Thirteen high school students were selected into Chocolate University to travel to Tanzania. Meredith Waites, a 2014 Chocolate University student says the program changed her life.
“Chocolate University completely changed my perspective of service from solely volunteerism and providing aid to creating enterprise and opportunity for others and finding sustainable solutions to world problems,” she said. “CU has opened so many doors for me and impacted my leadership and service more than I could have anticipated,” Waites said to the Christian County Headliner.
After months of preparation, the students met with farmer partners, helped harvest cocoa beans, inspected Askinosie Chocolate’s next crop of cocoa beans, facilitated profit sharing using a financial statement translated to Swahili, lead a chocolate tasting with farmers using chocolate made from their own yields, facilitated a farmer co-op strategic plan, enacted community initiatives and more.
- Attended classes at Mwaya Secondary School and help install new computers
- Met with the Empowered Girls and Enlightened Boys Clubs funded CU
- Inspected the Premium Kyela Rice purchased and imported by Askinosie Chocolate from the local PTA. This rice is then sold in the US at Askinosie Chocolate and 100 percent of the funds are funneled back to the Sustainable Lunch Program
- Met with the PTA of Mwaya School to talk about their next steps with the Sustainable Lunch Program
- Gave the Mababu Elementary School their first textbooks (purchased in Tanzania)
- Broke ground on the construction of two classrooms at Mababu Elementary School which locals will later build to completion. Right now, 1,400 children are in 8 classrooms
The students also experienced the culture and community of Mababu. They rode bikes to a tour of the local hospital, hiked the waterfalls of Tukuyu, attended a local village church service and hosted a beach party for all of the farmers of Mababu.
Thank you to the Chocolate University Class of 2014 for an incredible trip to Tanzania.