The Latest from ETI – Feb 2024

Building on a strong “yesterday”, ETI gives this energizing newsletter reporting on the present with the promise of a transformed “tomorrow” in Karagwe. Read on to meet our inspiring partners in Tanzania and see what our ETI / KAD partnership is unfolding. Click here if you’d like to receive our monthly newsletter. ETI never shares contact information. Promise.

The ETI/KAD Summit, January 22-26, was a  success with these outcomes: 
1) Renewed friendships;
2) Set March Groundbreaking for the pineapple juice processing plant;
3) Toured KARUCO farm plots including 2 acres of pineapple;
4) Interviewed MEL Program recipients at their start-up business sites;
5) Planned expansion of KARUCO Solar;
6) Determined contents for the shipment of 40,000 volumes to KARUCO; and 
7) Held service to remember Mel Breed – Board Emeritus and friend of Karagwe.

It was a big week.

Now for the long version – packed with news and photos from Karagwe. Enjoy.

Reuniting with friends after four years is no small thing. Take a look at a few of the good folks in Karagwe (below) who hosted, escorted, drove, cooked, chatted, strategized and were present for the ETI/KAD Summit. It was exciting to see everyone again and to be recharged by our collaborative, intense and rewarding mission: 

ETI partners with developing communities in Tanzania to promote and sustain economic and social transformation through education.

Photos by Merabu Birakashekwa, ELCT Karagwe Diocese online TV

It was quite the set of meetings. KAD, BE Design Architects, ELPELA Engineering and Elgoodness Construction met in person for three days at the ETI/KAD Summit and hammered out details for construction of the pineapple juice processing plant. Bruce Engel gave an overview of architectural plans and the group drilled down into project components (contracts, fencing, budgets, division of roles, water, power, machines, transport, waste streams to name a few). The group posed questions, identified issues and delineated the steps to move forward. It was a very productive three days. A soft groundbreaking date was set for March, 2024 and depends upon finalization of the Business Plan and completion of key pieces. ETI is encouraged to envision KARUCO’s pineapple crop and the harvest from area farmers that will be processed into a value-added juice product in the near future. Cheers!
Bruce Engel presents and details hammered out at the ETI/KAD Summit. 

Principal Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Ngambeki and Assistant Principal Mme. Sophia Kanyamwenge assembled KARUCO students and led introductions of ETI, students and staff. The voices of the students singing Mungu ibariki Afrika (God Bless Africa) filled the air. Ngambeki invited students to share successes and challenges of their programs. ETI saw the work ethic and dedication of entrepreneurial farmers who are learning new methods and spreading those into the surrounding communities. ETI shared a message with examples from Minnesota farm life and the power of never giving up.

KARUCO students and staff greet ETI Supporters. KARUCO tour of farm plots.
Photos by Merabu Birakashekwa, ELCT Karagwe Diocese online TV

4. MET MEL PROGRAM RECIPIENTS What a highlight! KARUCO administrators scheduled back-to-back interviews with MEL Program beneficiaries at their respective business sites. ETI learned so much as beneficiaries and mentors shared progress, ways they are expanding upon successes and their plans to meet the challenges. All expressed gratitude. Challenges included accurate estimates of start-up costs, assessment of the competition, drought and pest control and lack of space to mention a few. For example, a nomadic super-colony (millions) of quelea birds found the sunflower plot to be their newest cafe. (The quelea is the most abundant and destructive bird in the world. Click here for more.) Wilkester, the business owner, had less product from her plot but did not shrink from the challenges. She immediately made plans for rigorous pest control, crop rotation and adjustments to the product. She looks forward to continuing her work. Challenges are not uncommon to start-up businesses in general and each beneficiary and mentor had specific plans to address the challenges. KARUCO staff, beneficiaries and mentors inspired me as they talked crop production, cattle fattening, pineapple production, pig production, sunflower oil processing, Agrovet services and an I.T. “One Stop” shop. All have good business plans and are repaying their MEL loans. There are challenges, as with all new businesses, but optimism and transformation are palpable. Remarkable. Take a look below and consider yourself a witness.

KARUCO  staff and mentors lead tour of the plots     Beautiful pineapple plot

Pig production MEL Program recipient and her baby                                                             
Unhusked rice sales bring profit through the MEL Program.                                               

The KARUCO Solar Array and Storage are inspiring. ETI approved funding for expansion of the array and battery storage that will include CCTV and street lighting for security purposes. RESCO Solar from Dar es Salaam was on site to diagnose issues caused by recent weather events and a power surge. KARUCO is at the vanguard of power supply in Karagwe. Thank you, EVS CARES and ETI Supporters.

ETI thanks our long-term supporter and stalwart friend, the Hon. Kjell Bergh, who donated funds for shipping costs and enabled ETI to send 40,000 books to Karagwe. KARUCO’s administration has selected the books and is eager to get the shipment in May. ETI thanks our Intern, Cady Muelken and UMN’s Dr. Jay Bell and team who have done back-flips to secure good books in Agriculture. ETI also thanks Books for Africa (BFA) for its work to promote literacy in Africa.

Mel Breed was a kind and gentle man who shared from a reflex of generosity and compassion. He served on the Board of Directors for Educate Tanzania and was a staunch supporter from Day 1. The merging of his compassion and business entrepreneurialism made him unique in so many ways. We miss Mel sorely. Mel was introduced to Karagwe many years ago, visited several times and had a track record of supporting many projects there. Mel loved Karagwe and Karagwe loved Mel. ETI was privileged to participate in the service to bury the ashes of Mel Breed at a memorial site at KARUCO. The service was tender and as our friends in Karagwe said, “We got to enjoy the blessing of rain during the service”. Mel is no longer with us but his legacy is very much alive both here and in Tanzania. Thank you Karagwe Diocese for honoring and memorializing your dear friend and ours, Mel Breed.  
Click on an image above to view the Memorial Service.   
Video by Merabu Birakashekwa, ELCT Karagwe Diocese online TV

To partner with developing communities in Tanzania to promote and sustain economic and social prosperity through education. You are invited. Be part of the story. 


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