Some of you joined us on the ETI Travel Blog as we headed to Karagwe, Tanzania this past two weeks. Our team is now 5 hours from heading home and 30 hours from being home. The trip, as usual, was eventful, rich, productive and downright fun.
We were ‘gone’ January 21 – 31 and traveled for the purpose of getting progress reports on Karagwe University College and starting the baseline data collection through Chris Johnstone (of the University of Minnesota). Wow – what a trip.
Many of you already saw the photo of the water from the well. What a JOY to see visiby clear water flowing from the pump at the borehole. The photo actually brings tears to my eyes. Our Tanzanian partners call the well “The Miracle”.
Data Collection: We were met with friendly, trusting partners who established focus groups for the data collection piece. The eval team was made up of Chris (lead), Enock, Assa, Horace, Vincent and Brighton who is the Tanzanian Team lead. Chris’ Swahili improved dramatically as he worked with local villagers to share information on signs of income in this area (sources of protein, phone, vehicles including bicycles, style of toilet, etc.). I was able to join the team one day and was impressed with the sensitivity and competence of the entire team. Truly inspiring. We are coming home with 240 fully completed surveys and are thrilled about that. This will help ETI measure the future impact of KARUCO.
Our Karagwe Summit went very well. Rev Dr. Benson Bagonza, Founder of KARUCO and Bishop, KAD led the meeting that centered on about 15 major issues affecting establishment of the university. Bishop and Dr. Brighton Katabaro, KARUCO Coordinator, led the KAD Management Team and others in a robust discussion about the university. Water, infrastructure, curriculum, community engagement program, faculty, student recruitment, funding and many other issues were addressed. The tone was one of trust, openness and sincere concern about the momentum and future around KARUCO. KAD determined that the necessary licenses are not in place which makes opening in October, 2016 as planned – impossible. While disappointing, this news brought the immediate silver lining that KARUCO will open unofficially to the farmer engagement program (Community Engagement Program) since no approvals or licenses are necessary.
The Swedish team (Magnus Fredricson and Per-Ove Persson) joined ETI for the trip, offering their expertise in Rural Agriculture. In addition, Per-Ole Enander, Cardiologist joined us on his off hours from the Nyakahanga Hospital (there were very few of those). They were an absolute joy to get to know and we are very encouraged about what they bring to the table in terms of know-how and resources.
From the Boma Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda – thanks for caring about ETI.