Jul 6, 2020

We are still running our programs, thanks to you!

Build-it workshop with Huruma Orphanage Center
Build-it workshop with Huruma Orphanage Center

Hello Twende Family,

This is such a strange time for all of us but through it all, your support has kept us going. Since the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of our programs came to a halt since most of our participants were school students. Schools were closed and social gatherings were discouraged and so were our workshops.

During the time where programs weren't running, Twende initiated a program in response to COVID-19 in which we planned to distribute 130 foot-operated handwashing stations in public places such as hospitals, market places and orphanages where there is a higher risk of contracting the virus. This means that our maker space was busy since our creativity trainer, Chris Mushi was always here to test and develop technology that will be used to address the pandemic, he also used this opportunity to mentor local artisans on how to make such technology.  To make these technologies available to the public, we posted a COVID-19 response project on GlobalGiving for people to  Support Local Tech to Slow the Spread of COVID-19. We will be grateful if you support the project as well.

After the economy was running and activities resumed, Twende opened its doors in June while adhering to all preventive measures. We managed to reach out to 80+ people from different parts of Arusha who attended different programs at different times. The programs attended include Build it workshops, Creative Capacity Building workshops and use of maker space.

During Build-it workshops, participants are introduced to basic scientific principles which they apply during the workshop. The programme encourages them to be more creative using basic creativity knowledge by bridging the gap between theory and application.

The aim of taking this program is to enable the community to solve existing problems, for example, the most popular build-it projects were the blackboard dusters, rubber squeezers, flashlights, solar phone chargers and spirit stoves. Twende teaches the group how to build one of these during a one-day program which they get to keep the items made for home/school/institution use.

Throughout this program, we managed to reach a total of 45 participants who requested to learn to make rubber squeezers to clean different places including washrooms, classrooms, dining rooms, corridors etc. instead of using pieces of cloth which is tiresome and takes a lot of time.

Through the Creative Capacity Building (CCB) workshop, we were able to reach a total of 52 participants including youth groups and farmers from different villages who started by learning the design process and practice hands-on activities by making useful projects like the maize cone sheller and a bottle opener out of a piece of flat bar, which they test and take home for use.

After two days of training, they get to brainstorm project ideas by referring to the technological problems they are facing in their communities then start designing the solutions by building simple prototypes. Some of the prototypes made include the smart jerk, roasted peanut skin peeler, a device to separate compost from plastic waste, a device that helps tyres get a grip when stuck in the mud, Maize harvester, maize planter, Beans thresher.

Despite the pandemic, Twende has been able to run all these programs and make an impact in our community. This has been made possible through your continued support.

Moving forward, Twende aims to pilot a Tech incubation program in which prototypes will be developed into marketable products so that they can be used to solve social challenges faced by the community. We will start with 3-5 prototypes that will undergo a series of testing and retesting until they are fit to hit the market. Your support has brought us this far and we hope we walk together as we aim to have more local technological solutions to local challenges.

Happy faces as students completed their project
Happy faces as students completed their project
Creative Capacity Building workshop in progress
Creative Capacity Building workshop in progress
Creative Capacity Building workshop in progress
Creative Capacity Building workshop in progress
Mar 4, 2020


Motor powered vegetable cutter
Motor powered vegetable cutter

The last 3 months have gone too fast with its bits of challenges but Twende family has been able to work hand in hand with different schools and partners as always to reach its s goal of sparking innovation in young minds, the workshop has been filled with smiles from students across Arusha.

So far we have worked with almost 200+ people through the programs that are happening at Twende including LED Outreach, Build its and Creative Capacity Building (CCB). Among these programs, participants were engaged in making different kinds of stuff for their daily use for example students got to make rubber squeezers and the blackboard dusters to be used by their schools instead of school buying them.

We have reached 105 students through LED outreach, where we got to spread the word of Twende and let them light the LED and get to review Ohms law practically as many schools especially public schools don’t have laboratories and tools/materials for practical sessions. Then interested students get to sign in for other Twende programs particularly Build It which makes the total of 65 who come to Twende to build different things including blackboard dusters, rubber squeezer and other electronic tools like flashlights, solar phone charger and many others.

We also worked with groups of street youths and women groups (50 in total) through Creative Capacity Building (CCB) program where they get through design cycle for three days, then get to list several challenges they wanted to work out solutions for the betterness of their lives in the near future. Some of the projects out of this include vegetable cutting machine, blackboard chalk mould, liquid soap mixer, wax pressing machine, coconut oil extractor, food warmer and transporter container etc.

As we also offer a working space and we received people with their innovative project ideas who wanted to prototype them. For example, currently, we are working with students from Tumaini Senior Sec School who are working on the electric generator which will collect power from motorbikes and store to be used for other purposes example lighting. They get to apply for the competition organized by the Government so they asked for support in terms of working space, Technical, presentation tips.

 We also received visitors and volunteers/interns who came for different purposes like learning, experience sharing, knowing and understanding what Twende does and also helping Twende to grow further in one way or another.

Conclusion: it has been a fruitful Quarter, reaching out to students and communities like never before, partnering with different organizations and schools such as Aga Khan University, Fues Foundation Mwandet Secondary School and Senda Success who also promised to work with us on holiday and weekend basis.

Conversion of mechanical into electrical energy
Conversion of mechanical into electrical energy
Dec 6, 2019


Powder soap being tested after testing the machine
Powder soap being tested after testing the machine

Hello Good People!

The year is coming to an end and Twende has been running several activities from hosting visitors to running workshops and continuously building strong partnerships. 

We had a great time with the Jamii Tech Program graduates (Youths from Universities and the communities) whose final presentation was done by early October, whereby nearby communities and Partner organizations graced us with their presence. This team has been so great since it comprised of hard-working, self-motivated students who cooperated well with us as well as the communities they worked with to achieve the goal of solving the problems faced by the specific community. The successful projects being made, tested and taken to the community include the Powder soap mixer, Dough maker, Dish Washer and the Automatic rice planter. Currently, the machines are being used by the community then follow-up is about to start to see how and where to help more for better functioning of the prototypes then develop them to the products.

What’s special about this year’s program is that, even after the program ended, one of the participants returned with interesting project ideas which he managed to make. The functioning prototypes include Automatic toilet hand washer and door opener, a manual simulation of car-driving games and a dough-kneading machine which is a supplement to the dough making machine. 

In terms of progress, there is fabrication done by some of our innovators including Manure spreader, multipurpose wheelchair and the avocado oil extracting machine. This was made possible by the support provided in terms of funds by the Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH) in Tanzania which seeks to support them in their final prototype stage for them to get feedback from the community and finally hit the market.

Our technical team has been working with individual workshop users who come to seek for technical advice and the maker space to practice their project ideas. We received several students who had different ideas and some have done some projects before so they have presented their ideas to receive advice which enlightened them to do more. One of the youths who has been using the maker space and received advice was working on the Simple carrot harvester and washing device of which he managed to make the prototype and he is still working to develop the prototype further.

We managed to run a build-it workshop with some of the school kids who came for a school tour, where they got to learn more of what we do and got the opportunity to make simple build-it items that relate to their class topics and other technical stuff like soldering, measuring, cutting as well as other skills like recycling. The items made include flashlights, blackboard dusters, and rubber squeezers together with other fun projects like a fun toy gun made by one student which made him proud of the achievement that motivated other kids to try things too.

In other news, we had a prestigious visit from Deutsche Welle who featured our most recent activities including one of our successful inventors who is brining impact to his local community through local innovation.  

Twende is currently conducting holiday programs which will involve a lot of youths (Youth camps) and kids from different schools who will participate in Creative Capacity Building and Build-it workshops for the kids. We have registered several numbers of up to 40 youths for the programs officially kick off on the 10th of December, the team is setting up everything in place ready to start the program and end the year with a bang.

Twende loves bringing impact to the local community. 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 (FacebookTwitter and Instagram) or watch our GlobalGiving organization page.

Remember, we do this because you help us. Thank you very much for your continous support!

Manure spreader making process
Manure spreader making process
Build-it workshop  for a Maize Sheller Device
Build-it workshop for a Maize Sheller Device


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