Recently, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning at the University at Buffalo, Dr. Mara Huber, and a group from UB traveled to Tanzania and to the Kitenga School for Girls campus. This is what she had to say…
Although I have returned to Kitenga many times since my original trip in 2009, my visit this past week (July 2016) felt qualitatively different. Even as the various buildings have taken shape over the years, the idea of a comprehensive and vibrant campus for girls has felt largely conceptual and entirely aspirational. Perhaps it was the expansiveness of the vista, the absence of children’s voices, or the lack of infrastructure or tarmac roads. Perhaps the Sisters’ vision was simply too bold or audacious for my mind’s eye to fully construct or comprehend.
And yet, there it was in undeniable form. As I stood with my UB colleagues, beholding the remarkable progress since my last visit, I was filled with a sense of awe and gratitude. Not only were the buildings real and tangible, but they were aesthetically beautiful and sound. As I walked through the courtyard of the dormitory, I could feel the presence of the girls and young women to come. And reflected in the gleaming windows of the new science building, was the promise of innovation and achievement, empowerment and hope.
The transformation was truly remarkable and I am humbled by the power of your generosity. With the collective support of the GEC community, the Kitenga campus is poised for success and impact. The school will become a model for the promise of education and all that is possible when we invest in girls, their families, and communities.
Congratulations GEC- truly remarkable!
Dr. Mara Huber is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning at the University at Buffalo. She is also co-founder of the Buffalo Tanzania Education Project (BTEP) and co-author of “Finding Your Impact through International Travel: Stories from the Buffalo Tanzania Education Project” available through Kindle, Amazon, and Talking Leaves Elmwood location.