The Ota Initiative Blog

November 28, 2017

Head Teacher Pontian and I had a great planning session this past weekend, and the curriculum for our upcoming program is almost complete. As usual, our curriculum is planned around three major subject areas: science, English, and leadership. During this upcoming progr...

November 12, 2017

Dear Friends of Ota,

Yes, we are still here! I know you have not heard news from us for quite some time, but rest assured that all is well with Ota. Last spring, I had some life issues that prevented me from helping to prepare for Ota’s eighth program, but luckily Hea...

December 23, 2016

‘Tis the Friday before Christmas, and while employees across the U.S.  have already abandoned their cubicles for Christmas cookies and eggnog at home, our team in Kayanga has been hard at work finishing up the first week of our winter program.   This week’s lessons pul...

December 20, 2016

Three of Ota's group leaders plan out a dual-language story in English and Swahili that they will write and then read to students during the upcoming December program.

Today is an exciting day – it’s the first day of our seventh program! Our team has been working hard t...

November 23, 2016

Head Teacher Pontian demonstrates that there is air inside an empty cup by showing students the air bubbles that come out when the cup is put in a bucket of water. Students will continue exploring the qualities of air and water in our next two programs. 

Welcome ba...

July 28, 2016

I would like to start off this blog entry by simultaneously apologizing for the long delay between posts and the lack of photos in this update. Our summer program ended a few weeks ago, and I usually then like to post an entry with many adorable pictures showing what o...

June 24, 2016

I am writing you all with the wonderful news that Ota’s SIXTH program is underway! We have officially now been offering school break programming in Kayanga for three years. Thank you to everyone who has helped Ota to thrive and reach this milestone.

Our prog...

May 28, 2016


Dear Friends of Ota,

I would like to extend a giant thank you to everyone who attended our Spring for Ota FUNdraiser or donated online last weekend. In total we raised almost $1,000! This exceeded our goal for the night and guarantees that we will be able to continue...

April 29, 2016

Last blog we shared the sad news about a fire destroying most of Kayanga’s market. The community is coming together to help those effected, but the road to recovery will be a slow one. This time around, I would like to start off with some happier news – several of our...

April 14, 2016

News reached us this week that a large fire burned through more than 150 shops in Kayanga Monday night. The town’s entire market area has been more or less destroyed. Many entrepreneurs and their families depended on these shops as their sole source of income, and they...

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Featured Posts

Pictures from Our Fifth Program

January 22, 2016

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Phone: 412-586-4986

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Mail: 305 34th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

The Ota Initiative is a program of Amizade Global Serivice-Learning, a registered 501(c)3 organization