Computer Projects

Computer for Tanzania Schools is a project created by Rotary Club of Chelmsford Mildmay. The main objective of the project is to provide refurbished computers and laptops to government-run secondary schools in Tanzania to enhance the education and potential life skills of their students. The club through its International Committee planned the logistics of collecting, preparing and shipping the computers. It was arranged that there should be a team in Tanzania to organize the receiving, distributing, installation and supporting the receiving schools. The Rotary Club of Chelmsford Mildmay formally agreed the project on 17th November 2009. It was agreed that there would be a formal evaluation after 4-6 months, and report provided to the Club, before any decision to fund any further shipments. This document presents the evaluation report of the project after four months.

England Activities

The Using the services of Rotarians and a small number of computer scientists who have agreed to work gratis with Chelmsford Mildmay, to:
1. Advertise for donations of computers and laptops that can be refurbished
2. Collect donations and deliver to refurbishing point
3. Clean all data, and ensure donated equipment is in good working order
4. Pack all usable computers and laptops securely in boxes
5. Deliver all boxed computers and laptops to Fingrith Hall for storage awaiting shipping
6. Deliver all unusable computers and laptops to the WEEE licensed waste disposal point (all waste recycling centres in Essex are licensed to accept and dispose of computers and laptops)
7. Arrange shipping, with all necessary legal documentation etc
8. Load full container-load of computers & laptops to the shipping company’s container for transport to Dar Es Salaam
9. Ensure a full audit trail available for each donated computer or laptop
10. Ensure data cleansing is completed to a high standard, including quality monitoring
11. At 4-6 months after delivery, evaluate the success of the project, and report to the Rotary Club, prior to any decision to fund a subsequent shipment.
12. Arrange for appropriate publicity through the local media to raise the profile of the Rotary Club and its charitable work.
Using this plan, computers were collected, cleaned and shipped to Tanzania.

Tanzania Activities

In Tanzania’s end, the team, under Datoga Foundation, had the following tasks:
1. Engage a regional Education Officer in the project to recommend potential recipient schools
2. Vet potential schools and head teachers
3. Specify to each school the essential prerequisites to be in place before shipment leaves the UK:
• Availability of suitably equipped, secure room with power supply
• One teacher trained to teach IT and provide basic maintenance/repairs
• Pay each school’s fair share of the cost to transport the computers and laptops from the port (Dar Es Salaam) to the schools
• Engage the local community in the project to achieve a shared sense of ownership
4. Confirm final list of schools to receive equipment from a shipment, and numbers to go to each (each to have met the essential requirements in 3 above)
5. Meet the shipment and check with the Customs Officer
6. Oversee transfer of the shipment to the local lorry for delivery, travelling with the lorry to oversee each school’s delivery (this to be joint with the local Education Officer)
7. Record the destination of each computer or laptop on the project’s database, completing the audit trail
8. Ensure open-source operating system has been successfully installed in each school and equipment is ready for use
9. Provide regular weekly/fortnightly visits to each school until satisfied the schools no longer requires this level of support
10. After 4 months, check how each school has used the donated computers and lap tops, and provide report to International Committee who will complete evaluation report for the Rotary Club.

This exercise is repeated and a shipment is done after every two years. To date, a total of three shipments have been successfully received and sent to schools. The first shipment was delivered on October 2010 and distributed to Ilala district in Dar es Salaam. The second shipment was delivered on 2012 and went to Hanang district and the third shipment was delivered in 2014 and went to Bagamoyo in Pwani region (four schools) and Hanang district in Manyara Region.

Watoto wa Datoga

This was one of the original ideas from which the Foundation was initialized. Traditionally, nomadic communities do not consider schooling as one of the fundamental process that every child must go through. In some cases, tribes like Barbaig, which forms over two third of Datoga community, cursed education and everyone who is associated with it, believing that all the problems, especially oppression that they had experienced over the years from governments (from Germans to British to Tanzanians) are caused by the so called formal education. Because of the curse and the generally negative views the community had over education, many parents discourage their children from going to school. Their nomad nature makes the situation even harder. Because primary education is free in Tanzania and available in every village, a good number of children gets to these schools. The problem starts at secondary school as the education was, though highly subsidized, not completely free.

Watoto wa Datoga was the project that focused on helping students that could now afford secondary school fees. The project lasted from 2011 to 2014 before the government waved the fees. The project benefited over 270 students. Although the government has waved the fees, there are other costs that many students from poor families can not afford. These are items such as books, shoes and clothes. Furthermore, there is no clear career paths for these kids to follow after secondary school. The foundation is now looking for partners, planning to restart the project and expand its reach to be relevant to the challenges nomadic communities are facing currently.

The Marathon

Hanang Marathon is a one day annual event to be conducted at Katesh Hanang – Manyara on 1st May each year. The 42km run will start from and finish at Katesh, the capital town of Hanang District in Manyara Region. Hanang Marathon is set to become an international event attracting hundreds of high profile runners in the years to come.

Objectives of Hanang Marathon
The event has two main objectives; to discover, foster and promote long distance running talents and ignite and encourage competitive and sportsmanship in Tanzania young generation. The race aims at connecting runners at different levels and different ages and gender. Hanang Marathon hopes to become a national main long distance event. The partnership with Shahanga Sports Institute is strategic to ensure the adequate training for the young talents before and after the race is provided.

Participants

The race is open to everyone who wishes to participate. There are two main types of participants for the two distances
i) Professional (21km) – These are the participants who are already professional runners or inspiring to become. It is open to all ages from 16 years and above.
ii) Everybody (5km) – This is the charity race, some can walk, that is open to everyone else including children.