Hi all, and hope everyone has had a happy holiday season thus far.  I posted these screenshots recently to Toa’s social media platforms and they were wildly popular, so I am reposting here for those who do not follow Toa on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s really incredible how, through such online platforms, Toa has gotten to know a lot of other folks working with children, education, disability, and/or development in varying ways.

Whether we’re making new friends in Tanzania or East Africa; reaching out to those who specialize in education and special education needs; understanding new concepts about learning differences or social/emotional intelligence; or reading about leadership skills either for the young people with whom we work or the tutors we hire and train to help them, we are nothing if not soaking up the vast amounts of information, expertise, and experience all around us, and especially on the internet.

A recent great connection was made when we started following Kristin Wiens, a Special Education Curriculum Coordinator in Victoria, B.C. Canada.  I can’t be sure at this point because the Twitter connections have grown exponentially and have a lot of different tendrils, but I *think* we found Kristin (@kwiens62) via @MindShiftKQED which “explores the future of learning, covering cultural and tech trends and innovations in education” on the West Coast of the USA.  And I *think* we got to them via @hechingerreport, “covering education nationwide with in-depth journalism.”  Anyway, you get the drift: on Twitter, a follow begets a follow and so on and so forth.

But back to Kristin.  What we really like about her Twitter feed and her work in general (check out North Star Paths) are her amazing visuals.  Covering everything from “child honouring” to mindfulness to self-regulation, Kristin’s messages are heavy on images and graphics which work well in Tanzania, a culture in which less emphasis is placed on the written word than on oral or visual storytelling.

We particularly like this sketchnote reminding our tutors on how they can brighten a student’s day, so we had it translated into Swahili and hung at each of the public primary schools where Toa has a presence.  In just a few short days, that will be ELEVEN total school sites all around Moshi Municipality in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.  Now isn’t that something to brighten YOUR day?!  🙂