Cell Phones In Tanzania


Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with incomes averaging about $2 per day. Poverty is ever present with a population that has electricity in only 10% of homes, with over 40% of children so malnourished that they are stunted physically and mentally, and with only 40% of homes able to access to safe water. Millions of dollars in aid go to Tanzania from governments, non- governmental organizations, and private donations.

Yet when you visit and observe, it seems as though everyone is using a cell phone. Isn’t this an unnecessary luxury in such a poor country? This is a question we get asked a lot. Our response? In a word, no.

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An Empower Tanzania Ag Update



Which animals are changing the lives of agricultural entrepreneurs in Tanzania? Goats, ducks, and chickens. Each animal helps farmers greatly increase their status and income. Eating meat, milk, and eggs benefits their health and the extra income can improve all aspects of life, including allowing parents to send their children to school. A third quarter visit to 31 farms conducted by Steven M. Kihoko, PLFO Same District,  and Mr. Joseph Kimbwereza, project manager, was successful.  Continue reading

Goats are changing lives!


Goats are amazing!!  On a recent visit to Tanzania, Empower Tanzania staffer Sheri Krumm and volunteer Sarah Svorinic visited the newest expansion of the Integrated Farming Project….goats in Masandare!  It was so exciting to meet our new farmers, and see what an impact this project is already having in their lives.

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Integrated Farming class of 2014!!!

Empower Tanzania’s EPIC Integrated Farming Project doubled in size this week as the first annual new farmer training took place in Hedaru!  Twenty-one new farmers attended the three day seminar to learn how to prepare to receive their new dairy goats in July.  Topics covered included care and feeding of the goats, how to breed them and deliver the kids, and how to take care of the medical needs of the animals.  There was also extensive training in the specialized construction of the pens that allow the goats to live in a healthy environment, and allow the farmers to harvest the manure for composting. Continue reading

The POWER of goats!

What is the most powerful force in Tanzania?
A person with a dream and a way to get there!

Integrated farming appeals to women in the Same District., who do most of the farming.  Improved techniques that bring increased income impact them in a huge way.

Integrated farming appeals to women in the Same District., who do most of the farming. Improved techniques that bring increased income impact them in a huge way.

Integrated farming appeals to women in the Same District., who do much of the farming. Improved techniques that bring increased income impact them in a huge way.  Women make up at least 50% of all our participants in the project. Continue reading

Integrated Farming

In 2014, Empower Tanzania’s Nanny Project is getting a new name:

The Integrated Farming Project

Why?  Because our farmers are branching out way beyond goats!


In mid-2013, the farmers voted to spend their continuing education money on a short course in poultry farming that has succeeded beyond our wildest imaginations, and trust me, we have WILD imaginations!  Ten farmers were trained for 3 days to build safe and sterile chicken houses, and to raise chickens not just for home consumption, but for market.  In the Same District, over half the chickens in the market must be imported from South Africa each week, because there is such a shortage of farmers able to produce large numbers of birds and eggs.

Can you say market void?!

This morning, we got word from Elias Leasa, who manages this project, that he is seeing huge progress.  Elias recently graduated with a degree in business that he is really enjoying using with our farmers, and I think it’s safe to say, they are enjoying it also.  Here is the email.

Good morning dada Sheri,

Happy new year 2014. It is a new year and everything now is new to us.

I’m much excited to write to you that I’m starting to see the product of the entrepreneurship training we have conducted in Hedaru. People life are changing toward high income earning.

Today in the morning I visited Hedaru to  see the progress of the farmers.

During entrepreneurship training about chicken-keeping, I taught farmers how they will become rich via chickens.  I told them to think about producing chicks and selling it and I suggested to them the good way is to buy an incubator. Finally Tunzo bought the first incubator, and will begin to sell chicks in the village.  Please find herewith the attached pictures of Tunzo’s Incubator.

Elias Leasa

Head farmer, Tunzo Simon with his wife and their new incubator, purchased with money he earned raising goats in the Empower Tanzania Integrated Farming Project.

Head farmer, Tunzo Simon with his wife and their new incubator, purchased with money he earned raising goats in the Empower Tanzania Integrated Farming Project.


Tunzo's incubator

Tunzo’s incubator

This is a very significant update from Elias. Thanks to Empower Tanzania partners,  St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Ames, Iowa, who did a fundraiser for Christmas to start more poultry farmers in Hedaru, we will have an additional 20+ farmers going through training and starting farms in Hedaru in 2014.

We are also in the midst of fundraising on Crowdrise.com to begin a new Integrated Farming site in Masandare, Tanzania.  That site will begin with ten goat farmers, like Hedaru, and eventually grow into gardening and chickens.  If you want to help out with this incredible project, click here to go make a donation.

Chickens added to Nanny Project

Chickens are the newest residents at ten of our Nanny Project Farms in Hedaru, improving breakfasts every day!  Each year the farmers choose a new product to add to their farms, and this year, poultry was the unanimous winner in the unofficial farmer poll.  It appears that it was a good idea.

Chickens are easy to raise, and begin earning their keep almost immediately.  Six hens will product 3-4 eggs a day from the start.

Chickens are easy to raise, and begin earning their keep almost immediately. Five hens will product 3-4 eggs a day from the start.


Ten farmers are participating in this farm expansion using the model Empower Tanzania has developed.

  1. They attend a 3-day seminar on poultry keeping.  They are taught how to build chicken houses and take care of their birds, including how to make the feed from local available products, and how to keep the birds in a clean environment to prevent disease.
  2. They visit a few very successful poultry operations, and are able to ask questions and see the concepts in action.
  3. They return home, and are responsible for building a chicken house, at their own expense, and getting everything ready to receive the birds.
  4. Once they pass inspection by the committee, they get 5 females and a cock.
Nanny Project farmer, Tunzo Simon

Nanny Project farmer, Tunzo Simon


Tunzo Simon is so inspired by a woman he saw raising 300 chickens, and the concept that this could be much more than just a small family business, he has built a chicken house large enough for 200-300 birds, and has plans to expand to as many as 500.  Mr. Simon’s response, when asked about his training was, “I am seeing poultry in a whole new way.  The old Tunzo is now gone, and in his place is a new Tunzo with a much larger vision!”

Tunzo is one of the original Nanny Project farmers, and was elected by his fellow farmers to be the leader of the farmers in the project.  His job is to visit the sites, encourage the individual farmers, and help the committee identify and organize training that will help the farmers grow and expand their farms.  He is instrumental in the success of the program.





Chicken coops come in different sizes.  This one is designed to have several dozen hens, feeding eggs to the family for daily protein, and selling some at market.

Chicken coops come in different sizes. This one is designed to have several dozen hens, giving eggs to the family for daily protein, with enough extra to sell at the market.

Tunzo working on building his new chicken coop.

Tunzo working on building his new chicken coop.

Tunzo's finished chicken coop will house several hundred birds, and allow them space to be outside, but safe from predators.

Tunzo’s finished chicken coop will house several hundred birds, and allow them space to be outside, but safe from predators.

In fact, this is exactly what Empower Tanzania hoped for.  According to the Same District Livestock Officer, nearly 50% of the chickens currently being sold in the local markets are coming from South Africa, because this part of Tanzania has a terrible chicken shortage.  The District would like to dramatically expand chicken production among local farmers, and is offering a five-day course to prepare farmers to do large-scale poultry production.  The District Government is very much in favor of Empower Tanzania adding poultry farming to our Nanny Project, so as we expand into new locations in 2014, we will expand under the new name “Integrated Farming Project” and begin farms with a choice of either chickens or goats.  We anticipate that more than half of the sites will choose to begin with chickens.

Iowa ~ Tanzania Summit Agenda


3rd Annual Iowa – Tanzania Summit

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Des Moines Marriott, Des Moines, Iowa
Salon D, 2nd floor


Greetings From the World Food Prize (will attend as his schedule permits)
Kenneth Quinn, President, WFP
1:00 – 1:30 – Registration and Poster Session
1:30 – 1:35 – Opening Song
Mr. Simon Estes
1:35 – 1:45 – Welcome
Phil Latessa, Executive Director, Empower Tanzania Inc.
1:45 – 1:55 – 5,000 Points of Light Honoree
Floyd Hammer, President & Kathy Hammer, Secretary/Treasurer
Outreach Inc.
1:55 – 2:00 – Speaker Introductions
Todd Byerly, Vice President, Empower Tanzania Inc.
2:00 – 2:30 – The Tanzanian Horticultural Assoc. Origin and Progress
Ms. Jacqueline Mkindi, Chief Executive, TZ Horticultural Assoc.
2:30 – 3:00 – Improving Women’s Health Program – A Model for Large Scale Public Health Education
Jeff Carithers, MD, FACS
3:00 – 3:30 – God’s Work, Our Hands
The Rev. Dr. Michael A. Last,  Western Iowa Synod
3:30 – 4:00 – Worldwide Malaria Campaign
Mr. Simon Estes
4:00 – 4:30 – Questions, Discussions and Announcements:  Audience Program Initiatives
* * * * * Adjourn for Networking Reception* * * * *

Your Speakers:

ImageFloyd and Kathy Hammer

Floyd and Kathy live on their farm at Union, Iowa.  They have 5 children and 7 grandchildren.  They retired from successful business careers and have transferred that business knowledge and experience to Outreach operations.  They work to provide safe water, food, medical care, education and opportunity to children and families at home and abroad.

Floyd and Kathy founded Outreach, inc., an Iowa not-for-profit 501c3 corporation in 2004, following a volunteer mission to Tanzania, East Africa.




  • Non-sectarian serving children and families of all faiths
  • Registered International NGO
  • Four Star Charity Navigator rated
  • Conducts packaging events in Iowa, across America, and in Canada
  • Develops, repairs, and installs water systems
  • Builds and operates Children’s Centers
  • Conducts international medical missions
  • Constructed Gunda Secondary School
  • Developing 10-year agricultural sisal research program at their Shallom Farm with American and International Universities and Corporate Partners
  • Outreach has provided ingredients and packaged more than 233 million meals, distributed free of charge here at home, and overseas.
  • Outreach has developed two new meal formulations (Mac & Cheese/Beans & Rice) to match American tastes in cooperation with Iowa State University Food Sciences, AARP, and Feeding America.  These new meals meet USDA/RDA guidelines, and they really do taste good!
  • Visit www.outreachprogram.org to learn how you can get involved in attacking the hunger insecurity in America and overseas.


Mkindi image

Jacqueline Mkindi

Jacqueline Mkindi is a Development Manager, specialized in Business and Trade, and also an agri-preneur. She has risen from various positions in the Private Sector to the level of Executive Director/CEO in the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), an apex body promoting and developing Tanzania horticulture with the major focus on flowers, fruits, vegetables, seeds, spices and herbs value chains across the country (Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar). Jacqueline has provided strong leadership in shaping and transforming the industry, which is now reckoned as the fastest growing agriculture sub-sector in Tanzania, attracting investments from both the locals and the Multinationals.

She has been very instrumental in creating and facilitating strong partnerships with the Government of Tanzania and Development Partners such as USAID, EU, BEST-AC, ITC, FINNISH GOVERNMENT, to mention but a few, through strategic advocacy and meaningful dialogue with partners with the aim of supporting the industry value chains and addressing critical challenges facing the industry. She has participated in a number of trade negotiations particularly on EAC, SADC, ECOWAS, EU and also on trade issues governing trade relationship between African countries and United States of America. By being on the advisory board of regional and international platforms, Jacqueline also supports the work of such instruments like International Agriculture Research Institution (IAGRI), German Marshall Fund of the United States Center of Excellence for Transformational Partnerships, not to forget national technical platforms advising the government on key issues around agriculture transformation agenda in the country.

In recognition of her role and involvement in the agriculture development of Tanzania, Jacqueline received ‘’A woman of determination” role modal Award, 2011, in supporting the SMEs in Tanzania during the Private Sector commemoration of the Tanzania 50th Years of independence, in Sept. 2011.  She was also nominated to join other Young African Leaders on the President’s Obama Young African Leaders Mentoring Program, 2012. Ms. Mkindi is a holder of a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI) and Bsc. Forestry and Nature Conservation from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro, Tanzania (Department of Forestry And Nature Conservation).



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Jeffrey Carithers, MD, FACS

Dr. Carithers is a retired facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who is an active volunteer with Empower Tanzania.  For nearly 10 years during his medical career he was involved in a program to perform pro bono reconstructive surgery for victims of domestic violence who had suffered facial fractures, scarring and disfigurement from their abusers.  He has served on the Iowa Governor’s Healthcare Subcommittee on Domestic Violence and the Iowa Governor’s Task Force for Domestic Violence Prevention.  He received a Presidential Citation from the Iowa Medical Society for his work in this field.

Teaching and research have also been areas of focus for Dr. Carithers who served as Clinical Instructor at The Ohio State University and Assistant Clinical Professor in the University of Iowa Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.   He has published a number of scientific research papers in his field and lectured extensively.

He grew up in rural Iowa and received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University followed by a medical degree from the University of Iowa.  After a general surgery internship at Iowa Methodist Medical Center he did residency training in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University.  He then completed a fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery through the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery before moving to Des Moines to practice that specialty.

Now retired on a farm in Virginia with his wife, Ali, a retired interior design professor at Drake University, he enjoys blacksmithing, sculpture and growing wildflowers for seed harvest.  It is safe to say, however, that his passion is his work with Empower Tanzania.  He works closely with Empower Tanzania Executive Director Phil Latessa on programs for Maasai healthcare, public health education and gender-based violence prevention.  He and collaborator Gwantwa Mwakalundwa, MD have also produced 24 public health education videos with the assistance of Farma Mohamed and videographer Mark Burnham and Fatma for use by Empower Tanzania and other non-profit organizations.




Rev. Dr. Michael A. Last

Rev. Last is currently a Global Mission Traveler/Mission interpreter for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  He was formerly Bishop of the Western Iowa Synod, ELCA.  He is an extensive traveler in Tanzania and Chili, and was the co-initiator of Hatua Kwa Hatua (Step by Step) with the Southern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT).  Hatua Kwa Hatua has evolved four primary  initiatives:  well drilling, education, medical and agriculture, impacting hundreds of thousands of individuals both in Tanzania and in Iowa.

Rev. Dr. Last has a B.A. from William Penn University, M. Div. from Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary and a D. Min. from The Graduate Theological Foundation.





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Simon Estes has performed in all of the worlds major Opera Houses such as; Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the Chicago Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, La Scala in Milan, Paris Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Deutsche Opera in Berlin, Hamburg State Opera House, Munich, Vienna State Opera and others.  Mr. Estes has performed more than 100 roles of which he is most famous for are; The Flying Dutchman, King Phillip, Escamillo, Wotan, Porgy, Amfortas, Boris Godunov, Attila and Nabucco.  He has sung under the baton of the world’s most famous conductors.  Mr. Estes has sung for six Presidents of the United States including the current President Barack Obama. Mr. Estes has also sung for many kings, queens and notable leaders around the world including Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  Simon Estes is the only singer to have sung for both the 25th and 50th Anniversary Concerts of the United Nations, in which he sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in San Francisco and New York City, respectively.

Notable artists Mr. Estes has performed with are:  Grace Bumbry, Monserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Brigit Nilsson, Jessye Norman, Luciano Pavarotti, Leontyne Price, Joan Sutherland, Shirley Verrett, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Whitney Houston, Danny Kaye, Barry Manilow, Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn and others.

Dr. Estes has founded The Simon Estes Educational Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Simon Estes Foundation in Iowa, The Simon Estes Scholarship Funds in both Wartburg College and Iowa State University, The Simon and Westella Estes Scholarship in Centerville, Iowa and The Simon Estes International Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland.


Mr. Estes’ first degree was a Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa.

In the summer of 1989, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Siena College, NY,

In the spring of 1991 a Doctor of Music Degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and

In spring of 1994 an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

In July, 1996, he received from the Governor of Iowa The Iowan Award, the State’s highest honor that has been given only thirteen times since its inception more than 40 years ago.

In the spring of 1997 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Iowa State University in Ames and in spring of 1998 from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

In 1999 The College of Medicine at University of Iowa designated Simon Estes as advocate of health and education for children and youth.


2013 Iowa~Tanzania Summit


At Empower Tanzania, we believe that nothing of greatness was ever done by just one person.  It takes a whole team of people to do the really big stuff in life, so we want to help enable people who work in Tanzania, including those who are FROM Tanzania, to find each other and strengthen their relationships to do more effective work.

For this reason, we are very proud to have been selected by the World Food Prize to host the Iowa~Tanzania Summit again this year.  Iowa has a large number of people working on development in Tanzania, and we hope our efforts will help facilitate this work.

We will continue to update the website with information as the time gets closer, and there are several ways you can stay in touch.

  1. Sign up for an email notice when we update the website or blog by putting your name and email address in the red box with the gray arrow to the right.
  2. If you can attend the 2013 Summit, go ahead and register on the “Events” page.  It is free!
  3. If you would like to be a regular with us, and get both e-newsletters and an occasional actual snail-mailing from us, go to the “Join Us” tab and get us your contact information.

Here is the official invitation:

You and your organization are invited to:

Third Annual Iowa Tanzania Summit
In conjunction with the 2013 World Food Prize

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The program includes speakers from Tanzania, Iowa, and other rural development specialists.

1:00 – 1:30 PM          Check-in and Poster Session
1:30 – 4:30 PM          Speaker Program
4:30 – 6:00 PM         Networking Reception

Speakers will include:
Ms. Jacqueline Mkindi
Rev. Dr. Michael Last
Floyd and Kathy Hammer
Dr. Jeff Carithers
Mr. Simon Estes

Des Moines Marriott Downtown
Salon D – 2nd Floor

This even is free to the public, but registration is requested.
click here to register

Organized by Empower Tanzania, Inc