Education That Pays For Itself conference 2010

Day One: Networking!

Over 120 delegates from 30 countries arrive at the ADEM KKT Centre in Tanzania for the Fourth Annual Teach A Man To Fish conference. The excitement is contagious, as people begin to network and connect immediately, setting the tone for a few days of learning together and from each other.

Nik Kafka (Teach A Man To Fish) and Luis Fernando Sanabria and Mary Liz Keler (Fundación Paraguaya) kick off the conference explaining what "Education That Pays for Itself" is all about. The success story of the San Francisco School in Paraguay is inspiring and triggers and interesting discussion on the practical challenges of running a successful self-sufficient school, particularly in Africa.

The afternoon breakout sessions allow delegates to explore in depth an aspect of sustainable education, such as measuring impact beyond exams, the role of governments in self-sufficient schools, or improving girls' and women's livelihoods through entrepreneurial education.

The evening provides another opportunity for networking and ends with schools showing videos of their work.

Day Two: Brainstorming!

It's a beautiful sunny day to start off with a tour of historical Bagamoyo and a walk on its wonderful beaches. Back at the conference centre everyone is energised and ready to join in at the Ideas Marketplace, showcasing their schools and projects or just wandering around learning about other people's work. Stalls selling ideas and products from school enterprises create a brilliant networking opportunity!

A forum on fundraising over lunch turns into a great opportunity for delegates to ask questions to donors and professional fundraisers and to get tips on how to make their grant applications successful.

In the afternoon Martin Burt (Fundación Paraguaya) introduces Ikatu, the innovative system developed by the Fundación Paraguaya to measure and reduce poverty starting with students and their families.

Delegates then break out in groups focusing on another topic of their interest, such as using technology for education or how to make an urban school self-sufficient. The day ends with delegates showing off their performing skills ranging from singing their national anthems, to mime and dance interpretations of the Teach A Man To Fish philosophy!

Day Three: Goal-Setting!

In the morning delegates visit Ark Africa's Boko Education Centre and see its projects and progress in working towards self-sufficiency. The morning session gives people a chance to ask a panel of experts from across the world - Martin Burt (Fundación Paraguaya), Rhoi Wangila (Ark Africa, Tanzania), Alida Bakema (URDT, Uganda) - about the successes and challenges their schools have encountered.

Over lunch delegates break out in three groups, talking about solutions for different levels of education: primary, secondary university, and vocational training.

The conference wraps up with everybody reflecting on "What do we need to Win?" and writing their commitment to the self-sufficient school movement. 

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