WINDSOR — The ambassador of Tanzania to the United States is arriving in Vermont today in anticipation of a ceremony that will honor humanitarian work performed in his country.
Ambassador Ombeni Sefue and his wife Anita Sefue are expected to arrive today at Burlington International Airport and after some activities in Montpelier they will spend Friday and Saturday in Windsor. Their arrival coincides with a cocktail party fundraiser and award ceremony Saturday at the Juniper Hill Inn.
Robert Dean and his partner Ari Nikki, who own and operate the Juniper Hill Inn, have created what they are calling the Windsor Freedom Award. Dean said they plan to give out the award every two years and the first recipients will be Dr. Irving Williams and Elvira Williams, founders of Adventures in Health, Education & Agricultural Development (AHEAD).
In 1974, the Williamses traveled to Tanzania to work as pediatricians, an experience that motivated them to start AHEAD, which combats poverty, disease and malnutrition in rural parts of the country. Dean was prompted to create the award and hold the fundraiser for AHEAD after a conversation with Elvira Williams in which he learned that lack of access to clean drinking water in Tanzania was leading to high infant mortality rates.
The answer to Tanzania’s — and other countries’ — potable water dilemma might be right in Windsor. Seldon Technologies, founded in Windsor seven years ago, is a company that has created portable water purification systems, said co-founder Alan Cummings.
“I think this product will be ideal for small villages and schools in Tanzania,” said Cummings, whose business will be part of Ambassador Sefue’s tour. Seldon Technologies offers a small system for outdoorsmen for $95, a home filtration system for $395 and a larger system that can purify between 700 and 1,200 gallons a day for $5,000. These larger systems will soon be used in Tanzania.
“We have this amazing technology that could change the face of the planet right here in Windsor,” said Dean, who compared Seldon Technologies with the town’s place in history as the birthplace of the industrial revolution. “We were on the cutting edge of the industrial revolution and now we’re on the cutting edge of environmental technology.”
Ambassador Sufue will also visit the Cornish Colony and American Precision museums