UPDATE NO. 3 – 15 Jan 2014
Greetings from Tanzania, Africa
There were some wonderful conclusions to this trip; the opening of the teacher Residences of course, but the most pleasant time was receiving the pen-pal letters and 5-line art from the Gongoli School teachers and kids to take back to our partner school, Glenwood Elementary in Maple Ridge, Canada.
The Ayalabe Teacher Residences Opening. It was a small but rich experience at the official opening. Local VIP’s included District Councilor Mr John Mahu, District Education Coordinator Fratern Shirima, Village Executive Officer Yassent Ansi and Ward Executive Officer James Paulo.
|Ayalabe village women singing|
After a few short speeches, the ribbons were cut to each of the two residences. The highlight for the occasion was, as usual, the heartwarming singing by a group of local women whose sparkling vibrant voices set the joyful tone for the occasion.
|The site so far. Teacher residences at left; |
2 classroom building on right
|construction 95% complete|
|Plaque - Eldon & Anne Foote Residence|
The Eldon and Anne Foote Fund at the Edmonton Community Foundation was the major donor ($20,000) of this building project. All at the ceremony acknowledged their generous contribution. Thank you so much, Anne Foote, for selecting Primary Schools for Africa Society as your preferred charity.
Dana Craft of Megson Fitzpatrick Craft Financial of Victoria donated $250 towards school supplies for our Kilimamoja School. It was very timely as the teachers and students desperately needed the pencils, exercise books and textbooks. Unfortunately, they are still deficient in the amount of textbooks needed to provide one per three students per subject, something we will have to attend to for the next visit in April.
|Gongali Kids singing a greeting|
Gongali School Pen-pal Letters and Art. It was just supposed to be a routine visit to the schools to pick up the letters and art, but husband and wife teachers Mark and Sara Mollel had a different take on it. They lined up all the pupils in two rows outside the classrooms for a beautifully sung greeting to Mathew and me as we approached from the parking area.
|Glenwood Elementary donation of school supplies|
After assembling everyone back in one of the classrooms, we photographed the result of the $200 donation of Glenwood Elementary towards school supplies; new pencils, exercise books and textbooks. We also photographed the pen-pal letters and artwork to be sent back to Canada. 5-line art, initiated by Glenwood Elementary, consists of producing a piece of colorful artwork using only 5 lines. The “lines” can be any size, colour, shape, or texture, arranged in any way, limited only by imagination.
What a wonderfully creative response to the 5-line art exercise from the Tanzanian kids. I was impressed and entertained by the ingenuity as well as the humour in some of their solutions. I went through all the art, acknowledging each pupils fine work to everyone there and thanked all of them for their efforts.
The pen-pal letters were also impressive. Mark and Sara had the pupils write in their native Swahili, but also to make an effort with a little bit of English. The writing and the content were so sweet. I look forward to showing the responses to their Canadian counterparts, Mr James White and the kids at Glenwood Elementary.
That’s it for this trip. The next time back in Tanzania will be April/May for the final three-classroom building for the Gongali School. Fundraising for that is hopeful, with some generous donors having contributed over the holidays, but as usual, it will come down to the wire. We have so far about $14,300 in the kitty for the $30,000 needed for the building project.
So please consider a donation to our worthwhile cause.
The enthusiastic little Tanzanian children who are so appreciative of their gift of education send their heartfelt thanks to all our generous donors.
Have a great year in 2014, everyone.
End of Update