2017

January

We are awaiting news of completion of the new latrines.  As soon as photos are available they will be inserted here.

February

News from Kongwa was not good at all.  The rains had not come so people had been unable to plant crops. Maize is scarce and when it is available the price is high.  I heard that the children were hungry and sent an email to all ex-Kongwa pupils from the 1960’s.  We raised funds and within two weeks we had enough to organise the distribution of 1500 kg of maize, not only to Mnyakongo Primary School but to the other four primary schools in Kongwa, namely Mlanga, Viganga (Kongwa Maji), Kongwa and Chimlata. This maize will provide school lunches for just a few days but I am hoping to arrange another distribution in March.

Photos from Kongwa show delivery of maize and the preparation (double click on photo to enlarge)

. . . .  and then lunchtime at the various schools

   

(To watch a short video click on the arrow)

March  : I received word from Kongwa that rains had begun in late February and people had started planting.  This shows the state of the maize at the moment.  Let’s hope the rains continue so at least a late crop will provide some food for the people there.

Thanks to the wonderful response of Project supporters a second distribution of took place during the last week of March – photos below.

Mnyakongo Primary School

Mlanga Primary School

Viganga Primary School, Kongwa Maji

April 10th

News from Kongwa is distressing: “The rainfall stopped at a very crucial stage of maize growth and we don’t know whether it will survive. It’s almost two weeks now with no rain! Pupils are on leave at present so there is a need to continue to support them when they return to school on 24th April”.

June

The people in Kongwa are now harvesting what little crops they have – about 30% of their usual annual maize harvest.  The advice from my contact in Kongwa is thus and as usual, sound advice.    “Concerning another maize distribution, my advice is that since we are at initial stage of harvesting most families will get a little food to feed their children. This should last for almost two to three months. Pupils will start their mid term leave on 2nd June and this break will last for one month.  I think it would be better to wait until the crucial time when maize is needed again (end July/August) and I’m here to check for to make sure the time is right to assist them. “

Any funds already donated for maize are being held in the Project Account until we receive word that the crucial time has come.

September

The school trip to Mikumi is planned and will set off from the school on Saturday, 9th September.  The 74 children and 4 teachers will travel on three buses to stay overnight in the Game Reserve and return to the school on Sunday evening.  Game drives, accommodation  and meals are included.  One of the teachers offered to take photos which will be posted below after my visit in October.

Grateful thanks to all who donated to make this annual trip possible.  It is the highlight of the year for those in their final term at primary school.  Apart from the excitement of the children it encourages hard work and good attendance at school for the whole year.

October

Preparations are underway for the tour to the school later this month.  Generous donations of sports kit, footballs, volleyballs, exercise books and clothing for little children in the villages ready to be sorted and packed.  This is just a sample of what we will take.

SCHOOL TRIP TO MIKUMI : late September

This trip to Mikumi Game Reserve is the highlight of the year for those children in Year 7 during their final term at Primary school. They take a five hour journey in a bus from Kongwa to the 1,250 square miles game reserve. The trip includes game drives to view animals, an overnight stay with all meals provided and visits to a Snake Park and the hippo pool. To qualify for the trip good attendance at school and hard work during the year are taken into account.

Headmaster, Mr. Mapembe, says that since the introduction of the annual school trip in 2015 attendance at school has improved immensely.

TOUR TO KONGWA: mid October       (double click on photos to enlarge)

Just six of us on the tour this year including four who had never been to Africa before let alone a remote village in Tanzania. As we turned off the main road onto the 18km of dirt road into Kongwa all were shocked at the effect the drought has had on the landscape.

At our usual visit to the District Commissioner we received words of encouragement for the work we are doing and advice on our dream of drilling a borehole at the school. There and then DC, Mr. Deo Ndejembe, made a few phone calls and gave us the name and phone number of the water engineer who can arrange the survey of the school to determine where to site the borehole. His support of our Project is very welcome.


As always, the children were waiting to greet us on our arrival at the school, crowding around us excitedly and singing their welcome.

 

 

 

We particularly asked to visit the kindergarten as we had some story books, alphabet puzzles and balls to hand over.  Now with almost twice as many little ones attending there more desks and chairs are needed.  .


 

We have asked the local carpenter to give a quote for making more desks and chairs

 

 

We had an opportunity to share a wonderful half an hour playing ball with the little ones in the field.

We viewed the new latrines, completed now up to the point of installing the small water tanks for hand washing. The SIM tanks are in secure storage until the school has a water supply. The most positive thing here is that our school now has the only disabled toilet facilities within the whole Kongwa area and Headmaster is excited to know that when disabled children start to come out of the villages to attend school, they will come to his school.

The celebrations on our last day at the school were splendid. The lady drummers from the village came to entertain us and the children sang and danced for us.

Donated items of sports kit, footballs, tennis balls, educational materials and mosquito nets were handed over. . . .

      

 

 

. . . . laptops donated by SDSU were presented and later examined in the office by the Education Officer and members of the school staff.

 

 

 

VISITS TO TWO VILLAGES

Firstly to Kongwa Maji to offer the small children’s clothes, beautifully knitted by generous ladies in Cornwall and Surrey. The elder of the village distributes the goods and everyone abides by his decisions.

 

Then on to Mlanga where the whole village turned out to welcome us and await distribution of the kiddies clothes.

DONATION OF EXERCISE BOOKS AND STORY BOOKS


The large luggage allowance on our flights this year enabled us to carry books donated by a local Maidenhead school.  These were gratefully received by local schools.

 

 

 

 

WATER SUPPLY : After many discussions we feel the way forward is a borehole served by a hand pump.  The District Commissioner has provided the contact details of the Water Engineer and once we have had the land surveyed and received a quotation we can move forward with the plan.  The drought continues and this year the rainwater tanks have stood empty.  It is apparent that a long term solution is required.

ON THE TOUR this year . . . . .

Lauren

 

 

Beverley

 

 

Paul

Peter

Lauren

Gemma

Barbara

Our driver Abuu

 

 ….friend Arnold, also of Savannah Tours, who drove all our donated goods from Dar es Salaam to Kongwa