We recently served on a Youth Venture panel to determine whether a Concord High team should receive funding for its venture, Wakati Ujao (Swahili for "future"). We're pleased to report that they received the funding and are well under way to making their dreams a reality! Here's the skinny from Katie Fox, who got this thing going:
How did Wakati Ujao got started? What's the purpose of the your group? Wakati Ujao was started when I visited Tanzania about two years ago with my family. My grandfather was a pilot for the flying medical service and lived in Tanzania for about 11 years, so we went with him knowing we would get the best tour guide that way. While in Africa, we went to the small town of Karatu and I got to know many of the people there. On returning home, I decided to look into the Karatu Education Fund and see what I could do to help. Since then, I've gathered many of my friends and we have been working towards raising money for the schools in Karatu.
What's been the most difficult part of getting your project off the ground? The most difficult part was getting started in general. If I hadn't found Youth Venture I probably would still only be dreaming about what I could do. Before I saw their ad in a magazine I had no idea how to take on such a huge task, but when I heard they would give me the money I needed, I knew it was possible.
How about the most rewarding part? The most rewarding part is knowing exactly the changes we're going to make in a child's life. I know that with this money, we will not only be sending children to school who can't afford it, but we will be making that experience better for all students with new textbooks, desks, laptops and school buildings. Having seen the schools and the struggles many children face regarding education, I'm thrilled to be able to help make the improvements they need.
Will you be doing any fundraising over the summer? Over the summer, we will set up a table at Market Days and sell T-shirts and cold water, and give out information on our organization. By doing this, we hope to have the Concord community become more aware of the obstacles that many students in Tanzania face in getting an education. We will also continue to make and sell our T-shirts throughout the summer.
How can someone get their hands on a T-shirt? Somebody can purchase a T-shirt be visiting our website: wakati-ujao.com. There, anybody can leave comments, questions, concerns, etc.
What else do you have planned for the summer? (Other than your awesome social entrepreneurship work!) Over the summer I'm going to a crew (rowing) camp, taking drivers ed, working as a part time nanny, visiting colleges in New England and traveling in any free time.