Updated: Jul 1, 2022
NCC to Travel to West Africa and Uganda
On July 31st Novato Chess Club (NCC) President Christopher Major, along with John Tra, (President of Kweni Inc. USA) and Melanie Zate, (Program Director of the Board of Directors for Organization Kweni) will make his first visit to Abidijan, Cote d’ Ivoire (the Ivory Coast.) Spreading chess in the regions of Togo, Mali, Madgascar, and Abidijan children in African schools! The Kweni Chess Club under the direction of Melanie Zate have expanded the game to 5 colleges in 2021-22. Our goal will be to meet the students, administrator, business leaders in support of critical thinking, reason, intellect, and literacy. Mario Kpan is the 1st chess teacher for Organization Kweni and we are honored they have chosen chess as means of developing higher level thinking in mathematics as well as problem solving. We haven't been back since before the pandemic began and it's going to be an exciting event for everyone. We last were able to visit Africa on our annual Rotary mission trip in 2019. Given the racial tension, Covid, and the many disruption to the poor man's life, we have not rested. Covid-19 shut down many of us who are working class people, who work and toil in with our hands in communities where people need a hands-on presence in support of their children. Fact: since March 2020, we know the rich got richer; while the poor got poorer. Those that come from 1st generation college bound homes had to go to work. Putting their dream for higher education on hold. We are glad to have rebounded, and took the down time to re-tool and invest in chess development in the Ivory Coast as mentioned above. Novato Chess Club is committed to our chess programs in the USA, and abroad! In 2021, Mac Purcell, Rotary Club of Paddington London asked if we could help Organization Kweni, The Kweni Project with chess boards and pieces for a group in West Africa. Given we could not travel in 2020 for our annual trip to Uganda, we readily had our 100 chess boards and pieces stored in the garage, absolutely useless until Mac gave us the insight to Dr. John Tra, President Organization Kweni USA. We are now able to send items to Baltimore Maryland and John can forward them to the schools we are working with. So thrilled were we to finally be able to ship goods and services to those in African schools, we sent another 400 chess boards, pieces, ribbons, bracelets, training materials for classrooms, and gold chess pins. All told, we have sent 500 chess boards and pieces to Kweni, Inc USA due to YOUR generous support. We are now ready to do the work of a Rotarian. As a member of the Rotary eClub Silicon Valley D5170, we believe boots on the ground make sustainable change….and reinforce our commitment to the community and the development of chess in African schools. We are blessed to have this opportunity, and go back to Africa. However, we cannot do this without you, and this year is special. We link Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa to Uganda, East Africa! We need your help in making this happen. Chess, critical thinking reason and the will matter in African schools! We are fundraising, and need you today for our July 31 to August 25th trip to Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa and Uganda (East Africa) and seeking to raise $6,000 for this trip. In 2021/2022 we sent 500 chess boards to the Ivory Coast and that started five different programs. We have two chess teachers, now, we are thrilled to meet these programs. And to inspire these young children through reason, the will, good decision making and enhancing critical thinking. These skills are universal, and are important in all our lives regardless of your socioeconomic status. The choices and decisions we make matter in this life; we look forward to being there in July/August and we hope you can help this a reality. Help us get there, and make a real difference you can see, touch and monitor. Leveling the playing field in education locally and abroad matters. Hard work, effort, and determination matters. Novato Chess Club elevates the work ethic of all students!
Funding is needed for chess boards and pieces, fees for chess teachers, medals for the kids and educational videos and general tools needed for the execution of the logistics in area