The mission of the Tanbur African Aid Society (TAAS) is to provide professional and financial resources to empower people in Tanzania and Burundi to better prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Diana McIntyre, first president of TAAS, visited Tanzania in 2002 as a member of a Global Volunteers team helping students at a secondary school in Iringa with their English. A subsequent visit to Burundi in 2006, and to Tanzania in 2007 and 2008, impressed upon her the enormous needs of the education systems in these countries, and the many ways in which we can offer help. While in Burundi, in the company of members of the Edmonton chapter of Friendship Force International, representatives of the Friendship Force club in Burundi appealed to her and the Edmonton group for assistance in a number of areas, including ESL training for their teachers and a food program for their numerous street children
On her return, Diana set about recruiting other interested individuals, and exploring, with them and with the partners in Africa, the means whereby some of these needs could be addressed. The training of primary school teachers in ESL methodology and grammar, as well as the provision of teaching materials and school furnishings, quickly emerged as the preferred courses of action.
Fundraising efforts were begun shortly thereafter, as was a search for teachers willing to volunteer their services and their time, and for donated teaching materials suitable for shipping to the two countries.
On August 21, 2008, the Tanbur African Aid Society was incorporated as a non-profit, charitable society in the province of Alberta, Canada, to recruit volunteer professional staff and raise funds for school and other supplies.