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Nov 21, 2018

Ending The Year With Youth Camps!

Wheelchair taken for testing at the community
Wheelchair taken for testing at the community

Hey Twende Folks!

Wow, the year is almost over! And as we close we remember all the help we have received from this community. It has been such a great journey watching all sorts of folks from all backgrounds coming together to make this work, to bring ideas to life and walk with us towards our goals. Thank you so much, everyone.

This quarter started off with the last weeks of the Jamii (Community) Technology Program, where the students presented their project stages for the last time at Twende before they are taken for testing, with hopes that the groups will continue to work on the next prototypes of their project. The wheelchair also managed to find itself in a few youth events and exhibitions where it caught the attention of both the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Science and Education, which is pretty awesome! We hope that their new connections through the people they have impressed will also potentially fund their wheelchair’s next prototypes and final product.

 

We have also had the pleasure of working with a young, wise 13-year-old student who has brought a lot of ideas on board at the workshop and is working on a survey of whether he should make a local bicycle he calls “The Rounder”. This bicycle will be made entirely of scraps and recycled material, ranging from plastic bags to metal frames from thrown away bikes. The Rounder will also exhibit cool facilities such as a cup holder and a roof for rainy days! More on this in a couple of months!

 

As we get closer to the end of the year, we become excited about our youth camps that happen in December. We are currently selecting our students for this year’s series of Creative Capacity Building program and reaching out to more schools about the benefits of building the innovative side of children while they are still learning.

 

Twende loves new students coming in all the time and we like to encourage them to create technologies. We believe this generation has so much potential and are the future of a better Tanzania, one that solves is own problems with innovation. In the next few months, we will have more creative capacity building programs and continue to follow up on how individual projects are doing as well as continue to work on our new project. We love that you continue to support us and keep track of what we are up to. Do sign up for our newsletter and follow us on our social accounts (Facebook and Instagram) or watch our GlobalGiving organization page.

Remember, we do this because you help us. Thank you so much!

Warmly,

Ellie & the Twende team

Ellie giving JTP certificates.
Ellie giving JTP certificates.

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Aug 27, 2018

Launch of the Jamii (Community) Technology Program

Banana peeler prototype testing. Exciting times!
Banana peeler prototype testing. Exciting times!

Hello Twende Community!

We continue to be blown away by your appreciation and generous contribution to what we do here at Twende. It has been such a wonderful journey seeing so many young people come into Twende and materialize their solutions to real problems they see and/or experience in their communities. It all happens with your help so thank you very much!

This quarter we did a lot of work with youth within the local community, alongside with the Creative Capacity Building,  During this time, colleges, universities and similar institutions close for a couple of months and so there are a lot of youth doing internships or at home keeping themselves busy. Twende thought this would be a superb time to introduce our Jamii Technology Program (JTP). JTP brings local youth as well as international youth together with a specific community, and together they team up to identify a specific problem within that community that they can solve together using their innovative ideas and abilities. These innovative technologies are created from scratch in hope to go through many prototype phases and finally a finished product that can be used by the community it was created to help.

We were lucky to get a group of ten youths, of which nine out of ten were Tanzanian and one was from the US. After a week of our traditional Creative Capacity Building session that introduced the youth to what Twende is about and all the machines and equipment in our maker space, they divided up into three groups and each was taken to a community in order to identify a problem and work with them to find an innovative solution. We were graced with four great ideas that were a wheelchair for kids with cerebral palsy, a banana peeler, a sunflower seed thresher and a paper-bag maker. Over the weeks we saw drawings turn into very impressive prototypes!

One of the ideas that have really caught the attention of many was the wheelchair for kids with cerebral palsy. The team of three (Colman, Eamon, and Goodluck) presented their first prototype in one of Twende’s other pilots called MakerSoko that is a physical exhibition that we hope to do annually as well as an online platform that will help showcase innovative technologies to the rest of Tanzania and the world! Their wheelchair, known as Kyaro Wheelchair (Kyaro means Safari or journey in Chagga, a tribal language in North-east Tanzania), got so much attention that they were invited to exhibit it at the International Youth Week Exhibition and further still in a Government Youth Center in Tanga later on in the year. It has been so exciting seeing how their technology not only showed to be important for the community they were making it for but that perhaps after a few more prototypes it could help the entire nation. The team is already working on their second prototype.

Twende loves to celebrate the creativity and innovative abilities of our youth and are so excited to see where all the projects will end up. We believe this generation has so much potential and are the future of a better Tanzania, one that solves is own problems with innovation. In the next few months, we will continue to follow up on how individual projects are doing as well as continue to work on our new project. We love that you continue to support us and keep track of what we are up to. Do sign up for our newsletter and follow us on our social accounts (Facebook and Instagram) or watch our GlobalGiving organization page.

This would not have been possible without you. Thank you so much!

Warmly,

Ellie & the Twende team

Team paper-bag maker prototype presentation
Team paper-bag maker prototype presentation
Kyaro Wheelchair at the MakerSoko exhibition
Kyaro Wheelchair at the MakerSoko exhibition

Links:

May 29, 2018

Student Projects at Twende Continue!

Felix working on his hydropower prototype
Felix working on his hydropower prototype

Hello Twende Community :)

Thank you again for your amazing generosity in our work. Because of your support, we have exceeded our $10,000 goal for the Form 4 Design Competition! This is amazing, and we are blown away by the 77 individuals and organizations who believe in what we do. Asanteni sana, thank you so much!

The past 3 months has been a whirlwind of activity at Twende. During the first half of the calendar year, we focus on working with local secondary school students. One student from the Form 4 Design Competition designed a water filter that transforms murky, muddy water into clean, clear water. We are impressed with his work and are trying to match him with a local technology startup that designs, manufactures, and distributes clean water through water filters and water stations in and around Arusha. They have a water testing laboratory that would be great for the student to see and use!

We have also been able to allocate some of the excess budget from the Form 4 Design Competition to our local secondary school outreach programs, where we run a short Introduction to Circuits workshop in secondary schools (a curriculum co-created between our Creativity Trainer Chris, MIT professors, and several Twende interns) and invite the more enthusiastic students to Twende. We then teach these students our DIY affordable torch (made of old water bottles and PVC pipe) and DIY solar phone charger (made of broken solar panels donated from a local technology startup). Then these students are challenged to think of their own ideas. We've seen students work on projects from hydropower to biogas recycling food waste to attempts at drones & electric cars. It's wonderful to see how these students light up when given the opportunity to be creative.

In addition to these programs, we have been running a longer-term training with a secondary school in a rural village about an hour away from Arusha. These students come to Twende twice a week for full days of designing and fabricating their projects, after attending an initial Creative Capacity Building workshop to brainstorm and begin ideas. Some of their projects include a corn cob grinder (because corn cobs are usually thrown away or burned, when they could be grinded into livestock feed), a device to control smoke (because usually smoke produced from cooking inside homes does not get directed out very effectively, resulting in poor health outcomes), and a stable stove (because balancing pots of food on 3-stone fires is challenging on uneven, rocky, hilly ground – like what is commonly found in this village). These are technologies designed by those who experience the problems and who now have the opportunity to create their own solutions.

We are proud to support such creative problem solvers to design and make technologies that improve life in Tanzanian communities. We look forward to see what this next generation can do! In the next few months, we will continue to plan for similar workshops with an older audience while running a pilot program for university students to work with local community partners to co-create technologies solving a challenge of the community partners. We would be delighted if you decided to continue supporting us. We’ll be opening a new project page soon. Keep up by signing up for our newsletter, following us on Facebook, or watching our GlobalGiving organization page.

Thank you again. We could not have done this without you!

Warmly,

Debbie & the Twende team

Form 4 student sharing his water filter prototype
Form 4 student sharing his water filter prototype
Students lighting up an LED through Circuit Intro
Students lighting up an LED through Circuit Intro

Links:

 
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