CONSTRUCTION UPDATE NO. 4 - June 2014
Gongali Primary School Classroom 5,6,7 Project
This is the final update from the April/May visit to Tanzania.
|the greeting; new building at right, with balloons|
The opening of this classroom building was significant; it completed all 7 classrooms for this site and is the first of our 3 school sites to do so. The children attending this school are up to Standard 4 level with 3 more years to go till graduation. That means that 2017 will be a momentous occasion that I am looking forward to ; the first graduation class from our first school project. How amazing will that be!
|the official ribbon-cutting. L to R: Head Teacher Mark Mollel, Mayor Hayshi, District Education Officer Honorati Bayo, Alan Roy, Builder Fabian Amman, Teacher Sarah Mollel, New Teacher (name?)|
Mayor Hayshi arranged a wonderful musical welcome for the “Canadian contingent”. As we approached the site, the pupils were all lined up singing beautifully for us. The freshly painted new building in the background looked great. It was festively adorned with strings of balloons. Joining Mathew and me were two touring groups. One is from Victoria, BC; Peter Daniels (one of our Directors), his girlfriend Olga Gill, and friend Cathleen Hart. The other is from Ontario; John and Judy Lutes and 7 other family and relatives. We toured the classrooms and residences, cut the ceremonial ribbon and proceeded to the Dining Hall for speeches and gift exchanges.
|the Canadian contingent, with the Tanzanian hosts|
The Canadian guests were treated to being “robed” – a tradition for all visitors, as a way of inviting them into the village fold as honorary guests. The highlight is, as always, the sports gifts donated by the travelers to the children; soccer and volleyballs, volleyball nets, skipping ropes and even a whole bunch of balloons. No sooner had the kids received the balls did they run out to the field to test them out. And the adults were very qick to join in the fun. What a wonderful sight to see them, , kicking the ball around with no particular strategy or rules, just happy to be cavorting and frolicking in wild abandon.
|Andrew and the kids with the new soccer ball|
|Mark and his outdoor class|
Peter and Olga brought a package of letters from our Canadian counterpart, Glenwood Elementary, Maple Ridge, BC and I had earlier passed them out to the teachers. But I waited until the opening ceremonies to hand the special gift from Glenwood to the kids and teachers; hand-crafted bracelets. Wonderfully appreciated as they proudly wore them. Thank you, James White and Glenwood Elementary. At the end of the day Head Teacher Mark Mollel gave me the return package of letters from the Gongali kids for their Glenwood counterparts. I know the Glenwood class will be very excited again to receive them.
|Cathleen's donation of a soccer ball and skipping ropes|
Our Accessible Education Association (AEA) Connection
|AEA's donation of books|
AEA is a new small Canadian NGO that is joining our cause by raising funds to provide books for our schools in Tanzania. The Gongali Village Primary School is one of their first projects and they have already donated approximately $360.00 for the first installment of books. We lined the kids up for a photo as they proudly displayed these valuable tools for their education. This is a first for them and they are very pleased; to have new books and to not have to be so many sharing a book.
|Classroom sponsored by BC Ferries|
|Soccer balls donation|
|Classroom sponsored by Don Park in memory |
of his father Flight Lieutenant W. G. Park
|Classroom sponsored by|
San Han and Alicia Lee of Victoria
Electricity Project - Gongali Primary School
The electricity project has started. We finally arranged an agreement with the local utility company, Tanesco, to connect to a nearby power line. By the time I left back for Canada, the electrical contractor Sebastian Hamanjida had already started wiring the buildings in anticipation of the power connection. This is such a monumental event for the school; to have electricity that gets them out of the dark, to further their education, and enjoy evening activities in the teacher’s home. We are aiming to have it there by early August this year, hopefully in time to kick off their computer training classes then. Computers donated by the Gongali Model organization have been stored on site for 2 years now, waiting…
|John and Judy Lutes|
|Peter Daniels and Olga Gill|
The Edit Gvora High School Project - Gongali
Work continues in the planning stages with our latest project, the new high school. Before I left for Canada I visited the site with the District Civil Engineer and our potential builder and reviewed some of the site grading and preparation issues. At home, I will be preparing drawings for pricing in the near future.
I will probably be returning to Tanzania in August to kick off the construction of the first 2 classrom buildings, each one having 2 classrooms and a small office for the Teachers.
End of Update