The range of experience and talent among our volunteers, supporters, and staff is remarkable. We have doctors and nurses who offer time and expertise, business men and women who share strategy and best practices, accountants who donate talent and number sense, CEOs who offer experience and leadership, educators who lend theory and know-how … and the list goes on. This month, we’re highlighting two staff members who have shared the work of Empower Tanzania through the written word and have both published books about development, international aid work, and a sense of justice. We are proud of all of our top-notch staff and volunteers and are pleased to celebrate the literary accomplishments of our Executive Director and Director of Communications here!

Executive Director Phil Latessa’s book, Surviving Vodka Toasts and Rampaging Elephants: A Journey to Life’s Purpose, captures the personality and wisdom of an individual crucial to all of the success of Empower Tanzania. Published last year, Phil’s book tells the stories of twenty years of international experiences that Phil has had working with volunteer physicians, nurses, educators, and administrators throughout the world. Much of the book explores his experiences in Tanzania and looks at how working with people who are different than himself has gifted him with insights about tolerance, respect, careful planning, and the importance of listening before talking. Surviving Vodka Toasts and Rampaging Elephants is a must read for ETI supporters!  To purchase Phil’s book, click HERE.

When Director of Communications Leslie Klipsch was hired in 2015,  her story of  grassroots advocacy stuck out to existing staff and board members. As a part of a group of women and mothers living and raising children in Eastern Iowa, Leslie and her friends rallied together as a community of empowered and impassioned women with an eye on love and justice and raised over a half million dollars for clean water in developing nations. Leslie writes of the incredible experience of everyday activism in Mama Bear’s Manifesto: A Moms’ Group Guide to Changing the World, a book encouraging women to harness the power of their own “Mama Bear” and use it for good. The book instructs, inspires, and encourages women  to create community and work for a better world. Mama Bear’s Manifesto is a must-read for those who seek community and focused social action. To purchase Leslie’s book, click HERE.