Volunteer Joel Lequette Shares Experiences From His Missions Across Tanzania

October 11, 2013

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Since 2009, I have worked as a volunteer in developing projects at KIITEC in Arusha, Tanzania. I started out by providing training in Control Systems Maintenance to the locally hired teachers at KIITEC but have since increased my involvement in projects over there. I have seen the impact FTE’s Education Model on students, the local communities and industries and I believe that it is a powerful model worth expanding across the region.

My first mission as a volunteer in 2009 was very positive. I discovered that KIITEC was a very effective school with good teachers and quality equipment and I spent 3 weeks there. The mission included 2 weeks of training the KIITEC teachers on Basic Automation with a lot of practical examples from my experience and 1 week visiting local companies to ascertain industry needs to align the KIITEC Automation training curriculum and visiting the French Embassy to notify them of KIITEC presence and to garner support.

Following this first mission, I became more involved with ADEI and KIITEC, by being a member of the ADEI board and by helping in the recruitment of new volunteers via Schneider Electric.

My second mission in 2010 was more “market oriented’’ with 3 main targets:

  • To Share the KIITEC success story in Kenya. This allowed me travel to Nairobi to visit three technical institutes and the French Embassy. 
  • I was also able define the need and develop the biomedical training at KIITEC. To enable this program, I was able to visit 8 hospitals in Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. 
  • My third target was to train the teachers in Automation with lab practicals.

My last mission in 2012, was dedicated to organising the KIITEC Open Doors program, a special event which was used to highlight and showcase the quality of KIITEC’s training courses. The event included trainings and demonstrations from teachers and students. This allowed us to attract local companies that were quite impressed with the quality of our students and equipment.

During this mission I was also involved with the donation and installation of a Solar Panel to the local Masai community. This Solar Panel now provides the first access to electricity, in this small community delivering light to the local primary classrooms and a power source for cell phone charging, affording access to the mobile network. KIITEC’s students trained under the FTE Education Model have the expertise to maintain and repair the solar panel. This means that labour can be sourced locally rather than expensively from abroad (where it is typically sourced), allowing the local villagers to benefit for many years to come.

The FTE Education Model provides the hands-on and industry-relevant experience that is needed in Tanzania. I am proud to be a part of this project and I am happy to provide my testimonial. 

Joel Lequette, ADEI Volunteer