class picture, and gallery of pictures from the trip itself.
For the second time, 13 Springfield high school students traveled with Shawn Askinosie, founder of Askinosie Chocolate, to visit the remote village of Tenende, Tanzania. Students met with cocoa farmers and learned first-hand about Askinosie Chocolate’s sustainable business practices. Perhaps more importantly, implemented a sustainable lunch program for the village’s high school students. Most of the students were eating only one meal a day. . Additionally, students will work with the Empowered Girls program that Chocolate University funds at the school.
In the summer of 2012, Chocolate University took 13 high school juniors to Tenende, Tanzania, where Askinosie Chocolate sources some of its cocoa beans, to profit share with farmers and implement two community projects.
Before the 10-day trip, the students stayed at Drury University to take part in a weeklong immersion with classes about social business, entrepreneurship, cacao agronomy, Tanzanian culture, Swahili and more. Through our Chocolate University program, Askinosie Chocolate has developed a relationship with the Mwaya Secondary School in the village of Tenende over the past two years. Similar to our program in the Philippines, the Mwaya PTA is producing a product (rice), and Askinosie Chocolate is going to sell the rice to its customers and give all the profit to fund a nutritional lunch program for these students in Tanzania. This region of Tanzania is known for its delicious sweet rice offering Askinosie customers a unique tasting opportunity.
- CU students and the Mwaya students worked on stamping and filling 1,000 bags of premium Kyela rice (1kg each) together. In the late fall, the rice will come ship with our container of cocoa beans from Tanzania so that no shipping costs will occur. Using this system, the program is fully sustainable, requiring no donations.
- Assisted the Mwaya Headmaster in execution of a Khan video learning program on laptops and projectors throughout the school, despite not having electricity. Through a generous donation, Chocolate University has also funded the school’s first and only computer teacher to manage the new video-learning program.
- Facilitated discussions with the Empowered Girls club, a program funded by CU that aims to increase the retention and graduation rates of female students.
- Implemented a self-sustainable school lunch program and video-learning curriculum.
- Checked on the health of the Tenende deep water well, a project enacted by the community and CU 2010 students to provide clean water for the 2,0000 villages of Tenende
Chocolate University student, Jessieca Vorbeck, said, “The realization that I can make a difference and that I can change things even if it is for one person was incredible. Regardless of the difficulties, knowing that because of our journey two young girls felt appreciation and empowerment made all the difference in my life and has only inspired me to do more.”
You can download the press release for the trip here.
Thank you to this great group of students for a life changing trip.
Carlos Spenser Pulleyking