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“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul.” – Joseph Addison
Earlier this year TPM was given an amazing gift when one of our team members, Sande Msesi, was allowed to attend Hand in Hand International’s Social Entrepreneurship Program in Kenya. HIH offered Sande a reduced rate for the program because of his academic success and its support for TPM’s mission. U.S. donors offered Sande a scholarship for the other half of his tuition for the same reasons.
HIH’s Social Entrepreneurship Program is one of the most widely respected in the world. In 2011 the program was held in India. We were thrilled to find out 2012’s program would take place in Kenya, just a four hour bus ride away. The program is led by Professor V. Kasturi Rangan from Harvard Business School. It is an intensive five day course that includes case studies, field work, and lectures. Attendees include donors, social investors, social entrepreneurs, CEOs, and NGO workers from around the world.
We knew that this would be an amazing opportunity for Sande to network and learn with a diverse group of people and couldn’t wait to learn from him when he returned. Social Entrepreneurship is at the heart of what we are trying to accomplish in Mkyashi. We do not want to offer short-term relief or other forms of aid that do not change the underlying problems facing the village. We want to offer holistic systems-changing solutions that can lead to long-term prosperity and the financial independence to live a fulfilling life.
Upon his return Sande was eager to share all that he had learned. He compiled pictures and notes into a lengthy report. Unfortunately, nothing is ever so easy in Tanzania. For over a month Sande was unable to find a strong enough network connection to send the large file he had created. Then, after moving into his dorm room to begin his final year at Moshi Institute of Technology (aka MIT) his dorm room was robbed and his USB drive with the report was gone. Sande is currently working to rewrite his report from his notes and we are still hoping to have it up by the end of the year to share with everyone – especially those who supported his journey to Kenya.
But that hasn’t stopped Sande from taking what he learned and putting it to work in Mkyashi! Sande has eagerly involved himself with TPM’s early programs and strategic planning. Of recent note, Sande is helping to develop a program with a local Rotary club modeled after Heifer International. We are still putting together the budget and plan and working out the details of the grant. We will give more details on this once everything is finalized.
“A man is developing himself when he grows, or earns, enough to provide decent conditions for himself and his family; he is not being developed if someone gives him these things.” – Julius Nyerere, the first President of Tanzania
Karibu! Welcome to the Tuko Pamoja Mkyashi blog. We have set important goals for ourselves and it is time to make them a reality. We hope you will follow along as we begin this adventure. Stay tuned for entries from a number of TPM staff and supporters and make sure to share any thoughts or questions in the comments section.
“When people gain income, they gain choice, and that is fundamental to dignity.” – Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of Acumen Fund