Send Chris to FabLearn Conference
Asanteni sana again for all the support you have shown for Chris to attend FabLearn. Together, we raised enough for him to attend FabLearn - however, the USA government did not agree that Chris should attend. He travelled twice to Dar es Salaam for visa appointments (a 12+ hour bus ride each way from Arusha, making each visa trip 3+ days), bringing his children's birth certificates, letters of support from MIT and Twende, letter of invitation from Stanford, marriage documentation, property documentation, and a clear itineary for the trip - but he was denied entry to the USA. We are extremeley disappointed, and we will be using funding raised to find another curriculcum developent opportunity for Chris. If you have any suggestions, anywhere in the world, please reach out and let us know. We hope the next opportunity will not have the same result.
Asanteni sana (thank you so much) for all your support so far! This campaign has been so inspiring, and it's been incredible having such a positive response to send Chris to FabLearn. Chris is now in the process of getting his visa to the USA, and we hope to hear some good news next week. Any extra funds we raise will be put into the Twende Training Fund for the Twende team to use for future personal/career development opportunities, such as trainings, workshops, and conferences.
The FabLearn 6th Annual Conference on Creativity and Making in Education will be held in San Francisco from the 14th to the 16th of October. One of our most beloved colleagues, Chris Mushi, submitted a paper about his experience pioneering hands-on STEM education in Tanzania. Though the competition was especially tough this year, his paper was accepted, and now he is trying to raise funds for his travel. As one of the most curious, hard-working, and dedicated-to-Tanzanian-development folks I know, I agreed to support his cause by setting up an account here (since I am a US citizen). He has written the following message:
My name is Chris, a 43-year-old Tanzanian man, living in Arusha, with my family. I’m working as an artisan and instructor at Twende , an accelerator for social innovation. I've been running Creative Capacity Building (CCB) trainings with the aim of changing people's mindsets and giving them the opportunity to become innovators and solve their problems through innovative technology.
When Twende decided to include some electronics basics in CCB, I was asked to try it out. I started to get interested in electronics, and although I never had the chance to receive a formal education in electronics, I started to teach myself by making things. Now I’m running introduction to electronics workshops so students are able to solve their own or their community's problems with innovation in electronics. The schools that we're targetting are government schools (both primary and secondary) because they lack equipment to teach science.
I’ve been invited to FabLearn to present these workshops, and I received a scholarship to cover my conference fees. However, my income is not enough to cover the expenses of my travel - flights to & from Arusha, USA visa and trip to the USA Embassy in Tanzania, and accommodation & food during the conference, alongside some extra days to visit potential partners and continue exchanging knowledge. This experience is a great opportunity for me and my organization, Twende. It's an occasion for me to meet other instructors and share experience and lessons learned. I’ll also get advice on how to improve our workshops and outreach back home, and this will be my first time going to the USA. I really hope I'll be able to represent my organisation in this international conference and to spread the word of Twende.