Small groups of people gather in the shade of a tree outside the local church in the beautiful afternoon sun, women and men seated on benches, chatting away. Their excitement is evident, for today marks the birth of Nyakitunda Dairy Cooperative Society Limited, in Ruhiira, Uganda, with the handover ceremony of the certificate of registration.

“The Millennium Villages Project taught us how to farm, how to plant seeds in lines, fertilizer application, weeding techniques, proper harvesting, handling and storage.

“For the first time, we are getting story books to read from home. We have never had anything like this before. My favorite book is “The Clever Little Heir” says Martha Tusimire, a primary seven pupil of Ngoma primary school in Ruhiira Millennium Village.

Tags: sustainability

Malawi, April 2014: As part of its World Water Day commemoration on the 22nd of March, Mwandama Millennium Village launched the "Improved School Water Project", designed to provide safe drinking water to schools. Funded by The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, the project is intended to reach 4,716 pupils at a cost of US$100,000. In preparation for the launch, four boreholes have already been sunk while several more will be upgraded in the coming months.

With just under two years to go before the deadline to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, filed staff from Millennium Villages in East Africa gathered in Nairobi last week to ensure that development gains made so far can be sustained by the communities themselves. The week-long workshop for agribusiness, cooperative and business specialists from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda and Rwanda was held at the Columbia Global Centers | Africa in Nairobi.

Until a few years ago, the chance of finishing secondary school in rural parts of Rwanda was a dream few girls could fulfill. According to the World Bank the gross total enrollment of girls in secondary school in Rwanda was only 37% in 2011. The secondary school transition rate was low, with only 71% of girls completing primary school in 2009, of which only 72% of those graduates then going on to secondary school.

Tags: Africa

In a five day work shop held at the Columbia Global Centers | Africa in Nairobi last week, Community Health Worker Mangers, ehealth specialists, and health team representatives from the Earth Institute at Columbia University pledged to improve health outcomes in the Millennium Villages in 90 days. This ambitious goal is within reach, thanks to the knowledge sharing, skill development and planning facilitated by the workshop.

For the original post, please visit the MDG Centre website.

As part of the Global Handwashing Day celebrated across the world last week, Mwandama’s schools joined together to sing, dance and have fun in the name of better health.

Tags: Internship, Africa, Nairobi

Frederic Geiger was an intern at the Columbia Global Centers | Africa until December 2012. Focusing on business development, Frederic also spent two months in Mbola Millennium Village in Tanzania working with the Business Development, Cooperatives and Agriculture sector on business plan development for the Luwola Honey Keepers Cooperative Society and groundnut production and marketing opportunities for Mbola Farmers.

Tags: Africa, Nairobi, Communications, Internship

It is hard to believe that I have already been in Nairobi for two months. Since first arriving in January, I have had a wonderful experience as an intern at Columbia Global Centers | Africa. It has been an exciting time to be a part of CGCA, and to be in Nairobi. With the official launch of CGCA only a few weeks before my arrival, I have had the opportunity to watch the Center take form. In my role working with the communications team here, I have had the opportunity to coordinate with much of the staff and learn about the various projects the Center is involved in.