Dear Friends of Unite,
I hope and pray this finds you happy, healthy and well. I am just now home from another whirlwind tour across Tanzania’s northern circuit with a team of magnificent women (each of whom generously sponsor one or more of our children at the St. Joseph’s Orphanage). I am thankful to report this was another hugely successful mission. We spent time with Sister Crispina Mnate and the orphans of St. Joseph’s as well as the headmaster, staff & students of The Heaven Primary School. We took many of the orphans on two field trips: To the “Guggenheim of Africa,” an art gallery atArusha’s Cultural Heritage center, where they learned about various art forms and watched the movie The Lion King on the big screen; and to the Meserani Snake Park where they learned about all the kinds of snakes (they even had the chance to hold one non-venomous ... of course) and go on camel rides! Lots of “firsts” for these kiddos and tons of fun for us all. Later in the trip, while my friends went on safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and on a day-climb of Mt Kilimanjaro, I took our Tanzanian executive team (below) on a due diligence trip to benchmark our performance against other reputable schools and children’s villages. We found that our students are exceeding norms in behavior and performance, including outcomes on critical national exams. In fact, the Heaven School is already being cited as a model primary school and St. Joseph’s the example of a well-run orphanage by local authorities. Additionally, we are already seeing the positive impact of our newest teammate Astridah Katalyeba who brings to Unite and Heaven more than 30 years of experience as an educator in Africa. Astridah is advocating for our secondary school and university students in ways we were not able to before. Astridah is accelerating and supporting Sister’s commitment to making Heaven best in class by organizing and executing a series of faculty training workshops to make the classrooms more participatory and interactive through the use of techology, visual aids and more. We are thrilled with and energized by all the great progress we are seeing, and we are deeply grateful to each and everyone of you who has helped in any and every way to make this work possible. As always, I welcome your comments, questions, ideas and feedback.
Yours in service,