Improving Education

House Concert for Upendo Mmoja
On Friday, November 18, 2016 we held a house concert in Ashland, MA featuring Boston based singer-songwriter Greg Greenway. Proceeds from ticket sales helped support Upendo Mmoja (One Love) a residential and vocational school for orphaned children located in Pomerini.

Upendo kids

Greg Greenway is a Boston-based singer/song writer with deep roots in social justice. The Boston Globe wrote, “Confessional one moment, rambunctiously disarming the next, few modern folk singers can own a coffeehouse stage as completely as Greenway.”

Tickets are $25/person and are available by reservation only.
For more information or to order tickets contact:

Buidling the Masalali Primary School

During the choir visit in 2008, we learned about the desperate need to improve the educational opportunity for the youth in his community. As we continued to raise money for additional wells, we were also looking to improve the quality of and access to education.One of the visiting choir members, Barnabas Simon Chavala, was at that time the superintendent of schools in Pomerini and the surrounding villages.  In a region where student to teacher ratios can be over 100 to 1, where a single classroom can have over 100 students, where six-to-eight children have to share a desk the need for more schools and teachers is critical. With our support and under his careful supervision, Mr. Chavala had supervised the completion of four classrooms in the nearby village of Masalali, but lacked the resources to complete the structure to meet government standards. In Tanzania, the government will provide the salary of teachers and additional financial support only if a school meets minimum requirements.  The Africa Exchange Project stepped into action.

Classroom Section

We raised an additional $10,000 to fund the expansion of the school by adding additional classroom and an office. This expansion doubled the size of the school.  The villagers provided much of the labor to complete the project, including making their own bricks. The photograph to the right shows one step in the construction work.  Since this photo was taken, the school, now with 8 classrooms and two offices, has been completed. This enables all children in this community to attend a full day of school.

The villagers share the same hopes for their children as we all do: to live a safe environment, to have the means be able to provide for themselves, and have access to education to better their future.  By helping them obtain these goals, we have become better people stronger in community, stronger in faith, and stronger dreamers of what can be accomplished but much more help is needed. As we look to complete this project, we are also exploring other opportunities to improve the education of the region. With a shared investment in the outcome, education projects bring together communities to complete a shared vision and develop a sense of communal pride. Whereas fresh water addresses immediate need, education provides an additional means for them to lift themselves up and have hope for the future.