Six years ago, while as a local Atlanta area high school teacher, Dr Smith was approached by the U.S. Army and the University of North Georgia about becoming an adjunct professor as Director of Instruction for a new Army program called Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency. (CULP) This program allowed Army University cadets to experience international travel and cultural exposure to new environments while completing their university education before their fulltime entrance into the Army. The university students receive three weeks of immersion in the culture and Swahili language in Tanzania, East Africa while at the same time conducting conversational English languages classes to high school students at three military high schools in the economic capital of the country, Dar es Salaam. Many people ask Dr Smith if they could accompany him on such a trip. That was not possible because the program was under the auspices of the U.S. Army.
Over the years, Dr Smith began to see the tremendous need for English language education along with the challenges that many underprivileged children and youth faced in completing their education. He began to see the educational poverty that so many children faced. Feeling the need to do something about such issues, Dr. Smith began inviting other interested people to join him in making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children and youth by going to Tanzania to share their educational knowledge of the English language by helping students improve their conversational English, math and science skills. Such interaction with native speakers of English made a real difference and encouraged many students to stay in school and not drop out. Dr Smith began to see that helping students out of educational poverty was the way to help them overcome the physical poverty that they faced by giving them the educational tools to do so. Staying in school and completing their high school education could change their life.
Out of this experience the Simba Foundation was born with the purpose of alleviating educational poverty by advancing educational opportunities for Africa’s underprivileged and disadvantaged children and youth.