Western Heads East

Elephant Thoughts

About the Institution

location of Mwanza, Tanzania on a google map

Elephant Thoughts (ET) is an educational charity aimed at providing valuable education services to communities that cannot afford them, both in Canada and internationally. One of the ways ET amplifies change is through their flagship program, the Sustainable Schools Initiative. ET works with schools in developing countries to provide for their own basic needs and achieve educational excellence by mobilizing communities to take a greater part in the long term success and wellbeing of their schools. A key facet of this goal is by collaborating with schools to generate income or at least offset operating costs. First and foremost, the members of Elephant Thoughts are teachers and everything they do is done in the spirit of education, with the intention of creating sustainable change.

Background

Chairman/Director of Elephant Thoughts Tanzania, Timothy Lugejuna, was the catalyst for the initiative. He is a former principal who successfully brought change to Igoma Primary School in Mwanza, Tanzania. Timothy motivated community members to help implement school initiatives. Improvements such as beautification of school grounds and building additional classrooms corresponded with improved school ranking, moving Igoma from 165th place in Tanzania in 2000 to 5th in 2006. Attendance grew. The sustainable Schools Model aims to take Timothy’s work a step further, incorporating income generation programs that benefit both students and community. The idea is simple: help schools meet their own needs by transforming them into community hubs. In this way, a school changes from a net cost to a net income earner, creating symbiosis and interdependence with the surrounding community.

The Opportunity

This collaboration between Rotary Club London, Rotary Club Collingwood, Rotary International, Elephant Thoughts, and Western Heads East aims to establish probiotic yoghurt kitchens at five Elephant-Thoughts-sponsored schools to leverage the community-hub model and bring economic sustainability to the schools and interdependence with the surrounding community. The goal of the ET schools is to have them become hubs for community activity and entrepreneurial enterprise to support their sustainable development. The Western Heads East probiotic yoghurt community kitchens have similar goals to be hubs of health and nutrition in the community while providing the probiotic yoghurt at low cost, economic and social empowerment of women, and economic development in the area.

Two interns are required to work with Elephant Thoughts to establish a pilot probiotic yoghurt kitchen at one of the schools. The interns will work with local women to set up the probiotic yoghurt kitchen, establish yoghurt production, develop a business plan, marketing and sales plans, and set up bookkeeping. The goal is for local women to be paid to produce the probiotic yoghurt in the school community kitchen. Profits would contribute to school improvement goals and potentially, subsidized yoghurt for a breakfast program for children at schools.

Timing

Internships will take place May 15, 2015 and August 15, 2015.

Deliverables for the above projects include

Please note: We recognize that obtaining a faculty advisor, reference letters and arranging course credit is a process. Please submit your application even if you have not yet secured these things. WHE staff will work with you to assist in these processes.

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