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About Us

Participate Now is a non-profit foundation incorporated in Connecticut, USA. Kathryn Sutton is the founder, director, and chair of the board. She resides in Stonetown, Zanzibar, Tanzania where the majority of the foundation's projects are carried out. If you are interested in learning more about Kathryn please visit her personal website: http://www.kathrynsutton.com   

From the Director, Kathryn Sutton  

Participate Now was created after I spent three years working with ZAPHA+ (Zanzibar Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS), some of the most vulnerable and disaffected people in Zanzibar. A fundamental objective of Participate Now is to gain knowledge, which is accomplished by asking questions, listening, collaborating, and sharing with others. We do this to find out what works and what doesn’t, and we remain flexible during project development. This is important so that we can make adjustments that will allow us to be successful now and in the future. Participate Now will never find the “solution” to alleviate world poverty. What we can do is to provide opportunities for people to have a voice and to become their own advocates. We attempt to create a space for self respect, confidence and dignity so that individuals may have some control over their lives. I believe that the goal for most people is to improve the quality of their lives and to provide their children with an opportunity to attain a better life. By being a part of the process, all participants learn lessons that benefit them and their community. This is what I consider the “pebble in the pond” effect that allows change to be truly sustainable.

 

  

Chairman, Suleiman Said Mohammed has extensive agricultural experience. He was born in Zanzibar and worked with the Ministry of Agriculture for a number of years. Suleiman spent two years in Japan studying agriculture and received training in organic farming in Kenya. He has worked on a World Bank project, managed a working farm and has his own farm. His greatest asset is his enthusiasm and his interest in working directly with the people so that they can have a voice. He is a wonderful local guide to respectfully and successfully including participants, community and government leaders in all of our projects. Suleiman can be contacted directly at susa002@hotmail.com

 

Participate Now Zanzibar

 

  

 

Participate Now Zanzibar has been officially registered. This is a branch of the Participate Now foundation in Connecticut. We have been working together as a team for a year now. We are doing the Koani farming project, the Kendwa water project and we have been involved with cultural sensitization seminars with students and teachers from other parts of the world. We hold our planning meetings at my house around my dining room table. In the center photo we are holding the map that the villagers in Kendwa drew for the water project and on the right is Suleiman facilitating our participatory planning workshop with the farmers in Koani.

 

The members in the center photo are Kadir Pande who is Director of an Irrigation Project for the Ministry of Agriculture, Suleiman Said Mohammed, who is our chairman, Kathryn Sutton – that’s me!!!, Kaesser Mohammed, who is the director of RUSCENTRE - a school of academic and vocational training. On the right is Thani Senga, a taxi driver, translator, interpreter and local businessman. At first we thought we would do separate projects with the NGO as the “umbrella” but we’ve learned that we like working as a team on all of the projects. It’s been important to have different opinions and ideas – after every visit we sit and take turns talking about what we learned that day. I am very fortunate to be a part of this hard working group.

 

Below is the contact information for all member of Participate Now!

 

 

Suleiman Said Mohammed       +255777855841            susa002@hotmail.com

Kadir Pange                             +255777425133            kadirpande@yahoo.com

Kathryn Sutton                        +255755800326            kathryn@kathrynsutton.com

Thani Senga                             +255713428370            tonisenga@yahoo.co.uk

Kaesser Mohammed                +255777419296            Kaesserm@gmail.com

 

 

 What We Do

 

All Participate Now projects address needs that the community has identified. Essential to achieve sustainable change, projects are built on existing economic systems and function within the cultural context of the local community. We define sustainability as an initiative that lasts more than one year or the initial life-cycle of the project. Participants determine the success and longevity of an initiative because they are the principal designers, decision makers and parties accountable.

Participate Now assists in providing something that is infinite, like knowledge rather than something that is finite like money. As a result, our projects are sustained in the long run by the participants and the lessons they have learned. We support very small pilot projects, which serve as learning experiences for all those involved, and we develop the participants' entrepreneurial, planning and problem solving skills.

 

Participate Now achieves our goals through small-scale projects which 

*          Provide basic training to develop business management and leadership skills

*          Help individuals to recognize business opportunities and to develop and capitalize on their own ideas and innovations

*          Provide impoverished people with opportunities to access existing economic and social systems

*          Help develop and monitor water conservation projects, private sector initiatives, and teaching farms for nutrition training.

 

      We accomplish this by

*          Conducting pilot projects that double as learning opportunities for future project development

*          Focusing on small scale projects that are broken into modules and chronicled, measured and replicated

*          Sharing project results with participants in order to establish best practices and enhance problem solving skills by analyzing successes and mistakes.

*          Monitoring donor funds closely for effectiveness and efficiency

*          Promoting local business links, accessing local expertise, and encouraging communication through small business trainings, workshops and mentorship activities

*          Building relationships between the local population and international organizations to ensure sustainability

 

Learn more about our Method for Collaborative and Entrepreneurial Development