Mimi Stith is a PhD student at Boston University who is working towards a doctorate degree in anthropology. As a Fulbright scholar she is currently exploring possibilities for a project centered around grassroots environmentalism in Tanzania. In preliminary investigations she became familiar with the work of Sebastian Chuwa and the ABCP. She has since made several trips to Moshi, holding discussions with Dismas and Elizabeth, visiting the Moshi Mpingo Plot and meeting with other conservationists who are working to improve environmental conditions in Kilimanjaro Region.
Ms. Stith’s early schooling was in the USA and Dar es Salaam. She earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and a Master's degree in quantitative methods in the social sciences from Columbia University in New York City. She has worked at the Museum of Natural History in New York, the Kokrobite Institute in Ghana, and was research assistant in a spatial and qualitative analysis of development projects in West Africa.
Her mother, Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, is a medical doctor educated at Harvard Medical School who has pioneered in finding innovative solutions to problems of youth violence, advocating that it be treated as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. Focusing on preventive methods, she has led public education campaigns, published a book and developed a school curriculum addressing the problem that is used throughout the nation. She was the first woman Commissioner of Public Heath in Massachusetts and was appointed to the National Commission on Crime Control and Prevention.
Dr. Charles Stith, Mimi’s father, is a professor, author and diplomat. Appointed by President Clinton as US Ambassador to Tanzania from 1998-2000, his able leadership during the time of the 1998 embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam was instrumental to its ongoing operations during the following difficult recovery period.
At Boston University he founded the African Presidential Archives and Research Centre (APARC). Through its African Presidential Roundtable, organizational gatherings of former African heads of state and western diplomats were held, with the objective of promoting political and economic liaison between Africa, the US and the European nations. Ms. Stith played a part in planning and managing press conferences, creating communications strategies and editing communiques. She also assisted in the compilation and editing of the APARC “The State of Africa Report,” a commentary on political leaders and events within Africa.
Roots and Shoots Graduation at Mabilioni
In October Michael and Cyril Chuwa were invited to attend a graduation ceremony for Roots and Shoots members at the Good Shepherd Seminary school in the town of Mabilioni southeast of Moshi. To celebrate the graduation, students planted trees on the school grounds donated from the ABCP nursery that Michael and Cyril had transported to the site.
Several local officials addressed the students about the importance of conservation for the well-being of future generations and Michael gave a talk about the work of the ABCP in its sponsorship of educational and replanting programs for African blackwood.
Roots and Shoots is a youth conservation organization founded by Jane Goodall in 1991, through the inspiration of a group of teenagers who shared with her their deep concern about problems in their local communities. The program that resulted teaches young people the acquisition of long-range vision and problem-solving capabilities in confronting societal and environmental problems. To graduate from the program, members from a group or school follow a precise methodology involving a 25-week plan of action.
The first requisite is to pinpoint a problem area in their neighborhood or village and devise a plan to address it, typically consulting with local leaders and experts to investigate possible solutions. A following phase, lasting about five months, is the actual campaign, utilizing ideas and methods discussed in confronting the problem itself. Upon completion, results of the project are registered with the international headquarters, finalized by a graduation ceremony and celebration at the end of the campaign. A world-wide database of such projects has been collected and groups can communicate to share experiences and ideas. Students in over 130 countries have learned the art of inventive direct involvement through skills developed in Roots and Shoots.
Students from Good Shepherd and St. Stephens Seminary, and Sanya, Nyerere, Magare, St. Teresa, Mgagao, Vudoi and Moshi Secondary Schools attended the ceremony, received their completion certificates, and participated in the tree planting activities.
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