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Zanzi Half Marathon for Cambridge Charter Academy
$570 raised
70% of $810 goal
12 contributors
141 Days running

Please allow me to share a brief version of my profile with you. I am Unkonda Sawyer, an American citizen. I earned my Bachelors and Masters in Family Studies/Psychology and Clinical Social Work respectively from the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Since secondary school, I converted my passion to help others to a very active community service volunteer. In this respect, I was an active participant in the Christmas in April Volunteer Organization. I assisted in renovation/repairing homes for disadvantaged people, such as senior citizens, the disabled, veterans and other vulnerable groups of people. After I graduated with my Master’s Degree, I joined Habitat For Humanity to help build/repair residential homes for disadvantaged people in Kenya. Additionally, I worked with an inpatient/ outpatient mental health clinic in Nairobi. While on the coast of Kenya, I worked as an English Language teacher in Shela and Lamu. During this time I met the requirements to become a United States Peace Corps Volunteer. I was assigned to be a Girls Empowerment and Education volunteer in the Republic of Burkina Faso, West Africa. My duties, among others, included helping village boys and girls to become literate, improve their hygiene, diet, life skills (conducive to learning), and acquired resources for the literacy/educational programs and assisted in the improvement of infrastructure at schools. Additionally, I was able to work with village women and helped train and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. The women I worked with produced marketable products such pottery, garments, and soy based food products, all by using indigenous materials. I was selected for a leadership role in organizing the week long Fiftieth Peace Corps Anniversary in Burkina Faso in 2011. My role on the planning committee was public relations/ communications. With very little resources and excellent social skills, I was able to connect with the Prime Minister and First Lady to be guest of honor at the 3 day fair. We participated in a two televised national shows, and a national radio show the John Kisito Show. Additionally, the National Radio and Television station (RTB) facilitated in making t.v. advertisements to support and publicize the fair. The main objective of the fair was to showcase the work of volunteers with communities. Furthermore, the people we work with at the village level showcased and sold their products in a trade show type of setting. The program was a great success with a steady stream of visitors to booths, and local vendors selling their goods for a profit. My village donated their profits from the goods they sold to support the local primary school and sponsor 5 students.


After the Peace Corps, I joined Plan International, an NGO, committed to provide socio-economic development assistance to rural inhabitants. There I worked as a Grants and Education Coordinator. We worked to obtain grants and implement programs to improve the educational and social needs of children. In addition, I collaborated with other service partners during the refugee crisis of Malian citizens displaced in northern Burkina Faso due to terrorism.


I am now on the Island of Zanzibar where I am part of a small team of educators that have started a school called Cambridge Charter Academy. It services students from nursery through secondary. CCA is a unique and dynamic school. It fills the educational gap by linking academic success and emotional intelligence/social skills. We use the Cambridge curriculum, which is recognized in over 100 countries around the world. Additionally, Cambridge is a well-rounded and challenging curriculum. It prepares students to be superior critical thinkers. At CCA we know that all students have talents. It is our duty to help them unlock their talents and utilize their inner wisdom. Our programs are robust and innovative. They inspire students to be confident, responsible, empathic, curious, reflective, passionate, innovative, talented, engaged, and full of wisdom. We offer academic programs such as Startup Junior an ongoing entrepreneurship-training course. We partner with a robotics company called Swahili Soft Technologies to offer students coding as part of our digital literacy course. CCA hosts and sponsors students for the annual Mchanganyiko Cup (means mixed groups in Kiswahili). The Mchanganyiko Cup is an annual sporting and academic friendly competition event. This year we want to raise money for this event to send our team to compete nationally. One of the ways we are raising money is to participate in the Zanzi Half Marathon on June 29th. We have a remaining 18 students to register for the race in order to qualify for a school team. However, the available funds to support the rest of the team have run out. We are asking the greater community to help support our students and school by contributing 40 USD per student to participate in the Zanzi half Marathon in Zanzibar on June 29th. The deadline to submit entries for school teams is June 10, 2019.


Please note that there are lots of financial and non-financial resources that we need to help provide quality education to our sponsored and scholarship students. The main supplies needed for the upcoming school year are an additional 300 books to complete our school library, 2 school minibuses (12-15 person each), and 6 additional laptops to complete our computer lab. Please visit our website or email to find out how you can make your contribution. I also would like to invite you to visit the school social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and/or visit us physically at Nyerere Road in Mazizini, Zanzibar.

Kindly accept my thanks and appreciation in advance for your assistance.

Very truly yours,

Unkonda Sawyer

Director of Community Relations at CCAUnkonda and some of our youngest students Cambridge Charter Academy logo

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