A SPARC+ Upgrade for Sazira Secondary School in Tanzania

In the past, we’ve talked about our efforts in the Sazira Secondary School in Tanzania near Lake Victoria. We’re committed to completing an expansion upgrade to their computer lab by September of this year. Thanks to a generous grant of $13,000 from the Collegiate Churches of New York and $3,800 of in-kind services, we need only an additional $6,300 to complete the project. Would you help by making a contribution?

We’ve been working for years with co-ed government secondary schools to solve the lack of electricity, internet and educational resources with our award-winning programs. Our Educating Through Technology programs include SPARC (Solar-Powered Access to Raspberry Computing) computer labs and the Pi-oneer, an innovative teaching tool that combines a mobile projector with a Raspberry Pi computer. Both create a technology infrastructure within the schools and enables them to offer the national curriculum for Information and Computer Studies to their students. In addition, we provide schools with an offline digital library of educational resources along with technology training for teachers and students.

The SPARC lab at Sazira Secondary School

We have also sought to give students in these regions a foundation on which to build their lives. After receiving a school background with improved resources and technology literacy, these students often go on to pursue advanced education and employment opportunities. A full 60% of students surveyed at our beneficiary schools reported continuing their education while 57% were able to secure solid employment. With the generosity of our corporate sponsors, compassionate donors and individuals like you, we will continue to increase those numbers.

Sazira Secondary School, Kabasa Secondary School, and Mekomariro Secondary School are three schools in the Bunda District equipped with our solar-powered computer labs. Our plans for the Sazira Secondary School will take the school’s current SPARC lab of five computers and transform it into a SPARC+ lab equipped with twenty. This installation will impact 822 girls and boys aged 14-18 and 37 teachers. As one class graduates and another begins, more students will benefit from the services we provide.

Solar panels at Sazira Secondary School

As an international non-profit, we remain committed to our mission of enhancing education and stimulating the imaginations of students in developing countries. We also respect and incorporate the values of the local culture, emphasizing cooperation over competition, community over the individual, modesty over pride and spiritually over materiality. Combined with our dedication to utilizing solar power and open source technology in every lab we install, we feel our cause is a worthwhile charity for our patrons.

Join us in our efforts to continue expanding the resources available to the Sazira Secondary School by donating today!

Founding Director Attends United Nations Meeting

We are delighted to announce that our Founding Director Janice Lathen attended a high-level side-event on “Relevant, Equitable and Inclusive Quality Education for All: an Imperative for the 21st Century” during the review of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) at the High-level Political Forum 2019 in New York at the United Nations Headquarters on July 15, 2019! Hosted by UNESCO, the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee and the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning, the event was held in the Trusteeship Council Chamber and included a panel discussion.

UNESCO, also known as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has programs that are vital to the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030. They work alongside the SDG-Education 2030 Committee, which is tasked with the coordination and assessment of SDG4 and other aspects of this incredible work. The Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning is new to the trio having been established in January 2019 for the purpose of outreach to make education a priority to the UN General Assembly, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and other UN organizations. This body is currently chaired by the Permanent Missions of Argentina, the Czech Republic, Japan, Kenya and Norway to the United Nations.

The Trusteeship Council Chamber

Transforming lives through education through the guidelines set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was the main topic of the event’s 90-minute panel discussion, which included direction on how to generate global commitments towards inclusive quality education and lifelong learning for all populations. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, gave opening remarks. Statements were then given by Ministers of Member States and representatives from the European Union and the World Bank. Government, private sector, civil society, and youth representatives were also in attendance.

One of the most engaging speeches was given by Maggie MacDonnell, the 2017 Global Teacher Prize Winner. Additional topics included equity and inclusion among populations, the interconnection between global communities, and providing the necessary life and work skills to those same communities. Afterward, Ms. Lathen spoke with Ms. Azoulay, who suggested that Powering Potential contact her office for possible funding opportunities.

Maggie MacDonnell

“I am always inspired to attend events at the United Nations,” Ms. Lathen said. “I was especially grateful for the opportunity to meet the Director-General and introduce Powering Potential to her. We hope for an opportunity to collaborate with UNESCO in the future.” 

We would like to thank UNESCO, the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee and the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning for both the invitation and experience!