Gongali Village School

Gongali Village School
children at the Gongali Village School, built by Primary Schools for Africa in Nov/Dec 2010

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


Hi All


Gongali Primary School Classrom 5,6,7 Project

Work continues at the site. The "Magic Mathew" crew has announced they are ahead of schedule. We should have a nicely completed building in time for its opening celebrations on 11 May. The walls are plastered ready for painting. Electrical conduit has been installed in the walls and ceiling space in anticipation of electricity being supplied to the site (see below). Exterior painting is complete and the glass windows are being installed.

Gongali classrooms 5,6,7 - 95% complete
John Lutes solar power gift to the Mollel family
trimming window glass
The official school opening will include, for the first time, one of our Directors, Peter Daniels, joined by his girlfriend Olga Gill and friend Cathleen Hart. The other Canadian contingent is the family of a generous donor John Lutes, who sponsored not only a 2 classroom building at the Kilimamoja school, but a 2-family teacher residence building at the Gongali school. I am really looking forward to seeing how amazed they will be with the performances of the local villagers during the opening celebrations. As for myself, I never cease to be amazed.

Gongali Electricity Project - Gongali Primary School

Thanks to the generous donation of Mark Burrowes of Burrmech Consulting Inc in Victoria, BC, electricity will be supplied to the Gongali Village Primary School site with a transformer connection to the nearby power line. It will mean literally getting the school out of the dark (in Tanzania, that's 6:00PM to 6:00 AM). The school will have computer classes (computers have already been donated by the local Gongali Model organization) and access to the internet which will accelerate learning a hundredfold. The teacher families, in the evenings, will be able to study, read, have access to media (and the world) and enjoy social time. The buildings can be used in the evenings for other community activities. This is a huge benefit to the local community as well as they will be able to tap into the system at a fraction of the cost.

I am dealing with the local utility company, Tanesco, to arrange a contract for the transformer/power line supply and installation. It will take 2 - 3 months to complete, hopefully in time for the fall academic term's start.

The Edit Gvora High School Project - Gongali

initiating the new high school site
We're embarking on our next project, a Secondary/High School,  which is the logical follow-up to our Gongali Primary school in the Gongali Village 10 km from the town of Karatu, Tanzania. Gongali is a village of 7,000 that now has 4 primary schools but desperately needs a secondary/ high school to allow the youngsters to continue their education. The school is possible through the generous donation of a fellow Victorian, Mr Anthony Gvora, and its name will memorialize his late wife Edith.

high school discussions with Dr Hilonga (R)
and the Gongali Village Mayor - Peter Hayshi (Centre)
The project development will eventually include classrooms, laboratories, a kitchen/dining hall, an administration block, a library, dormitories and teacher residences  and will provide 6 levels of education, Form 1 to 6. Secondary School, Form 1 to Form 4, has general courses of Mathematics, English, History, Civics, Geography, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Kiswahili and Agriculture. High School, Form 5, 6 specializes in the science courses of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Agriculture, with emphasis on laboratory work. See my attached site masterplan.

PSFA will build Phase 1 to start with; the Secondary School component. It will include the minimum buildings needed for government registration; 4 classrooms, an administration block and toilets. The remainder will be completed when future funding allows, either from the local government, ourselves or other NGO donors.

The construction will be a partnership between Primary Schools for Africa (PSFA) and the Gongali Village Government (GVG). PSFA will design and construct the buildings and GVG will be responsible for site services, ie, electricity, water, sewage, rainwater collection, roads and paths and landscaping. The regional government, the Karatu District Council Office (KDCO) and their Educational and Engineering Departments will provide design/technical standards and site engineering. 

We are fortunate to be also working with the local elites and their organization, The Gongali Model, who, under the creative leadership of Dr Askwar Hilonga and Mrs Ruth Elineema, will direct community support programs to ensure the continual success of the school  through its programs of sustainability, empowerment, creative fundraising initiatives and networking with local and international partners. 

I'm working with KDCO's Education and Engineering Department on the buildings' design, and once I have the drawings completed, will be tendering for construction contracts with local builder/tradesmen. I will meet with the District's Civil Engineer Julius Kaaya and his survey crew, at the site next week to stake out the corners of the buildings. Hopefully, by the time I leave to return to Canada on 17 May, we can start site preparation for the first buildings. 

Kilimamoja  Site Visit

solar power gift to head teacher
I visited the Kilimamoja site to have a look at the progress of the school. We have built 4-classroom and 2-Teacher Residences to date. After the always warm reception of children singing the traditional welcome song, I met the 2 teachers, head teacher Eliezer Massay and teacher Euclid Masaoe, who reported good news and not-so-good news. As an improvement, they will be receiving 2 additional government teachers in December this year to help with the increasing need for additional classes beyond their 4 (pre-school, Standard 1,2,3). But they also have urgent needs; 2 additional teacher residences, more desks and school supplies. I donated 100,000 Tsh to cover an additional year's supply of workbooks and pencils, but will have to look at our budget when returning to Canada to advise on the rest. 

a bounteous garden
The head teacher's home in the Stringam Residence is looking well settled into. Eliezer and his wife have built a traditional hut to cook meals. They have 20 chickens and plenty of vegetables; pumpkin, spinach, peas, beans and small crops of maize and sunflower. They are happy with their new life in this bounteous area with its wonderful panoramic views (I'm a little, no, a lot, envious).

the new kitchen hut
The John Lutes gift of a home solar power kit was enthusiastically received. No more long journeys into the town to charge cell phones, and to now have evening lighting was indescribably appreciated.

the Stringam residence - home to the Massay family
Our Glenwood Elementary Connection 

The Canadian sister school to our Gongali village School has been having fun with its continual efforts to raise funds for school supplies and eventually, the construction of a classroom. Their 5-line art fundraising is enjoying success as some of the artwork produced by the Gongali kids has been sold. The following is an excerpt from Glenwood's project teacher, James White's email to me:

From:  James White <mymrwhitesweb@gmail.com>
My class wanted to say Happy Grand Opening to the kids at Gongali Village School!
We hope they like their letters and bracelets.
Here are some pictures from my class.
1. Julianne Moon (Grade 1) and her Great Grandmother bought Simon's art for $10
2. Emma Walsh (Grade 4) and her grandmother bought Rither's 5-line art for $10
3. Jullianee's great grandmother bought Maria's art too for  $10. 
4. the class out in the park.

End of Update

Alan R. Roy, Founder & Executive Director
Primary Schools For Africa Society
3301 Wordsworth St, Victoria, BC, V8P 4B9
Tel: 250-598-4207