OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Water 4 Mercy School of Agriculture with Don Bosco Tech Africa Designed to transfer knowledge of Israeli NGO's Innovation Africa & CultivAid

Our Center of Excellence supports teacher training, youth development, job creation, economic empowerment & Agri-Business/ improving lives

Photo of Nermine Rubin
3 1

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name


Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small NGO (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

CultivAid Innovation Africa Don Bosco Tech Africa

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Under 1 year

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Clearwater, Florida

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

United States of America

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Dodoma is the Government capital of Tanzania & the regional administrative capital of the Dodoma Region, TZ with a population of ~ 500,000.

What country is your selected Place located in?

Dodoma region of Tanzania

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

We visited Dodoma Region and have identified a dire need for water and food security when returning to the area over the last 3 -5 years.  We met and spoke with people in despair who had lost all hope due to the severe drought conditions. These people are in need of a 'hand up, NOT a hand out".  We made friends and established 'local ties' before we brought in our 'boots on the ground' team, innovation Africa(iA). With iA, we continue to work side by side with the locals and TOGETHER, we implement permanent and innovative solar, water & agricultural solutions in remote Africa.  We are seeing firsthand the transformation of those that are dying of thirst and hunger and who have lost hope. By providing them with clean water to drink, we begin to break their cycle of poverty and despair. When drip irrigation for farming is implemented, hope is restored.  Now the people have a sustainable means of livelihood. Water 4 Mercy empowers these individuals so they continue to live as persons with human dignity and purpose.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

The Water 4 Mercy motto is: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." With Water 4 Mercy's School of Agriculture, we will also be ‼️"TEACHING THE TEACHERS TO TEACH"‼️so they can share their knowledge and scale up the program to the other 131 Don Bosco Technical Institutes in Africa.This empowers the locals and ensures long term sustainability, PERMANENTLY‼️ 

Designed to transfer knowledge, we are implementing a hands-on curriculum for the marginalized youngsters mainly comprised of primary school leavers, secondary school dropouts and students who completed formal education but lacked skills to secure jobs who are trained at the institution.  Don Bosco shares our Heart - to give a 'hand up' to the poorest of the poor - those who have no where else to go.

Together, we are implementing a knowledge and skills program in agriculture for fundamental transformation of the agriculture sector. The program has been developed with Don Bosco in Dodoma, Tanzania as a pilot program to establish an agriculture department and an income generating mechanism. The development of professionals will enable Don Bosco to establish agricultural farms with the purpose of income generation for long term self-sustainability. The program will be scaled up in Tanzania for the Don Bosco VTECH clusters in Africa and then for world wide implementation.  

The collaborative expertise offers the students several "Tracks" - both short courses (6 - 8 months) and long courses (2 to 3 years) and promotes practical entrepreneurship skills training for the students and management.

The program creates a partnership and business relationship between Water 4 Mercy, a USA based NGO and Don Bosco Dodoma /Tanzania / Don Bosco Development Office. 

The technology and knowledge transfer of Israeli agricultural know-how and technology will be supported by CultivAid, an Israel not for profit social enterprise that specializes in knowledge development with a focus in the agricultural, water and energy sectors.   

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Tanzania is located in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region.  It has a population of around 60 million people, with over 40 % living on less than $1.90 a day.

Although there is high potential for agricultural in the region, the area is characterized with low production of fruits and vegetables, low production and market connectivity of livestock products, reliance on grains and rainfed crops and in general food and nutritional insecurity.  In general, Tanzania suffers from high malnutrition with over 34 percent of children under age five are stunted.  Agricultural production is often of low quality due to low adoption of technologies such as improved seed variety, fertilizer use, pest management, and lack of market linkages.

The great majority of the Dodoma region's population is engaged in agriculture, mostly at a subsistence or small commercial level. Industry, which represents only a very small proportion of the regional economy, is largely concentrated in the city of Dodoma. Agricultural production is focused on several major crops with high market protentional. These include Vineyards, Sunflower, Sesame, Cotton and Groundnuts, Sorghum and Cassava. There is minor production of various Fruits and vegetables, however there is a lack of dietary diversity.  

The Dodoma Region is semi-arid with low and erratic rainfall. Rainfall occurs in a single rainy season between November/December and April/May. Total rainfall ranges from 500mm to 800mm per year with high geographical, seasonal and annual variation.  Generally, these rains fall in heavy storms resulting in flash floods causing large run-off and soil erosion. Deforestation in the region has amplified the rate of soil erosion and this is a growing issue for the region.

There is a need for creating sustainable job opportunities for the youth.  Half of the population is comprised of people who are 40 years old or younger.  The region will suffer greatly and the youth will despair quickly if employment is nonexistent.  A longterm solution that educates the youth and the teachers in the agriculture sector is key.  Moreover, providing employment for the youth in the agriculture sector will positively impact the next generation and ensure sustainability.  

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

In order to promote economic and social development in the region there is a need to solve challenges related to agriculture, water, health and industrial development.  Solutions must address value chains development, build local expertise and establish a knowledge-based infrastructure in agriculture, water and energy.  The proposed program aims to establish a powerful knowledge-based agricultural infrastructure through the establishment of the Water 4 Mercy school of agriculture. The school will enable the development of local solutions relation to agriculture, health, job creation, economics and technology.    

Through development of expertise, the food system will foremost be infused with higher production and enable economic supply chains to be developed.  All program initiatives will emphasize dietary diversity, environmental sustainability, economic growth and promote inclusive and efficient food systems.

The program will introduce advanced Israeli technology and innovative agricultural practices to the region. The sites will focus on climate resilient irrigation technology, vegetable crops, fruit trees and protected agriculture. The program will place Israeli agronomists and livestock specialists on site throughout the year to support all aspects of implementation and to provide the training and development of the professionals. Following 3-5 years of implementation, Israeli experts will be phased out and all aspects of operation and training will be transferred to Don Bosco’s newly developed experts.     

The newly developed experts will be the region’s agents of change and together with Water 4 Mercy and Don Bosco Technical school, technologies and knowledge will be scaled up through the region.  The established site will generate income, allowing for reinvesting of profits into expansion of activities.  The self-sustainable program strives to be a model of development, enabling scaling up of the school of agriculture to the additional 131 Don Bosco Schools throughout Africa.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

The Don Bosco School of Dodoma has an amazing slogan, “Building the Skills of a Nation”.  Our vision is aligned with this slogan. Following the implementation of the program, we expect to have a transformative effect on the region and the country.  The agricultural programs will introduce different crop varieties with high nutritional impact.  The diversification of diets will have an immediate effect on the health of the all those involved.  Furthermore, a targeted nutritional education program will ensure that the demand for these crops is high, promoting good market prices and encouraging greater production. 

We envision, economic freedom for growers who undertake the new methods and production system.  Farmers will find new wealth through production of high value vegetable and fruits and at the same time enjoy from the nutrition of these crops.  Through proper education and practical training, production will increase along with wealth and income generation.  We expect this fundamental change to create waves throughout the food system.  There will be a need for greater supply chain activity, more raw material for agro-processing, greater demand for workers and a critical need of job creation will be met through the program.  

The Water 4 Mercy School of Agriculture (WAMSA) will create a paradigm shift through knowledge and technology transfer that enables sustainable growth.  The program will achieve the objectives of income generation, job creation and food and nutritional security for the region allowing the model to be scaled up throughout Tanzania, Africa and the world.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?


How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Prize partners
View more

Attachments (5)

Water CCC letter w logo.pdf

High school youth in the USA bringing awareness to Water 4 Mercy's Mission

Marian PDF Right side.pdf

"When Mary Comes Calling - Beyond The Shadow of a Drought" pg 2, Marian Helper Magazine December 2018. Published article of why Water 4 Mercy was Founded.

Marian pdf left side.pdf

"When Mary Comes Calling - Beyond The Shadow of a Drought" pg1, Marian Helper Magazine December 2018. Published article of why Water 4 Mercy was Founded.

W4M Proven Solution.docx

Water 4 Mercy's Proven Solution to Transforming Our World


Join the conversation:

Photo of Giok P Chua

YES to your Water 4 Mercy motto is: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Lets team up soon

View all comments