Umoja's New Centre on Paper!
On 17th December, Umoja Director, Caroline Goody, met with the architects in Sydney, Australia, who are designing our new youth education centre in collaboration with a Tanzanian architect. These are the first plans which highlight the various aspects of the centre to enable us to share the vision! These were based on Caroline's original drawings - but have been dramatically improved and measured! Stage 2 will happen once we have bought the land, as shape and gradient etc will impact on the final design. Thank you Rick Butler and your team for your fantastic and generous contribution to Umoja and future youth in Tanzania.
Umoja Students - the Next Generation of Teachers!
Umoja students continue to achieve great things! On the 10th of December 2015 David Mahanyu, Anneth Joram and Theofrida Innocent celebrated their graduation from Teacher Training College. They completed their studies at Bethesda Teachers Training College and have been awarded a Diploma in Teaching. Congratulations David, Anneth and Theofrida - we are immensely proud of you all! Thank you to their sponsors for helping Umoja to provide good quality education. Wonderful news!
Happy Birthday Dorah and Stooko!
In October, we celebrated Dorah's 18th and Stooko's 17th birthdays at the House of Happiness. Volunteers, Olivia and Abida cooked spagetti bolognese and we had fruit and of course birthday cake! The best bit of the day was the total joy in their faces when receiving their presents - Stooko got a radio and Dorah (as 18th!) got a mobile phone!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Segal Family Foundation Annual Meeting
Umoja's Director Caroline Goody was fortunate to be invited to the Annual Meeting for our partners, the Segal Family Foundation (SFF). This was a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded change makers, SFF partners and donors. Great to learn, listen and meet so many wonderful people! Thank you to SFF for a great meeting
Joining Forces with the House of Happiness
On May 1st 2015, Umoja and the House of Happiness Children's Home officially merged, working together under the umbrella of Umoja Tanzania Incorporated. For several years Umoja has worked closely with the home, where 3 of our students live.This will mean that we have shared resources, shared skills and a stronger more active board. Our plans to create our own sustainable centre will include residential facilities for these children plus the most vulnerable of Umoja's youth.
ASANTE SANA NA KWAHERI BIBI JENNY!
Thank you and farewell to Jenny Clark, our long-term Australian Volunteers International (AVI) volunteer. Jenny has been working as our Education Advisor, mentoring our teachers, developing the curriculum, teaching Global Studies & Spoken English, creating and updating our resources and MUCH MORE! All students and staff will miss you Jenny and wish you the best of luck and happiness on your return home. THANK YOU for your help and support - you have been a fantastic volunteer.
The Big Give Christmas Challenge
100% of donations raised in the Big Give Christmas Challenge will support business entrepreneurship and practical training for our students. In an effort to diversify the opportunities provided for students, delivery of social enterprise training will provide students with new skills in business entrepreneurship and practical training. This programme will allow students to not only learn about social entrepreneurship but be able to practically engage in all aspects of the business.
Umoja is excited to announce a new partnership with The Segal Family Foundation, who partner with outstanding individuals and organizations that improve the well-being of communities in Sub Saharan Africa. They are Umoja’s first major funding partner and support our work by providing flexible funding to help strengthen our programs. www.segalfamilyfoundation.org
Global Cycle Solutions
Global Cycle Solutions is a social enterprise organisation working to help Tanzanians develop affordable, quality technology. They run seminars where students can learn about the design process and how to develop a good idea into a useable product. During October, our students will attend seminars and practical demonstrations as well as having access to the GCS workshop to work on their own inventions.
High Tea in Sydney
'Growing with Gardening' was the theme for the event held on Friday in Sydney in aid of Umoja. Jennifer Stackhouse, horticulturalist, editor and author, was the guest speaker. The talk was followed with a delicious morning tea prepared by Ros Tomlinson and Susan Fookes. Thank you for Jennifer, Ros, Susan, Lenore and Lawre for your efforts for Umoja!
First Aid Training
Two Umoja staff, Mama Rose and Pascalina Mmari completed a basic First Aid Course in February 2014, thanks to the House of Happiness. Participants included staff from Umoja, The House of Happiness, Ujamaa Children's Home and Savannah Discovery. A BIG THANK YOU to Leeanne Kippen and House of Happiness for organising the event and supporting the Umoja staff.
Class of 2013 End of Year Party!
Umoja students, staff, volunteers and special guests enjoyed a great celebration on the 13th December 2013, the last day of the Umoja year! Students performed dance, songs and a theatre production of the Trojan Wars (comedy version!). We looked back at the fantastic year we have shared together with a slide show of the 'best bits' and previewed the Umoja film for the first time. Students received their records of achievement and certificates, with many gaining a distinction! Our wonderful Mama's cooked a feast of meat pilau, and we even had a visit from a very special guest, Father Christmas, who came with a gift for everyone!
Australian Fundraising Success
Umoja's Director, Caroline Goody travelled to Australia in September to spend 5 weeks on a fundraising tour, sponsored by Umoja supporter, Lawre Suttor. Several events were organised for this trip including a quiz night in Adelaide and luncheon in Sydney. Caroline was also able to take the opportunity to raise the profile of Umoja by giving several talks at Rotary Clubs and her old school, Seymour College. Thank you to all involved. Read more in our October newsletter here.
Umoja Welcomes New International Volunteers
Welcome to our current volunteers; Bhreagh, Danielle and Kamila. Bhreagh and Danielle are volunteers from Youth Challenge International and are working with our students in Key Skills (including health) and Community Development. Kamila (Poland) is our Volunteer Sponsorship Coordinator and Spoken English Tutor. Welcome to the Umoja family and thank you for your hard work and dedication!
6 Year Old Philanthropist Sells Artwork for Umoja!
Joseph Goody, aged 6 years, has raised a brilliant $15 for Umoja's students. Joseph (pictured here) spent many hours painting pictures to then sell in 'Joe's Art Shop!' All staff and students of Umoja would like to say a big THANK YOU to Joseph and his customers for their kindness and generosity towards others. Well done Joe!
Free HIV Testing at Umoja
On the 18th July, Umoja welcomed support workers from Support for International Change for the fifth time to carry out free HIV testing for all our students and staff. Every year Umoja youth learn about health, anatomy and diseases (including HIV/Aids) and how to prevent them. At the end of these classes we invite SIC to run a workshop with our students on HIV/Aids which is followed by voluntary testing. To date all our students volunteer to be tested and know their status - an important step in fighting HIV prevalence in East Africa.
July 2013 - Welcome Olivia!
Olivia Davies, a student from the University of East Anglia (UK) joined us at the beginning of July as our Volunteer Sponsorship Coordinator. Olivia is studying International Development and is with Umoja as part of her Development Work Experience which is a third year module. Olivia is multi-tasking while she is with Umoja and has taken on Spoken English teaching, Art Club and has the ideas for our new enterprise... more coming soon! Thank you Olivia!
The End of Another Year!
Friday 11th December 2015 was the last day of term and the last day of the Foundation Programme for our current students! We started the celebration with presentations from all the students, they said goodbye to the teachers and included performances. We welcomed a very special guest, all the way from the North Pole – Father Christmas who gave all the students presents. Our Foundation students received certificates and have now graduated into Umoja's Outplacement Programme. Well done to all our students here at Umoja in completing their foundation course and we wish them all the best in the next step of their education.
Thank you Barrier Reef Linen!
Management and staff of Barrier reef Linen in Airlie Beach are huge supporters of Umoja and House of Happiness. Here is a small way to show our enormous gratitude.. Asante sana!
New Role, New Manager!
Umoja is VERY happy and proud to announce that Miss Chuki Issa has been officially promoted to fulfill the position of Umoja's Centre Manager, a role which has proved to be very important as we grow and develop. Congratulations Miss Chuki, we are sure you will do a great job!!
Growing Tanzanian Support for Umoja
Umoja is proud to partner with Arusha Node Marie, who have provided free internet to The Umoja Centre since 2011. In June two members of the steering committee, Monica John and Christopher Tarimo visited us for monitoring and evaluating the impact of the project. It is fantastic to have Tanzanian support - thank you so much!
Leadership for 3 year Sport & Sexual Health Project
This week we welcome Mr Huruma Alfred Sakafu who is our new programme manager for the 3 year Sport and Sexual Health project, which is supported by Yes! Tanzania. Huruma has a wealth of experience in HIV/Aids projects, youth mobilization and project management. Umoja is the lead organisation in partnership with Yes! Tanzania, Palloti Parish and Casec. Welcome Mr Huruma!
Gala Dinner Success - Kirribilli Club, Sydney
Friends of Umoja came from far and wide to support our important next step - raising funds to purchase an area of land to build a new centre. MC Simon Marnie (ABC Radio) was fantastic and all were moved by our guest speaker, David Nyuol Vincent and his remarkable story. Auctioneer Adrian Brookman encouraged generous bids on many excellent items including several holidays and a Qantas simulator experience! Umoja Director, Caroline, made a passionate speech about the need to move and build a permanent and sustainable centre. Thank you to the event committee, Lawre Suttor, Lenore Boronkay, Susan Fookes and Ros Tomlinson for organising such a great night. Thank you all for supporting and attending on the night.
Bikes for Umoja!
Umoja students receive bikes from Wheels To Africa! Many of our students struggle with the journey to school or college - often walking 2 hours of more. One of our students walks to school - 4 hours a day - his mother sells fruit on the street to support her children - he does not know his father. By receiving help with a bike - he can get himself to school each day without taking money from the family. What a great day for Umoja!
Sewing Skills at Umoja
Our micro-enterprise sewing business is growing - we now make owls, elephants and bags! Profits help our students and staff who do the sewing AND Umoja. 2014 students are now learning the skills from 2013 student, Evaline and Australian volunteer Leeanne Kippen. Contact us if you would like an Umoja elephant or owl!
Let's Get Quizzical - London
On Thursday 7th November the Let’s Get Quizzical Quiz for Umoja returned to London! It was a resounding success with the most attendees and largest sum of money raised ever!
Over 70 people squeezed into the venue, a lovely old pub, where teams were tested on their knowledge. The mystery round was as silly and controversial as ever, with teams being tasked with making tall towers out of newspaper and sellotape. We had a fantastic raffle, with prizes kindly donated by Hawes & Curtis, Tortilla, Lush, Chelsea Football Club and Robert Dyas.
Thanks to everyone who came and supported the event! The next one will be in February! See you then!
Open Garden, Australia, in aid of Umoja!
Ros and Colin Tomlinson opened their beautiful garden to the public for the ABC Open Garden Scheme, with proceeds being kindly donated to Umoja. Over $700 was raised to assist Umoja in our day to day running costs including paying our teachers, bills and medical costs for our students. Thank you to Ros,Colin, Patrick, Jennifer, Jen, Ngaire and Marie Clare for your hard work in rain and shine!
June 2013 - Umoja Baby!
Mwajuma Rajabu, Umoja student of 2009 has become a first time mother this year. We would like to welcome little Caroline into the world! Mwajuma is now a tailor and runs her own successful small business in Moshono village, just outside of Arusha. Umoja would like to congratulate Mwajuma and her husband.
Thanks to our volunteers...Mr Neil and Miss Anna
Umoja would like to thank Neil Vaz (Canada) for his commitment and support. Neil joined us in January with the YCI group but then continued to stay on until May as a YCI Innovator. During this time he took the role of Acting Manager and worked on funding and budgeting. Umoja also welcomed our first Polish volunteer, Anna Bosiak, who managed our sponsorship program and taught Art and Spoken English. Anna also took our students on their first school trip to the Cultural Heritage Centre. Thank you Neil and Anna for your hard work, time and passion for Umoja. KARIBU TENA!
June 2013 - Art Powers Arusha
The Umoja Centre was lucky to welcome students from the Juilliard School of Performing Arts (New York) for a week of fun filled activities. The student led initiative is now known as Art Powers Arusha, with a group of Juilliard students returning each year for workshops around Arusha. One of the most important outcomes of this workshop, and the reason why it is so important to the Umoja program, is the obvious and significant increase in self-confidence in our young students. As a holistic program, Umoja offers personal development, health and welfare services alongside more traditional education. We believe that this combination allows our youth to succeed; be proud, be independent, have self-respect and become fine young adults. The Art Powers Arusha team focus particularly on increasing participation and creating a cohesive team environment where each student feels comfortable in expressing themselves through music, dance and drama. By the end of the week, both Umoja’s youth and the visiting teachers have learnt a lot from each other (and had a lot of fun!).
April 2013 - Good Bye Mr G!
Gerry Mkemangwa has been with Umoja since the beginning. In 2009 Umoja opened its doors to 40 young people hoping for a better life—Gerry was one of these. Quiet, hard working and intelligent, Gerry was one of our 2009 stars! Gerry was keen to work after completing his Foundation Year and did not want to return to school. Umoja employed him as Project Assistant. He worked alongside Caroline assisting with translation, special events and the library. Gerry also worked closely with our volunteers in class, translating when needed. One of these subjects was IT. After our IT volunteer left, we decided to give Gerry a chance at teaching. At first he was nervous, but then slowly grew in confidence into a fine teacher. During 2011 Gerry was lucky enough to enrol in IT Maintenance training with ACTT in Moshi. This, alongside teacher mentoring from several volunteers, enabled Gerry to become an enthusiastic and competent teacher.
In April this year Gerry had the wonderful opportunity to study IT in Rwanda at university level, so with great sadness we all said good bye to Umoja’s long term companion! Life at Umoja is certainly quieter without Gerry—and he is missed by all. Come back and visit us soon G—and good luck!
For all our news since 2009, please read our newsletters.