Zanzibar Pi-oneer Project Completed

Arriving at Kisiwa Pannza island in Pemba

A few words from Albin Mathias our County Director:

Powering Potential has been hard at work in the Zanzibar Archipelago. Wikipedia lists this remote chain of islands off the coast of East Africa as a network of four main islands. Only three have active human populations.

Our efforts have been on Unguja and Pemba Islands, the first and second largest of the three. The fourth consists of coral. Journeying as far as Mafia Island takes you into the Pwani Region and additional islets beyond Zanzibar.

This May, our team completed the implementation of the Pi-oneer Program for 16 schools in Zanzibar. Each school was selected by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training-Zanzibar (MoEZ). A total of 11 secondary schools were selected from Unguja Island: Jongowi, Tumbatu, Uzi, Michamvi, Charawe, Ukongoroni, Kijini, Pwani Mchangani, Kidoti, Mbuyutende, and Kandwi. An additional 5 schools are located on Pemba Island: Kisiwa Panza, Makoongwe, Fundo, Shungi, and Tumbe.

To our delight, we were accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Education-Zanzibar which provided a car and driver for our implementation team. We thank them sincerely for their presence! We were also given a great welcome by the teachers and students. Below is a photo of me with the officials as we headed to schools in Pemba. The following people are from left to right: Five students from Makoongwe Secondary School in Makoongwe Island; Musa Khamisi Musa, Operation and Service, MoEZ Pemba; Albin Mathias, Country Director for Powering Potential; Mwalimu Haji Kombo, Regional Education Officer for South Pemba; two students.

Our Team 

Working together bega kwa bega (shoulder to shoulder) with the MoEZ has allowed our program to be successfully implemented in Zanzibar. Every team player loved the work and participated with commitment.

In fact, the commitment was so apparent that the photo below was taken at 5am. Our driver and the head of the store were wide awake to load the equipment to take to the Zanzibar port for Pemba shipping.

L to R: Babu Ally the Driver and Rajabu Omari,
the head of store in MoEZ Zanzibar
We took some photos at Mbuyutende Secondary School. Powering Potential gives each school a “Pi-oneer.” The Pi-oneer is an innovative teaching tool comprised of a Raspberry Pi computer with RACHEL offline educational content that includes Khan Academy videos, a mobile projector, screen and a solar recharging unit. Teachers can take the Pi-oneer into the classrooms to display video and other teaching materials to the students. 
Training at  the Mbuyutende Secondary School 

At Mbuyentende Secondary School, Mr. John Panga, our solar technician, assembled a Pi-oneer recharging unit while Mr. Ramadhan Othman Juma, Officer for Student Services, MoEZ and some of the primary kids watched. They were excited by the process. Then someone snapped a photo (below) of me with Mr. Rajabu Omary at the temporary desk we set up for Powering Potential Equipment Testing and Configuration at MoEZ.

The Powering Potential
Equipment Testing and Configuration

At each school, I led the groups in training on the Pi-oneer. Everyone was eager to learn and helpful in their questions. After each session, the teachers had an opportunity to practice what they learned on the equipment. 

Pi-oneer training at Kandwi – Unguja
Pi-oneer training Tumbe- Pemba
Teachers practicing Pi-oneer at Kijini -Unguja
I am very pleased that this portion of the installation went so well. Our gratitude goes to the Raspberry Pi Foundation for their generosity in donating funds for this project. Special thanks to the Segal Family Foundation for providing a matching grant towards its completion as well! This month we continue the program by installing the Pi-oneer at 40 schools on the mainland of Tanzania. Powering Potential continues to flourish in our efforts due to the contributions of foundations and individual contributors like you. If you would like to help us continue giving rural Tanzanian students access to technology and modern educational resources, visit to donate. Asante sana (thank you)!

o o o 

Swahili is the language of Tanzania. The following African proverbs are another taste of that beautiful language:

Maarifa ni kama bustani: isipolimwa haitavunwa.

Knowledge is like a garden: If it is not cultivated, it can’t be harvested.

Bega kwa bega.

Shoulder to Shoulder.

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