Gongali Village School

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

Tuesday, 12 November 2019


Hello, all our friends,

October 2019 is a milestone occasion for Primary Schools For Africa schools. With the opening of the Classroom 5,6,7 buildings at Simba Milima Primary School and Tidivi Primary School, all five of our primary schools now have ALL of their classroom buildings to be able to teach Standard 1 to 7 classes. Yay!!

We can’t rest though. We still need Teacher Residences, Toilets, Kitchen/dining, and Teacher Centre buildings for a fully functioning school.

Simba Milima Primary School, Doffa Village, Tanzania
New Classroom 5,6,7 Building

The opening ceremonies for the Classroom 5,6,7 building were wonderfully organized by headmaster Loatha Paulo and the Doffa Village officials and local people. It’s always so much fun to be greeted by a group of elders who take your arm and “dance” you to the head table with their traditional dance. And the children’s singing and special military marching demonstration (with sticks in lieu of guns) were amazingly precise. Why they’re training this is a bit odd; Loatha says it’s good for discipline and co-operation. District Education Officer Sara Mollel (former headmistress of our Gongali Aslini School - nice that she got this promotion) cut the ribbon to two of the classrooms, but it was more fun to have a couple of eager kids cut the ribbon to the third classroom; a memory they will certainly cherish.
I was “robed” as an honorary village elder (Baba Alan) for the umpteenth time. The stick, by the way, in spite of its humble material, is a strong symbol of local authority.

Simba Milima School buildings

students cutting the ribbon to a new classroom

arrival at Simba Milima

Our sincere thanks to our school sponsor Chris Ronneseth and Safari Partners Inc for their generous yearly donation to maintain the progress of the school’s development - a new building every year!

Tidivi Primary School, Huduma Village, Tanzania

New Classroom 5,6,7 Building

Tidivi Classroom 5,6,7 building opening

Another Classroom 5,6,7 opening with similar ceremonies as Simba Milima. The significance of this school is that they have all 7 classrooms with all 7 teachers now. The event highlight; principal Augustino Mchomvu had a dozen kids each perform an energetic “dancing” speech of school needs; pleading for everything from electricity to water to more community and government support. 

they are ALL smiles
traditional dance

Thanks to the RMC Class of '70 ex-cadets who continue to sponsor this school project.

a new preschooler at Tidivi School

Edith Gvora High School, Gongali Village, Tanzania

Our Project Manager Restus Sanka has informed us that our plea for site electricity and a direct graded road to the school has resulted in success. Tanesco (Tanzania Electric Supply Company) will provide the poles and overhead wires and we will wire the buildings. At the time of writing this, the road has already been graded. No more cross country bumpy, circuitous and muddy travels, and less isolation of the school in the rainy season. Yay!!

Flame Tree Vocational Centre, Bashay Village, Tanzania

A new water system is in place. Incoming piped water to the site and collected rainwater is stored in a 75,000 litre underground concrete storage tank and pumped uphill to 2-5,000 litre SIM tanks where it feeds by gravity to the Centre.  
The Vocational Centre had been experiencing growing pains with unfilled positions of staff and teachers, however, a new Principal Frederick Laizer has been assigned who seems able and willing to dramatically improve administration efficiency as well as tackle issues including increased enrolment and course registrations. We also look forward to possible VETA registration of the Centre within the next year.
The site landscaping is healthy and vibrant with colourful flowers and healthy growth of trees and shrubs. The flame tree planted by donor Peter Pearse two years ago is growing fast and is about 15 feet high.
Restus under Peter Pearse's flame tree
water storage tanks at Flame Tree Vocational Centre

Student Awards

Gongali cash prize students
Restus is pumped about his new role as our School Superintendent. He’s come up with some great ideas to motivate students. 
We are now awarding a cash prize to the top male and female student graduates from Standard 7; 100,000 Shillings (about 60 CAD) to the top boy and girl and 50,000 Shillings (30 CAD) to the second place boy and girl. We made the presentations this year to grads at both Gongali Primary School and Kilimamoja Primary School. We give the cash to the head teacher who will buy things like backpacks and school supplies for their first year in high school.

PSFA Scholarship Progam

We are also initiating a scholarship program for graduates of our one and only high school (Edith Gvora) who intend to continue on from Form Four level to higher learning, either with a college or vocational programs or with completion of 2 pre-university Form 5,6 years at a good private school, followed by university,. 
Anyone who wishes to sponsor a student can contact Alan by email; psfa@shaw.ca, or phone; 250-920-6296.
2018 grad student Deborah Laizer is being sponsored by Tony and Beth Gvora. She is now attending Mwanza College in a 3-year program leading up to a university Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
The undersigned is sponsoring a sister and brother. Jackson Goi is currently in his second year of a Civil Engineering course at Arusha Technical College and his sister Elizabeth is completing Form 5,6 at Dodoma High School, to then continue on with medicine at University to become a doctor.

arrival at Gongali School

skipping demo at Gongali School
Gongali students

Our schools are in continuous need of further development as they grow in size with more pupils each year...

So please donate generously towards the education of these young children who are so eager to learn.

Visit PrimarySchoolsforAfrica.com and click on the "Donate" button, or send a cheque made out to:
"Primary Schools For Africa Society", and mail to:
3301 Wordsworth Street, Victoria, BC, V8P4B9

Asante Sana Sana (Thank You very very much)

Alan Roy


Saturday, 2 March 2019


Gongali Aslini Primary School, Gongali Village, Tanzania

New Teacher Centre

Hello, all our friends,

We have just returned from another amazing trip to Tanzania. This one was to celebrate the opening of another building; the new Teacher Centre at Gongali Primary School, and to start another phase of construction on our RMC Class of '70 project, Tidivi Primary School.

We were fortunate to have two of our Directors come as well; Peter Daniels and Blaise Salmon with his wife BC Green Party MLA Sonia Furstenau. It was an exciting and memorable first trip for Blaise and Sonia. They were able to visit a couple of our schools, experience some of the local culture, and obtain insights into other NGO activity in the area.

The new Teacher Centre provides a Teacher Room, Headmistress Office, and Library Room. The school finally has its much-needed Teacher's Room, thanks to our donor, African Book Box Society of Victoria, BC. The teachers have vacated Classroom 7 which they had commandeered for their use to grade papers and organize their work. That meant the Standard 1 to 7 classes were being organized in only 6 rooms. But now, each class level has its own room.

the new Teacher Centre

The Library Room has bookshelves and scaled down computer desks and chairs suitable for kids. 

Our builder Restus Sanka continues to build high-quality construction, considering no electric tools are used. Only hand tools; hammers, saws, shovels, etc. Amazing.

new library room

The opening was the usual wonderful experience with kids and locals entertaining the guests, local politicians making inspirational speeches, and of course, the ribbon-cutting.

opening ceremony
PSFA Directors Peter Daniels and Blaise Salmon and Blaise's wife Sonia Furstenau were special guests at the ceremony. This was Blaise's and Sonia's first trip to Tanzania. They were duly impressed. A throng of students greeted them, singing and then excitedly swarming them as they walked to the canopied head tables set up in an open grassed area next to the new building. Both District Council Chairman Jublate Mnenye and Village Chairman Peter Hayshi gave speeches that were inspiring to the students and villagers. 

ribbon cutting

the new Teacher Centre with teacher's room,
headmistress's office and library room

Alan with Peter Hayshi

Peter Hayshi reminisced about the very first opening ceremony at this school in 2010, and about Alan's very first meeting with Tanzanians, when, as the District Vice-Chairman then, he decided that Alan "has permission to build a school in our village". 

Sonia's and Blaise's cash
donation for school sweaters

Blaise and Sonia were generous with donations; a bag of soccer balls and $200 USD for new sweaters for the kids. Thank you, Blaise and Sonia.

kids new sweaters from Blaise/Sonia donation

Peter Daniels receiving
Community Award

A note of sadness at the school was the replacement of headmistress Magreth Macha due to Magreth's recent health problems. Magreth was OK, mostly recovered, at the opening. The new headmistress is Nahami Mwambunga, a Maasai woman, earnest, tall and well-dressed, who appears to be well suited for the job.

aerial view of the new pathways linking all buildings
An impressive feature of the school is its new pathway system; concrete edged gravel paths that will drastically reduce the amount of sticky clay mud from the kids' feet being tracked into the classrooms. The network of paths, lined with newly planted Gravillia and Jacaranda trees, effectively link all the buildings now, creating a more organized and aesthetically pleasing landscape. The feedback from teachers and kids alike is how much more proud they are of their school. PSFA is hoping to find funds to do this at all schools.

reaching for the drone

Photographer Stephen Otero

A pleasant surprise a few days later was meeting photographer Stephen Otero and Julie, and American couple staying with us at our lodge. They volunteered to take "drone" photos and videos of Gongali school. At the site, we organized the excited teachers and kids in a circle and Stephen's drone dropped down from the sky and circled around the kids, tantalizing them and just keeping out of their reach as they waved frantically, shouting and screaming in delight, to try to touch it. An amazing new experience for them. The drone's overhead photos really highlight the effect and beauty of the new pathway system.

Sonia Furstenau receiving Community Award
Blaise Salmon receiving Community Award

A Working Trip

School Inspections: Gongali, Kilimamoja, Tidivi, Flame Tree, Simba Milima 

Peter, Restus, and Alan toured all the Karatu District schools to determine priorities for funding allocations. Peter and Alan later sat down with Restus's cost estimates and crunched the numbers to see what they could accomplish with their limited funds. The result: 

Gongali and Kilimamoja Primary Schools will be getting some needed upgrades to deteriorating ceilings and cracked floors. 

Tidivi Primary School will be getting a new Classroom 5 building with the concrete floor slab extended to receive a future Classroom 6 and 7 building. Digging of the foundations at Tidivi has already begun.
On a pleasant note, we noticed that Tidivi teacher Neema Milaki has moved into the 2nd teacher residence. She's bought furniture, window curtains, kitchen appliances and is comfortable and extremely happy with her new home. 

Teacher Neema Milaki (right)
Neema's sitting room

At Flame Tree Vocational Centre, we mapped out locations for future teacher residences and water storage tanks. A special thanks to African Book Box Society for continuing to fund the development of this important community facility. 

Simba Milima Primary School is doing very well with its recent addition of a Classrooms 3,4 building, but one important issue must be addressed. The government cannot assign a female teacher since there is no female accommodation available yet. The school's remote location makes it unsuitable for females to travel the distance. PSFA will have to consider this as a project as soon as possible.

It's not all work! Peter and Alan still had time out to do a little cycling and visit the Ngorongoro elephant caves. The elephants come to the rocks which are very rich in calcium. They poke at the rocks with their tusks and eat the sand that drops down, to receive the minerals that make their bones strong.

Our schools are in continuous need of further development as they grow in size with more pupils each year...

So please donate generously towards the education of these young children who are so eager to learn.

Visit PrimarySchoolsforAfrica.com and click on the "Donate" button, or send a cheque made out to:
"Primary Schools For Africa Society", and mail to:
3301 Wordsworth Street, Victoria, BC, V8P4B9

Asante Sana Sana (Thank You very very much)