As I did earlier this year with our Q2 report, I am reprinting Q3 here for those readers out there who are not on The Toa Nafasi Project’s subscription list.  Some of the information is repeated from past blog entries and social media, but I hope you’ll bear with us and scroll down to the end.  Cheers, and happy reading!

Dear Friends of The Toa Nafasi Project,

As we begin to wind down 2019, I am pleased to report the activities of our 3rd quarter to you, starting with my departure from Kilimanjaro.

After 12 long years, I made the difficult but appropriate decision to come home and make the United States my permanent residence once again.  I truly loved my time in Tanzania, but I also realized that in order for Toa to succeed, I needed to step back and let it flourish under local leadership.  All of us at Toa spent the bulk of the year to date preparing for this moment and we strongly feel that it’s a natural and necessary next step.  (You can read my tearjerker of a goodbye blog entry here if you wish.)

However, never fear!  As founder, Toa will always be my “baby” and I will always be involved in the project to some extent.  Right now, I am still providing directorial assistance from afar with the day-to-day operations completely handed over to local leadership, namely Augustino, Ema, and Hyasinta whose names are surely familiar to you from past reports, blog entries, and social media.  They have each been doing fantastic work and have proved that they are not only capable of carrying the Toa workload in-country, they are also excited for the challenge.

I also continue to be involved in the governance of the project and remain on both the US and TZ boards of directors.  And of course, I continue to fundraise, supporting our grants manager, Allison Taylor, and with assistance and guidance from members of the US board.

If what Toa was doing from inception until now can be considered “action research,” or creating change by simultaneously taking action and doing research, then I’d like to think that what we are currently embarking on is “development in action,” or the process by which change comes about as a result of efforts made by those who will be positively affected.  After all, it’s not really development if Toa relies on me or any other Westerner to keep it afloat; we’ve spent nearly 7 years investing in the most valuable of resources – human – so let’s see what the return is like, shall we?!  I do not think we will be let down!!

Speaking of human resources, now is a great time to announce that we will be expanding our services once again next year, this time in 2 more schools in 2 more wards: Kaloleni Primary School in Kaloleni Ward and Jitegemee Primary School in Pasua Ward.  Thus, by 2020, we will have nearly reached halfway to our goal of having a Toa presence in 1 school in each of the 21 wards in Moshi Municipality.  Still quite a ways to go, but it’s a triumph of sorts.

In order to accommodate the new influx of pupils, we have already hired and begun to train 3 new tutors – Walimu Pendonsiana, Hajra, and Sauda – for a total of 29 local women who work assiduously under Hyasinta’s careful guidance.  We also hired an office manager to stay full-time at our office in Moshi town and she will have the unfortunate task of filing all the paperwork I had been keeping at my home office the last few years!  Dada Navoneiwa also has the sought-after computer skills that Augustino requires to help him with data entry, report writing, and all that fun stuff.

Now for a few bibs and bobs….

The graphic below shows the breakdown of our 2019 Tier 3 students at each of the current 9 participating school sites per the results of our initial assessment in April.  As we have reached 6 months into our intervention, the 2nd assessment has just been completed so we should see a lot of change very shortly.  (Check out Mwalimu Happyness congratulating a student on completing her test below!)  We should have those test results for you to see by the end of the year, so stay tuned for the Q4 report.

This Fall, Augustino became the second Toa Nafasian to participate in a TEDx event!  He attended TEDxMajengo in Arusha, Tanzania where the theme was “Reshaping the Narrative.”  Who knows, this year in the audience, next year on the stage?!

In September, I went on Toa’s behalf to the annual general meeting of the Segal Family Foundation as a brand-new grantee and had a grand old time.  You can read all about it here and also check our social media platforms for further mentions.

In October, Augustino and Ema traveled to Dar es Salaam to take part in a week-long workshop hosted by Segal regarding organizational development, particularly financial management.  While they were there, they also took several meetings with various other potential partners for and stakeholders in the project.

Additionally, we wanted inform our donors who gave during the GlobalGiving Little by Little campaign in August that we applied the funds raised to the repairs of our tent-as-classroom at Mnazi Primary School.  Many many thanks for making that happen and for putting this gorgeous smile on our handyman’s face!

Last but certainly not least, The Toa Nafasi Project would like to remind you that ‘tis now the giving season with #GivingTuesday only a month away.  Of course, we hope you’ll donate to us, but if you don’t, please do consider giving somewhere.  There are so many people in need and so many worthy causes to give to.  We’ll be running campaigns on MightycauseGlobalGiving, and AmazonSmile.

As always, our sincerest appreciation goes out to all our friends and donors around the world who make this important work possible.  We look forward to reporting back again in early January regarding our 4th quarter activities.

With all best wishes and our many thanks,

Sarah Rosenbloom