The focus of this final photo journal entry for the “Karagwe Unplugged Trip” is “Building KARUCO”. Building KARUCO means many things – building the campus; developing the program; establishing the infrastructure needed; building financial capacity through ETI – to name a few. This entry however focuses on the actual bricks and mortar. Speaking of which, take a good look at the rock foundation. All hand- cut rock- I can still hear the hammer. It looks beautiful.
OVERVIEW: Dr. Benson Bagonza founded KARUCO –
Karagwe University College to address the need for improved agriculture. With his vision he hopes to stem the brain drain and provide an alternative to early marriage. His concept paper outlined specifically how the district’s first university could teach entrepreneurial agri-business techniques and transform Karagwe through economic and social improvement. The university was approved by the community, the ELCT (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania) and is supported by governmental organizations and other institutions of higher education. Jan B. Hansen learned of the concept in 2008, knew it would work and pledged her support that resulted in the formation of the nonprofit Educate Tanzania, Inc. in 2010. Meanwhile, the ELCT hired Dr. Brighton Katabaro to coordinate all functions related to the establishment of KARUCO. ETI, the ELCT, European partners — all agree that a university – birthed in Karagwe- would bring about increased understanding and therefore higher yields, healthier crops, better nutrition, sustainable revenue streams, exciting businesses, improved economy and importantly – social justice for those commonly left out of the picture – often women. The idea of a university has taken hold and building has begun (see previous blogs especially “KARUCO Ag Tag” – January/February, 2013).
See previous blogs for particulars of how the project started (2008) and how Educate Tanzania was established (2010) for the purpose of introducing KARUCO students and subsistence farmers to new ways to go about crop production, crop conservation, and harvest-to-market techniques. See also the “Groundbreaking” blog to catch up on the excitement of beginning the building of KARUCO.
This set of blog entries — “Karagwe Unplugged” –– is Educate Tanzania’s attempt to provide a virtual tour of Karagwe using the beautiful images of Ashley Miller of AshMillPhotography. Ashley joined the Educate Tanzania team in January 2013 and donated her time, talents and resources to help Educate Tanzania tell its story. Our hope is that people will see these images, sense opportunity in the midst of need, and become part of the story. If that’s you, please go to our website http://educate tanzania.org and click the yellow donate button. Between 85%-95% of all donations go straight to ‘building KARUCO’.