QAE visits Dwankhozi…again!


dh trip 14

Trip members (not in order): DH team members Donna Verhasselt and Beth MacLean; QAE teachers Rachel Marks, Ciara Leckie, Rene Yokoyama, Joe Bailey, and communications specialist Ryan Ward. (not pictured: Laurie Nelson and family)

Ready, set, go! Our second QAE-driven trip to Dwankhozi has begun! This year’s fabulous group (many of them pictured above) is full of Dwankhozi team members, QAE teachers, and a few special guests. We’re so excited that Laurie Nelson, DH’s Executive Director, is meeting up with the group mid-travel (along with her family) and making her FIRST visit to the school!

Be sure to be on the lookout over the next couple of weeks for updates and postings from the team, detailing their time with our Zambian friends. This trip promises to be so fruitful for the QAE-Dwankhozi partnership, as well as for the future direction of the Dwankhozi community. Read some of the group’s thoughts and hopes before they left, reflecting on this upcoming trip:

Rene Yokoyama (QAE teacher, her second trip):
“This time around I feel like I am going to visit family. There is this sense of home and true connection there that can only be felt after experiencing it firsthand. That feeling has fueled my passion to make global connections with my students all year long…QAE students are on fire with desire to connect with this community, thus giving us our goal of student – student connection this summer. I believe that given the opportunity, the students from Dwankhozi will feel the same, I can’t wait to see what their questions and wonders spark and how those will begin to direct the partnership. Last year, we came to Dwankhozi with arms wide open. We were ready to make new friends, learn about their school, and listen. I believe whole heartedly that that gentle approach was what made our connection so natural and genuine. Having listened, learned, and explored, we are now prepared to take our connection beyond teacher-teacher to student-student.”

Laurie Nelson (DH Executive Director, her first trip):
“Beth, Donna & I plan to spend a lot of time in conversation with all kinds of groups of people there – students, the women’s empowerment group, PTA, teachers, the Ministry of Education – to learn more about the community’s own vision for the future as it relates to education.”

Donna Verhasselt (DH Director of Long Term Planning, her second trip):
“For me, this year is about going back to visit friends and to engage in more meaningful conversations about their hopes and dreams for their community.We are bringing many of the basic “things” but the most exciting part for me is that we are  bringing a draft of a 5 year strategic plan that will be shaped and molded by conversations and interactions we have with teachers, women, men, government officials, the PTA,  parents, and students in the community.”

Ryan Ward (Communications Specialist, his first trip):
“The second trip to Dwankhozi will mean continuing to shape relationships with people halfway across the globe. One of the pillars of QAE is to make the students “global citizens”, and this is a concrete way of helping make that happen. By continuing to build these relationships, we can show that we are here to stay and really start making a difference in our students’ lives and the lives of those at Dwankhozi Basic School.”

Meet the Teachers: Idah Masala

IdahpicIdah Masala (right) accepting her World Reader Certificate of Completion last summer.

Our ongoing “Meet the Teachers” segment continues this month, featuring Idah Masala, another of the ten Masala siblings who has been instrumental in the success of Dwankhozi Basic School.

Idah has taught at DBS for four years, currently serving as the school’s Deputy Headmaster. Originally on a career path towards Hotel Management, her focus shifted toward teaching when she saw most of her friends drop out of school at a young age. In her words, “I changed to being a teacher so that I could teach the young generation, especially in my home area. I believe when people are educated, they think better, eat better, dress better and everything is better.”

Lately, she has been encouraged by the enjoyment she sees in students while reading electronic books, the opportunities DH sponsorships offer students from poor families, and the beautiful homes built to house Dwankhozi teachers.

We are so thankful for Idah’s passion for education!

Meet the Teachers: Maurice Masala

Maurice collage
This year, we are starting a new recurring segment entitled: Meet the Teachers. Dwankhozi Basic School is filled with incredible adults committed to the education of over 600 students. And we want you to know them. So, meet Maurice Masala, grade 7 teacher at Dwankhozi Basic School.

Maurice is the second youngest of ten siblings who grew up in the Dwankhozi Community and went on to pursue further education. After volunteer teaching at Dwankhozi Basic School in the mid-2000’s, he developed the desire to become a full-time teacher and has been there on staff ever since.

On our most recent visit to the school in June, Maurice was selected to be a Project Manager for World Reader’s e-reader training. He helped educate and train his fellow teachers on using e-readers and incorporating them into class curriculum.

Later this fall, World Reader asked Maurice to travel to Malawi and help launch a brand new e-reader project at a school. He became the first Project Manager ever to lead an additional WR launch!

Maurice has seen Dwankhozi’s development firsthand over the past decade. He sat down with us for five minutes in June to recap his own involvement and just how far the community has come. Enjoy!

Raise for Maize 2013!


It’s that time of year again…time for our weeklong Raise for Maize fundraising blitz this week! Follow the link here and continue reading to learn more about this exciting week!

Each year, the Dwankhozi community is hit by the annual “hunger season.” Stored food dwindles,  crops do not produce until the spring, and families are left to scrape by for this entire three-month long period.

For Dwankhozi Community School students (nearly all 600 of them), this means they likely get by on one meal a day. Asking someone to live day-to-day on just one meal is tough enough. But to ALSO  attend school and focus? That’s a challenge no one should have to face.

Enter Raise for Maize.

For the past two years, Dwankhozi Hope has come alongside the community during this difficult time and provided lunch for students at school during the hungry season. Parents at the school are willing and eager to cook the meals if the food can be supplied. And each year, we have said: Yes. It can be supplied. Will you partner with us to help reach this goal?

You can donate directly and track how goal’s progress here at this link. This is an easy way to see the tangible impact your gift can have on a community and a school.

To follow along on Facebook this week, where updates will be posted daily, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link. Help us Raise the Maize 2013!

DH in the Seattle Times!


This morning we are thrilled to share that Dwankhozi Hope is featured in the Seattle Times!

Click here to read the article.

Columnist Jerry Large recently attended an event at Queen Anne Elementary and came away excited to tell our story. He has done a great job of communicating the heart and vision behind our mission.

The article reinforces the great work Dwankhozi Hope is doing and makes us all feel very honored to be involved. We’re excited for others to learn about our work, maybe for the first time.

Check out the article and be sure to find your way over to the video he references from the QAE event. The relationships we have formed simply demand a visual!

Hood 2 Coast Relay…An Update!

As you may have read earlier, Matt MacLean, Marc MacLean, and Brett Ballbach recently embarked on the annual Hood 2 Coast relay race and turned their participation into a fundraiser for Dwankhozi Hope.

Their 12-person team completed the 200 mile race from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean in nearly 25 hours, 1.5 hours ahead of their projected time! Even better, they have raised over $2,800 for Dwankhozi Hope…70% of the way toward their goal of $4,000!

They are still determined to meet their fundraising goal, and you can still donate. Check out their online page at:

They are incredibly thankful for all who have donated to their race, and we at Dwankhozi Hope are so grateful for their generosity and hard work. Those hours and miles of running will be directly responsible for supporting Dwankhozi Community School; and the education and health of our friends in Zambia.

Way to go Matt, Marc, Brett, and your whole team. You guys rock.

Hood 2 Coast Fundraising Run


Although this shout out comes to you a little late, we want you to know about this!

On August 23rd (yes, you read that right, this coming Friday!) Matt Maclean, Marc Maclean, and Brett Ballbach are participating in the Hood 2 Coast relay race. It is the longest relay race in the United States, covering 200 miles from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean.

They are raising money for their team, all of which goes toward supporting Dwankhozi Hope! Last year they raised close to $2,000 and they are setting their sights even higher this year. Would you consider supporting them? Every penny goes to Dwankhozi Hope.

Go to their fundraising page here, check out the pictures, read their team blurb, and cheer them on from afar this weekend!

2nd Annual Golf Tournament


It’s not every day that you get to chase a little white ball around acres of finely trimmed grass and have it matter. I mean truly matter. But Sunday, September 15th is one of those days.

First, there’s something you should know about me. I love golf. I absolutely love it. It’s one of the two things in this world that can get me up before 5:00am (the other being my mother’s command to “get up NOW!” to catch an early flight). But it’s never lost on me that aiming at a three-inch wide target and swinging a piece of metal doesn’t really matter in the big picture. It’s leisure, it’s an escape, it’s for my own personal indulgence and little else. My golf game isn’t going to change lives. In fact, it might even endanger some who are standing in the path of my 3-wood slice.

But on Sunday, September 15th, for an afternoon and an evening, golf has the chance to matter. Dwankhozi Hope’s second annual Golf Tournament takes place at The Home Course in Dupont, WA. The $75 entry fee gets you free range balls, nine holes of golf at a beautiful course, potential prizes, dinner and drinks afterwards, AND a portion of it goes directly to Dwankhozi Hope’s work in Zambia. But there’s more opportunity for impact. Companies and individuals have the chance to sponsor a specific hole, the driving range, the putting green, golf carts, and all of that money goes directly to Dwankhozi Hope. But wait, I already know what you’re thinking:

Yes, it’s a bit of a drive to Dupont, WA (an hour). Yes it’s the second week of the NFL season (Tivo was invented for a reason). Those are fine excuses. They really are. But these are the students who will be on the receiving end of that afternoon:


It’s simple: You enjoy an afternoon of golfing festivities (and hopefully stick around for a short program afterwards!), and the children at Dwankhozi Basic School get a better chance at the education they deserve.

Now that’s golf that matters. Sign me up.

The Details:

Sunday, September 15th at The Home Course in Dupont, WA
(Scroll up to the events tab and click “EVENT: Golf Tournament”)

2pm: Registration and driving range warm up
3pm: Shotgun start
6pm: Dinner
6:30pm: Program
7pm: Awards

Garage Sale – A Huge Success!

What a weekend!

On Saturday at 9am, the second annual Dwankhozi Hope Garage Sale Fundraiser kicked off and lasted through Sunday afternoon. Toys, clothes, housewares, sports equipment, books, you name it. Shoppers were wandering down the Lorentz Place block all weekend long finding some great items, unmarked and unpriced for a great cause.

And can you believe it?

Nearly $6,000 raised!!!

garage sale pic

Of course, there were lots of leftover items and all of them are being donated to Northwest Harvest.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible! Who would’ve thought a simple weekend garage sale could turn into such a community-based event?

Look for the third annual sale next summer, and mark your calendars for the Dwankhozi Hope Golf Tournament on September 15th. More info to follow soon!

Garage Sale Fundraiser

It’s that time of year again…time for our annual Dwankhozi Hope Garage Sale Fundraiser!

THIS Saturday and Sunday, from 9am-3pm, come shop at Lorentz Place North for a great cause. Every penny of every sale on the block goes to Dwankhozi Hope.

On top of Queen Anne, on a cool little street that branches off of McGraw Place just north of 2nd Ave N. It’s easiest to park on McGraw Place and walk down.

Invite friends and share the info with garage sale fanatics, we raised nearly $5,000 for Dwankhozi last year! There will be lots of info availble about Dwanhozi Hope, members of our latest trip will be there to share stories, tons of pictures, and of course…SALES! SALES! SALES!

Check out the map below and see you there!

qa map