Welcome to the TME newsletter. Read on to find out what we've been up to since the last update!
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Real Progress

First lessons to be made in Africa 

We're really proud to report that in the last few months we have been able to establish our first lesson production team in Africa. Yann Hausammann, who's previously worked in our UK office, travelled to Kenya to set up the computers and train some volunteers - here's his report... 

"Going to Kenya for a month was definitely a challenge for me, but knowing it was for Thare Machi Education, I was quite confident. Up until now our local partner in Kenya, Edward Odhiambo, has been translating and recording lessons in his own language, Dho Luo, then sending his recordings to the TME office in the UK so we could work on the DVD authoring process (adding the new audio to an existing template) and make the final DVDs. My main goal for this month in Kenya was to teach local people how to do that DVD authoring process so they would be able to create a new lesson for TME, starting from an English script, going through translating, voice recording, and finally DVD authoring.

My first stop was with Edward, in the town of Ndhiwa (in Homa Bay county, in the west of Kenya, near Lake Victoria). There were some significant challenges there, first finding students who would have time and be interested in doing the training and willing to continue after I left. However, the main problem was that the power supply to Ndhiwa was unreliable, often down for hours at a time. It was not possible to run the computers, so we decided that Ndhiwa was not the right place for this part of the project. While I was there, though, we were able to make a number of new recordings in Dho-Luo, which was good.

Top left: Yann and Edward record a lesson in Dho-Luo
Top right: local students translate scripts from English into Dho-Luo and Swahili 
Bottom left: Edwin works on his first lesson
Bottom right: while Yann was staying with Edward he also made himself useful in other ways; here milking the goats, which are named after members of the Thare Machi Education team!  

Once we'd realised that we could not do the training in the west of Kenya, I went to Nairobi to meet up with Kenny Kaburu and his team of Straight Talk Foundation (another of our partner organisations - they have a small recording studio as part of their work involves radio broadcasts). I ended up teaching to only one student, but one VERY passionate one! It was an intensive few days, but I can gladly say that the student I have been teaching to is now ready to author DVDs on his own and will even teach other students how to do the same! The name of that student is Edwin, I’m pretty sure you will see his name again soon in one of our reports, talking about the first official DVD made in Africa! 

It’s for these kinds of stories that I am always happy to take a part in the work TME is doing."

We are so grateful to Yann for giving up his time to take this big step of travelling to Kenya to do something that had never been tried before. It's amazing to think that it's now possible to produce lessons almost completely in Kenya, and we look forward to growing our relationships with all our partners there in the months ahead (reply to this email if you're in Kenya and want to be more involved!) Yann will be staying in touch with Edwin to give him ongoing support as he trains other volunteers at Straight Talk Foundation.  

The walk continues

You may remember that John, one of our trustees, was planning a rather long sponsored walk along the south coast of England. He set off in April, but just a few days later had to return home due to a family bereavement. However, a month later, and accompanied by his wife Steph, John returned to the point where he had abandoned his walk to begin again.
We wish John all the very best for the rest of the walk. Please do sponsor him here.
John on his walk

Meanwhile, our congratulations to fundraiser George Dewhirst, who completed the London Marathon in 3 hours and 12 minutes, (just half a minute behind double Olympic Gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes). More importantly, George raised £435 for us, a fabulous result. Although his online fundraising page is now closed, you can still give a donation to Thare Machi in recognition of George's achievement, just leave the message "FOR GEORGE" with your donation. Thank you.

Sponsor George here

The Starfish Effect - your feedback

"[The DVDs] have been very helpful and [the staff] like the interactive part. We shared them with our housemothers and older children and they all appreciated the content. The children like the challenge of answering questions. Thank you so much" - Ethiopia

Thare Machi online

We're always trying to find new ways to connect with potential partners and supporters for our work all over the world. We've reported before on the ways in which social media has helped us find solutions to problems, and we could tell a new story every week about who we have connected with and where.
We recently moved our website and emails to a new server that's shared with our friends at Safe World for Women, and we are working with Andrew Sampson from the organisation to improve the website further to make it easier to use. We are planning to integrate the online lessons (TME lite) and DVDs so that you can find what you want straight away. It is already easier to make a donation to Thare Machi Education after requesting DVDs - have a look here

We've also recently launched a new Facebook group where local partners can come together to share ideas, their experiences of using the DVDs in their work, and feel part of the wider community that makes up Thare Machi Education. 

There is already a Facebook group for translators and voice artists, which help us to reach people quickly and where some of the challenges of translating the scripts can be discussed. 

These groups are open to anyone who is interested in our work, so please join them if you'd like to know more about the work of our partners or translators.
Join the local partners group
Join the translators group

Local recording in DRC and Rwanda

We've sent one of our handheld voice recording kits (funded by the Isle of Man Government) to Rwanda, where it can be used by our local partners to make new recordings.
Pictured below, getting to grips with the kit, are Mugisho (left) of COFAPRI and Hormisdas of One Light Rwanda, who has been instrumental in last year's research project and the ongoing training of health workers in Rwanda.
Hormisdas is due to record the last 4 lessons in Kinyarwanda so that we can have a full set of lessons available for Rwanda. Then Mugisho will record lessons in a language new to TME: Mashi, of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Mashi lessons have been requested for use in remote areas of DRC where COFAPRI are working.
Hormisdas and Mugisho getting to grips with the recording kit

And the winner is...

COFAPRI's trophy
Many congratulations to the team at COFAPRI in Democratic Republic of Congo. They were recently awarded a trophy by community leaders in recognition of their life-changing work. COFAPRI are working in areas where other organisations simply can't or won't go, reaching local people with their projects, including our lessons. You can read more about this on the Safe World for Women website.


Imad with his certificate
Congratulations also to Imad Shammat who is helping to translate and record our lessons in Arabic. We met Imad, who is from Syria, at Warwick University Volunteer Fair. He recognised the need for our lessons in Arabic, particularly among refugees from the conflict in his home country and commited himself to translating as many lessons as he could. It's a tricky task, and he's not finished yet, but his dedication has been recognised with a volunteering award from the University.
(thanks to Warwick Volunteers for the picture)
Rachel and Lesley with the Capsule

Learn Appeal

It was lovely to meet Lesley Price (right) who runs a charity called Learn Appeal. Learn Appeal are creating a new e-learning capsule that generates its own local wi-fi, so that people nearby can access learning and other content stored on the capsule through computers, tables or smartphones.
Rachel and Lesley trying out the Capsule

We are investigating whether the online versions of our lessons would make suitable content for these amazing little boxes, which have the potential, like our lessons, to help change communities for the better. 

Please consider donating

We often get asked how much we charge for the DVDs that we send out; the answer is very simple: we do not charge. Every single one of the 4000 lessons that we have sent out so far this year has been sent for free. Some of the people we have sent them to have made a donation, which we appreciate so much, but many are simply not able to make any contribution.

In order to send the DVDs out to those who need them, we estimate that this year we could spend up to £2000 on postage alone. Where possible, we arrange for DVDs to be carried in person, or we use alternative carriers for big orders to try to keep the costs down. 

Please consider whether you can make a donation to our work, just once or on a regular basis. Regular donations by standing order, even of what you may consider a small amount, will all help us to plan our work effectively over the year, and make it possible for us to keep making basic health education available to those who need it most, wherever they are.
Children answering a DVD question in Uganda

To make it as easy as possible we've put some links below - if you're in the UK and would like to give a one-off donation, Charity Choice is our preferred option. If you can't use Charity Choice then we can also receive donations with PayPal. Finally, you can get the latest version of our Standing Order and Gift Aid forms using the bottom button. Thank you.
Donate with Charity Choice
Donate with PayPal
Standing Order and Gift Aid forms
And finally….

Discs sent out since last newsletter:
Canada 4
China 100
Egypt 1
Ethiopia 17
India 281
Indonesia 7
Israel 8
Kenya 17
Morocco 1
Nigeria 4
Pakistan 48
Puerto Rico 8
Rwanda 1352
Serbia 2
Uganda 189
other 32
TOTAL 1939
Total discs sent out so far this year: 4361

TME lite registrations since last newsletter: 46
Total number of TME lite users worldwide: 683

New lessons available:
Kirundi - Safe Water
Runyankole - How to Take Your HIV Medicine
Karamojong - Human Trafficking
Dho-Luo - Looking After Your Teeth
Romanian - Becoming a Woman

Total number of lessons now available: 820

To request copies of these new lessons, or any of our other DVDs, please visit our website where you can also sign up for TMElite or make a donation to our work.
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