Must read for your summer book list!

Greetings One World Tuition Family! Happy Spring time – almost summer!

This month I wanted to give you a synopsis on a book I just finished, and it just so happens that this is what inspired our founder, Stefanie Harris, to start One World Tuition!

The book I read is entitled The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

This true story, turned Netflix original movie, is about a young boy, William Kamkwamba. He was born and raised in Wimbe, Malawi and when he was 14 years old, a drought and famine swept across the nation. Like most countries in Africa, corruption leads to starvation and starvation to desperation. In Malawi, only 2% of the population has electricity and running water! The Malawians are farmers, working the land and reaping a harvest one time during the year. It’s back-breaking, hot and dry work that yield crops to sell at the market and feed the family. But once the drought hit, the land dried up completely, not raining for months and many people died of starvation. The village was desolate with people leaving to find better land to feed their families and survive.

William was not able to continue attending school because his family could not afford the fees. He would continue to try and sneak into school so he could continue to learn, but the headmaster found him, and he was sent home. One day he visited the school library, the woman working there decided to let him stay and he found a book called Using Energy. By reading the book he was able to construct a wind turbine on his own, truly an outstanding feat! William did not to wait around for help that was never coming and instead wanted to bring life-saving technology to his village. His passion and perseverance paid off!

Using materials found from the scrapyard, bicycle parts and car batteries, William pieced them all together over the course of months to build the wind turbine.  The turbine brought lights to the village and was connected to a water pump which kept the crops watered year around for a better harvest.

William was eventually discovered by the local media and the story began to spread through the country, he even came to America for a Ted Talk! WATCH HERE. He continued to go to school and graduated from Dartmouth College.

Despite the barriers and push back he got from his family and friends (many called him crazy), William at 14 years old persevered knowing that he could build the wind turbine to bring electricity and running water to his village. He held onto the fact that in the end, everyone would be grateful for his work.

Left: William and his wind turbine.

Right: Malawi is tucked in between Zambia and Mozambique.

“If you want to make it, all you have to do is try.” William Kamkwamba.

What’s the connection to One World Tuition?

William started school, but due to oppression by the government, drought and famine, William, along with many other students were not able to continue because the families could not afford the school fees. What Americans do not understand, is most countries around the world require students to pay a fee every year to attend school. (Even in countries not hindered by drought, famine or corruption, most families cannot afford school fees for all their children). The school fees include the teacher’s salaries, principal salaries, etc. Furthermore, each school has a uniform the students must wear every day with specific shoes, some students cannot afford the uniform and are not allowed to attend school. The classrooms are usually empty without desks or materials to write or study. However, these students go on to finish school, complete University and work in jobs that bring more stability to their families.

Education has the power to end poverty around the world. According to the World Bank, one extra year of school increases earnings by 20% for women. Imagine what can happen when an entire generation of girls and boys go on to complete higher education, the possibilities are endless!

William never gave up his dream of building a wind turbine for his village. It all started out with a book and a simple understanding of energy that propelled him into a brighter future than he or his parents could have hoped for him.

As a non-profit, the One World Tuition family believes that education has the power to change lives! Not just one, but many. In the example of William, he was able to finish school and it not only made a difference in his life, but his entire family and village of people! The ripple effect of education is a powerful force that continues for generations to come.

That is why 100% of the money donated to One World Tuition goes to the child’s education. We have no operating costs or salaries. You may wonder why we work so hard to provide education to students in poverty and the answer is simple: compassion. We see children suffering and are passionate about seeing the world be a better place starting with children who are educated and can change their futures for the better. We can’t help everyone around the world, but what we can do it help a child go through school who otherwise would not have had the chance.

Right: William’s wind turbine in Wimbe, Malawi

The quote below from the book, spoken at the TED Talk conference says it all. Africans are great innovators, they don’t have access to the newest gadgets, they use what they can to live, work and play.

“Africans bend what little they have to their will every day. Using creativity, they overcome Africa’s challenges. Where the world sees trash, Africa recycles. Where the world sees junk, Africa sees rebirth.” Erik Hersman

Left: William hanging a light bulb in his room powered by the wind turbine he built.

Right: Working with car batteries.

The book goes into more detail than I can describe and is a must for your summer reading list!!

Take a journey with William this summer, it will give you insight to another culture in this world and you will never forget it!

If you’re wondering what you can do to be involved with One World Tuition to end poverty, here are a few ways you can help:

  1. Visit www.oneworldtuition.org to find out more about supporting children through school around the world!

  2. Like us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about education around the world and the statistics that children face. Share what we have going on with your friends and family.

  3. Join our email list to get updates on what is happening with our students and our current needs.

 You can end poverty through education!!

 Until next time, never stop learning!

Erica

Erica@oneworldtuition.org

Cooking in Cuba

Here is a little "Taste" of Cuba. I hope you hungry to learn a little about cooking in Cuba #Yougotschooled #alwayslearning #nonprofit #Cuba #Havana #Education #Travel #Cooking

Dessert: Torrejas

Ingredients 1 loaf of bagette (or any other kind of bread)

1 twelve onces evaporated milk can

1 cup of sugar

3 egg yolks

1 teaspoon of vanilla

4 whipped eggs

2 cups of vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of dry wine

1 teaspoon of grounded cinnamon

Preparation

Cut bread in thick slices of more of 1 inch width. Mix the egg yolks, the milk, the sugar, the dry wine, the vanilla and the grounded cinnamon. Soak bread in mixed milk and then in whipped eggs. Fry bread slices in hot oil. Serve them with syrup.

Syrup Ingredients

1 cup of sugar half cup of water

2 drops of lemon juice cinnamon anise or lemon skin at will

Preparation

Add the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook at medium fire until sugar gets dissolved. Do not stir during cooking time. Once it starts boiling let it cook at very low fire for 5 minutes until syrup gets sticky. Once it cools the syrup gets thicker.

Dessert: Guava shells

Ingredients

2 pounds of ripe or half-ripe guavas

1 cup of sugar

1 liter of water

Preparation

Peel the guavas and cut them in halves. Carefully remove with a spoon the inside of the guava and make sure to remove all the seeds. Before cooking the guava shells in water sprinkle a bit of salt. Cook until they start to get tender. Drain some water from the casserole so that the syrup gets thicker. Once they are tenderized, add the sugar, and let them cook at medium fire until the syrup is dense. Remove from fire and let them cool before refrigerating them. Serve them with cream cheese or any other type of cheese

Adventures in Cameroon: Tales from a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer – Post #1

My name is Erica, one of the board members with One World Tuition. When our beloved President, Stefanie first spoke to me about her idea to form a non-profit to eliminate poverty around the world through education, I was intrigued and excited!! I happened to be in my first year as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) living in Cameroon, West Africa. I was elated to hear this news! We discussed through email the best way to go about finding schools, students and other logistics. It was fun to be in on this dream from the beginning. You see, education around the world is not free, there are no tax dollars going into the education system. Families are on their own to provide this for their multiple children, often deciding which ones they can afford to send and who will stay home.

Living in Cameroon, West Africa with the Peace Corps for 27 months was a whirlwind experience. By the time I returned home I held a larger worldview, wonderful memories, an African wardrobe, a new language, fabric galore, life experiences and a husband, just to name a few.

(First) The day I left for Cameroon! Tears soon followed this ear to ear grin!
(Second) The group of health volunteers. We all went through 10 weeks of training in a small village and became like family! I’m in the back row, third from the left.
(Third) Me signing the document to officially “swear in” as a Peace Corps Volunteer!
(Fourth) School children in training village.
(Fifth) My host brother, Yael. I gave him a frisbee for his 13th birthday.

Peace Corps Experience

The slogan for the Peace Corps says: “It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love!” and so on point for me! Being a PCV was the most rewarding experience, I fell in love with a country and its people; a love I didn’t know could exist!

It was the most life-enhancing experience I have ever gone through. Living, working and experiencing African culture has been my dream since I was a young girl. The desire grew as I did through reading books, watching movies and hearing stories of those who have gone before me.

The Peace Corps is a wonderful way to live as one of the people in the county where you serve. The commitment for the Peace Corps is 27 months which at first it feels like a lifetime. But let me tell you, the days are long, but the years are short!! The first 10 weeks in the country were spent living in a village with a host family. We would go to training every day to learn the language, culture and basic life skills. It was difficult but since we were in a group, it made the time go by faster. The families helped us learn how to cook, clean, shop and live day to day life.

The Peace Corps allowed me to get to know a different culture other than my own and helped me develop an understanding for the world around me. I understand the way other cultures impact our daily lives and what we can do to bridge the gap between America, Cameroon and other countries around the world. It is easy to hide in the America bubble and not try to understand other humans in the world.

(Left) First night in country, having dinner at the County Director’s house.
(Middle) Close of service conference 26 months later.
(Right) Hiking a rock quarry during our 10 week training while rain clouds roll in.

Being a volunteer, I was only given a monthly stipend in the local currency that covered rent, utilities, transportation and food. At first, it seemed like everything was so cheap! Most of us volunteers would spend money so quickly thinking in American dollar because it goes a long way, but it was a dangerous way to think. I had to learn how to live, spend and think like a Cameroonian. While in the Peace Corps they provide full medical coverage, the monthly stipend and freedom to live on your own with your own house to decorate.

Daily life becomes filled with reading, washing clothes by hand, watching baby goats, walking to the market, making food and visiting friends. It all the people shouting because that’s their normal talking voice and buying food from someone walking down the street with a tray on their head. The packed buses shuttling people all around the country became my form of transportation wherever I need to go and the taxi drivers honking consistently, their way of asking if I need a ride when standing on the side of the road. I remember when I knew I was part of the people; I was on my porch which was 40 yards up a large hill, a taxi was coming down the road and I made a “kissy” sound as loud as I could (this gets someone’s attention in the culture, so it’s normal for us) and the driver heard me!! He waited for my friend (I was catching it for her) and I felt so proud that he heard my kissy noise because before that time, it had never worked.

Life has a volunteer is simple, fun, relaxing, challenging and enriching! I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

(More on this in future posts).

(Left) My counterpart at the hospital and the women I was training.
(Middle) My landlady making “fou fou corn” fermented cassava mashed up. Delicious!!!
(Right) Me holding cassava before my landlady mashes it up for fou fou corn.

Africa & Cameroon

Africa is the second largest continent on planet earth with 54 separate countries and home to 1.2 billion people. Of those people are countless tribes and languages. We cannot minimize Africa down to one place in our American mind. Each country has its individual cultures, lifestyles, challenges and strengths. Let’s keep that in mind the next time someone tells you they’re from Africa. (More on this in a future post).

In Cameroon alone, there are 270+ languages and people groups. It is known as “Africa in Miniature” because the diversity of the geography and its people. The soil is rich in nutrients and therefore the growing seasons are year-round. They have a rainy season and dry season. It’s a tropical climate, 5 degrees north of the equator.

Cameroon was settled by the French, British and German colonies. Therefore, the country is bilingual speaking French and a form of English called Pidgin. There are 10 regions, 8 Francophone and 2 Anglophone in which I called home for 2 years.

Starting from left: Cameroon, giant avocado, Garri and Eru (traditional meal), Tole Tea plantation.

I lived in Buea, capital of the Southwest region in the foothills of the glorious Mount Cameroon, the tallest mountain in West Africa that will forever humble me and leave me in awe of its splendor. 

I came to learn that Cameroonians have their own way of doing life and that’s okay! They do not have some of the modern conveniences, but they make do and I valuable that ability. The first few months being in the country I constantly thought “that’s different! In America…” I would compare my culture with Cameroon when there is no comparison!!!! And that is what I love the most. The people have their own way of life, they’re happy to work hard for what they have. A sense of work ethic that others may not value.

(Left) Mount Cameroon from my backyard after a rainy morning.
(Right) Day hike up Mount Cameroon.

In my next post, I will go into my specific job in the HIV treatment center at the Regional Hospital; providing care and support to those who are HIV positive and in treatment.

If you’re interested about serving with the Peace Corps, I can answer any questions through the email listed below.

You can also visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

Until next time - #NeverStopLearning,

Erica
erica@oneworldtuition.org

Partner Spotlight with Kahlo Coffee

This month One World Tuition is highlighting our partnership with Kahlo Coffee. This company is operated by Alexandria Carrascalao who lives in Australia. She has provided support to us as a non-profit and awareness for our students who need funding for school. We decided to highlight her company in our blog so that she can gain more followers and strengthen her business. Below is an interview where she answers some personal and business questions. Take a few minutes to read through this post and find out more about Kahlo Coffee and what they do to support and reach youth, especially girls and women for education. She desires to partner with us to end the cycle of poverty.

Visit the facebook page to learn more about Kahlo Coffee and give them a like and share!

https://www.facebook.com/kahlocoffee/

1. Background information. Name, hobbies, family, school, passions, etc.

 

Alexandra Carrascalao but I prefer Alex. I’m an independent mama to three incredible little humans. Khloe 8, Lilah 4 and Everly 19 months. I completed high school then took some time off to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I started a degree in media communications and another in forensics and psychology, both of which I didn’t complete. My mental health always got the better of me and I struggled to stay focused. From a young age I was certain of two things, I wanted to make a lot of money and help as many people as I could. I’m passionate about the world around us, it’s people, the environment. I have volunteered for various charities over the years and have donated to many charities for the last 18 years. I love to learn and I am always curious about things. I’ve always been that way. My hobbies are always changing but are always creative outlets. I love to read, paint and used to own a handmade business working with wood.

2.What is the day to day like with you running multiple start ups and being a mom?

 

No easy feat! I work from home so my girls always come first. I work around their needs. During the day I have my youngest two at home with me. I’ll check emails, Instagram and I try to limit my work time until my girls are in bed. I do the bulk of my work from 9:00pm to 1:00am or 2:00am. I’m not much of a sleeper so it’s a great time for me to work uninterrupted and be productive.

3. What inspired you to start Kahlo Coffee?

 

I’m a coffee fiend. I survive on about 6/8 cups a day. My love for coffee started from a very young age. My family have owned a coffee plantation in Timor Leste for about 80 years. I’ve always understood the work that goes behind the journey of farm to cup. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned how poorly these coffee farmers were paid and how difficult it is for women. In a very male dominated industry, I wanted to help change the status quo and help highlight the real stories, faces and names behind coffee.  

Kahlo Coffee is a social enterprise; we exist to help others. My mission to help educate impoverished girls came first and Kahlo coffee was the byproduct of my mission as I needed a means in which to generate profit to fulfill my mission.

4. Where do you see Kahlo Coffee in ten years?

 

In ten years, I envision incredible growth for Kahlo Coffee! A market leader for truly fair, transparent and honest coffee. We will help bring about much needed change for women in the coffee industry, starting at farm level. We will have coffee offerings from all over the globe. In ten years we will have established close relationships with farmers to eliminate unnecessary middle men which means more money in farmers pockets. I’d love to own a roastery and cafe. The possibilities are endless.

 

5. Where did you come up with the name Kahlo Coffee?

 

It took me a while to think of a name. So many I thought up were already used. In the end I went with Kahlo coffee as I love Frida Kahlo. We’re all about women empowerment and living unapologetically. Frida seemed perfect, she embodies everything we stand for as a company.

6. Why did you choose to work with One World Tuition over the many great nonprofits out there?

 

One World Tuition is an organization that aligns with my goals and passion. I’m a firm believer in the power of education, especially in third world nations where education is the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and change the trajectory of people’s lives for the better. Stefanie and Seth are so passionate, they love what they do. Their energy and determination is infectious and I knew they were the kind of people I wanted to work with to achieve great things.

 

7. Have you traveled outside of Australia?

 

My passport needs many many more stamps! I’ve only traveled to Timor Leste, Bali and New Zealand. I can’t wait to do more travel.

 

8. What's your favorite coffee?

 

Somewhat biased obviously but I love Timor coffee, I’ve been drinking it most my life.

 

9. Why is it important for girls to be educated?

 

Oh I could go on and on here. It’s been proven time and time again, when we educate a young girl, she will change her life and that of her family’s. These young girls become strong women with the knowledge and tools to make great impact in their communities and nations.

 

10. What was your favorite subject in school?

 

At school I loved English and history. I loved learning. I’ve always enjoyed writing; short stories and poems. As a child I loved reading the dictionary and thesaurus. I loved learning new words. With history, I really enjoyed learning about different countries, prominent moments in time. It all still fascinates me.

Thank you Alex for your interview! We love to partner with other organizations around the world to end the cycle of poverty through educating children. It is most crucial to our future on this earth and the best investment we can make; the education of women and children.

One World Tuition is dedicated to seeing an end of poverty through education and you have a chance to partner with us through your business or personal endeavors! Consider contact us for more information and how you can be involved.

Click the link below for more information on our nonprofit and how you can be involved!

oneworldtuition.org

Email me at erica@oneworltuition.org for questions about our non-profit.

Thank you for your time and support and until next next time, #NeverStopLearning.