Arrow Electronics Supports Outreach to Tanzanian Students During Pandemic
CENTENNIAL, Colo., July 7, 2020 /3BL Media/ – When the pandemic forced Tanzania-based nonprofit Neema International to close its early education center and primary school, founder Mandy Stein worried about more than students falling behind academically.
Neema operates in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro with a DigiTruck technology classroom that sits on the site, thanks to the support of Arrow Electronics.
Many of Stein’s students depend on Neema for a full range of services, including health care, social services, clothing and three meals a day. The organization is committed to investing in the lives of Tanzania’s youth through education and sustainable building projects. In addition to managing the DigiTruck classes and Uru Academy, which serves children as young as six months old, Neema sponsors students to attend private institutions and covers all costs associated with school, including transportation, tuition and textbooks.
Arrow has been working with Neema since 2015, partnering with nonprofit Close the Gap to finance the construction of the DigiTruck and equip it with laptops, printers, routers, tablets, a flat-screen monitor and solar panels. In Uru, DigiTruck offers a technology-based curriculum to help adolescents who have dropped out improve their math and English skills.
“In the four-plus years that Neema has been working in Uru, our children have never spent more than two weeks out of school or out of our immediate care,” said Stein. “They have been stuck at home. For the majority of our students, that means makeshift houses or mud huts with no plumbing or electricity.”
Stein organized a fundraiser to provide her students with the same essential items they normally accessed at school. With help from Arrow and other donors, Neema delivered emergency food and hygiene care packages for each child they serve and their families, as well as study-at-home packets. The organization’s teachers have also helped serve as a watchful presence in the community, ensuring that students take precautions and stay healthy.
“The prices of food, soap and hand sanitizer have all skyrocketed as the economy in Tanzania -- and around the world -- has crashed. Having the support of long-term sponsors like Arrow is absolutely crucial at this time,” added Stein.
As Tanzania reopens, Stein is concerned that the risk of infection will rise, particularly among students who live with grandparents or great-grandparents. Neema is raising funds to build and operate a safe house that would allow 15 students to stay separate from their caretaking elders until there is a better handle on the pandemic and families can be safely reunited. The organization is also considering continuing the delivery of food to caregivers to help families avoid crowded markets where the of infection is greater.
For more information about Neema efforts, visit https://neemainternational.org
About Arrow Electronics
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