A quick update on our research work in Tanzania:
1) We met with a representative of the American Embassy and representatives from the Educational Development and Environment departments of USAID. They gave us contacts from other NGOs, information about the situation of education in Tanzania, and some general advice. They were all friendly and encouraging.
2) We met with a commisioner in the Minsitry of Education.
3) We met Sokoine (AKA Edward Tunyon)–a fascinating guy and our best contact so far. He is part of the Massai ethnic group, which occupies Northern Tanzania and much of Kenya. They are nomadic pastoralists, and their depedence on and devotion to this lifestyle has come into conflict with modernization. They are generally very poor and, due to lack of education, have few means of advancement or self defense. As a child, Sokoine would have to wake up at 4:00 AM to arrive at school on foot by 9:00. His family’s nomadic lifestyle prevented him from attending the same school throughout the year. But he was a good student, and has become a spokesman for his people. He has presented on the Massai before the UN in Geneva and is involved in several organizations that work to improve the situation of the Massai. Next week, he will take us to Morogoro, his hometown, and afterwards to Arusha, the center of the Massai population of Tanzania.
4) We met Maurice, who, like Sokoine, found us through Facebook. He studies at the University of Dar es Salaam and is determined to make a change in his own country and the world. He says he will help us how ever he can.