The Ota Initiative Blog

January 22, 2016

Between holiday travelling and the rainy season knocking out cell reception in Kayanga, it's been a bit hard to receive updates from our fifth program that finished up at the end of December. Now, however, I have finally been able to connect with Pontian and have some...

December 22, 2015

Ota’s stocking was hung by the chimney with care, and guests of Christmas in Karagwe stuffed it full with $587 in donations! 



First, I would like to start things off by thanking everyone who helped make our first fundraiser event a great success!   As I mentioned in o...

December 10, 2015

I am writing you all on the eve of our fifth program as today our head teacher and five veteran group leaders gathered together to begin a three-day training seminar. During this time they will review the upcoming program’s curriculum, write stories and prepare skits t...

August 4, 2015

Can you think of a better way to start off your week than with a happy update from The Ota Initiative? I certainly cannot, so let’s dive right in. Last time we took a look at Ota’s first ever English week and why it is so important for our students to learn English. Th...

July 18, 2015


Before you read this update, I must first insist that you watch the above video (or check out this NPR news story), which is an award-winning short film made by three Tanzanian youths, in broken English, to showcase how the Tanzanian education system has failed to tea...

July 9, 2015



I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day weekend full of hotdogs, hamburgers, and a few safe, legal explosions. While we have been busy celebrating in America, our Ota team in Tanzania has been hard at work delivering another wonderful program to our students...

June 8, 2015

Hello from Kigali!


After a busy week in Kayanga, I am now in Rwanda waiting to board my plane back to America this afternoon. Part of me wishes nothing more than to be back in Kayanga with the Ota family and Amizade’s volunteers, but the larger part of me knows that Ot...

May 29, 2015

As you are reading this, I am somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean flying back to Tanzania with Ota‘s first group of student volunteers from West Virginia University. These 12 students will spend the next four weeks volunteering with a variety of local community groups in...

May 9, 2015

I hope you all have survived the cold weather and are enjoying this beautiful spring. While it would have been nice to hibernate through the winter, the Ota team has been putting together a dynamic Summer 2015 program. I have been waiting to tell you all about some exc...

February 24, 2015

So what do elections, Pictionary, and Adolf Hitler have in common? They were all part of The Ota Initiative’s leadership curriculum this past program!  In the last blog I wrote about a few of the arts and science activities our students enjoyed during the program, so t...

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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