South Africa: Teens to fly Cape to Cairo in a plane they assembled


An epic adventure in the form of an aviation challenge promoting and supporting innovation, technology and entrepreneurship will see 20 teenagers embark on a Cape-to-Cairo-and-back excursion in a self-assembled Sling-4 aircraft.

The aircraft uses ordinary motor fuel and was built in just three weeks.

The excursion, earmarked to start next month, will see different teams of the 20 teenagers pilot and charter a course that will cut across several African cities and towns, spreading the key messages of an African narrative that started as a dream.

Teen pilot, author and motivational speaker Megan Werner, sparked by her passion to inspire, founded U Dream Global Foundation to uplift, empower, equip and transform the lives of thousands of youth throughout Africa and the world by “dreaming and achieving the impossible as well as succeeding beyond expectations”.

“The challenge has enabled us to take a lot of teenagers from different backgrounds and to teach and equip them with life skills that they can take with them into the future.

“Throughout Africa, we are hoping to do similar initiatives affecting thousands of youths who are the future of the continent,” said Megan.

Megan and various teen co-pilots are now set to chart a course across Africa to visit towns and cities in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt, and a return trip that will include Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.

Pupils assemble the Sling-4 aircraft, which they plan to fly from Cape Town to Cairo and back on an epic journey next month.

Voluntary support for logistical aspects of the flight is being provided by CFS, ExecuJet, Worldfuel and Mike Blyth, the founder of The Airplane Factory – the enterprise that designed and built the original Sling plane series.

Using specially modified, self-made drones, the challenge will be documented on video.

Six teenage pilots will take turns to fly the plane as the challenge moves from country to country.

TANZANIA: Renewable energy technical training is giving youth a second chance at an education and long-term employment

Youth attending Don Bosco Oysterbay, located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, are able to access technical training in renewable energy thanks to a project that was launched two years ago in partnership with Misereor, a German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation, to help advance this training capacity.

Funding from the partnership with Misereor has equipped Don Bosco Oysterbay with tools, training materials and enough equipment to provide education to 120 students every year.

The program, which started in 2017, has been training vulnerable youth in technical skills that will help them become change makers in their communities as innovators, technicians and entrepreneurs. To prepare them for the workforce, trainees benefit from career guidance and entrepreneurship skills provided by Don Bosco’s Job Placement Office. The job placement office empowers youth to realize their full potential by connecting them with employers and entrepreneurship opportunities. In addition, trainees are able to access soft skills training to build their self-confidence and communication skills.

The first 35 trainees who completed the three-year electrical course at Don Bosco Oysterbay were enrolled in a six-month specialization course which consisted of both electronics and solar system training. The specialization course was designed to provide a technical foundation for solar technologies and reinforce classroom learning with hands-on demonstrations. The 35 trainees have graduated and already 70 percent of them have found work as solar technicians.

One of the graduates is 23-year-old Charles Urio who completed secondary school in 2013. At that time, he could not progress further in his studies because his grades were not good enough and his family didn’t have the money for private school. He resigned himself to work as a salesman in an electrical shop. There, he developed an interest in the work and even began accompanying technicians to help carry out installations. Soon he was learning the art of installation.

He applied to Don Bosco Oysterbay for the three-year electrical installation course. When he completed the course, Salesian missionaries offered to enroll him in a six-month course specializing in solar photovoltaic (PV) design, installation and maintenance. Urio says, “The fact that I was now furthering my education fully paid for by Don Bosco was a dream surpassed.”

The solar PV course provided him in-depth knowledge of installing solar and solar water pump equipment. He adds, “The solar course gave me an advantage in securing a job at Ensol Tanzania Company Ltd. Some of my electrical installation classmates are still out there looking for stable jobs. I am grateful to Don Bosco for moving me from zero to hero.”

Logolye Melita is another graduate of the Don Bosco Oysterbay solar PV course. The 23-year old completed secondary school in 2012 but was unable to proceed to high school because his grades were not good enough. He started a small business in his village in Arusha before moving to Dar es Salaam to take advantage of the more varied business opportunities there.

While in Dar es Salaam, he met one of his former classmates who introduced him to staff at Don Bosco Oysterbay. As his desire was to become an electrician, he immediately applied for admission to study electrical installation at Don Bosco Oysterbay. He began his coursework in 2015 and upon graduation, was selected to proceed to the six-month solar PV course.

“The solar course has enabled me to conquer life challenges, and I am able to solve people’s energy challenges. I am fulfilled when I install solar for people and improve their standard of living,” says Melita, who is now employed at ALFA, a company in Dar es Salaam.

In August 2018, with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, this same training program was launched in Don Bosco training centers in Dodoma and Iringa. This has led to the establishment of training laboratories and the remodeling of the solar and electronic classes and workshops at the centers, as well as the installation of training equipment, furniture and the development and training of instructors on the new syllabus.

When fully established, the Don Bosco training centers in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, and Iringa will train a population of 300 students annually in installation, operation and maintenance of solar PV equipment. The centers will collaborate with solar energy companies and the government to provide apprenticeship opportunities for instructors and students.

Source MNW

Why we should stop giving youths hope.

By Jumanne Rajabu

Recently, I have been invited to give talks and keynotes to a number of youths gathering, meet-ups and conference to talk about innovation and technology entrepreneurship. The nature of these gatherings most of the time is few successful entrepreneurs and individuals sharing their life journeys with the young people, telling their stories and testimonials. There is nothing wrong with that, the only problem is that the stories are sweetened and are not based on facts or real situations rather based on giving false hope to young people and showing them things are very easy if they adopt some simple steps.

Most of the youths are getting frustrated because these simple tips and tricks, the so-called life hacks are not working in the real world. For example, it’s common now to see a WhatsApp message moving around different groups preaching about what you can do with 250 USD approx 600K TZS in a small business with a quick return of investment . What they don’t do is telling them the potential risks that might emerge from the business and how do you deal with failure.

It’s good to be inspired and motivated but brother this ain’t a movie or another GoT episode, this is real.

Young people need to be told point blank without discipline and commitment towards what they do there is no success. You can listen to hundreds of inspirational speeches but if you keep showing up in the client meetings one hour late you will be screwed up and the speeches won’t help you. Hope and fact are like faith and science, you don’t stop sending your kids to school because God promised to give them knowledge. You send them to school first and then hope God will give them knowledge. You don’t expect because you have attended so many seminars that teach you to make soap then magically you will run a million dollar soap production plant without any efforts.

Now, what can be adopted by the conference and meet-ups organizers if they really want to create an intended impact on youths?

First, get real entrepreneurs who have enjoyed the process instead of people who have read entrepreneurship in books and by watching TV series. People who can share their lifelong experience without creating movies in their stories. People who got knocked down, get back up, dust off and continue building their legacies.

Second, the events should be skills focused, looking at the actual gaps and add value. Knowledge is everywhere these days what is missing is practical skills that can empower youths to be employable, run their own businesses, build their brands, communicate well etc. The events should encourage more the culture of doing rather than just listening and appreciating the speakers.

Third, the speakers should now, the meet-ups are not about them but the audience. Stop talking about how you own this number of cars, plots, houses etc. instead tell the youths how did you build your business, what a day of an entrepreneur looks like, what kind of skills they need to succeed, the value of time, Networks etc. Anything else from your personal story is a wastage of your valuable time.

Finally, because of false hopes, young people think everything is easy. They don’t work hard, they don’t respect the process, they don’t seek knowledge, they don’t value trust and they want to succeed because of a fancy story of brother or sister so and so who was able to do it without doing a lot of work. There is no such a thing. You don’t catch a wolf using a sheep, you catch a wolf using a wolf. Now choose, do you want to be a wolf or a sheep?


  • Maisha Package Team | team of young co-founders who works so hard to build their product. They go to college by the day and work on their startup in the evening.
  • Real Entrepreneurs | all entrepreneurs who share their real stories to inspire youths on building their careers.

This article was first published on Medium