From the Perspective of the Students
Like the trip Abbey, Anna, and I had embarked upon Winter of 2018, Dr. Scudder and Professor Wehmeyer had taken it upon themselves to run the class trip again. After this last trip, Champlain College had visited Zanzibar a total of four times. The first two trips before ours, the children in the Pemban primary schools always asked for laptops and both professors said they would make it happen. It was not until our year that Dr. Scudder and Professor Wehmeyer decided to do more research and look at the school’s infrastructure to see what they had to work with.
Unfortunately, Anna was the only Co-Founder who could travel back to Pemba once again with the new Winter 2019 crew. During our (Abbey, Anna and I’s) trip visiting the primary schools’ students, we were moved and empowered by their passion to learn. We, as Co-Founders, wondered if seeing the children and teachers delighted to finally own tablets and expand their education made an impact on them. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
“Being able to see the faces of not just the children, but also the teachers, of a very small school on a very small island light up is an extremely rewarding experience. Techdren is helping children gain access to limitless knowledge and opportunity. What may seem like a small contribution to us here in America, changes the entire education structure for the better. Every child given the opportunity to learn about technology, is a future leader and innovator.”
-Joshua Meranda ‘20, Computer Science & Innovation and Computer Networking & Cybersecurity
“Going to Zanzibar was an experience I will never forget. Everything was incredible - the food, the people, the culture. One of the most memorable parts of the trip was the day we gave tablets at the Kangagani School. The kids there were so cute and it felt really good to give [the tablets] to them. When we arrived, seats were set out for us and there was a large crowd. Even though it was a Sunday, everyone had come to school to see the laptops. It was so nice to see how excited the whole community were about their children receiving laptops. The kids were really excited. They performed songs and dances for us, which were completely adorable. After the ceremony, we got to interact with the kids and see their school. Everyone wanted to take pictures with the kids. They adorably crowded around everyone's cameras to get in the pictures. Overall, the day was a touching experience. I feel so happy to have been a part of giving something to these children.”
-Lydia Selman ‘21, Creative Media
"Over the past winter break, I went to Zanzibar and I fell in love with Kangagani Primary School as well as techdren’s mission. I’m an Early Education major, minoring in Psychology, so this was super important to me! I have always been super interested in volunteering and giving back to my community, so being able to help another community across the world is absolutely amazing. Observing the excitement the children had when receiving the computers was one of the best experiences I have had as a future early educator and as an individual. I have worked in many different public schools, as well as preschools, but I can say by far the children I met had the biggest and kindest hearts. The work [techdren] did was so moving and inspiring to me as a future educator. This experience not only has changed the primary students learning environment and resources, but it has forever changed me as a future educator.”
-Victoria Thompson ‘21, Elementary Education
Thank you all for everything!