MARCH 2024 NEWSLETTER-The Latest from ETI

Did you hear ETI shouting from the rooftops? The long-awaited Groundbreaking and Blessing of the Rural Opportunity Center (ROC) Food Processing Plant took place on March 8, 2024. The story unfolds thanks to the transformational leadership of the Karagwe Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, her partners and colleagues. Hongera!

  1. THE ROC DEDICATION – March 8, 2024


Guest Writer: Rev. Dr. Benson Bagonza, Bishop
Karagwe Diocese, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania

Friday the 8th of March, 2024, on International Women’s Day, Karagwe Diocese led a gathering at the Rural Opportunity Center (ROC) site for the Groundbreaking Service rite. It has been 14 years since KAD led the similar rite at the KARUCO College viewpoint hill when the site for KARUCO construction was blessed. In 2012, two years after the blessing event, we laid a foundation stone for KARUCO. Five years later in 2017, we dedicated KARUCO buildings. Today there are nearly 200 graduates.

We are three dedicated partners fighting three arch enemies. Partners are 1) ETI representing all partners abroad; 2) KAD representing non-governmental actors especially faith-based ones, and 3) the Tanzanian Government. This tripartite is needed all the time.

The arch enemies we are fighting are poverty, disease and ignorance. In more cases than not, they scramble on one single person and it is challenging to tackle them. Education, economics. health, water and advocacy are vital in our strategies.

The turn-out for the ROC Service was good and the day ended up well. We express thanks to everybody. The story is unfolding. 

When complete, the Pineapple Juice Processing Plant at the ROC will provide a hub where raw crops from KARUCO and area farmers will be processed into value-added products. Incomes will increase providing money for medicine and education. Economic stability will grow and the standard of living for families will improve. The quality of life will be enriched for the 1.5 million people living in the Karagwe area.  

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Let’s build.



Can you imagine no light? Those at KARUCO can. Since the campus Groundbreaking in 2012, there has been no light except by candle, fire and flashlight or torch. But now, the KARUCO Campus has light thanks to funding from ETI donors, EVS CARES and design work by EVS Engineering, RESCO Solar and the ever-present liaison, Karagwe Diocese and KARUCO.  

  • The very last grant funding the ETI Board of Directors approved in 2023, was $25,000 to expand the KARUCO Solar Array and Battery Storage and to add street lights to the KARUCO campus. KARUCO was pleased to share their light with ETI so we are at 8 new lights and counting. KARUCO administration, faculty, staff and students hope to get the number to 50. We can do this.

Click on the image for a virtual piki piki (motorcycle) ride to tour KARUCO’s light. 

  • Thank you EVS CARES, ETI, KAD, KARUCO and RESCO for bringing solar to KARUCO.

ETI, KAD, EVS Engineering (MN) and RESCO Solar (TZ have designed and installed the KARUCO Solar and Storage System (25KW). The 64 panel utility scale system is powering up KARUCO’s buildings, water pumps and entrepreneurial campus initiatives. KARUCO Solar was then expanded to include the installation of the 8 KARUCO Solar Street Lights that provide safety and security to the campus. RESCO Solar then offered training to KARUCO students and staff to ensure maintenance of the array. ETI is grateful for the donations of world-class expertise that went into this project and the tireless coordination of KAD and KARUCO personnel who are always open to making things happen in Karagwe. ETI is a professional volunteer organization, motivated and guided by the hopes and intentions of the people of Karagwe. And look at the success of this model.


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, ETI Supporters and all involved.

KARUCO’s geographical location is near the equator and the abundance of sunshine makes it a great candidate for solar energy. Help ETI continue to expand upon KARUCO Solar. Water and power should not be luxuries.

Be part of the story.


Look what can happen when Cady Muelken, ETI Administrative Intern and Dr. Jay Bell of the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota put their efforts together to gather excellent Ag books required at KARUCO. Books are gold in Tanzania and here’s the team that did their part to deliver the gold!

Many thanks Chelsea and Dave – Books for Africa; Cady and Maiah – ETI and University of Wisconsin, the Hon Kjell Bergh – Hon Ambassador, Tanzania (ret) and Jay Bell – UMN.

The books should arrive at KARUCO mid-June or so. Stay tuned.

(TOP-R) Dr. Brighton Katabaro, previously of KARUCO helps unload ETI’s shipment from 2017. (LOWER-R) The Hon. Kjell Bergh, Hon Ambassador to Tanzania (ret); owner, Borton Volvo, sponsored the shipment.


Here it is. The proposed MEL House.

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The MEL House is an extension of the existing MEL Program at KARUCO (Karagwe College of Agriculture in Tanzania) and is intended as housing and a hub for those who are starting new businesses through the Micro-Enterprise Loan (MEL) Program (described below). KARUCO Administrators, Dr. Emmanuel Ngambeki and Mme. Sophia Kanyamwenge, along with all other faculty and staff presented case after case of individuals needing a hub, a business incubator and a place to live while their businesses get off the ground in Karagwe. The need is great.

Take Jesca Domician for example. She lives away from her husband and family so she can co-manage the Pig Production business that she and Anold Dedace started with a loan from the MEL Program under the guidance of their mentor, Edwine Tagamaisho (pictured below). Jesca has nowhere to live and must depend upon people in the community to allow her to live with them while she does her best to earn money for repayment of her loan, maintenance of the business and importantly, income for her family back home.

Dr. Emmanual Ngambeki, Principal, Mme. Sophia Kanyamwenge, Assistant. Recipients at KARUCO.

Jesca’s story is not unusual. Nearly every MEL Recipient had a story of having nowhere to live following graduation. These individuals are not invisible to KARUCO personnel who in response, proposed to ETI, construction of a MEL House. We are pleased to report that a private donor perceived the problem, took it to heart and responded with a generous donation to ETI that covers 50% of construction of the MEL House. We have begun.

The first MEL Recipients share a laugh.

The MEL House will be located on the KARUCO Campus near the marker commemorating the life of Mel Breed. In good entrepreneurial form, ideas for expansion emerged already. The “Idea List” includes off-campus married housing; supervised hostels, innovative child-care enterprises and remote business options to mention a few. The story is unfolding.

The MEL Program

The purpose of the MEL Program is to provide funds to support (MEL) Micro-Enterprise Loans that enable KARUCO graduates to set up and operate small-scale businesses that contribute to the community and help them become self-reliant and prosperous. The MEL Committee at KARUCO designed an application process to ensure that all business proposals address the following:

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KARUCO College of Agriculture then selects MEL Recipients (“Beneficiaries”) and provides a mentor to get things going. All funding grants must be approved by the Educate Tanzania, Inc. Board of Directors and meet the standards of the foreign grant-making process. To date, nine businesses have been started: Agrovet, Brickmaking, Cattle Fattening, I.T., Grain Supply, Pig Production, Pineapple Production, Rice Supply and Sunflower Oil. Of course, there are many challenges with start-up businesses, but with each new challenge, comes new solutions. ETI remains very encouraged by the impact of the MEL Program.

Micro-Enterprise Loan (MEL) funds are granted to help jumpstart new entrepreneurial businesses in Karagwe. To date, 9 businesses have been started through the MEL Program and all are repaying their loans. Amidst all the positives, an unforeseen problem emerged. MEL Recipients had nowhere to live. MEL Beneficiaries have funds to start up their businesses but then have no place to live while they are working in Karagwe. In response to this problem, KARUCO proposed a solution. The solution is the MEL House.

Mel Breed

The late Mel Breed loved the people of Karagwe. He visited Tanzania multiple times and supported many projects – schools, businesses, hospitals and families – with moral and financial support. He worked with Educate Tanzania, Inc (ETI) for years, supporting our model of collaboration, intentionality and accountability, joining in on projects and supporting entrepreneurialism at every turn. He was a friend to Karagwe and one of the closest friends of ETI. Mel was a director on the ETI Board for several years before he passed in 2021. Since that time, ETI has named the Micro-Enterprise Loan the “MEL Program”, to honor the late Mel Breed and his living legacy in Karagwe and beyond.

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View the Photo Collection

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KARUCO Administrators, faculty and mentors take a tour of the MEL Projects on KARUCO Farm Plots.

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Peter (Mentor) and James Mukungu (MEL Recipient) share highlights and challenges of Cattle Fattening.

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Afra (Mentor to the MEL Program, Administrator at KARUCO) shows the beautiful pineapple plot.

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Peter, Anold & Jesca (MEL Recipients), Professor, Edwine and Prof Jan talk Pig Production

MEL Program Agrovet and the One Stop I.T. services fill a community need


ETI is hosting its annual gala at Hazeltine National Golf Club. We have a decent track record of good folks, great food, lively music from Tanzania, an entertaining and informative program and celebration of progress over the year. Oh yes – and we invite funding to continue it all. Join us!



ETI not only changed venues, we changed states! We have so many supporters in Wisconsin who have faithfully attended event after event in Minnesota that we decided to reciprocate and host the ETI Fall Breakfast 2024 at the Pablo Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Minnesotans welcome! 🙂 Mark your calendar! Be part of the story.


Recurring donors inspire us every day. No matter the amount, recurring donors encourage ETI with their support that allows us to plan and budget for our programs in Tanzania. You are invited to head to our website and set up a recurring donation. 


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