In its pilot year, The Tandana Foundation’s program to help students’ whose families have fled to Bandiagara from ongoing insecurity in other parts of Mali continue their education was largely successful. The majority of the 75 students passed to the next grade year and every participating family was grateful for the support they received through the new program.Continue reading “Positive marks: Tandana’s displaced student’s program finishes its first school year”
Even after the mobile health clinics offered by The Tandana Foundation in rural Ecuador with help from foreign volunteers ended in 2020 due to the pandemic, health care support to the organization’s many partner communities never stopped. One of the main reasons why is Virginia Sánchez, coordinator of Tandana’s Community Health and Well-being Program, who has continued to deliver needed medical, dental, and vision care to the members of the remote communities.Continue reading “Q&A: Checking in with Tandana’s Community Health and Well-being Program Coordinator”
In June, The Tandana Foundation donated a large amount of IT equipment, including many computer accessories, to three schools in rural Otavalo Canton, Ecuador. Tandana’s IT intern, Andrés Gonzáles, played an important role in setting up the new equipment in the schools.Continue reading “Tandana helps schools in Otavalo upgrade their computer technology”
Embarking on a journey to teach English at the Summer School organized by The Tandana Foundation in Quinchinche was a life-changing experience for me. From the moment I arrived, I knew this adventure would be full of new challenges and rewarding moments.Continue reading “Teaching English at Tandana’s Summer School in Ecuador”
In July 2023, Aly Ombotimbé joined The Tandana Foundation’s team as a security guard and facilities assistant in Mali. In this role, Ombotimbé provides security for the organization’s Bandiagara office, welcomes visitors, organizes meals and supplies, sends and receives mail, and assists the team with other tasks as needed.Continue reading “Impressed by Tandana’s unique approach, he’s now taken on a long-term role in Mali”
Twelve students and three accompanying adults from Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington recently wrapped up an exciting and productive four-week volunteer trip organized by The Tandana Foundation in Cambugan, Ecuador. During their trip, the Lakeside students were immersed in the Kichwa Otavalo indigenous community, staying with local host families and participating in cultural events and many fun regional activities.Continue reading “Lakeside students engage in community service and culture in Ecuador”
Staying in school and obtaining a professional career is not easy in Mali, and it’s even harder for girls. A combination of the country’s financial, political, and food instability as well as gender inequalities have caused enrollment and literacy rates to be among the lowest in the world.Continue reading “Meet Tandana’s scholarship coordinator who herself experienced the challenges of pursuing education in Mali”
Participants of the women’s literacy, leadership, and enterprise programs – organized by The Tandana Foundation in the Tommoguiné region of Mali – recently shared the benefits they have experienced and witnessed through these programs. Thousands of women are gaining power in their lives, in the market, and in their communities.Continue reading “Profound changes through women’s literacy and leadership programs”
Full disclosure: I began thinking about what I would write to raise awareness of “exciting matching opportunities” that are available for The Tandana Foundation’s fundraisers to support the completion of community water projects in Mali and Ecuador.Continue reading “Why I donated toward Tandana’s water projects in Ecuador and Mali”
To increase the safety of students’ walk to school, reduce travel time, and facilitate access to a sports field, The Tandana Foundation recently supported the Alejandro Chavez School in Gualsaquí , Ecuador in building an ecological trail. Along with those benefits, the eco-trail has already proven to teach the students valuable lessons about their natural environment and the need to protect and restore native species.Continue reading “The significance behind the Gualsaquí Eco-trail’s inauguration ceremony”
In recognition of The Tandana Foundation’s 15th anniversary, we are creating 15 videos featuring cherished members of the organization’s global family. Published in a series of 15 posts on this blog, these videos will highlight key aspects of Tandana’s philosophy, community partnerships, and impactful work that has been done, along with projects still in progress. The videos will serve as a meaningful way to reflect back on what has been accomplished in 15 years as well as provide insight into the Tandana’s future in the next 15 years.Continue reading “Celebrating 15 Years of Intercultural Friendship: The Value of Stories”
In 2023, The Tandana Foundation is expecting to host a dozen volunteer groups – from schools, universities, and organizations around the world – in the rural highlands of Ecuador. Each one of these trips immerses volunteers in the Kichwa Otavalo culture and community, providing them with the opportunity to contribute to various projects and make new friends.Continue reading “Check out what participants have said about their volunteer trips with Tandana this year”
The idea for an ecological trail stemmed from an urgent need identified by the Alejandro Chavez School in Gualsaquí.Continue reading “Important lessons learned through building the Gualsaquí Eco-trail”
There is a newfound confidence among many women across the Tommoguiné region of Mali. They are calling out cheaters in the markets, joining together to form income-generating associations, and not only attending township hall meetings, but becoming leaders in their villages.
These abilities are thanks to their own determination and ambition, bolstered by their participation in the women’s literacy, leadership, and enterprise programs organized by The Tandana Foundation in the region. Below, five women participants share the benefits they have experienced and witnessed through these programs.Continue reading “Women gaining power in their lives, in the market, and in their communities”
I am Lizzy Tessier, one of the students from Saline High School that had the privilege of working with The Tandana Foundation this March. Getting to travel to Ecuador and encounter the beautiful culture of the local indigenous community in Otavalo was an experience I will never forget.Continue reading “Experiencing the local food, culture, and history on my volunteer trip to Ecuador”
They may live in vastly different countries, oceans apart, but the post-secondary students soon found out they had much in common, including motivation, perseverance, and ambitious goals for what they wanted to achieve in life.Continue reading “Tandana scholarship students in Ecuador and Mali sow seeds of intercultural friendship”
“This dance is called the Sandyeli. It is used to show joy. We’re dancing to show that we’re so glad to meet you!”Continue reading “Never too young for intercultural friendships”
For Cindy Belén Perugachi Sinchico, the story of her education begins years before she was even born. Cindy’s parents, Rodrigo and Olga, married when they were 15. Immediately, they had to work to support themselves.Continue reading “For a better future”
Saline High School (SHS) senior Michael Moore stood by and smiled as a group of enthusiastic kindergarten students painted golden sand dunes on a beach. The children were energetic helpers and worked quickly to depict a young Ecuadorian boy walking by the sea at sunset as a crab, whale, and fisherman look on.Continue reading “All about Saline High School’s intercultural volunteer trip to Ecuador”
Before the meeting began, none of the gathered assembly were inclined to talk. They formed a circle in front of the Quichinche Health Center and looked down at their feet. A few of the women who had arrived together talked quietly. María Flores, one of the women in attendance informed me that the group was not yet accustomed to this unfamiliar setting. “This is an important meeting for us, but it’s a new program. I’ve only been here twice; the other members, maybe three times.”Continue reading “Healthier together: The Quichinche Health Center’s Seniors’ Club”
For eleven short weeks in 2023, I had the incredible opportunity and honor to serve as Tandana’s Environmental and Horticultural Intern. I’m a third-year student at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where there is a wonderful co-operative education program which allows students to explore career paths and build real-world skills through work-study trimesters.Continue reading “Community, Friendship, and Gardening in Ecuador”
In the following, literacy instructor Fatouma Kouriba shares an inspiring anecdote about meeting Tandana’s Founding Director.Continue reading “Following in the footsteps of Tandana’s Founding Director”
In recognition of The Tandana Foundation’s 15th anniversary, we are creating 15 videos featuring cherished members of the organization’s global family. Published in a series of 15 posts on this blog, these videos will highlight key aspects of Tandana’s philosophy, community partnerships, and impactful work that has been done, along with projects still in progress. The videos will serve as a meaningful way to reflect back on what has been accomplished in 15 years as well as provide insight into the Tandana’s future in the next 15 years.Continue reading “Celebrating 15 Years of Intercultural Friendship: Cotton, Indigo, and Grain Banks – How They Work”
I’ll always look back fondly on the time I spent in the community of Muenala with The Tandana Foundation. It was such an overwhelmingly positive experience that even just thinking about it now brings a smile to my face. From the welcoming members of the community, to the beautiful view of the mountains, to the new cultural experiences my team had, this trip was wonderful and I’m eternally grateful for the community of Muenala for hosting us and The Tandana Foundation for facilitating an engaging week of activities and connections.Continue reading “Community Building and Kindness: What I learned in Muenala, Ecuador”
Focused on protecting the environment, the Olougelemo Association has grown to 30 villages around the Wadouba Township of Mali. Their work is not only having a visible impact on protecting and regenerating forests and on the productivity of agricultural areas, but it’s also changing local perceptions.
Below, hear from two members of the Olougelemo Association about what they have been able to accomplish.Continue reading “Hear the latest about the great work of the Olougelemo Association in Mali”
Moussa Tembiné remembers how it started: He and The Tandana Foundation’s Founding Director talking about a dream they had for how they could partner with villages in rural Mali to carry out important community projects, and people laughing at them, thinking there was no way that dream would come true.Continue reading “Leading Tandana’s transformation from dream to trusted partner in Mali”
Last year, members of villages in Wadouba Township of Mali expanded a number of stock ponds by hand with support from The Tandana Foundation. The goal of the effort, which was organized by the village-run Olougelemo Association, was to help combat the impacts of an urgent food crisis facing the region by both providing needed food aid and supplies at that time as well as contributing to the production of more food later on.Continue reading “Pond expansions help provide needed food support during lean season”
Like the rest of the world, The Tandana Foundation moved many of its programs, events, and other offerings to virtual formats during the pandemic. But for a multilingual organization, the pivot to virtual also presented a new opportunity: To organize gatherings where all English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking participants could listen to the proceedings in their native languages, at the same time.Continue reading “Simultaneous interpretation: The linchpin of Tandana’s multilingual virtual gatherings”
How do you encourage young Ecuadorians to use their indigenous language more often?
That was the question Santiago Gualapuro, a member of The Tandana Foundation’s Board of Trustees, was seeking to solve when he thought of a creative idea: A fun, science-based, buzzer-beating competition for high school students – all in Kichwa. Dubbed the Kichwa Science Bee, Gualapuro’s event debuted to great success last year, with 110 students from across Ecuador participating in the competition.Continue reading “The winning solution to help revitalize an indigenous language in Ecuador”
Picture yourself at the El Lechero Viewpoint embraced by volcanoes: Father Imbabura on the one side and Mother Cotacachi on the other, overlooking the city of Otavalo and San Pablo Lake.Continue reading “Transformation and truth: My Ecuadorian cultural travel adventure”
There have now been 2,700 participants in the women’s literacy and numeracy classes and 550 participants in the women’s leadership workshops that were launched by The Tandana Foundation in partnership with communities in rural Mali. In addition, Tandana also helps support 60 women’s associations that have been started in the villages.
Below, three women discuss the impactful benefits of these efforts on both the women who have participated in them and the whole community.Continue reading “What has changed the lives of these women in Mali?”
In partnership with The Tandana Foundation, the villages of Sal Sombougou and Komeogou in Mali have created their own grain banks. Hear what residents have to say about these projects.Continue reading “Hear about the newest grain banks ‘of happiness’ in Mali”
The opportunity to pursue higher education can be an important factor in whether people are able to pursue their dream jobs. That opportunity has been a long-time in the making for 35-year-old Elvia Magdalena Muenala López, a recipient of a scholarship from The Tandana Foundation in Ecuador.
In the letter below, hear from the nontraditional university student about how the scholarship is opening doors to landing her dream career as an educator in her community.Continue reading “This scholarship student proves it’s never too late to achieve your dreams”
In recognition of The Tandana Foundation’s 15th anniversary, we are creating 15 videos featuring cherished members of the organization’s global family. Published in a series of 15 posts on this blog, these videos will highlight key aspects of Tandana’s philosophy, community partnerships, and impactful work that has been done, along with projects still in progress. The videos will serve as a meaningful way to reflect back on what has been accomplished in 15 years as well as provide insight into the Tandana’s future in the next 15 years.Continue reading “Celebrating 15 Years of Intercultural Friendship: Numɔ Digu Toru”
Today, many people across Mali are living in a climate of concern, mistrust, and sometimes open conflict amid terrorism and violence. Hundreds of school-age children have fled their homes with their families and sought refuge in cities and towns. Even in the relative safety of the towns, they are experiencing incredible challenges, including the ability to continue their education.Continue reading “Tandana embarks on pilot program to support internally displaced students in Mali”