OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking a break from her official duties at the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations in New York, the First Lady of Tanzania, Her Excellency Salma Kikwete, flew to Nebraska on Sept. 27 to visit the Omaha offices of Opportunity Education Foundation to express her appreciation for the organization's work benefiting students and schools in her country.
A former teacher herself, Mrs. Kikwete spent three hours at the OEF offices, where she toured the warehouse, greeted staff, and met with Opportunity Education founder and CEO Joe Ricketts and Opportunity Education president Jim Ricketts.
From its beginning in 2005, Opportunity Education has maintained a strong presence in Tanzania, where it currently supports 453 schools. In all, Opportunity Education Foundation provides state-of-the-art educational equipment, teaching tools, and resources to half a million students and 5,000 teachers at more than 1,200 primary schools in 11 countries in Africa and South Asia.
Motivated by a desire to make quality education accessible to children in developing nations so they can improve their standard of living and work towards a brighter future, Joe Ricketts created Opportunity Education Foundation in 2005 to provide essential educational opportunities and resources – everything from learning materials and curricula to televisions and teachers' guides – that are critical to effective schooling.
The founder of Tanzania's Women in Development Foundation, Mrs. Kikwete shares Mr. Ricketts' passion for education. Her husband, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, has been president of Tanzania since 2005.
Following her visit to the OEF offices, Mrs. Kikwete traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she attended and spoke at the Malaika Foundation Gala that was honoring Joe Ricketts with its 2013 Global Educator Award. Mr. Ricketts received the award in recognition of his efforts to break the cycle of poverty by improving education in developing countries.
While in Lincoln, Mrs. Kikwete also spoke at a Workshop on Global Education held by the University of Nebraska's School of Education and was received by Nebraska First Lady Sally Ganem at the Governor's Mansion. Both Mrs. Ganem and Mrs. Kikwete have strong backgrounds in education, having served as teachers and principals for twenty years.
SOURCE Opportunity Education Foundation