Who We Are

Project Penda was started in 2007 by me (Isabel Litwin-Davies from Toronto, Canada), Monica Thwaites from Vancouver, Canada and Toni Morzenti from Greenbay, Wisconsin, USA.

During July of 2007, we all went to Tanzania as part of a volunteer program to build new school facilities for the Moshono Primary School. This program built the shells for two classrooms, but a lot of work still needed to be done to make them useable by the children.

Therefore, upon our return home, we contacted the Moshono School Board and worked with Mr Munka Killerai, School Board Trustee, to plan Project Penda. During the winter of 2007/8, I raised $7,500 for the work and then returned to Moshono in July of 2008 where I worked with Mr Killerai to complete the classrooms. Special thanks are due to Mr Killerai for his support and enthusiasm which were both essential in the success of Project Penda.

In December 2012, I returned to the Moshono Primary School to deliver 25 laptop computers and set-up an internet connection. These laptops were donated to the school, so the kids can gain the vital experience they will need for the work force. The software loaded on the machines was open-source software.

Working on Project Penda led me to develop a strong interest in African development. I therefore did a BA in African and Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK that I completed in 2011 and then did a Masters in Global Health at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden that I completed in 2012. Since then I have been working in the field of African Development and completed a research project on ‘Effectiveness of health sector development aid coordination: translating policy into practice,’ which focused on East African development aid for malaria prevention. This work was presented at several international conferences. I continuing to work in the field while still managing Project Penda.