- Robert Alsbrooks
- Edward Bergman
- Dr. Elijah Anderson, Lanman Professor of Sociology, Yale University
- Bunny Grossinger, Bunny Grossinger Enterprises
- Steve Kess, President, Henry Schein Cares Foundation
- Lavern McDonald, Calhoun School – Upper School
- The Late Ambassador Daudi Mwakawago, Former Tanzania Ambassador to the U.N. and former Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Sierra Leone
- The Late Dr. Edward B. Shils, Founder, Center of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
- The Late Professor George Sideris, Ph.D., Long Island University
- Dr. Peter White, Teacher (Retired), Northport High School, Friends of Students for 60,000
- The Late Dr. Herman Wrice, Founder, Turn Around America
In January, Leon Gojani joined the MCW team as the Young Leaders Access Program Manager. Leon’s journey with MCW Global began when he joined as a Young Leaders Access Program mentee in 2015. Since then, he has returned to the program as a mentor, lead mentor, and facilitator. Leon has been heavily involved in the Young Leaders Program, including facilitating MCW’s first Young Leaders Conference in Kosovo in 2017.
In February, Gamuchirai Mazingi became the first intern for MCW Global’s Community Leaders in Africa Program (CLA), an internship based in Dar es Salaam. Gamu joined MCW in 2016 when she participated as a mentee at the Young Leaders Access Program (YLA) and came back as a mentor in 2019.
In April, the Young Leaders Access Program hosted several webinars to support young leaders around the world to continue to develop skills during the shelter-in-place period due to the coronavirus.
In May, MCW learned of the sudden passing of Ambassador Augustine Mahiga. Ambassador Mahiga helped MCW’s Tanzania programs – specifically in oral health care work. With his help, MCW partnered with Henry Schein Cares to organize an event where connections were made, leading to projects that have improved access to oral health in Tanzania.
Also in May, the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) School of Dentistry received donated dental equipment for a new Faculty and Graduate Clinic, allowing the school to treat more patients and provide more specialized treatment. This new equipment supports a more effective structure to provide dental services at the school.
In June, MCW Africa Programs developed a COVID-19 Response Plan to help communities impacted by the pandemic.
Also in June, MCW Global awarded two Alumni Ventures Fund (AVF) grants to Made Sunaya from Indonesia and Anmol Zehra from Pakistan. Each recipient will receive a year of professional mentorship to help make their ideas for change in their communities a reality and to help make their ideas for change in their communities to real projects. The grant will help Made’s mission of helping Indonesian youth stay active, be involved, and become environmental leaders. For Anmol, the grant will help her mission of providing the opportunity for doctors to reach out to their patients who live far away from them through a digital platform.
In July, MC-Zambia collaborated with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). MC-Zambia and AHF produced over 3,000 masks for those in need.
Also in July, Mentor training for the Young Leaders Access Program began in preparation for the launch of the program in August.
At the end of July, a graduation ceremony was held to honor the accomplishments of the Young Leaders Access Program’s 2019 cohort.
In August, the Young Leaders Access Program kicked off its 23rd edition of the program. This year young leaders will gather virtually due to the coronavirus.
In September Anusha Somani was named as the organization’s Africa Programs Program Associate. Anusha joined the team this past November as the Community Leaders in Africa Coordinator. Since 2017, Anusha has been involved with MCW when she first attended the 2017 Young Leaders Access Program.
Also in September, MCW’s Africa Programs Seminar launched and took place virtually due to the pandemic. The seminar began in September and ran through December. The seminar brings together MCW’s Africa Programs affiliate organizations and acts as a way to share organizational and strategic updates in addition to learning opportunities across the organizations.
In October, the Young Leaders Conference Peru virtual edition is kicked off. In collaboration with the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, the Young Leaders Conference focused on addressing issues concerning gender equality and mental health for young leaders in South America.
Also in October, MCW Global held its 16th annual gala on October 14, 2020. The gala took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MCW’s Leadership Award was presented to Eduardo Martinez, President of The UPS Foundation, UPS Chief Diversity &Inclusion Officer. MCW’s Community Partnership Award was presented to BDO. During the program, inspirational stories about community leaders were shared by alumni of the Young Leaders Program. Young Leaders from Zimbabwe, Peru, Panama, Egypt, Pakistan, and Kosovo reflected on how the Young Leaders Access Program has changed their lives and helped them support their local community. MCW’s Africa Programs’ greeted us via videoconferencing to share some on the ground updates on their COVID-19 Reponses Plan.
In February, Khalid Elachi was named as the organization’s new Executive Director. Sharon Roling wrapped up her contract with MCW Global and Naadhira Ali joined the MCW Global team in New York as the Director of Resource Development and Communications.
In February, the Alumni Ventures Fund (AVF) awarded four alumni with grants to support their community projects totaling $15,000. Recipients of the award comprised of young leaders from Egypt, India, Nigeria, and Vietnam.
In March, MC-Tanzania commemorated World Oral Health Day in Tanga and Mbeya regions. The activities on World Oral Health Day included oral health education, screening, oral health care instruction, and fluoride vanish application for primary school children. In total, 1,472 people received oral health education and screening in Mbeya and Tanga regions combined.
In April, MCW Global held its fifth Africa Programs Seminar. The seminar took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and functioned as a nexus point for newly appointed Country Managers and Operations Officers to discuss change management, strategic planning, and organizational best practices.
In May, MCW Global held its third Young Leaders Conference in Krujë, Albania. The three -day conference was hosted in partnership with ACT for Society, an organization focused on gender equality and the prevention against youth extremism and violence. In attendance were 25 participants dedicated and motivated by concerns they face in their communities in the Balkan region of Europe. The conference was divided into three sections: Leadership, Global Citizenship, and Vision Planning.
In July, MCW Global held its 15th annual gala on July 16th which celebrated the organization’s 20 years of impact. The event was attended by over 400 guests and raised more than $970,000. The MCW Community Partnership Award was awarded to Ernst & Young (EY), a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services whose aim is to have a positive impact on businesses and markets.
Also in July, the Young Leaders Access Program launched the 22nd edition of the summer program. Participants entered the program with the intent to make a change in their communities, focusing on topics that include mental health, environmental education, gender equality, and youth civic engagement. A total of 27 participants and 14 mentors, and 2 co-lead mentors came from 30 countries. Together they developed their ideas through vision planning (a project management method that incorporates strategy, vision and mission, understanding and defining the problem), resource development, time management, and elevator pitching.
In August, MCW Global held Open Doors at the Edwin Gould Foundation. The event functioned as the closing ceremony for the Young Leaders Access Program and an opportunity for participants to network. During the ceremony, the Roberta Richin Memorial Vision Plan Award, now in its third year selected Nam Nguyen from Vietnam to receive $500 to help develop an online app to connect LGBTQ+ couples with LGBTQ+ friendly businesses. Nam’s project is an innovative solution for reducing discrimination in Vietnam.
Also in August, Sharon Roling conducted an internal evaluation for Oral Health Program in Tanzania. She identified preliminary performances metrics for data collection process.
In November, MCW Global developed a brand new program within the Young Leaders Program entitled Community Leaders in Africa Internship Program. The Community Leaders in Africa Program (CLA) is a 3 to 6-month community-based internship, which will provide YLA alumni the opportunity to work on projects aimed at building skills in resource development, project management, monitoring & evaluation, and communications in an international context.
Anusha Somani joined MCW Global as the Community Leaders in Africa Program Coordinator in November. She has been associated with MCW Global since 2017 when she first attended MCW’s YLA as a mentee. The following year, Anusha had the opportunity to intern with Miracle Corners Tanzania (MCT) for three months over the summer of 2018, where she conducted a community needs assessment in Arusha and also assisted the Country Manager in developing the organization’s 3-year strategic plan. Anusha returned to YLA in 2019 as a mentor.
Mohamed Ahmed Ghanem joined the MCW Global team as the Young Leader’s Conference Coordinator in November. He is an alumnus of MCW’s YLA Program where he has served as a mentor. Mohamed also coordinated MCW’s Young Leaders Conference in Cairo, Egypt, in 2018 and recipient of MCW’s 2019 Alumni Ventures Fund grant.
Also in November, MC-Zambia began a partnership with Tevel b’ Tzedek, an Israeli organization focused on livelihood improvement through agriculture. The collaboration will support the implementation of an agriculture project for two years and is focused on providing better opportunities to achieve economic security through improved agricultural management.
In December, MC-Tanzania awarded two students to acknowledge educational excellence in the dentistry field. The awards were given to the highest performing 4th-year male and female students pursuing a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (DDS) at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). The DDS Award included a monetary prize of TZS. 100,000 for each selected student and was presented during the university award ceremony on December 6th 2019.
In February, MC-Tanzania welcomed two new board members: Dr. Deo Mtasiwa, retired Chief Medical Officer at Tanzania’s Ministry of Health & Social Welfare and Laurean Rugambwa Bwanakunu, Director General of Tanzania’s Medical Stores Department. Long time MCT Board member, Halima Mohamed, retired from the board.
In March, MC-Rwanda received a generous donation of ICT Equipment from the District of Bugesera to support the use of technology among people living with disabilities.
Plus, MCW’s Director of Oral Health Care Projects, Dr. Marion Bergman, spoke at the Global Child Dental Fund’s Senior Dental Leaders annual conference in London about “Sustainable Model for Improving Oral Health in Tanzania – Based on Public-Private Engagement.”
The MC-Tanzania Oral Health Care program dedicated a week of activity to World Oral Health Day, which aimed to raise community awareness on oral health care and practice under the banner of “Say Ahhh! Think Mouth Think Health.”
With operations in Mbeya and Tanga, March saw the MC-Tanzania team set off to educate, reinforce, and provide oral health care education, with support from longtime partner Colgate.
In Tanga, Sara, along with 3rd year dental therapy students, engaged in community oral health education through a presentation on a radio show, as well as visits to 4 primary schools. 1,885 primary school students, including disabled and special needs students, received oral health care education. All screened students received fluoride vanish treatments with free tooth paste and tooth brushes.
In Mbeya, Fredrick and the team reached 1,230 students. Also, 320 community members from Mbeya visited the Tanzania Institute of Accounting to receive screening and a total 269 dental problems were treated.
In April, in partnership with Think Tank Development Solutions, MCW hosted a 3-day Young Leaders Conference in Cairo, Egypt, which was open to participants, 18-26, from across Africa. MCW was introduced to the Egypt-based organization thanks to a Young Leaders Access Program alum. The conference focused on environmental issues and soft skills development related to employment.
From April 9-20, MC-Tanzania Oral Health Care organized a dental outreach with the Dental Therapy Training Schools in Mbeya and Tanga. The outreach was spearheaded by third year dental therapist students, supervisors, and two UIC students, alongside supporting staff, drivers and representatives from MCT. 1472(in Mbeya) 890 (in Tanga) primary students and received dental education, screening and fluoride vanish application and out of that 243(in Mbeya) and 428 (in Tanga) were referred for treatment. All students received free tooth brushes and toothpaste.
In May, JC Soto joined the MCW New York team as the Young Leaders Program Director.
In June, the MC-Tanzania OHC team embarked on a dental education initiative at a local orphanage in Tanga. The children were educated on oral health and provided with free toothbrushes and toothpaste. In addition, children were screened and out of 85, 26 were referred to the dental clinic in the dental therapy school for treatment.
On June 28, MCW celebrated its 14th Annual Gala with more than 400 guests at NYU. The MCW Leadership Award was presented to Leonard Chacha Kitoka, Managing Director and Founding Partner of INNOVEX, and MC-Tanzania board member. The MCW Community Partnership Award was presented to Proskauer Rose LLP, a New York-based international law firm, for its continuous support of the organization and its pro bono work on behalf of a range of clients, schools, and nonprofits. MCW raised over $930,000 at the gala, which was hosted by Ali Velshi and Liz Claman.
From July 24 to August 2, MCW brought together 27 participants and 16 mentors from around the world to participate in the 21st annual Young Leaders Access Program Retreat (YLA) at Champlain College in Vermont and NYU in New York.
On the last day of the retreat, at the Open Doors Ceremony held at the Edwin Gould Foundation, the 2018 Roberta Richin Vision Plan Memorial Award, now in its second year, was awarded to Sharon Matongo of Zimbabwe. Sharon plans to use the $500 grant to organize a program advocating for the protection of children’s right through human rights education and youth development.
In August, Sharon Roling joined the MCW team in New York again to focus on communications and resource development.
In November, MCW Global, in partnership with its local partner organization, MC-Tanzania, announced the transfer of its community center, which includes a community hall, library, dental clinic, and housing units, to the Municipal Council of Songea. The center covers approximately 50 acres and is valued at more than $500,000 USD (Tsh 1.2 billion).
In March, MCW Young Leaders Program alumni Cody Jacobs, Frederick Meena, and Timurlan Alagushov received the 2017 Alumni Venutres Fund grants.
Also, Fredrick Meena, Sara Mtagwa and their colleagues visited 8 schools in Mbeya, treating more than 1,900 kindergarten and primary school students.
In Tanga, Sara and her colleagues visited 4 primary schools and treated more than 640 students. The students received oral health education, instruction, and fluoride varnish. Students who needed additional treatment were referred to the dental therapy school where they will receive treatment at the school’s clinic.
Plus, Eddie Bergman, participated in a panel at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. Along with representatives of international hotel and cruise companies, Eddie shared ideas on how to achieve gender equality by empowering girls and young women through education.
In April, MCW extended its reach to Peja, Kosovo, whee it held its first Young Leaders Conference for participants from Europe and the Middle East.
In July, 14 students of MC-Rwanda’s Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) program graduate. All the students received accreditation from the Workforce Development Authority for tailoring and computer courses. In addition, 10 young women were certified in tailoring, one in computer technician program and three young men in computer technician program.
From July 25 to August 3, 37 participants and 15 mentors came together to participate in MCW’s 20th Young Leaders Access Program Retreat held at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont and New York University in NYC. Participants represented 26 countries and territories.
At the Open Doors ceremony, the first Roberta Richin Vision Plan Award was presented by Laurette Richin, the late Roberta’s sister, to Lourence Balatbat from the Philippines for his vision plan to open a library in his local community. Honorary mentions went to Mohammad Towhidul Aziz from Bangladesh for his vision plan of creating opportunities for lower income families to have access to education and Camille Clayton from USA for her vision to change the standard of beauty around the world.
In September, Guido Gatera joined the team as MC-Rwanda’s ICT Instructor.
In October, George Sideris Scholarship recipient, Mary Nsunga received her diploma in Human Resource Management from the National Institute of Public Administration in Zambia.
Plus, MCW held an Oral Health Education forum in Tanga and the Muheza district in collaboration with Colgate. Coordinated by MCW’s Oral Health Care Fellow, Sara Mtagwa, primary school teachers received free dental cleaning in addition to learning more about healthy dental habits – including how and when to brush teeth.
In November, MCW’s Young Leaders Program visited Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY to talk about the Young Leaders Access Program and Modern Leadership in a global society.
In December, the MC-Zambia team came together with the Chanyanya Primary School and St Anna Community School to host a debate on the Importance of Literacy in Community Development.
To celebrate the Young Leaders Program 20th anniversary, a celebration took place in New York, NY.
In January, MCW announced a reorganization of its youth-focused programming. The Youth Leadership Retreat (YLR) was renamed the Young Leaders Program (YLP) in order to reflect its growth into a yearlong program. Key changes to the program include formalized, yearlong guidance from mentors, who will help advise the Young Leaders (formerly called “mentees’) as they create and implement their plans for change, as well as additional resources provided throughout the year to Young Leaders by MCW through an online workshop series and an online platform available to alumni. Mentors will also receive more in-depth training prior to the retreat in the US.
In February, after a six-month strategic planning engagement with Wellspring Consulting, MCW updated its mission: “To address communities’ pressing needs by empowering current leaders and readying leaders of tomorrow” and vision: “Communities throughout the world achieve greater levels of education, improved health and increased economic security.”
Also in February, MCW awarded Alumni Ventures Fund 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 to help turn their ideas for change in their communities into concrete projects. 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, 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.
Also, over 250 lbs (113kg) of dental supplies, including toothbrushes, toothpastes, gloves and dental gowns, were donated by Henry Schein through their Henry Schein Cares Foundation, to support MCW’s Oral Healthcare Initiative at Mbeya Dental School in Mbeya, Tanzania.
In March, the MCW Oral Health Care team visited the Tanzanian Ministry of Health where they updated Dr. Senkoro (Chief Dental Officer, Ministry of Health) on current and future projects in Tanzania, including the dental outreach taking place in Mbeya.
Plus, 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.
MC-Rwanda’s first class of students at its community center graduated from the two government-accredited vocational training programs, which providing students with courses in either tailoring or IT/computer technology. With these new skills, the 20 graduates (13 in the tailoring program and 7 students in the IT course) will be able to better compete in the Rwandan labor market.
In April, Regina Leichner took on the new role of Director of Africa Programs.
Nitya Ramanathan took on the role of Coordinator of the Young Leaders Program, after completing a six-month internship with MCW.
Brian Cosmas of Arusha, Tanzania received 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.
Also, Frederick, Mbeya Dental Therapy School faculty and students visited the orphans center in Mbeya, and provided provide free screenings and preventative oral health education.
Plus, MCW’ sent a two-week Dental Outreach to Mbeya to provide oral health education, preventative fluoride varnish treatments, and screenings to primary school youth. Dr. Peter Loomer, Clinical Professor and Chairman of NYU’s Ashman Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry joined the outreach.
Final-year dental students from the University of Illinois at Chicago participated in a rotation at MUHAS Dental School in Dar es Salaam.
In June, MCW held its 12th Gala at NYU, raising over $900,000 to support our work. 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.
From July 27 to August 4, we held our annual summer retreat, now under the umbrella of the Young Leaders Access Program, at NYU in New York City and Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. The 39 participants represented 18 countries and territories.
Also in July, MCW friend Niklas biked 1,000 kilometers through Germany to help raise over $10,000 in funds for MCW.
In September, Roberta Richin, MCW Board Member and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, passed away.
In October, Kenneth Sibande joined the team as MCW’s Regional Finance and Administration Officer for Africa Programs.
From October 19-21, MCW hosted a Community Leaders Seminar in Lusaka. While in Zambia, board and team members from MC-Rwanda, MC-Tanzania, MC-Zambia and MCW Global focused on ways to improve the Community Development Program.
In November, Sara Mtagwa became the second Oral Health Care fellow in Tanzania.
In December, MCW included its African handicrafts at a “Holiday Pop-Up Sale” at Hill & Bay restaurant in New York City.
In March, MCW convened an organizational-wide meeting in Kigali, Rwanda as part of the strategic planning process. The MCW 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 US Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda, at the center.
In March, Innocent Nizeyimana received his Master’s 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 , MCW awarded Abdu Mwimi an Alumni Ventures Fund grant. Abdu will use the award to continue his work with “The Way Forward Foundation,” a registered non-profit he founded in Tanzania with a mission “to educate communities in Tanzania by empowering youth through life skills training and education on the UN Millennium Development Goals.”
In April, MCW facilitated a 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, MUHAS, 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.
In April, 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, 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.
In June , MCW held its 11th Gala at NYU. The gala raised $920,000 to support MCW’s work. 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, 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, 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, MCW held its 18th Youth Leadership Retreat at Stony Brook University and New York University with participants from more than 20 different countries and territories.
In August, MCW led a dental outreach team in Mbeya, Tanzania of 12 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, Ed Roatché began a part-time position as MCW’s Communications Coordinator. He had first connected with MCW in May 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.
Also, in October, MCW welcomed a second Oral Health Care fellow, Fredrick Meena, to the organization.
In December, MCW hosted its first pop-up sale, hosted by Hill and Bay Restaurant in NYC. 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, MCW awarded two fourth-year dental students, Don Chiwaya and Fatema Alimohamed, scholarships for their excellent performance at the MUHAS 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.
In January, Regina Leichner became the manager of our Oral Health Care Program and coordinator of the Youth Leadership Retreat.
Also in January, MCW and MUHAS signed 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.
In February, and after 13 years of operations, renovations to the Liana Cohen Dental Clinic in the Community Center in Kipera, Songea began. Renovations included painting and tiling the floors. A dental outreach group was scheduled to arrive at the clinic in August, to deliver oral healthcare treatment to the local community.
From February 6-9, MCW held 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 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 arrived in Dar es Salaam port to support the third phase of infrastructure upgrade at the MUHAS Dental School.
On April 7, MCW held 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 announced at the gala.
In May, Anna Condoulis rejoined the MCW Board of Directors.
On May 30, MCW announced 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 MUHAS. 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 joined 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 at Champlain College in Burlington, VT and NYU . The thirty-seven participants represented seventeen different countries and territories, including Armenia, Austria, Botswana, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Norway, Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, United States of America and Zimbabwe, fostering a vibrant platform for cultural exchange and dialogue.
After the retreat, then MCW intern, Alex Nordquist, passed away suddenly during the summer. In his memory, a fund was set up. During his internship, Alex attended our 17th summer retreat and along with co-intern Jake Richman, supported the team. In all his interactions with the team, speakers, and young leaders from around the world, he left a lasting and powerful impression on everyone. He is deeply missed. Below is a message from Alex’s family: “Alex passed away from complications related to lung infection and multiple organ failure. One of the highlights of his life was working for MCW this summer. The experiences he had and the people he met had great effect on him. He has said many times that his future was in Africa or the Middle East. Unfortunately, he will never get to act on his passions. In lieu of flowers we would like to have people make a donation to MCW to carry on your work, work that Alex felt so passionate about.”
In August, we organized an MCW Journey to Rwanda, which included visiting our community center, meeting the leadership teams, connecting with local communities, and touring the country.
From August 19-28, MCW’s 10th Dental Outreach took place in Songea, where 463 people received free emergency care. 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.
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.
Also, Fredrick Meena became MCW’s first Oral Health Care fellow. His fellowship focused on the Mbeya and Tanga dental therapy initiatives.
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 held 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 visited MC-Zambia’s Chanyanya center to distribute holiday cards and books to students from the Chanyanya basic and community schools.
On April 9, MCW held 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 was presented to AON. Broadway’s Carol Woods accepts the MCW Leadership Award. The MCW Appreciation Award was presented to the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation. Finally, the MCW Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Dr. Mitchell Pines, his children accepted the award on his behalf. For the first time, MCW auctioned handicrafts from its community centers in Rwanda and Zambia.
On April 14, MCW held 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 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 supported 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 stepped 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 registered over 300 youth in programming at its five community centers in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia.
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 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 purchased 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 released 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 MUHAS dental clinic in Dar es Salaam, visiting primary schools in the region, and service-learning experiences at a rural location.
In June, MCW welcomed 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 held its third social networking event, this time focusing on Sierra Leone, the event takes place Bourbon Coffee.
On July 8, MC-Zambia recruited 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 brought 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 included 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 continued to increase its production, from producing 4,000 loaves a month in June to a goal of 20,000 in August. The bakery started a marketing campaign, placing retail bread boxes at strategic locations within Kono, the location of the center. The bakery employed 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 provided 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 held a Winter Quarterly Social with Andrea Papitto, a producer of “The Last Song Before the War” and a 2013 youth leadership retreat presenter.
MCW started the new year in a new office on Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.
In February, MCW, in cooperation with its partners, shipped 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, received the NYU Distinguished Young Alumna Award in April.
On April 3, MCW held its eighth annual gala celebration, raising $800,000. Nobel Peace Prize Winner Elie Wiesel received the MCW Lifetime Achievement Award; the UPS Foundation received the Community Partnership Award and Obiageli Ezekwesili of the World Bank’s Africa Region received the MCW Leadership Award.
On April 9, MC-Rwanda held a commemoration, organized in collaboration with MCR’s survivor’s group, the Abatazima family. The event ws held 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, MCW 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, delivered 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 at Stony Brook University, joined 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 held 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 launched 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 hosted 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) hosted a local training and learning forum in Songea, Tanzania. Sponsored by MCW, the two-day event focused 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. traveled to Dar es Salaam to oversee the week-long installation of dental laboratory equipment at MUHAS (as part of a second MoU between MCW and MUHAS).
In March, plans for opening the new Sierra Leone center began.
In April, MCW brought 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.
On April 7, MCW held its 7th gala 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 MUHAS. 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 community center in Rwanda 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, completed six weeks of training on dental laboratory procedures in Huntsville, Alabama. The training was sponsored by leading US dental lab, Oral Arts Dental Laboratories, Henry Schein, Inc. and MCW.
From May 23-27, MCW organized 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 became MCW’s Director of Operations in parallel to Eddie Bergman stepping down as Executive Director and becoming board president. In addition, Dr. Anthony Vernillo transitioned from the MCW Board of Directors to the new MCW Board Emeritus.
In June, MCW welcomed new intern Zoi Calomiris.
On the last day of June, MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner organized 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 spoke at the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC) at the Sheraton National in Arlington, Virginia in June with 400 youth.
In July, following a partnership between MC-Rwanda 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 announced the acquisition of a 90 X 60 ft piece of land across from the Kono-Sukudu Center.
From July 7-14, MCW held 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 Open Doors, Brooklyn-born Chris Bashinelli, 24, received the MCW Alumni Venture Fund award to support a project titled Pine Ridge Launch, a series of 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 provided 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. The journey included a reception at the center with 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, became MCW’s 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 supported 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 launched 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 signed 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. The 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 sent 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 was 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 April, Alfred Hanssen stepped 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 participated in a commemoration planned by MCW Advisor Eugenie Mukeshimana and supported by MCW.
In May, former MCW intern and then fellow, Nate Crossley became the 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 held 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 announced that Felix Nyakatale, 30, Bagamoyo, Tanzania will receive the 2010 Alumni Ventures Fund award.
In July, MCW fellow Jacqueline Murekatete won a Do Something! Award, leading to a $10,000 donation to MCW to support the new center in Rwanda. She was 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 sent 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 began at the MCW center in Arusha, Tanzania.
On October 6, MC-Rwanda began its first program with 46 students registering for a six-month English course, led by MCR leadership team member Steven Shyaka. A week later, an English class for 25 students from Kayenzi began. A tailoring course and culture troupe were 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 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 formed 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 held its fifth gala dinner at NYU, where MCW honored 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 participated. The gala also raised more than half a million dollars. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, MCW launched the MCW Alumni Ventures Fund at the gala, thanks to 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 attended the programs and Jacqueline and the program received significant attention in a variety of media outlets.
In early June, Victor Gruber hosted the second MCW fundraising dinner in Cosa Mesa, California.
That same month, MCW intern Nathaniel Crossley graduated NYU and moved to Lusaka, Zambia, to help MCW establish a new community center.
Also in June, Ranika Cohen joined MCW Board of Directors.
In July, 35 youth delegates and 23 mentors attended the 12th Youth Leadership Retreat program at Champlain College in Vermont and NYU in New York. The retreat concludes with MCW’s Ninth Annual Open Doors Ceremony at NYU’s Law School. Tanzanian Ambassador Augustine Mahiga delivered 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 announced the first recipients of the MCW Alumni Venture Fund: Amma Agaypon and Shawn Crosby.
In July, Jacqueline Murekatete continued her fellowship with MCW as she began 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.
Still, in August, several NYUCD faculty and students continued to volunteer their time to the Songea clinic with a small team arriving for a seventh outreach.
In the fall, PATA Pediatric teams from the Songea clinic in Tanzania and Kilgoris, Trans Mara district of Kenya participated 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 inaugurated the newly renovated dental school at the Muhilimbi University and hosts a dinner at the State House for MCW and its friends, supporters, and leaders in the country.
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 eleventh 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 born 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 is organized 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 Advisors 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 transferred 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 introduced 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.
As a first-year student at New York University (NYU), Eddie Bergman explored ways to partner with NYU on service projects. He first reached out to Lavern McDonald, [former] Assistant Director of NYU’s African American, Latino, and Asian Services. He then met Gloria Cahill, [former] Director of NYU’s Office of Community Service.
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 (and of what would become) of many 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 organized 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 provided 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 visitsed Tanzania’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.