Updates From AIA’s President

­Last month, I spent three days where Achieve in Africa does most of its work (in a rural village called Olasiti near Arusha, Tanzania) after a week in Johannesburg, South Africa.  In Johannesburg, while I worked on a consulting project for my grad program, something great happened.  Students came together to fund 91 desks for our new Secondary School.  Here’s a link to an article about it: http://www.achieveinafrica.org/media/.

After Johannesburg, I was off to Tanzania and Olasiti village.  When I arrived at Kilimanjaro Airport, Alex Marti, Achieve in Africa’s Project Director, and his wonderful family greeted me with a sign and flowers.  After many hugs, we made our way to his vehicle and we spend the next half hour sharing stories and laughs.

The next morning, it was time to get to business.  We had only three full days, and a goal of getting two schools set up with electricity.  After many discussions with suppliers, the government, and contractors, we were able to provide two different solutions that allowed us to reach our goal within our budget.  At Olasiti Primary School, we were able to utilize a main power line near the school to install a new wire that stretched to the school’s classrooms.  At Olasiti Secondary School, which is not near a source of power, we were able to install solar panels that create electricity to power the classrooms.



We were also able to mount new Signs of Recognition, which are plaques that commemorate our donors who have been generous in giving in amounts of $200, $500, or $1000 or more.  We are so grateful to all of our donors.  Here’s a photo of what the signs looked like once they were mounted in the main office.



It was incredible to get both the primary and secondary schools set up with electricity.  It was also wonderful to see the progress at Olasiti Secondary School, which is our current project.  This school is the first secondary school in this rural village.  On the far left, you can see a wooden structure that serves as the school’s kitchen.  The green field to its right is the school’s garden.  The small structure to the right of the field houses the bathrooms.  To the right of the bathrooms are two buildings holding five classrooms.  Each of these classrooms are filled with desks and can accommodate 50 students.  On the far right are two new classrooms under construction.

To be able to accommodate a new grade level of students to start school in January, we need many additional desks and an additional building with two classrooms.  Luckily, we have a great opportunity right now, as the James B. Kisgen Family Foundation is matching donations dollar-for-dollar until the end of the year up to a maximum of $6,000.  If we reach this $6,000 mark, it will total $12,000, which is the exact amount we need for two more classrooms.

After meeting these highly intelligent, amazing students and hearing about their aspirations to become teachers, pilots, and government officials, I am more inspired than ever to continue our project.  We can make a huge difference if we work together.  Please consider donating (no amount is too small).  Your donation will be doubled in impact through our matching program.  To help, you can donate either online or by mail here: http://www.achieveinafrica.org/donate/.

Thank you all.


Brendan Callahan

Co-Founder & President, Achieve in Africa