For two years, AppDynamics’ community impact team has collaborated with Team4Tech, a US-based nonprofit organization (NPO), to provide pro-bono service-learning projects worldwide. The team selects a new project each year and recruits a team of AppDynamics employee volunteers to work on it for 12 weeks. The diverse cross-functional team uses their professional skills while developing important leadership skills in human-centered design, communication, and reflective mindsets. Team4Tech is dedicated to advancing educational opportunities for underserved students by matching technology volunteers and solutions with global NPOs to amplify their educational impact. Since 2013, over 400 Team4Tech volunteers from a variety of tech companies have participated in over 80 projects in 19 countries, benefitting over 85,000 learners.

This year’s project supports The African SOUP, a burgeoning educational organization that takes after the fabled “Stone Soup”: we can accomplish more when we pool our resources and work together.

The African SOUP works in tandem with the community to address its most vital needs. In addition to an exemplary primary and nursery school, The African SOUP has facilitated a nutritional outreach program, sustainability projects, sponsorships to further education, and the creation of a national project aimed at engaging students through active learning methodology, all inspired by their primary school roots. Their mission is to empower communities through national primary education change, informed by their community-development programming.

The primary goal of this year’s project with The African SOUP is the design and construction of an IT lab at the SOUP’s demonstration school, to support their Active Learning Project program in Uganda. A team of 12 passionate Cisco/AppDynamics employees used their Time2Give to take on this, in addition to their day jobs. Our goal was to recruit as diverse a team as possible and that’s exactly what we got. From gender, tenure, role, grade, geography, we hit all the boxes. This passionate bunch worked diligently in four sub-teams and juggled multiple time zones to connect and work together.

The volunteers supported The African SOUP in performing a needs assessment with the school to identify technology and develop an ICT training plan and manual for SOUP staff and teachers. The AppD volunteers are providing SOUP staff with basic digital literacy training, as well as capacity building around other topics such as data management and visualization, picture and video production, lesson plan creation, and marketing program materials. With this virtual project, The African SOUP will have the resources they need to begin incorporating ICT into their programs moving forward.

I couldn’t be more proud and humbled by the generosity of spirit and time by the AppDynamics volunteers, the wonderfully vibrant team at The African Soup, and our Team4Tech program director, Mehreen Butt. Huge thanks to our executive sponsor, Michael Legath, AppDs People and Community Partner.

“To say that this project changed my life is an understatement. I have never felt more connected to anything. It might have been the nostalgia of home and the chance to interact and share with others in Swahili. The lifelong connections made with others from across the globe and the subsequent success of the project were just the beginning of my Team4Tech journey. I knew I wanted to do more so I am now working on yet another impact project,” shared Diana Omuoyo, Sr Solutions Engineer at AppDynamics, now on her second Team4Tech project.

If you’re looking for meaningful, impactful ways to engage your team, consider signing up for a Team4Tech project next year. Hopefully by then, volunteers will be able to travel and we can celebrate the final week of the project in the country where the NPO is based.

Huge thanks to our amazing volunteers: Ayush Ghosh, Diana Omuoyo, Ganesh Magal, Gary Rosenstein, Jessica Poole, JW Sams, Lawrence Armstrong, Olivier Rousseau, Stephen Jones, Vijay Lakshman, Zohra Razi, and Ajay Nagariya.

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Nadine James

Global Head of Social Impact & Community Engagement

AppDynamics People & Communities