In February 2016, after a six-month strategic planning engagement with Wellspring Consulting, MCW Global Board of Directors announced an update to the organization’s mission statement: “To address communities’ pressing needs by empowering current leaders and readying leaders of tomorrow.” MCW also revised its vision statement to read: “Communities throughout the world achieve greater levels of education, improved health and increased economic security.” This reflects the organization’s three primary programs, including its Young Leaders Program, Oral Health Care, and Community Development.
Also in February 2016, MCW awarded Alumni Ventures Fund (AVF) grants to Hennie Kongsøre, 23, from Oslo, Norway, and Xolani Makhebe, 25, of Cape Town, South Africa. Along with a year of mentorship, Hennie and Xolani received grants of $5,000 and $2,337, respectively, to help turn their ideas for change in their communities into concrete projects, drawing on their experience of drafting a “vision plan” for social change as participants of MCW’s Young Leaders Program. Hennie’s project will use the award to continue her work with Rafiki NGO, an organization she started in 2014 to help build a community center in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, where youth will be empowered through dance and the arts, as well as provided classes in English, math, and health. Xolani’s project is The Unlimited Movement Organization (TUMO), which he founded in 2012 to empower communities through career guidance, education, and tutoring. With the grant, TUMO will be able to cover the cost of university registration fees for top-performing students participating in its tutoring program.
In February 2016, the first class of students graduated from MC-Zambia’s government-accredited vocational training programs. The 21 graduates completed either the Design Cutting and Tailoring course or the IT course. MC-Zambia’s Chanyanya Community Center is accredited by TEVETA, the authority in Zambia in charge of certifying vocational skills.
Similarly, in March 2016, the first class of students at the MC-Rwanda center in Kayenzi graduated from the center’s government-accredited classes, providing students with courses in either tailoring or IT/computer technology. 13 female students completed the tailoring program and 7 students (3 female and 4 male) completed the IT course.
In March 2016, Oral Health Care Senior Fellow Fredrick Meena, along with Mbeya Dental Therapy School faculty and students, participated in World Oral Health Day. Over the course of three days, they visited a nearby college for Disabled Youth, schools, and an orphans center. The dental therapists provided free screening and preventative oral health education such as the proper way to use toothpaste and a toothbrush. Fredrick coordinated the program in collaboration with Colgate, TDA (Tanzania Dental Association), and MCW.
In April 2016, Regina Leichner was appointed Director of Africa Programs. Regina will support and advise on Africa-related programming in both the Community Development and Oral Health Care Programs. She will work closely with team members and stakeholders from MCW’s community centers in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia, as well as with Oral Health Care Fellows in Tanzania. The Director of Africa Programs will serve on the MC-Rwanda, MC-Tanzania, and MC-Zambia Boards as a liaison to the MCW Global team in New York. She will be based out of New York with significant travel to Africa based on program and project needs.
Nitya Ramanathan was appointed in April Coordinator of the Young Leaders Program, after completing a six-month internship with MCW. As the new coordinator of the Young Leaders Program, Nitya will be responsible for supporting the logistics of the program’s annual retreat, leading and creating outreach efforts for alumni, and working with an international group of youth mentors and leaders, all while working with the MCW Young Leaders Program committee.
In April 2016, MCW awarded Brian Cosmas of Arusha, Tanzania the first Mary Ellen Shultz Tourism Scholarship Award. MCW established this fund to honor the memory of the late Mary Ellen Shultz, who believed in the power and importance of tourism. This fund commemorates her commitment to tourism education, specifically in Tanzania. This award will help support Brian’s education towards earning a Certificate in Tour Guiding and Wildlife Studies at the Tropical Centre Institute.
In June 2016, MCW held its 12th Annual Gala at New York University’s Kimmel Center for University Life. The celebration raised over $900,000 to support MCW’s Oral Health Care, Community Development, and Young Leaders programs in the United States and Africa. The 2015 Community Partnership Award was presented to both Locke Lord, LLP and Moneris Solutions, and the MCW Leadership Award was presented to Sharon Katz and the Peace Train. Roberta Richin, member of MCW’s Board of Directors Emeritus, was presented with the MCW Lifetime Achievement Award. Xolani Makhebe, a 2016 recipient of MCW’s Alumni Ventures Fund, was also a guest speaker for the evening.
From July 27 through August 4, MCW held the retreat for the 2016 Young Leaders Program at New York University and Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. The thirty-nine participants represented eighteen countries and territories, including Afghanistan, Austria, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, South Africa, Sudan, the United States, and Zimbabwe. Guest speakers included representatives from various non-profit and for-profit organizations such as Causeumentary, Far More Precious, Kaydabi Games, Muck Rack & Shorty Awards, Pearson, Stony Brook University, Supra Endura, UPstander International, What Better Looks Like, and Young Men for Gender Equality. Sponsors of the 2016 YLP included Agata & Valentina, Ben and Jerry’s, Champlain College, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ess-a-Bagel, Fairway Market, Hill and Bay Restaurant, NYU School of Continuing Professional Studies, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, and 4imprint.
In February 2015, MCW began a 5-month a strategic planning process with Wellspring Consulting to establish plans for the future of the organization.
In March 2015, MCW convened an organizational-wide meeting in Kigali, Rwanda as part of the strategic planning process. The MCW International Board of Directors, MCW Country Board Members, Africa and U.S.-based staff participated in the strategic planning process facilitated by Wellspring Consulting. During the meeting, MCW team members visited the MC-Rwanda Center in Bugesera where they had the opportunity to see cultural performances by the center dance troupe, take a tour of the center, and have discussions with the center staff and participants. MCW was honored to welcome Ambassador Erica J. Barks-Ruggles, the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda, at the center.
In March 2015, Innocent Nizeyimana received his Master’s Degree in Environmental Science at the Open University of Tanzania. Innocent is the recipient of the Dr. George Sideris Memorial Scholarship Fund. He serves on MC-Rwanda’s Board of Directors as the Secretary of the board and also on the Human Resources Committee. Innocent first joined MCW in 2008 and oversaw the planning and construction of the MC-Rwanda Community Center in Kayenzi as head engineer.
In April 2015, MCW awarded Abdu Mwimi of Tanzania an Alumni Ventures Fund (AVF) grant. Abdu will receive a grant up to $4,000 and a year of mentorship to turn his idea for change in his community into a concrete project, drawing on his experience of drafting a “vision plan” for social change at MCW’s annual Youth Leadership Retreat program. Abdu will use the award to continue his work with “The Way Forward Foundation,” a registered non-profit he founded in Tanzania. The Way Forward Foundation’s mission is “to educate communities in Tanzania by empowering youth through life skills training and education on the UN Millennium Development Goals.”
In April 2015, MCW facilitated a historic partnership to provide interdisciplinary healthcare training in Tanzania. Through the partnership, an MOU was signed between the Government of Tanzania through its Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), New York University (NYU) College of Nursing and MCW, to provide an innovative solution to address the inadequate access to oral health care in Tanzania through NYU’s Global Nurse Scholars Program. The program aims to create a curriculum to train nurses in the field in basic oral healthcare.
In April 2015, MCW collaborated with Henry Schein Cares to provide dental supplies for the training of Tanzanian dental therapy students in a preventive school-based outreach. Materials such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and toothbrushes valued at more than $20,000 were provided to support the program.
In April 2015, MCW collaborated with the MCT-Arusha team to renovate the center as it was the first of the community centers nearly 15 years ago. They fixed damages from rain, re-painted the walls, and most importantly, upgraded the computer lab for the most successful program at the center, IT. 20 new HP computers were provided to replace the old ones that will still be used for the staff and in the library. 20 individual desks were all added for the computers and a storage unit that can be locked to keep all equipment secure.
In June 2015, MCW held its 11th Annual Gala Celebration at New York University’s Kimmel Center for University Life. The gala raised $920,000 to support MCW’s youth leadership, community development, and oral health care efforts in the United States and Africa. The 2015 MCW Community Partnership Award was presented to Bank of America and the 2015 MCW Leadership Awards were presented to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, and the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation.
In June 2015, MC-Tanzania founded a Vicoba group (Village Community Bank) as a means to harness the collective power and resources of the community to help alleviate poverty and encourage entrepreneurship. Members in the group are able to contribute and buy shares, contribute funds, and obtain microcredit. Additionally, the group offers training in business skills and leadership.
In July 2015, MC-Tanzania renovated its library at its center in Arusha, providing a valuable resource and study space for the youth at the center and community members. The center also started a youth group with a vision of eliminating youth violence and neighborhood crime, by encouraging youth to focus on positive activities and taking pride in their communities. By pursuing interests such as art, music, drama, dance, and athletics, the MCT Youth Group hopes to empower its members to develop their problem-solving skills and take initiative in their communities.
In July/August 2015, MCW held its 18th Annual Youth Leadership Retreat (YLR) held at Stony Brook University and New York University. Representing more than twenty different countries and territories, including Austria, Brazil, Colombia, East Jerusalem, Egypt, Hungary, India, Israel, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam, and Zambia, the retreat was a platform for intercultural dialogue and understanding.
In August 2015, MCW led a dental outreach team in Mbeya, Tanzania of twelve dental therapy school students from the Mbeya Dental Therapy Training School. The outreach provided students a key training opportunity in community oral health and included visits to three primary schools to provide oral health education and screenings to more than 1,000 children, with follow-up treatments to more than 300 of those screened. The outreach was supervised by four local Tanzanian dentists, including Dr. Ibrahim Kasambala, Principal of the Mbeya Dental School.
In October 2015, Ed Roatché began a part-time position as MCW’s Communications Coordinator. He had first connected with MCW in May 2015 as in intern, assisting the team with the Youth Leadership Retreat. Also in October, Nitya Ramanathan joined the MCW Team as an intern, helping to coordinate and plan the 2016 Youth Leadership Retreat.
For over a year, MCW continued to support MC-Sierra Leone’s team on the ground during the Ebola Crisis with limited programs due to a mandatory restriction on congregating in public spaces. As a result of continued travel barriers to Sierra Leone, MCW concluded its programmatic services, transferring local programs to the community. Concurrently, a strategic decision was taken to focus MCW’s Community Development Programs to East Africa.
In December 2015, MCW hosted its first pop-up sale, hosted by Hill and Bay Restaurant in New York City. The event provided an opportunity to sell African handicrafts made in MCW’s community centers in Zambia and Rwanda, as well as allow guests to interact with MCW team members, friends, and alumni of the Young Leaders Program and learn about our programs. Profits from the handicraft sales were used to support the community centers where the products were made.
In December 2015, MCW awarded two fourth-year dental students, Don Chiwaya and Fatema Alimohamed, scholarships for their excellent performance at the Muhimhili University of Health and Allied Sciences School of Dentistry. The scholarship, which goes towards tuition costs, is awarded annually to the top fourth-year male and female dental students entering their fifth and final year of dental school.
Also in January, MCW and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) sign a third MoU dedicated to upgrading equipment at the Dental School, including re-wiring to allow for Internet connectivity and installing Dexis Digital X-ray machines and 56 Computers with Dentrix Enterprise Practice Management Software, in addition to training staff to use the new tools.
MCW laid the groundwork for an MCW Journey to Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia in August. Each country visit features an introduction to our projects, meetings with our leadership teams and opportunities to connect with local communities. The trip also highlight the abundance of tourism attractions and experiences in these destinations. Journey participants can customize their trip by signing up for 1, 2 or 3 country visits.
After 13 years of operations, renovations to the Liana Cohen Dental Clinic in the MCW Community Center in Kipera Songea begin in February 2014. Renovations included painting and tiling the floors. A dental outreach group is scheduled to arrive at the clinic in August, to deliver oral healthcare treatment to the local community.
From February 6-9, MCW holds its third Africa Community Leaders Seminar in Arusha. MCW traces its roots in Africa back to Arusha, where it opened the first MCW youth center in Majengo Juu in 2000. The goal of our seminar was to give the participants the tools, confidence and networks to design and run government-accredited vocational and IT courses at the centers and to share business and innovation strategies necessary to making the centers sustainable. Participants included representatives from the local boards, country directors and center coordinators, from the four countries where MCW works in Africa, including Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia. Members of the MCW Board of Directors and staff from the New York office also attended.
On April 5, a shipping container filled with boxes of donated dental equipment and supplies arrives in Dar es Salaam port to support the third phase of infrastructure upgrade at the MUHAS Dental School.
On April 7, MCW holds its 10th Annual Gala at New York University, celebrating 10 years of galas and 15 years of work and impact. Nasdaq, Citi and FlyRunWalk are honored. 2014 AVF recipients are annouced at the gala.
In May, Anna Condoulis rejoins the MCW Board of Directors.
On May 30, MCW announces the completion of an infrastructure upgrade that will enable the dental school to digitize all record keeping, facilitate patient workflow and monitor procedures and revenue intake. The upgrade included the installation of practice management software at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) School of Dentistry. During the ten-day training and installation program, team members from Henry Schein, Inc., the primary donor of the computers, practice management software, Dentrix®Enterprise, and the digital X-ray equipment, trained over one hundred oral health care professionals and clerical support staff to customize, utilize and maintain the software, the first of its kind in Africa.
In June, Andrea Papitto joins the MCW team as the Director of Communications and Resource Development. Andrea will work closely with the MCW board and team members to continue the development of MCW programs and projects.
From July 10-17, MCW held the 17th Annual Youth Leadership Retreat (YLR) at Champlain College in Burlington, VT and New York University. The thirty-seven participants represented seventeen different countries and territories, including Armenia, Austria, Botswana, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Norway, the Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, United States of America and Zimbabwe, fostering a vibrant platform for cultural exchange and dialogue. Each participant entered the retreat with a social change they would like to address in their local communities, from youth empowerment, gender equality, community development, education, communication, environmental, and health issues. Guest speakers included representatives from various non-profit and for-profit organizations such as UN Women, Coca-Cola, Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, DoSomething.Org, Food4Farmers, iMentor, The Dream Program and more. The 2014 YLR was sponsored by Ben and Jerry’s, Chipotle, Costco, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hill & Bay, NYU School of Continuing Professional Studies, Stony Brook University, Seventh Generation, and Trader Joes.
From August 19-28, MCW’s 10th Dental Outreach took place in Songea, Tanzania. Over the two-week outreach, 463 people received free emergency care at the Liana Cohen Dental Clinic. At 3 local primary schools, 1,127 students were given oral health education, screened and referred to the clinic for free treatment as needed. 774 students received fluoride varnish. In addition to providing much-needed care to the Songea community, six students from the Dental Therapy Training School in Mbeya joined the dynamic team to receive supplemental oral health training and hands-on experience.
On September 1, the MC-Rwanda team received official approval from the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) to provide Computer Technician and Tailoring courses at the MC-Rwanda Center. With this accreditation, MCW-Rwanda will operate as a Vocational Training Center and all program graduates will receive official government certificates that can be used to obtain a job or to start a business.
In September, MCW welcomed Britany Ferrell and Mayela Calderon to the MCW team as Community Development Initiative Fellows. They will be responsible for implementing MCW’s mission, strategy and goals in Africa for the next year alongside teams on the ground. Britany will work closely with MCW staff in Songea, Tanzania and Chanyanya, Zambia, while Mayela will work in Arusha, Tanzania and Kayenzi, Rwanda.
In October, MC-Zambia received a certificate of accreditation by the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) for tailoring and computer courses. The accreditation will allow community members to receive official government certificates that can be used to obtain a job or start their own business following the training at the MCZ Chanyanya Center.
In November, MCW Tanzania Country Director Abdu Mohamed graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from The University of Arusha. Abdu was the first recipient of the Dr. George Sideris Memorial Scholarship Fund and is the first MCW community leaders to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree.
In November, the MC-Tanzania team received accreditation by the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) to offer IT/computer courses at the Songea Center. MC-Tanzania’s accreditation will allow students in Songea the opportunity to receive government official certificates which may be used to learn and increase new skills, obtain a job or start their own business.
In response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, MCW team members reopened the “Kono Soap Shed” to produce soap to distribute to community members. As of December 2014, 1,445 bars of soap have been produced to fight the spread of Ebola. It is their hope that the soap distribution campaign will also spread awareness of the importance of hand-washing as a method of prevention.
On March 4, MCW hosts its second quarterly social networking event at the Rwandan Coffee shop, Bourbon Coffee, in New York City. The event focused on how to get involved with MCW. It attracted students and young professionals who are interested in youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, oral healthcare and economic development projects in Africa.
On April 4, KPMG’s Zambia office visits MC-Zambia’s Chanyanya center to distribute holiday cards and books to students from the Chanyanya basic and community schools.
On April 9, MCW holds its ninth annual gala celebration, raising almost $900,000, a record amount that will directly support MCW’s work worldwide. The MCW Community Partnership Award is presented to AON. Broadway’s Carol Woods accepts the MCW Leadership Award. The MCW Appreciation Award is presented to the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation. Finally, the MCW Lifetime Achievement Award is presented posthumously to Dr. Mitchell Pines, his children accepted the award on his behalf. For the first time, MCW auctions handicrafts from its community centers in Rwanda and Zambia.
On April 14, MCW holds its seventh annual commemoration of the 19th anniversary of the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda at New York University’s Law School. To remember the lives of more than one million people who were killed during the genocide and to highlight the challenges currently facing survivors, almost one hundred people gathered to learn about the importance of “prevention,” not only in Rwanda but also in other areas of the world, where mass atrocities are taking place and not receiving the attention from the international community and/or media that is needed.
In April, MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner supports the Abatzia family in Rwanda in organizing an annual commemoration.
Also in April, MCW hosted one of Sierra Leone’s International Film Festival (SLIFF) film screenings at the Miracle Corners Sierra Leone (MCLR) Sukudu center in Koidu Town. The SLIFF mobile unit tours Sierra Leone sharing vital information and entertainment films with rural communities.
In April, Anna Condoulis steps down from her position on the Board of Directors to become a member of the Board of Emeritus
In the first half of 2013, MCW registers over 300 youth in programming at its five community centers in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia. Youth partake in vocational skills training programs, e.g., tailoring, computer/IT, handicraft production, and social activities, e.g., youth groups, culture troupe, trauma counseling.
During the same period, a new MC-Rwanda Country Director, Solange Uwimbabazi, was appointed to oversee the center’s current roster of programs, including the tailoring, handicrafts, soccer and modern dance classes, as well as three new courses: sewing, information technology/computer skills and karate. During the year, course enrollment has more than doubled. The center’s youth group received a $3,000 grant from MCW to purchase new traditional dance costumes and materials. The group went on to win the regional dance competition, earning a $500 prize;
In May, former intern Regina Leichner, who joined MCW to assist with grant writing and development, became an MCW Program Officer / Fellow with MCW’s Oral Healthcare program.
On May 12, The MC-Zambia team purchases two high-quality used Singer sewing machines for the Chanyanya center with funds raised through the sale of crafts made at the center during MCW’s annual gala in April.
In June, MCW releases a press release about cooperation between American and Tanzanian dental schools, noting how it provided three fourth-year dental students from the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Dental School with partial funding to participate in UIC’s first-ever service rotation program to Africa. The rotation, which took place in March and April, involved clinical experience at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) dental clinic in Dar es Salaam, visiting primary schools in the region, and service-learning experiences at a rural location.
In June, MCW welcomes a new intern, Claire Babala, to the team in June to continue the work of former intern, Maya Brooks, who ended her internship with MCW in May. Maya’s work focused on MCW’s new social networking initiative, MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, the 2013 gala and social media.
On June 27, MCW holds its third social networking event, this time focusing on Sierra Leone. The event takes place Bourbon Coffee.
On July 8, MC-Zambia recruits 37 students to its IT class and 26 to its tailoring class. A large number of students from Kafue are attracted to the courses because of the low course fees. To attend, many find temporary lodging in Chanyanya.
From July 11-18, MCW brings 30 youth together for its 16th youth leadership retreat in New York and Burlington. This is the seventh retreat at Champlain College with Dr. David Finney as President of the College. Hannah Lee coordinates the event for the second year in a row. Participants include Americans, Armenians, Hungarians, Indians, Israelis, Kosovars, Kyrgyzs, Palestinians, Tanzanians, and Zambians. The retreat wrapped up with MCW’s annual Open Doors Ceremony at New York University, where MCW officially announced the opening of the MCW Alumni Ventures Fund application process. 2013 sponsors include Ben and Jerry’s, Chipotle,Green Mountain Coffee, Grey Dog, Domino’s Pizza, Staples, and Trader Joe’s.
By August, MCW’s bakery in Sierra Leone continues to increase its production, from producing 4,000 loaves a month in June to a goal of 20,000 in August. The bakery has started a marketing campaign, placing retail bread boxes at strategic locations within Kono, the location of the center. The bakery employs a staff of five, and the profits from the business will flow into the MCSL-Kono community center, supporting MCSL’s low-cost social and vocational program.
From November 11-14, MCW provides funding for two treatment teams from Kenya and Tanzania to participate in the Pediatric & Adolescent AIDS Treatment Program (PATA) 2013 East Africa Regional Forum in Tanzania from November 11-14. Under the banner “2014 and Beyond: Barriers, Bottlenecks and Solutions,” the event dealt with child malnutrition, maternal health, and managing HIV, TB and malaria. The teams included a doctor, nurse, counselor and pharmacist from paediatric clinics in Kenya and Tanzania.
On December 10, MCW holds a Winter Quarterly Social with Andrea Papitto, a producer of “The Last Song Before the War” and a 2013 youth leadership retreat presenter.
MCW starts the new year in a new office on Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.
In February, MCW, in cooperation with its partners, ships a container of donated equipment, supplies and textbooks to Tanzania to support the Mnazi Mmoja hospital dental clinic in Zanzibar, as well as MUHAS dental school and New Hope school and dispensary in Dar es Salaam.
MCW Fellow, Jacqueline Murekatete, receives the NYU Distinguished Young Alumna Award in April.
On April 3, MCW holds its eighth annual gala celebration, raising $800,000. Nobel Peace Prize Winner Elie Wiesel receives the MCW Lifetime Achievement Award; the UPS Foundation receives Community Partnership Award and Obiageli Ezekwesili of the World Bank’s Africa Region receives Leadership Award.
On April 9, MC-Rwanda holds a commemoration, organized in collaboration with MCR’s survivor’s group, the Abatazima family, and with financial support from MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner.
On April 12, MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, held its sixth annual commemoration of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda at NYU Law School with almost 100 participants.
Earlier that day, holds its first Educators’ Forum on Genocide Prevention at NYU. Fourteen educators, genocide experts and MCW team members convened to discuss how to develop a genocide prevention education curriculum to teach high school students about the crime of genocide and the importance of being agents of positive change in the world.
On May 18, Dr. Marion Bergman, Director of Healthcare Projects, delivers a graduating address at the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University.
In May, Jacqueline Murekatete ends her fellowship with MCW, after completing her third year of studies at Cardozo School of Law.
In June, Dr. Charles Robbins, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges, Stony Brook University, joins the MCW Board of Directors. Roberta Richin, an educator and founder and CEO of Council Against Prejudice, joins the MCW Board Emeritus
Also in June, Robyn Deutsch, a former MCW intern and coordinator of MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, wraps up her time with MCW, alongside interns Dominique Tolbert and Julissa Soriano, who were with MCW for the academic year.
MCW holds 15th Youth Leadership Retreat at New York University on July 19, with more than 30 teens from 10 countries participating in the annual week-long event.
MCW launches a new website in August, with the support of summer intern Madison Liddle. That same month, Madison and Lulu Mero wrapped up their summer internships with MCW.
On September 29, MCW Board Advisor, Victor Gruber hosts a fifth gala dinner in Cost Mesa, California, raising support for MCW’s Rwanda-focused projects, including MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner and the MC-Rwanda Community Center. Over forty friends and supporters gathered at Mastro’s Steakhouse for an evening of good food, socializing and learning about MCW’s work in Rwanda and the impact of their contributions. The tables featured hand-woven baskets made at the MC-R Community Center.
On October 4, the MCW team organized the first networking event at the Rwandan coffee shop, Bourbon Coffee, in New York City. The event focused on our work in Rwanda, and attracted students and young professional who are interested in youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, oral healthcare and economic development projects
From October 23-24, Pediatric & Adolescent AIDS Treatment Program (PATA) hosts a local training and learning forum in Songea, Tanzania. Sponsored by MCW, the two-day event focuses on pediatric palliative care and aimed to strengthen relationships and develop “communities of practice” through pediatric palliative HIV care.
In February, a team from the U.S. travels to Dar es Salaam to inspect and oversee the week-long installation of state-of-the-art dental laboratory equipment as part of a second MoU between MCW and MUHAS.
In March, construction on a new center in Kono, Sierra Leone ends and plans for an opening ceremony in June begin. Vice President, H.E. Samuel Sam-Sumana invited MCW to build a center in his hometown at the 2009 Gala.
In April, MCW brings on a new Oral Healthcare Tanzania-based team member, Phil Mogendi, to focus on IT training in Zanzibar. Phil replaced Yvonne Noel, who had designed a sustainability plan for MUHAS during her time with MCW.
On April 7, MCW held its 7th gala and silent auction at NYU with more than 400 guests. MCW Leadership Awards were presented to renowned African Soukous musician, Kanda Bongo Man, from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ishmael Beah, New York Times best-selling author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. The MCW Community Partnership Award was presented to Colgate-Palmolive, Inc.; and the MCW Appreciation Award was given to the Supporters and Project Leaders of the MCW Oral Healthcare Dental Lab Program at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) School of Dentistry in Tanzania. The MCW Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Heyward B. Davenport, Northeast Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency. MCW’s gala raised more than $700,000.
From April 6-12, over 100 community members attended a series of events at the MCR-Kayenzi community center to commemorate the 1994 genocide against Tutsis. Also in April, on the 10th,MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, in partnership with the NY-NJ Rwandan community, held a commemorative event at Cardozo Law School. The event, attended by 120 participants, included a moment of silence, remarks from the Rwandan Ambassador to the U.N., a screening of a short video about the genocide, and a panel discussion with four genocide survivors.
In May, two dental school technicians from MUHAS, complete six weeks of training on dental laboratory procedures in Huntsville, Alabama. The training is sponsored by leading US dental lab, Oral Arts Dental Laboratories, Henry Schein, Inc. and MCW.
From May 23-27, MCW organizes the second Africa Leadership Seminar in Zambia. The event brought together the leadership of MCW’s network in Africa to learn about MCW’s mission and operational approach and to develop workable solutions to some of the centers’ most pressing challenges.
In June, Khalid Elachi becomes MCW’s Director of Operations. This corresponds with Edward Bergman, MCW Co-founder, becoming President and stepping down as Executive Director. In addition, Dr. Anthony Vernillo transitioned from the MCW Board of Directors to the new MCW Board Emeritus.
In June, MCW welcomes a new intern: Zoi Calomiris.
On the last day of June, MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner organizes an awareness raising event in partnership with the Museum of Tolerance in New York. After a screening of The Last Survivor, Jacqueline gave an overview of MCW’s work in Rwanda to an audience of 70 guests. That same month, on June 27 Jacqueline speaks at the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC) at the Sheraton National in Arlington, Virginia in June; 400 youth attend.
In July, following a partnership between MCR and the national electrical company, the community center is “electrified,” allowing for the beginning of IT classes, alongside 267 homes in Kayenzi.
In July, MC-Sierra Leone announces the acquisition of a 90 X 60 ft piece of land across from the Kono-Sukudu Center.
From July 7-14 MCW holds its 14th Annual Youth Leadership Retreat with 50 participants at Champlain College in Vermont. The Retreat concluded with MCW’s 11th Open Doors program at NYU with over 100 attendees on July 14.
At the July 14 Open Doors Ceremony, Brooklyn-born Chris Bashinelli, 24, receives the MCW Alumni Venture Fund award to support a project titled Pine Ridge Launch, a series of 10-15 community engagement events.
MCW partnered with long-time supporter KPMG on its “Family for Literacy” program in Chanyanya, Zambia, the site of the MC-Zambia community center. The firm established the Family for Literacy pro-gram in 2007 to support and expand upon its philanthropic focus on youth and education. The program pro-vides children from low-income families with their own new books — and in many cases, their very first book.
From August 15-21, Jacqueline, Nate and Jackson lead the first Learning Journey to Africa with 13 participants, including MCW Board Advisor Victor Gruber and MCW Coordinator Robyn Deutsch. A highlight is a reception at the center attended by 600 people. Right after, on August 19, Jacqueline received the Imbuto Foundation Young Women Achievers’ Award in Kigali from First Lady, Jeannette Kagame.
In September, Hannah Lee, a former MCW intern, becomes the new MCW Youth Leadership Retreat Coordinator, replacing Yasmin Elachi, who coordinated the retreat for three years.
On September 11, the Government of Tanzania, with support from MCW, led by Dr. Marion Bergman, organized a side event titled “Putting Teeth into Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)” at the New York University College of Dentistry. President, H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (above), delivered the keynote address on the importance of linking NCDs to primary healthcare strategies and plans.
On October 1, Victor Gruber hosted his 4th Annual MCW West Coast fundraiser at Mastro’s Steakhouse in Costa Mesa California, where 40 friends gathered to learn about the Miracle Corners Rwanda (MCR) community center progress.
In November, MCW supports the 7th Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Treatment for Africa program by sending two teams to attend the PATA conference in Gaborone, Botswana.
In November, MCW launches the Dr. George Sideris Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships and educational stipends to our community leaders who want to pursue or advance their education. Recipients include MCW community leaders from Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zambia.
On November 30, MCW and MMNH sign an MoU dedicated to advancing Zanzibar’s oral healthcare system. To achieve this goal, MCW agree to facilitate the donation of dental equipment and supplies, including sterilization equipment, digital x‐ray units, computer hardware, and practice management software (“Easy Dental”), and to train personnel to manage and repair the donations and use the software.
From November 14-18, MCW sent two teams, one from Songea, Tanzania (where MCW has a community center) and one from Transmara, Kenya, to participate in the Paediatric and Adolescent AIDS Treatment for Africa program. This year’s event was held in Gaborone, Botswana from November 14–18. PATA is a network of treatment teams from more than 170 clinics in 24 African countries, united by the common goal of expanding access to quality care for children and their families affected by HIV.
From December 19-21, MCW sends an IT specialist from Tanzania to attend a two-day training program at the Henry Schein Inc. facility in Utah. The goal of the training program is to provide the specialist with the basic knowledge and skills to manage the newly installed software systems at the Mnazi Mmoja Dental Clinic in Zanzibar.
In March, Microsoft Africa executives climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in early March to raise funds for MCW and other NGO’s “to help build learning centres in African countries. This forms part of Microsoft Africa’s broader initiative to support educational development across Africa, giving back to the communities within which it operates.
In April, Alfred Hanssen steps down as MCW’s Chief of Operations.
On April 13, MCW opened the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City’s Time Square on the morning of its Gala. Later that day, MCW held its sixth annual fundraiser at NYU. NYU president John Sexton presented the MCW Lifetime Achievement award to Dr. John Brademas, NYU president emeritus, former politician, and longtime MCW supporter. Dikembe Motumbo, Chair and President of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation and retired player for the Houston Rockets, received MCW’s Leadership Award. Tanzanian Ambassador to the US Ombeni Sefue also received MCW’s Leadership Award. Tanzanian President Kikwete delivered a keynote address. Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson also participated in the event. CNN Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi was the emcee for the event.
In April, to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide Jacqueline Murekatete addressed the UN General Assembly on Genocide Prevention Day. She participates in a commemoration planned by MCW Advisor Eugenie Mukeshimana and supported by MCW.
In May, former MCW intern and then fellow, Nate Crossley becomes Director of MCW’s Community Center Program.
On June 22, Mimi Saltzman and Trond Myhr held a garden party for MCW on June 22 with approximately 30 guests for MCW’s Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner and MCW.
On June 24, Victor Gruber held a third dinner fundraiser in Costa Mesa, California for MCW, raising funds for the MCW community center in Rwanda. The event was attended by over 30 guests and members of the MCW team, including Nate Crossley, Jacqueline Murekatete, and Yvonne Noel.
From July 15-22, MCW holds its 13th Youth Leadership Retreat at Champlain College with more than 40 youth from around the world. Open Doors was held again at NYU.
On July 20, MCW was granted Special Consultative Status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
On July 22, at the Open Doors Ceremony, MCW announces that Felix Nyakatale, 30, Bagamoyo, Tanzania will receive the 2010 Alumni Ventures Fund award.
In July, MCW fellow Jacqueline Murekatete wins a Do Something! Award, leading to a $10,000 donation to MCW to support the new center in Rwanda. She is selected as 1 of 5 winners from more than 600 applicants worldwide. On July 19, Jacqueline was honored for her work at the 2010 Do Something Award Show on VH1.
Also in July, MCW engaged business consultant Yvonne Noel to develop a sustainability plan for MUHAS Dental clinics and Dental Laboratory in Dar es Salaam.
Earlier in the month, two young dental school technicians, William Mihayo and Haruna Matwili, from MUHAS completed three weeks of technical training in three US cities. The training was sponsored by Dental Components International (DCI), Midmark, Sirona and Henry Schein, Inc.
In the fall, MCW sends the Songea CTC clinic of Tanzania and Transmara clinic of Kenya, each comprised of four team members, to participate in the 6th Annual Pediatric Aids Treatment for Africa (PATA) conference hosted in Kampala, Uganda.
In September, renovations begin at the MCW center in Arusha, Tanzania.
On October 6, 6he MC-R center begins its first program with 46 students registering for a six-month English course, led by MCR leadership team member Steven Shyaka. A week later, MCR begins another English class for 25 students from Kayenzi. A tailoring course and culture troupe is added at the end of the month.
In November, construction began on a new MCW community center in Kono, Sierra Leone. [Vice President, H.E. Samuel Sam-Sumana invited MCW to build a center in his hometown at the 2009 Gala.]
In January, a team of companies, educational institutions, and individuals come together in Dar es Salaam to begin the capital upgrade of the dental school at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
In March, under the leadership of MCW friend and supporter Kabinga Pande Jr., MCW files paperwork to register as a local organization in Zambia. A stretch of land about thirty miles south of the capital Lusaka has been pledged to the organization. Center programs will focus on HIV/AIDS education and prevention.
in the winter, responding to the high demand of the surrounding community, MCW breaks ground on new IT facilities for future computer-based programs in Downtown Songea as an extension of the community center in neighboring Kipera.
In March, Microsoft Africa executives climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for MCW and other NGO’s “to help build learning centers in African countries. This forms part of Microsoft Africa’s broader initiative to support educational development across Africa, giving back to the communities within which it operates.
On April 1, MCW holds its fifth Annual Gala Dinner at NYU, where MCW honors the People of Rwanda, Ali Velshi, Anne Eiting Klamar, John Spencer, Jacqueline Murekatete, and MCW Field Interns. Michelle Makori, Bloomberg TV News Anchor, emcees the celebration and Liz Claman, Fox-News correspondent, and Charles Payne, Fox News contributor also participates. The gala succeeds in raising more than half a million dollars to support MCW programs worldwide. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, MCW launches the MCW Alumni Ventures Fund at the gala, thanks to the efforts of the AVF founders and chairs Steve Kess and Sharon Kess.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, MCW’s Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner organized two educational events on April 20—one at the UN Church Center and another at NYU. More than 200 people attend the programs and Jacqueline and the program receive significant attention from the press in a variety of media outlets.
In early June, Victor Gruber hosts the second MCW fundraising dinner in Cosa Mesa, California.
That same month, MCW intern Nathaniel Crossley graduates New York University and moves to Lusaka, Zambia, where he will help MCW establish a new community center.
Also in June, Ranika Cohen joins MCW Board of Directors.
In July, 35 youth delegates and 23 mentors attend the 12th Youth Leadership Retreat program at Champlain College in Vermont and at NYU in New York. The retreat concludes with MCW’s Ninth Annual Open Doors Ceremony at NYU’s Law School. Tanzanian Ambassador Augustine Mahiga delivers the keynote address stressing the importance of thinking and acting locally with a view to the larger global context.
At the conclusion of Open Doors, Sharon Kess, who co-chairs the AVF and serves as a new MCW advisor, announces the first recipients of the MCW Alumni Venture Fund: Amma Agaypon and Shawn Crosby.
In July, Jacqueline Murekatete continues her fellowship with MCW as she begins her first year of studies at Cardozo School of Law.
In 2009, NYUCD decided to no longer send outreach teams to Songea under its banner due to challenges regarding duration and conditions of travel between Dar es Salaam and Songea and the significant financial investment on NYU’s part; however, several NYUCD faculty and students continued to volunteer their time to the Songea clinic with a small team arriving for a seventh outreach in August.
In the fall, PATA Pediatric teams from the Songea clinic in Tanzania and Kilgoris, Trans Mara district of Kenya participate in the annual PATA forum on the challenges of HIV treatment in rural areas across Africa in Rwanda.
In November, a private practice dentist from the USA worked out of the clinic for eight days.
In November, H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete inaugurates the newly renovated dental school at the Muhilimbi University and hosts a special dinner at the State House for MCW and its friends, supporters, and leaders in the country.
Yasmin Elachi becomes the Coordinator of the MCW Youth Leadership Retreat.
In February, a container filled with donations arrives in Sierra Leone to support projects at the new community center in Kissy, East Freetown.
On April 7, MCW holds its fourth Annual Gala Dinner at NYU’s Kimmel Center, paying tribute to the People of Sierra Leone with Honorable Vice President Sam Sumana accepting the award on their behalf. MCW also honors Donald and Shelly Rubin, founders of the Rubin Museum of Art, with the MCW Leadership Award. The late Professor Dr. George Sideris receives the MCW Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously. Liz Claman, Fox-News correspondent and Ali Velshi, CNN Senior Business Correspondent, also participate. MCW raises more than $475,000 to support its projects worldwide.
In the same month, MCW organizes an educational forum in New York for the diplomatic, academic and non-profit communities, as well as for media covering African diaspora affairs, on socio-economic and political developments in Sierra Leone.
Also in April, MCW and MCW’s Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, organize two public forums—one at NYU and another at the Jewish Heritage Museum—on genocide prevention. More than 300 people attend the awareness raising events.
In May, MCW holds its first Community Development Leadership Seminar in Tanzania in partnership with EDUCO Africa, an organization specializing in leadership training. MCW’s entire Community Development Program Team, including leadership teams and local advisory boards in Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda, participate in a variety of dynamic team-building and communication-focused activities.
In May, the leaders of the MCT Information Technology (IT) education project in Downtown Songea visited Nairobi, Kenya to learn firsthand about the geographic scope, managerial professionalism and socioeconomic impact of the world’s most influential IT company, Microsoft.
In June, Eugenie Mukeshimana, a Rwanda genocide survivor and educational consultant, also joins MCW’s Board of Advisors.
In June, July and August, Arcadia University, based in Pennsylvania, sent graduate students and faculty to visit the MCT-Arusha (MCT-A) community center three times. The aims of these visits were cultural exchange and knowledge sharing in the education field between the MCT-A teachers and Arcadia students and professors.
MCW holds its eleventh Youth Leadership Retreat at both NYU and Champlain College from July 12-July 18 with over 55 youth from around the world. The retreat concludes with MCW’s Open Doors ceremony at NYU.
For the third year in a row, MCW sponsored a team from Songea to attend the Pediatric AIDS Treatment in Africa (PATA) conference on the continent. Benedicto Ngaiza and Frank Silayo of Songea in the fall.
In September, MCW signs an MOU with MUHAS to improve oral healthcare across Tanzania. As part of the agreement, and based on a needs assessment, MUHAS receives four 40-foot containers packed with new state-of-the-art equipment. Content of these containers, along with the professional and technical expertise of the U.S. team, is valued at nearly two million dollars, one of the largest donations to the country to date from MCW donors. Major supporters include Dental Components International (DCI), Henry Schein Inc., and Midmark Corporation, as well as Attiteh Medico and Everlast Logistics.
In November, Victor Gruber, a new MCW Board advisor, holds its first fundraising event for MCW on the west coast (in Cosa Mesa, California) of the USA. The event is dedicated to raising awareness and support for MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, particularly the building of a new center for survivors outside the Rwandan capital city of Kigali.
On November 15, construction of a new community center in the town of Kayenzi, approximately 30 km outside the Rwandan capital of Kigali begins.
In December, NYUCD faculty and alumni brought treatment and community‐based preventive oral hygiene education to hundreds of patients for MCW’s eventh outreach. An additional goal was to train the newly assigned dental therapist on the latest techniques in restorative procedures for both pediatric and adult dentistry.
MCW Project Director Khalid Elachi becomes an MCW fellow. [Khalid first became involved with MCW when he participated in the 2003 Youth Leadership Retreat. He then began volunteering actively with the organization in 2004-5 on a number of different projects, including organizing youth leadership retreats, traveling to Tanzania with the dental team and managing the MCW Partner Initiative program, the Container Project. As part of his fellowship, Khalid focuses on the MUHAS dental project and the new MCW Alumni Ventures Fund.]
After spending about two years traveling between the U.S. and Sierra Leone, helping to establish and grow the first community center in Sierra Leone, Amanda decides to return to Sierra Leone for one year as an MCW Fellow in May 2008 to continue to work with the MCSL-Freetown team.
Also in January, Tanzanian President Kikwete asks MCW to help equip the region’s only dental school in the city of Dar es Salaam.
On March 13, MCW organizes its third gala at NYU’s Kimmel Center, honoring tennis legend Billie Jean King, World Team Tennis CEO and Commissioner Ilana Kloss, Cal Ramsey of the New York Knicks, Baltimore Ravens linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis, and the NFL for using sports as a tool to empower youth worldwide. Special recognition is also given to Microsoft’s Community Affairs Program for supporting MCW’s IT project in Tanzania. Michelle Makori, Bloomberg TV News Anchor, emcees the celebration, and Liz Claman, Fox-News correspondent, and Ali Velshi, CNN Senior Business Correspondent, also participate. MCW raises almost $400,000 from its growing community of friends and supporters for its programs.
In April, MCW establishes a new partner program called MCW’s Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, as a permanent initiative of the organization. Jacqueline Murekatete launches the program with MCW’s First Annual Commemorative Event on Rwandan Genocide at NYU. The new genocide prevention program aims to raise awareness of the crime of genocide in a wide-range of educational forums; and to help survivors rebuild their lives and their country by establishing an MCW center in Rwanda.
In the spring and for the second year in a row, MCW sponsors a team from Songea to attend the Pediatric AIDS Treatment in Africa (PATA) conference in Africa.
Alfred Hanssen joins the MCW team in New York as the new Associate Executive Director. [This position is later renamed “Chief Operating Officer.” Alfie stays in this position until April 2010.]
In July, MCW holds its tenth Youth Leadership Retreat at NYU in New York and Champlain College in Vermont with fifty youth delegates and mentors from around the world. For the first time, retreat participants visit the prestigious Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art in New York for a private tour and presentation on art, culture and entrepreneurship. Open Doors Ceremony is held at NYU.’
In August, the sixth dental outreach group treats hundreds of patients in Songea out of the MCW dental clinic. The program expands to include preventive oral hygiene education in the community
Plus, MCW provides a one-time start-up grant to Broad Street Beatz, an independent after-school program devoted to teaching children in North Philadelphia digital music production and leadership skills.
Another summer event: after three months of construction—led by Amanda Blount with support from Nicholas Orso and Harry Gbetuwa, MCW establishes the Mwakawago Youth Empowerment Community Center in the community of Kissy in East Freetown, Sierra Leone in August.
In September, MCW once again organizes a special event for Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. This time, business leaders and non profit representatives convene for a roundtable discussion on investment in Tanzania in New York City. Fox News correspondent Liz Claman facilities the discussion. In the summer, MCW facilitates the shipment of two forty-foot containers filled with supplies to help upgrade women’s health and obstetrical services at Iringa Hospital in Tanzania. The container is co-sponsored by MedShare International and private donor Linda Schejola, thanks to the coordination and initiative of Dr. Bergman.
In October, Jacqueline Murekatete is awarded a two-year MCW fellowship, tasked with founding MCW’s Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner. Sharon Roling serves as advisor to the program.
In November, MCW is granted permission by the Rwandan government to work in Rwanda. On the basis of this success, MCW anticipates opening the fourth MCW community center for survivors of the 1994 genocide and other Rwandans living in the Bugesera district.
In December, a container of donations is unloaded in Iringa, Tanzania. The donations are allocated to MCW projects in Arusha, Songea and Iringa.
In May, business leaders, investors, representatives of non-profit groups, media and friends of Tanzania gather at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square for a luncheon in honor of the newly elected Tanzanian President, H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. MCW introduces President Kikwete to the finance and business communities, providing him with an opportunity to share his vision for the country under his leader
In June, under Project Coordinator Khalid Elachi’s leadership, MCW ships a second ocean freight container of donations, including books, dental and medical supplies, shoes, computers, sporting equipment, toys and clothing, from Sayreville, New Jersey to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
In July, MCW holds its ninth Youth Leadership Retreat at NYU and Champlain College, thanks to support from Dr. David Finney, who moved to Burlington to serve as Champlain’s new president. This year’s retreat includes forty delegates and ten mentors. Open Doors is held again at NYU.
Also that month, MCW wraps up the summer by moving into a shared office space in midtown Manhattan.
In August, Arusha, under the leadership of Prof. George Sideris, another group of Long Island University students visits the center to participate in a week of educational activities on the environment and challenges facing young people with the Perfect Youth Group (PYG), an independent youth organization that is borne out of the center.
In August, the fifth dental outreach group delivers treatment to over 400 patients in Songea.
In the summer, MCW forms new partnership with the Philadelphia-based Institute for the Development of African- American Youth, Inc. (IDAAY), by co-sponsoring a new entrepreneurial program for youth. The program teaches students ‘business basics’ in an empowering environment at Temple University.
In the fall, MCW sponsors a team from Songea to attend the Pediatric AIDS Treatment in Africa (PATA) conference in Africa.
In July, MCW organizes its eighth Youth Leadership Retreat at NYU, with more than fifty delegates and mentors. A highlight includes a visit to MTV’s “Total Request Live” (TRL) to learn about the role the media plays in shaping cultural attitudes. Open Doors takes place at the Simon Wiesenthal Tolerance Center in New York, where MCW presents its third Lifetime Achievement Award to Bunny Grossinger.
In August, MCW establishes a new youth center and health/dental clinic in Kipera village, a forty-minute walk from downtown Songea. The center, which sits on 53 acres of land donated by the government, offers English classes, IT training, a preschool, a library, and oralcare treatment to the community. The center includes a community hall, and housing units, which are used as classrooms and homes for team leaders, who run the center’s programs.
Felix Nyakatele, an artist and teacher who was active in the MCW center Arusha in Tanzania, leaves Arusha to move to Songea to help set up the new center’s programs. He becomes an MCW project coordinator. MCW first met Felix when he was a painter working on murals at the MCW Arusha Center.
In August, MCW sends a fourth dental outreach group to Songea to provide services to the community for a week. This time, the team works out of the newly oppened Liana Cohen Health/Dental Clinic, which is named after Ruben Cohen’s late sister. Ruben is Eddie Bergaman’s former residential advisor (RA) from NYU and was a participant in MCW’s first dental outreach group. The dental unit is equipped with four dental units donated by Sirona Dental Systems, a manufacturer of dental equipment, and product donations from Henry Schein Inc. Discussions begin on keeping the clinic open year-round and making it sustainable by opening a small pharmacy.
Also, in August, MCW hosts a four-day training workshop for youth on HIV/AIDS education, entrepreneurship and art production at the Arusha center. The workshop isorganized in partnership with the US-based group TechnoServe, an organization that provides business solutions to rural poverty in the developing world.
That same month, under the umbrella of the MCW Partner Initiative program, the Arusha center hosts a group of students from NYU and Long Island University in a week-long community service project on healthcare and the environment. The trip, organized by Professor George Sideris in partnership with Anna Condoulis, marks the beginning of exchange programs between US colleges and universities and the youth group at the center.
In addition, in response to a request from Dr. Augustine Mahiga, Ambassador to the Tanzanian Permanent Mission to the U.N., MCW facilitates the donation of 20,000 books to a new library at St. Augustine University in the city of Iringa, Tanzania. The donations are from McGraw Hill Companies, New Jersey Islamic Interfaith Dialogue Center, the American Jewish Committee, and Lyndon State College (LSC). Khalid Elachi, a former MCW youth leadership retreat delegate, organizes the shipment.
Also that month, Sharon Roling joins the MCW team in New York to help “grow” the infrastructure of the organization.
In December, under the leadership of Dr. Cathy DeLeo, LSC faculty, alumni and friends participate in Project Kili, an MCW Partner Initiative. The collaborative project provides the students and members of the MCW center in Arusha with the opportunity to learn, serve and summit Mount Kilimanjaro together. The program was developed with EDUCO Africa, a South African non-profit that had recruited South African youth to participate in MCW’s earlier youth leadership retreats.
Also in December, MCW organizes a foundation laying ceremony for the new youth center in Sierra Leone. The center comprises of a multi-purpose hall, a computer room with internet facilitates, a dining room and office space. It will provide skill training opportunities for over 700 unemployed youth in the east end of Freetown. Sierra Leone police donated land for the center and UNDP contributed funds for furniture and equipment.
In August, the third dental outreach group, with dentists and dental students from the U.S. and South Africa, returned once again to the Songea Regional Hospital to treat nearly 650 patients Henry Schein Cares, again, provides dental supplies equipment in-kind to the project.
In July, MCW brougth fifty youth from the Middle East, Africa and the Americas together for its seventh Youth Leadership Retreat at NYU. Open Doors was held at NYU’s Kimmel Center. Bunny Grossinger presented the third MCW Lifetime Achievement Award to Mira Berman, Executive Director Emeritus of the Africa Travel Association (ATA).
Alfred, an engineer and friend of Paul Bergman’s from the University of Pennsylvania, traveled to Sonega, Tanzania for a few weeks to give advice on the construction of the new center. When he returned to his job in Philadelphia, he realized that his work as an engineer did not provide him with the same growth opportunities, so he quit and moved to Songea to volunteer with MCW. Over the next six months, he managed construction and built a team of young leaders to manage the new 53 acre center.
In August, MCW extended the Tshwaragano Initiative to Songea and helped create Youth Empowerment for Tanzania United (YETU). Like TAAB, YETU empowers Songea’s youth to become agents of change in their communities, specifically in the battle against HIV/AIDS.
At the same time, MCW and YETU shared the initiative with youth from China, who established the third international partnership for the Tshwaragano Initiative, called Health and AIDS Initiative for Knowledge and Education on Youth Involvement (HAI KEYI), with support from Shanghai’s Jiaotong University. HAI KEYI [meaning “okay/can do” in Chinese] focuses on increasing sexual health awareness and decreasing social stigma against those infected with HIV/AIDS.
Also in August, MCW organized its second dental outreach program in Songea, in partnership with NYU. MCW worked out of a clinic in a local hospital. Over 500 patients received treatment in the community, that has a dentist to patient ratio of 2 to 1.2 million. Henry Schein Cares continues to provide dental supplies and equipment in-kind.
In July, MCW held its fifth Youth Leadership Retreat at NYU and Lyndon State College in Vermont. Dr. Cathy DeLeo, a professor of recreation and ski management at the school, helped organize the retreat. She joined MCW’s Board of Advsiors after meeting Eddie Bergman at a conference in Jordan. Jacqueline Murekatete, a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, participated in the week-long event, sharing her personal story with the youth delegates. Khalid Elachi participated in his first Youth Leadership Retreat.
Thanks to an introduction by MCW Board Advisor Monica Willard, an NGO Representative to the United Nations for the United Religions Initiative, Roberta Richin, attended the Youth Leadership Retreat for the first time. Roberta, an educational consultant and author, introduced a new educational tool to the retreat program, the vision plan, which enabled each delegate to envision his/her dream and to map out a concrete course of action. After the retreat, Roberta joined MCW’s Board of Directors. Open Doors was held at the South African Counsel in New York with Bunny Grossinger receiving the 2003 MCW Lifetime Achievement Award.
District Commissioner Mende transfered from Arusha to the rural district of Songea in the southwest quadrant of Tanzania, near the Mozambique border. She inviteed MCW to expand its programs and helped secure land for a future youth center. DC Mende later introduceed MCW to her successor, Abeid Mwinyimsa.
In February, MCW organized its fourth Youth Leadership Retreat at Washington State University’s Swiss Center in Brig, Switzerland. Over fifty youth from twenty countries participated. Dr. Nancy Scanlon, a lecturer in NYU’s hospitality program and [former] professor of Eddie’s, helps MCW coordinate the event. [Nancy had left NYU to take an adjunct position in Switzerland for a few semesters.] Nancy joins MCW’s Board of Advisors.
The second Youth Leadership Retreat is held in April at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. MCW presents its second Lifetime Achievement Award to the late Dr. Edward B. Shils, Founder, Center of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania at its Open Doors Ceremony.
In July, MCW held its third Youth Leadership Retreat at NYU, bringing together fifty-five students.
These first three retreats involved youth from a wide range of socio-economic, geographic and cultural backgrounds, from China, Israel, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, the U.S., the West Bank, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The week-long program centers on interactive group activities, as well as presentations from a variety of social entrepreneurs, many of whom are active in the MCW community. After the first retreat, past participants begin to return to future retreats as mentors to help guide new youth leadership participants.
Under Board of Director Paul Bergman’s leadership, MCW co-sponsored a youth workshop in Mahalapye, Botswana with a youth group called Tshwarangano (“unity” in Setswana) Against AIDS in Botswana (TAAB). TAAB is a student-led organization that empowers youth to become “agents of change” by confronting the challenges of HIV/AIDS with interactive education and leadership training. In addition to the workshop, the two organizations developed a common goal and supportive structure for TAAB to use to help continue to build on the workshop’s energy. MCW and TAAB again met and joined hands in August 2003, to establish TAAB’s second national chapter in Maun, Botswana.
Ron Uba joined the Board of Directors.
Through Gloria, Eddie met Anna Condoulis, Executive Director at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). Anna helped MCW organize a youth leadership training retreat event at NYU with support from Lavern and Gloria. She also helped MCW develop new strategic partnerships with different NYU departments. This marked the beginning of MCW’s long-term relationship with NYU and Anna Condoulis, who joined MCW’s Board of Directors. Shortly afterward, Anna traveled to Tanzania with Professor George Sideris for the first, of what would become, many MCW volunteer trips.
In the summer, MCW co-sponsored a peer education and crisis-intervention training program [a precursor to MCW’s Youth Leadership Retreat program] in New York for forty students from the South African township of Soweto. Thanks to an introduction made by Dr. Shils between Eddie and Dr. Margo Marshak, [former] Vice President of NYU Student Affairs, MCW organizeed part of the program at NYU. MCW also partnered with NYC’s Department of Youth and Community Development (Youthline) on the program. This connection was made by Charmaine Peart, who joined MCW’s Board of Advisors.
MCW presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award to the late Dr. Herman Wrice posthumously at the 2001 Open Doors Ceremony, at which the young program participants shared their experiences with the MCW community of friends and supporters. Mrs. Jean Wrice accepted the award on behalf of her late husband.
In Arusha, Tanzania, MCW opened the Dr. Herman Wrice Youth Empowerment Community Center, named in honor of the founding mentor shortly after his passing. The center includes an information technology (IT) program, named in honor of mentor Dr. Edward Shils, and was set up by University of Pennsylvania students. The center also offers English classes, entrepreneurship training, performing arts activities, and preschool education. At the opening ceremony, the Wrice family presented the community with a liberty bell from John Street, the 97th Mayor of Philadelphia.
With the opening of the Arusha center, MCW laid down the foundations for the emergence of a sustainable center model that would be utilized in other locations in the years to come.
Responding to the needs of the Arusha community, MCW organized a dental outreach project, in which NYU students and faculty visited the MCW youth center for two weeks and provide free dental services to more than 200 patients. The program was initiated by Ruben Cohen, Eddie’s residential advisor (RA) at NYU, who was looking for a way to get involved with MCW. Ruben introduced MCW to NYU School of Dentistry professor and future Board of Directors member, Dr. Anthony Vernillo, who participated in the outreach project. Henry Schein Cares, the corporate responsibility program of Henry Schein, Inc., the world’s leading dental and medical supplies provider, contributed dental supplies and equipment in-kind to the project.
During the year, MCW tutored students attending the Grace United Methodist Church’s Youth Academy in Harlem, New York.
Eddie and Rob, traveled to Arusha, where they met youth living in the densely populated Majengo Juu and learned about the lack of entrepreneurial opportunities for youth in the area. MCW purchased land to construct a youth center for the community, while working with the youth to help establish small businesses. Experiencing challenges along the way, the co-founders were persistent and built strong relationships with the local community and government officials.
During construction, Eddie visitsedTanzania’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and met with Ambassador Daudi Mwakawago. Ambassador Mwakawago encouraged MCW to expand its work in the East African country and offered his support. He also encouraged a meeting with the Regional Commissioner Arusha, who then introduced MCW to [former] District Commissioner Bertha Mende. DC Mende expressed a strong interest in MCW and its youth empowerment model.
MCW launched a website, thanks to the initiative of MCW Project Coordinator Brian Brady. MCW Coordinator Heather Moore took the lead with other MCW marketing materials, helping shape MCW’s evolving brand and image.
They turn to mentors for guidance in this common pursuit, drawing inspiration from Dr. Edward B. Shils, founding Director of the Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, and Dr. Herman Wrice, a Philadelphia-based community activist and organizer who created Turnaround America, an anti-drug campaign, in the early 1990’s.
Paul Bergman, Eddie’s brother and Wharton student, and Dr. Peter White, Eddie’s Northport high school social studies teacher and founder of Students for 60,000 (a student club that pursues humanitarian projects in vulnerable communities around the world), helped co-founders Eddie, and Robert Alsbrooks crystallize ideas and develop concrete plans of action. [Dr. White retired in 2008 and currently serves as an advisor to Students for 60,000. He is also an MCW advisor.]
In the summer, Rob joined Eddie on a trip to the Ivory Coast, where they helped build a three-room schoolhouse and launch a women’s agricultural initiative. [Eddie began this project in high school with Students for 60,000 working in partnership with a senior UN Employee who had a personal passion for community development in the Ivory Coast.] Inspired by their experience in the country, they decide to continue to empower youth to be “agents of change.”
With input from Dr. Wrice, Dr. Shils, Dr. White, and Paul among others, Miracle Corners of the World (MCW) was created. The name of the non-profit was inspired by the work of Dr. Wrice, who had encouraged the transformation of a drug haven street corner into a safe, drug-free social corner in the West Philadelphia community of Mantua. Dr. Wrice had initially mobilized Rob and a team to help clean up an abandoned lot on 34th Street, which became a space for small business development. The transformation was called a “Miracle on 34th Street” by the Philadelphia Inquirer in October 1999.