Everyone has potential. Not everyone has the opportunity to tap that potential.
In 2008 and 2009 respectively, two educators from Chicago and a high school teacher from New Jersey traveled to Moshi, Tanzania. Here they volunteered at the two-room informal Kilimahewa Women and Orphans Center for Education (KIWOCE), teaching post-primary youth excluded from formal schools. How could a student’s education and hopes for a better future be over at such as early age?
One year later, in 2010, the three educators collaborated to form EdPowerment, a 501c-3 non-profit. Having encountered the lack of opportunity for these students, EdPowerment’s founding team resolved to provide A WAY BACK (to learning) and A WAY FORWARD (in life) for those abandoned by formal systems.
To accomplish its mission, EdPowerment embarked on a three-pronged strategy: (1) a long-term sponsorship program for more capable and motivated secondary students to re-enter and progress through the formal system (2) development of KIWOCE to better serve neglected local teens and (3) an advocacy program, Autism Connects Tanzania (ACT), to help the autistic and intellectually disabled secure their rightful place in the Tanzanian educational system and society.
Today, EdPowerment has shifted its focus to more remote villages, providing direct educational interventions for even more isolated young people and community members, who have virtually no exposure to life-changing instruction and information.
We have extended our long-standing Tomorrow's Scholar-Leader Sponsorship Program to include exceptional students in these villages, so they too can continue their higher-education. Meanwhile, in response to the urging of local educators, we created the Early Discovery Program to give 15 talented primary students the resources needed to be more successful.
We offer essential Study Skills Seminars at two underperforming, underserved government secondary schools; guidance and seed money to two Small Business Women's Groups; coaching in practical, life, and even vocational skills in Teen Clubs; and a Malnutrition Prevention Program for students identified as suffering from extreme hunger.
Every initiative opens A WAY FORWARD for individuals with virtually no access to the knowledge, actions and resources that can offer a better life.
In Memorium: Tom Kway
EdPowerment’s former Operations and Finance Manager died tragically in May 2018. He was our linchpin, handling a multitude of tasks from financial reporting to supervising and mentoring our sponsored students. Tom's vocational degrees prepared him to be our amazing van driver, visiting student families whatever the terrain, informing us of their challenges. However, his motivation took him much further. He learned computer skills (which he shared in the classroom at KIWOCE), financial accounting, and the particulars of the Tanzanian school system. His dependability, smile and kindness made him a source of stability and guidance for our students.