pitfalls, detours and demands, road blocks and ransoms... these problems... and we FIND our way. 

As we pause to celebrate this holiday season and prepare for the new year, I invite US ALL to take a moment to meditate on the Sustainable Development Goals (listed below) that were designed by the United Nations to stimulate aggressive problem-solving action around the world.

The burden of responsibility belongs to each and every one of us. Daunting? Perhaps. However, with it comes a unparalleled opportunity to -- as Searchers who are just on the lookout for favorable opportunities to solve problems, big and small -- help transform the human experience and ensure very survival of our precious Planet. Now THAT is something to celebrate.


"We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions,
and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality
and in a healthy environment."
-The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

give them compassion.jpg
kids begging.jpg

As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest. ~Nelson Mandela

The Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development



  • The White Man's Burden, by William Easterly

Unite's 2017 Holiday Wish List

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.
— Lao Tzu

For friends and loved ones who have it all, why not give in their honor to those who have nothing at all?

Click HERE to make a tax-deductible donation. Just cite an item (or two) from our wishlist below,
 email the details of your gift and recipient, and she will mail him/her a letter to be opened over the holidays.
Selflessly serving those who will likely never be able to do anything for you return fosters a deep and unparalleled
sense of joy, contentment and fulfillment. Each and every one of us is wildly powerful, and what we do -- and don't do -- 
will contribute to either the healing -- or the destruction -- of our precious planet.

Unite Holiday Wish List.jpg

Meet Maria, the newest child to join our growing St. Joseph's Family


Maria, now nearly two years old, is the newest child to join our family at the St Joseph’s Orphanage (SJO) in Tanzania. Maria is extremely malnourished and suffers from flat feet and fluorosis of the legs. (In certain areas of Tanzania, there is too much fluoride naturally occurring In the water, which can make the bones of young children soft and cause them to bend in unnatural ways.)

This week Sister Crispina Mnate, founder and director of SJO, took Maria to see our friends at The Plaster House in Arusha for an assessment. Next steps: Sister will now take Maria to be fitted for leg braces that she will wear for at least a year to correct her flat foot and move her legs into proper position. She will also start an aggressive nutrition-rich re-feeding program with weekly weight checks. While baby Maria has clearly suffered a painful start to her young life, we are thankful that she is now at SJO where she will receive great love and excellent care. 


Award-winning artist gifts work to Unite

A sustainable world means working together to create prosperity for all.
— Jacqueline Novogratz
Bull Elephant,, Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania, 2009 Mixed media, photography, encaustic, 16x20 on wood panel

Bull Elephant,, Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania, 2009
Mixed media, photography, encaustic, 16x20 on wood panel

Award-winning American contemporary painter, photographer and mixed media artist Andrea Bonfils has created a unique “Encaustic” work of art by taking an original photograph taken by Unite Founder & Director Anne Wells and adding to it melted beeswax, resin and other natural materials. Andrea has very generously donated this piece to Unite for our fundraising efforts. Andrea’s work is represented by galleries in New Mexico, Connecticut, South Carolina and in the Bruce Lurie Gallery in Los Angeles, is in corporate and private collections worldwide and can be seen at  

The cost for the elephant encaustic above is $1,500.
100% will be donated to Unite The World With Africa Foundation
by artist Andrea Bonfils. 

My work is inspired by the beauty of our world, and with this elephant photograph I haveI literally encased it in the natural material of beeswax (also known as encaustic painting). Whether one is working to protect land or a human or animal life, we must stand UNITED in this fight to save our planet Earth.
— Andrea Bonfils, artist
Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 11.29.09 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 11.29.48 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 11.33.51 AM.png

See more of Andrea's work, which includes photography, encaustics, paintings and multimedia designs, at For any purchase made before January 1, 2018, that comes through Unite, Andrea will donate 30% of sales to our Foundation.

Meet Unite's SOUL WARRIOR, David Wells

Unite The World With Africa Foundation's founding board member David Wells summited Mt. Kilimanjaro with his HIKE FOR HEAVEN team this June to support Unite's work with The Heaven Pre & Primary School. To prepare for this herculean adventure, David spent six months riding a few times each week at the infamously rigorous SOUL CYCLE. Here below, SOUL features David and his inspiring story.

David Wells, left, with Nicky B, his Soul-Cycle instructor in Westport, CT.

David Wells, left, with Nicky B, his Soul-Cycle instructor in Westport, CT.

"In the fall of 2016, I made the decision to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with four friends to support the Heaven School and St. Joseph’s orphanage. I had no prior experience with a climb of this type, so I needed to get in shape… fast.

We had moved to Westport, Connecticut in late 2015 — less than half a mile from the SoulCycle studio. My wife and daughter had taken some classes and they encouraged me to join them. My sister Linda has also been going to SOUL in New York City for years and loves it. Thankfully, the women in my family are the trailblazers.

HFH team on top.JPG

I went into my first class feeling nervous, excited, and clueless. I had not really exercised for more than 25 years but was reasonably fit... or so I thought. SOUL took it to a whole new level. I felt the effects immediately. I felt (and continue to look) like I'd been through a monsoon after each class – and I keep coming back! I was hooked. The fun, energy, and challenge brought me back. The instructors and staff at WSPT are also fantastic – each and every one of them.

I felt an immediate and sustained impact on my energy level, strength, and lung capacity. I knew I was on the right path for my climb, as well as my health and sanity. I work long hours and travel quite a bit so the efficiency of SoulCycle — spending 45 minutes to an hour on full throttle — is perfect for me. My mind is clearer, my body is stronger, my energy is way level up. I have lost a few pounds and my stress level is down. One of the instructors at Wesport, JULIANNE, shouts out in class that we are “creating energy, not consuming it." I love that mantra.

DW quote.jpg


With SOUL, any concerns I had on my strength to do the hike washed quickly away. My legs, arms, core and lungs were ready — and delivered for me all the way to the summit of Kilimanjaro and the roof of Africa. We successfully completed the climb and reached our goals in the process.

Through our Unite the World with Africa Foundation and a community of committed U.S. donors and volunteers, we're supporting 48 orphans — ages 9 months to 24 years old. Six are now in university, including one who's enrolled in medical school. The purpose of our Kilimanjaro climb (or Hike for Heaven) was to build and expand the Heaven School, a 200+ student primary school in Tanzania that provides outstanding education for these orphans and the surrounding community. We are still raising funds to complete the school expansion. The opportunity to do this work with my wife Anne, and have a seat at the table to engage with extraordinary Tanzanians to make this happen, excites me each and every day when I think about where these amazing children can take their lives.

Back home, SOUL has brought our family closer. A few times, all five of us (me, my wife and three daughters) took a class together, riding side-by-side in the back row. It has shown each of us a different side to the other — a healthy side committed to exercise and fun." ~David Wells