Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania

by Girls Education International
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Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Hamisi (middle) with two classmates
Hamisi (middle) with two classmates

Happy Holidays Project Wezesha Supporters!

We hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and enjoying peace at this time. The pandemic has given us all a lot to think about – and worry about. It has also given us opportunities to expand the ways in which we connect with one another locally and globally. My hope was to return to Tanzania this December to join students from Amahoro Secondary School during our academic study camp, but unfortunately, the uncertainty of Covid in Tanzania has made that impossible. Nonetheless, camp will go on! And in the meantime, Lucas and Madaga are sending updates weekly via What’s App. 

Celebrating Class of 2021

At the end of November, Amahoro Secondary School celebrated the graduation of Form Four students. They celebrated with dance, song, speeches, and food (see photos). There is so much pride among the teachers, students, and community members. We’ve come a long way since opening the school in January 2015!

December Study Camp

On Monday, December 13th a cohort of students from Amahoro Secondary School – 10 young women and 10 young men will begin attending study camp. Our longtime supporters are well aware of the success of our camps. The impact of attending a 3-week intensive camp twice a year has been remarkable! We saw a growth in the number of students passing national exams after their final year in secondary school. The ripple of effect of that has been more students attending high school, and ultimately university!

This year, we support a record number of students attending university. Project Wezesha is directly supporting 8 men and 3 women in university and college programs. We are also proud to partner with Girls Education International to support an additional 11 girls – 10 of whom just began at universities around the country in November. Having spent a lot of time in the villages where these students come from, I can attest that this is cause for celebration! These young individuals are among few from their remote communities to attend high school, let alone university. They are motivated and knew from the beginning that if given financial support, they could do the rest – and they have!

2022 Fundraising Goals 

Our fundraising goals for 2022 are set – our operational budget will be $17,750. It’s high because we’ve been successful, so we’re accepting this challenge with gratitude! Here’s the breakdown:

  • $1500 per student for university fees @ 10 students
  • $1250 in matching funds for a June Study Camp
  • $750 for Project Wezesha’s contribution to Lucas’ salary

We also have $700 remaining for our 2021 goal of $3,000 for Mayani and Hamisi’s university tuition. In the meantime, these young men have reported to their universities and started classes in November. So here, we'll share the story of Hamisi's launch into medical school.

Hamisi – Future Surgeon in the Making

Hamisi is studying to become a surgeon. He was motivated to do so by his own experience with illness as a young boy, and the failure of doctors to help him in the early stages of his disease. Now, Hamisi is enrolledat Kampala International University in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

According to Madaga, our Education Director, Hamisi has finally adjusted to the rigors of his program. He is enjoying life in Dar ss Salaam and has made many great friends to study and spend time with (see pictures). In some of his lectures, there are over 200 students from Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, and Rwanda. Their professors are from Nigeria, India, Cuba, Kenya and Tanzania. The university is finalizing construction on a hospital, which will serve the local community and be a site for medical student learning. Hamisi’s academic and career goals now include a focus on the health of women and children. He hopes to specialize in gynecology.

In Hamisi’s Words (slightly edited)

I am very grateful for my sponsors giving me another chance on my study journey. I enjoy my study at Kampala International University in Dar, because of the special kind of love and support from our lecturers and my friends. Our lecturers teach us how to dissect the cadavers. This makes me feel like I've already become a surgeon.

In addition to attending lectures, our program requires a lot of time on reading books so at our campus we have a library, which I use for more knowledge. I meet with friends from different places. Always I expect to learn new things from them. I meet with Ahmed from Zanzibar, Leonard from Mwanza, Linus from Dar es Salaam.

In our program, we have 9 subjects this year - anatomy, physiology, medical ethics, epidemiology, immunology, behavioral science, communication skills and English language, computer, and biochemistry. Per day we study 3 subjects for 2 hours each. 

I wake up at 3:00 AM to start readings. At 5:00AM I pray, then come back to study. I commute 20 minutes to campus and take courses from 8am until 4pm. After class hours we have a 1-2 hour group discussion, based on what lecture teaches us. Finally, I go home and rest briefly before starting to read from 8:30-10:30pm. Then I go to bed.  The main challenge I face is that I’m studying on my phone of small storage capacity. It can't handle the notes and materials needed to our course.

Inspiration and Gratitude

We’re inspired by Hamisi and his dedication to his studies. The amount of time he invests in his courses and his future is sure to result in his success. I suppose if we could add one more ask to our already big wish list for 2022, it would be a funding stream to cover the cost of one laptop per university student. In Dar, they can buy a good computer for $250 USD. Let us know if you’d like to contribute for one! 

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of Project Wezesha over the years. We hope the stories of the students’ success bring you as much joy this holiday season as they bring us. It’s all about the bright spots in the world today! Help us continue adding more light by contributing to support these university students through 2022 and beyond!

Cheers,

Rai, Lucas, and Madaga
The Project Wezesha Team

Proud Partners of Girls Education International

Hamisi in Lab
Hamisi in Lab
Hamisi and classmates
Hamisi and classmates
Amahoro Graduation Celebration
Amahoro Graduation Celebration
Amahoro Graduating Class of 2021
Amahoro Graduating Class of 2021
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Sospeter with Peers at College
Sospeter with Peers at College

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters, 

Many of the young men in our scholarship program have dreams that lie in the medical field. They have all been inspired by their life experiences in the villages surrounding Kigoma town.

Inspired by Experience

At the very start of secondary school, Dibeit knew that he would pursue medicine with a specific goal of improving the quality of health and life for women and their children. Tumsifu echoed Dibeit's concerns about the number of women they saw dying in their villages due to complications from childbirth and other female health related issues. 

In May 2020, Dibeit and Tumsifu graduated from University. Tumsifu is now working as an Assistant Doctor at a private dispensary in Tabora. Dibeit is also working at a hospital in Tabora, and he is awaiting an appointment by the government to an official post. 

In Their Footsteps

Following in their footsteps, Simoni entered a program to become a medical doctor of gynecology -- a 6-year program that will provide him with sound theoretical and practical knowledge for the work he plans to do. He is motivated by a strong desire to improve the overall health of women through a holistic approach that incorporates a focus on lifestyle choices. 

In this short video, we share a message sent to us by Simoni via What's App. In addition to sharing about his academic program and future goals, he commits to investing 10% of his future salary into our scholarship program to help "his young sisters and brothers" (i.e., future Project Wezesha students) as they fulfill their academic dreams. 

We have known Simoni since he was a small, shy young boy at the top of his Standard 7 class at Mgaraganza Primary School. His teachers raved about his academic performance. Everyone lamented the future of a young man with so much potential, but very little means to pay for secondary school. Project Wezesha admitted Simoni to our scholarship program and supported him through secondary school, academic study camps, and high school. Throughout it all, Simoni remained focused on his goals and performed at the top of each class. It was no surprise to us that he would be admitted to university to become a doctor. 

In addition to these young men, Sospeter and Anzaruni are completing year one of a 3-year program at Sumbawanga College in pursuit of a diploma in Clinical Medicine. (See photos of these two students with their peers at College.) They share updates about what they are learning through both course work and field study. Recently Anzaruni reported on the inspiration he got from attending the graduation of 3rd year students. He is both excited and nervous about his second year as the length and intensity of the program increases. Among challenges he anticipates is a lack of equipment to complete his coursework, noting that there are several devices that he will be required to purchase to keep up with peers in labs and other practical courses. 

Continuing Your Support

If you believe in the potential for these young men to make a difference in the lives of many Tanzanians through their work in the medical field, please consider sharing this update with friends and family and making an additional contribution today. With your support, we can ensure they not only earn their degrees but excel while doing so! 

Thank you for being part of the dream!

Sincerely, 

Rai, Lucas, and Madaga
Team Project Wezesha 

*Girls Education International is the fiscal sponsor for Project Wezesha.

Anzaruni and Peers at College
Anzaruni and Peers at College
Anzaruni and Classmate
Anzaruni and Classmate
2012 Project Wezesha Scholarship Cohort
2012 Project Wezesha Scholarship Cohort
Young Simoni
Young Simoni
Simoni at University
Simoni at University

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Dr. Tumsifu in Tabora
Dr. Tumsifu in Tabora

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

We hope you are staying healthy and finding time in the comfort and company of loved ones. As we passed the one-year mark of the beginning of the global pandemic, we found ourselves reflecting on all that we have to be grateful for. First of all, Project Wezesha students and staff, as well as their families and teachers are all healthy and safe. Secondly, the students in our program are each excelling at everything they put their minds to! In this report, we’ll share some of the highlights.

We’d also like to take a moment to express our solidarity with the citizens of Tanzania who recently laid their President to rest. President John Magafuli passed away on March 17th. His Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in on March 19th as the country’s first woman President. We wish her much strength as she leads her country through the healing process and this transition of power. We hope that the best interests of the people of Tanzania will guide the public health decisions made by her administration moving forward.

Celebrating our Students

We couldn’t be more proud of Tumsifu – one of our first Project Wezesha scholarship students. With your support, we have funded Tumsifu’s studies through secondary and high school and most recently through University. He graduated with a medical degree as a clinical officer, which allows him to practice medicine in Tanzania.  He graduated with a GPA of 3.5 and was ranked at the top of his class. After spending a short time at home to visit his family in Kigoma, he secured a job at the Primary Health Care Institute in Tabora. He is earning a nice salary and is delighted to be helping patients in the community. (See attached picture of him in his office.)

Another one of our recent graduates, Mahamudu from Mgaraganza village, recently earned his diploma in pharmaceutical studies from the Royal Training Institute in Dar es Salaam. He graduated with a GPA of 3.2 and was also ranked in the top of his class. He is currently working in his uncle’s duka la dawa (pharmacy) in Dar es Salaam.  

One of our current university students, George from Bubango village is studying disaster management at the University of Dodoma. He currently has a GPA of 3.8, which is stellar! Courses from his studies include Risk & Disaster Management, Climatology, Introduction to Information Technology, Theories of Management of Risk and Crisis, Poverty and Livelihood, Environmental Conservation Education, and so many other fascinating & relevant courses that will open many doors to employment when he graduates.   

Simoni, another university student from Mgarganza village is pursuing a medical degree in surgery at the University of Dodoma. He is doing really well in his studies with mostly As and Bs in challenging courses. Among the courses he’s taken in his first two semesters are Medical Biochemistry, Human Anatomy, Medical Sociology, Human Nutrition, Nursing Ethics, Embryology and Human Development, and more.

In a recent conversation with Lucas, Simoni said, “When I get a job as a doctor in a hospital, whether government or private, I will allow 10% of my salary to go directly to Project Wezesha each month.” Lucas asked, “Are you serious, Simoni? This is a big promise.” Simoni replied, “Yes, I am very serious. I want to extend my thanks to Project Wezesha for helping me to meet my dream so the money will go to help others like me. It is necessary.” (See pictures of Simoni at university.)

We are truly grateful to these young men for all they have shown us through their dedication and gratitude. We are the ones who feel blessed – to be able to support such wonderful young men who have ambitions to help others and pay it forward.

To you, Project Wezesha donors - Thank you for your support over many years. Without you, none of this would have been possible! Lucas and I founded Project Wezesha in 2009. We never imagined that we would come so far and have so many success stories to share – well, maybe Lucas did! He leads with his heart, his faith, and his smile and never questions what is possible!

We invite you to share these updates with your friends and family. If you’d like to contribute today to support the next cohort of university students, please click “Give Now” in this report. We cannot do this without you.

With gratitude,

Rai, Lucas and Madaga
Project Wezesha Team
(Proud Partner of Girls Ed)

The Doctor is in!
The Doctor is in!
Simoni -- Future Surgeon at U of Dodoma
Simoni -- Future Surgeon at U of Dodoma
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Dibeit -- University Graduate
Dibeit -- University Graduate

This has been quite a year. You might call it a doozy. But at Project Wezesha, we have some wonderful reasons to celebrate before we bid 2020 farewell. 

Our First University Cohort Graduates 

First, we are so proud of Dibeit, Tumsifu and Saidi who have all graduated from university! Dibeit and Tumsifu recently enjoyed their graduation ceremonies. It brought us a lot of joy to see Dibeit in his cap and gown, beaming with his classmates. We’re looking forward to finding out where he finds a job with his new higher ed degree! 

Toward completion of his degree in Accounting and Finance, Saidi wrote a research paper entitled “The contribution of the budgeting process in achieving organizational goals.” In a What’s App message to Rai, he explained his post-university plans, which center on supporting Tanzanians like his parents who are subsistence farmers with minimal financial literacy. 

Saidi wrote, “I will be providing an education about how to save money in the bank, through opening an account. Most, if not all villagers, after harvesting and selling their crops, save their money in their houses. Also, I will provide financial accounting education. Not only that but also I will provide economic education about diversification of the economy, and share ideas with the farmers and peasants about how to improve their economy through agriculture and domestication of animals.”

We'll share pictures of Saidi and Tumsifu's graduation ceremonies soon!

The Next Generation of University Students

Our second cohort of university students - Ezra, George, and Simoni - have all returned to start their second year of university studies. 

Our third cohort of students pursuing post-secondary education have also reported to their colleges. We added Muhsini, the cousin of Saidi who comes from Kiganza Village. We have known Muhsini since he was a young boy. His parents supported him through secondary and high school, and now we are happy to step in and offer our support.

In addition, Sospeter (The General) and Anzaruni are attending Sumbawanga Clinical Officers Training Center in Dodoma. They are each pursuing a 3-year diploma in clinical medicine. Felisiano is pursuing a 3-year degree in Business Management in Dodoma. We expect great things from each of them and know they are up for the challenge.

We are so grateful for the generous support of two donors, husband and wife team Firoz and Shamim, who have committed to covering the educational expenses for Sospeter, Anzaruni and Felisiano until they graduate. We made this short video - Donors Make Dreams Come True - which shows these young men extending their gratitude to Firoz and Shamim. The young men’s parents were overjoyed as well. They are so proud of their sons and know they will make their families and communities proud.

We are also proud to report that the following young men have completed Form 5 and will begin Form 6 next year. It looks like we’ll have our fourth cohort of university students before we know it: Congratulations to Mayani, Hamisi, Lameck, Malick, and Yohana.

Amahoro Secondary School Makes Top Ten in School Rankings!

In 2015 the Ministry of Education, the regional commissioner and the local leadership of Mgaraganza Village opened Amahoro Secondary School, which Project Wezesha spearheaded and funded with the generous donations of many supporters. This was the first secondary school in Mgaraganza, a village with hundreds of children. It also became the secondary school for many students living in villages located on Lake Tanganyika, who previously had to walk almost 2 hours to reach Kagongo Secondary School. 

In its first years, Amahoro Secondary School was performing like a new school -- that is to say, not well. They didn’t have many resources, there was no laboratory for science subjects, some classrooms were still under construction, they didn’t have enough desks and chairs for all students, and there was a shortage of toilets to serve students as their numbers increased over the years. They also lacked electricity and therefore had no way to make copies or print materials for the students, and no opportunity to offer evening tutoring support. With these and other limitations facing the school, Amahoro students were not performing particularly well on national exams, which both affected the school’s ranking as well as the students’ prospects of attending high school.

Over the years, Project Wezesha has run several campaigns to address some of these shortcomings. With the help of rock star supporters like Shelmina, Minaz and Kate -- who each bring impressive networks of generous donors -- we were able to furnish all classrooms with desks and chairs, as well as add additional latrines. The students were thrilled about this!

In addition, Shelmina and Minaz -- a power couple who we fondly refer to as Amahoro’s Guardian Angels -- launched a fundraising campaign in April 2020 commemmorating Shelmina's 60th birthday. Despite the emerging panic around the Coronavirus pandemic, their friends and family contributed thousands of dollars! With the capital (over $30,000) raised through this fundraiser, Project Wezesha was able to coordinate the following:

  • Our general contractor, Isaya and his team completed the floors in every single classroom;
  • They plastered and painted the walls in each classroom;
  • They built a feminine care facility for the girls so their periods are no longer a reason they stay home;
  • They installed a 5,000 gallon water tank;
  • Carpenters in Kigoma built and installed windows and doors in each classroom;
  • We commissioned a solar power company to install solar panels on the school; and
  • We provided a photocopy/print machine, plus 5 Dell computers for the teachers.

This fall, teachers and students were able to stay later at the school to prepare for the important Form 2 and Form 4 national exams. 

What was the impact??

Amahoro Secondary School jumped in rankings and now places 4th overall among ALL government schools in the Kigoma Region!! We would have been pleased with any top ten finish, but 4th place! The teachers and the students put so much time in to prepare for these exams. Congratulations!! Hongera sana!! What an accomplishment and what a community effort! With this boost in confidence, the teachers and students will continue to work hard and aim for the top spot.

Staying past dark and being able to print mock exams for practice was only possible due to the amazing support received through Shelmina and Minaz’s network. It goes to show how much community matters -- we are rarely one person, acting alone. Progress and success require collaboration, compassion, trust, and believing that anything is possible when we work together! 

The Season of Giving

With each success, we see more opportunity to support our students as they pursue their academic and life goals. With 4 students in university, 3 students in college, and five students likely to begin university in 2021, we could really use your support! University fees for Simoni, George, and Muhsini are $1300, 1300, and $1500 respectively for the year. We anticipate similar costs ($1200-1500) for each of our Form 6 students, when they matriculate next Fall. Now is the time for us to raise the money needed for our 2021 budget. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Click 'Give Now' (below) and make a contribution of any amount today. 
  • Let us know if you’d like to sponsor one of the students for 1, 2, or 3 years.
  • Tell your friends about our work and see if they’d like to contribute. 
  • Donate for the holidays in honor or memory of a loved one. 
  • Begin your own fundraiser through GlobalGiving and see how much you can raise through your network. 

We can offer any support you need as you select a giving plan. You can email us at projectwezeshatz@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

I often note that our work is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of life in the world, in Tanzania, in Kigoma, in each village -- but we know it matters and it does make a difference. (This folktale told by the Nobel Peace Prize winning Kenyan author Wangari Maathai serves as our reminder.) 

The ripple effect of our work is immeasurable and we can’t do it without you! 

Thank you! Asante sana!

 

With much gratitude, 

The Project Wezesha Team
Rai, Lucas, and Madaga

*Girls Education International is the fiscal sponsor for Project Wezesha
*Project Wezesha is the in-country partner of Girls Education International

Graduation Celebration
Graduation Celebration
Saidi working on his thesis
Saidi working on his thesis
Sospeter, Anzaruni and Felisiano with Parents
Sospeter, Anzaruni and Felisiano with Parents
Sospeter (left) and Anzaruni (center) at College
Sospeter (left) and Anzaruni (center) at College
Installing Solar Panels
Installing Solar Panels
Wiring for Electricity
Wiring for Electricity
Teachers with new Copy Machine
Teachers with new Copy Machine
Students using Computers
Students using Computers
Amahoro Ranked 4th Overall!
Amahoro Ranked 4th Overall!

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The Whole Crew at Study Camp
The Whole Crew at Study Camp

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters, 

We hope this update finds you in good health with access to your loved ones. In these challenging times, we at Project Wezesha want you to know that we are working to ensure that the educational needs and well-being of our students are being met. We have been on a brief pause as schools closed, but things are changing this month, which we highlight in this report.

Schools in Tanzania were closed when the very first case of COVID-19 was detected in Tanzania. All large gatherings were banned – weddings, funerals, sporting events, concerts, etc. We were initially quite impressed by Tanzania’s swift response, however, things took a surprising turn when President Magafuli began to deny the severity of the situation and urged citizens to go to their mosques and churches to “pray away” the virus, putting thousands in harm’s way. He opened the country to international flights in May and on June 1st, he returned all students to universities and high schools.

So what is the status of the young men in our program?

Dibeit, Tumsifu, and Saidi were set to graduate this past May. Their studies were put on hold in March and they each returned home to their families in the Kigoma region. They returned to university on June 1st and are continuing their studies with the hope of completing in Fall 2020.

Simoni, George and Ezra began their first year of university in Fall 2019 and also returned home in March. They returned to their respective universities to continue their first year and are hoping to finish strong - and stay healthy! They have reported that the universities are well-equipped with washing stations and that students are wearing masks and abiding by distancing practices.

Our Education Director, Madaga is also back in school pursuing his PhD in Curriculum Design at Mwenge Catholic University. He shared video of the washing stations and signage that was installed at the university to keep students safe. He attests to the measures universities are taking to keep their faculty, staff and students well.

We also have a cohort of young men beginning or continuing with high school and certificate programs. Mayani and Hamisi are beginning Form 6 this year at Monyovozi and Kinondoni High Schools respectively. Lameck, Maliki, Yohana, and Anzaruni will begin their first year (Form 5) of High School in July. They are attending Kahororo, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, and Lufilyo High Schools respectively.

A few of our students are pursuing professional certificates in junior colleges. Sospeta, “The General” begins a program in Business and Management in the bustling coastal city of Dar es Salaam. Felisiano is studying Record Management within a finance program. Finally, Elias is pursuing a certificate in Business Administration. Both Felisiano and Elias will be studying in the capital city of Dodoma. 

As a professor at a large U.S. university, I (Rai Farrelly) am watching the situation unfold here. There are plans in place for us to return to campus in the fall, but there are concerns, and even dissent among faculty (which was discussed in this piece in the Washington Post). Things could change – especially in light of a recent outbreak among students at our university, but most signs point to a return to on campus learning. Tensions are high and there are many stakeholders to consider when making these decisions. Only time will tell what decisions were the most appropriate as pandemic-responsive educational models unfold globally.

In all sectors of life, we are grappling with how to restore practices so that we can begin to resume teaching and learning, rebuild hard hit parts of our economies, and engage in the lives we left behind months ago. There is no way to know how this will shake out, and we can only hope for the best for our students as they begin their re-entry into the schools in Tanzania.  

Lucas and Madaga are putting together the invoice for the upcoming school year. We know it’s a difficult time to give, but we need you now as much as ever. Please consider making a contributionas we prepare to pay for our students’ next year of high school, vocational training, and university studies. The cost for Mayani and Hamisi is $250 each per year. Lameck, Maliki, Anzaruni, and Yohana will each need $300 per year. We are still awaiting the invoices from the training colleges for Elias, Felisiano, and Sospeta, but we anticipate an estimated $500-600 each per year. In addition, as needed, some of our funds may be re-directed to make sure all students have masks and access to healthcare as they return to school. 

Thank you for your support! We wish you and your family health and security in these uncertain times.

With Gratitude, 

Rai Farrelly
Lucas Lameck
Madaga Fadhili
The Project Wezesha Team

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Organization Information

Girls Education International

Location: Boulder, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @girlsed
Project Leader:
Rai Farrelly
Co-Founder, Project Wezesha; Executive Director, Girls Education International
Boulder, CO United States
$36,321 raised of $75,000 goal
 
345 donations
$38,679 to go
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