New grad to volunteer in East Africa

A Summerland student is going to Tanzania and Rwanda in early July.

A Summerland student is going to Tanzania and Rwanda in early July.

Mary Whittaker will be volunteering with the One Person Project, a local organization that supports two communities in East Africa.

She will leave on the self-funded trip a few days after she graduates from Summerland Secondary School.

She has been involved with the project since its inception in 2006.

Many of the Summerland Secondary School teachers are supporting the trip by sponsoring Tanzanian teachers to attend a One Person Summer School.

The one-week summer program is designed to help teachers speak and teach English.

In Tanzania, English is the language of instruction at all levels of education after Primary.

The course will also help the teachers to discover ways to use the classroom resources such as flash cards that One Person has sent and will be sending.

Whittaker and Tayah Chuback held a book drive to collect books for the One Person Project.

School textbooks and other resources will be shipped to Kahama, Tanzania at the end of 2012 in the 40-foot container situated in the Penticton Walmart parking lot.

Through the generosity of Okanagan schools, hospitals, businesses and families, this will be the third container to be filled with life-changing resources such as classroom supplies and medical equipment including beds and operating tables.

One Person also sends sewing machines to help individuals and organizations set up self-sustaining businesses, and sports equipment and uniforms to help encourage school attendance and build self-esteem in the students.

At present in Kahama, unless a school has received items from One Person, classroom walls are bare, shelves are empty and paper and pencils are scarce.

There will be 30 teachers in this year’s program and One Person is still looking for sponsors.

A donation of $30 will help transform a community.

The shipping container will be leaving this November if organizers can raise the remaining $15,000 of the shipping costs by then.

For further information, or to make a cash or in-kind donation email Denise at or telephone at 250-460-0565 or view the website at