Firstly, some news received at the end of last year.  Goats for Kids

In September last we received photographs of the goats at the school and at the village of Songambele – all thriving and living in their newly constructed goat huts.  (Photos kindly supplied by Graeme Berry following his visit with his family).

Inspecting the work on the goat house

School goats

Small goat house almost ready at Songambele village

Interesting article in the paper recently




Double click image to enlarge

Internet access at Mnyakongo:   Following the generous donation from a couple in San Diego, who purchased a dongle and sponsored the cost of monthly internet connection for a year,  the connection at the school was confirmed in December and shortly afterwards I received the first email from the Head Teacher, Mrs. Angelina Munduli.


A week after the first email from the school I received photographs showing the newly renovated Kindergarten. This important project, funded by SDSU, has made a huge difference – the before and after photos tell the story!






June 2011 : before renovation

Renovations complete




Additional funds provided by Aaron Almuina (SDSU student)  in June 2011 enabled us to commission a local carpenter to make 12 small tables and chairs for the Kindergarten.  Confirmation was received that these were delivered to the school on 20th July 2011 and we now have photos of the furniture in place in the newly renovated Kindergarten.

Constructed to this high standard by local carpenters

Pre-primary class


Pre-primary class in kindergarten

Renovated kindergarten with new desks

Technical and Domestic Science Rooms : The redecorating of these rooms is now complete.  


February : For up to date news of the goats please click on this link: Goats for Kids

June : Tour to Kongwa

A larger group this year – 15 altogether – five from England and ten from San Diego, six of them students.  British Airways were extremely generous and allowed us to carry between us 230kg of excess baggage completely free of charge.  We were able to take all the sports kit, tennis rackets and tennis balls, footballs, volleyballs, children’s clothing, toys and games, stationery, pens and pencils, art equipment and paper and another 7 donated laptops which had been cleaned and had new operating systems installed.

Swahili Books : We picked up the order of Swahili books, ordered by San Diego State University, on our way through Dar-es-Salaam and with cruisers loaded to the hilt with all the bags and boxes we headed inland on the 8 hour journey to Kongwa.

Photocopier/Printer/Scanner and A4 paper: Also picked up in Dar-es-Salaam and taken with us.   Scholastic General Stores, who supply the Swahili books, kindly donated six boxes of exercise books, blackboard rubbers, rulers, pens and erasers.  As there was no space left in the cruisers these had to be put on the bus to Kongwa and we picked them up from the bus station whilst we were there.

Arrival : We could hear the drums long before we drove into the school and then we saw the children running to us.  The noise and excitement is tremendous and overwhelms those who have never experienced it before and it brings a tear to the eye of those returning.

The trees planted last year had grown tall and strong in the last rains and the school grounds looked quite splendid.

The Library . . . now named “Peter’s Library” by the school and its teachers . .  is looking good. It was encouraging to see that the books are very obviously being used and those more suited to older children are being lent out to the Secondary Schools.  The new consignment was soon unpacked and inspected by the delighted teachers and the visitors.

Electricity Project: I am very excited to report that the electricity project has been finalised thanks to generous sponsorship from The Michael Shanly Charitable Trust in Berkshire, England. Phil Watts, electrician from England, together with a local electrician, Sylvanus, of MES Electrics, Kongwa, travelled to Dodoma to purchase the necessary supplies before starting work on the wiring of the last few buildings – the Kindergarten, Technical and Domestic Science buildings and two teacher houses.

Electrical shop in Dodoma

Choosing the goods

Loading up

Late night diagrams

An issue with the fuse box!

Discussing the contract

Done deal

One of the teaching sessions

Explaining electrical theory, using a bottle of water!

Lunch Program : To see full reports on the how the goats are faring,  the creation of the vegetable garden and the provision of a rainwater collection system please click on these links Goats for Kids and Rainwater Collection both found under “Lunch Program.

Goats : The goats have been moved to a fenced property near the school as one was stolen. They are thriving and the few goats we bought last year have had babies and the little herd now amounts to twelve.  Another six milk goats were purchased on this visit with money provided by Waltham St. Lawrence Primary School, Berkshire, St Chad’s Church in Wybunbury and St James Church in Audlem (England).

Our little herd is growing

Safe in a fenced area



One of the goat huts

Vegetable Garden: A suitable site at the end of the school buildings was chosen for the vegetable garden. . .  full details to be found under “Lunch Program


Sports Equipment and Kit:

 Everyone got involved in sorting the sports kit into sizes so that the larger sizes (donated by TeamSportsWear in Doncaster) could be taken to the secondary schools. Next day the smaller size kits (donated by Crewe Alex FC, Nantwich Town FC, and Shavington High School) were delivered to the school and to the Parish Priest who runs the Parish Youth Club.



A great day of games was organised by the SDSU students.

Getting set


Duck duck goose

Ball game

. . another ball game


and, of course, football

What a team!

Game plan?

good ball

Great tackle

Go Moses !

What a game!

Computers: Software developer, Rob Neild, who set up the computers at the school in 2010, travelled with the group again this year.  We had 3 more laptops for the school which he had cleaned and installed with new operating systems. He also spent time servicing and cleaning the existing laptops and installing a new hard drive into one which was failing.  He was very pleased to report that they have all been well used with lots of educational material downloaded. Rob set up the new printer/photocopier/scanner and showed the teachers how it worked.  This will save so much time, especially at exam time when they used to have to write exam papers by hand . . . all 800 of them!!

Secondary Schools: There are two Secondary Schools in Kongwa – Mnyakongo Secondary and Kongwa Secondary and we were invited to visit both  to be shown the facilities.  Speeches and singing followed.

Mnyakongo Primary School graduates attend the Secondary Schools and whilst we cannot possibly afford to fully support them we gave them the larger sizes in the sports kit and three laptops which enable them to access educational material.



Celebrations at Mnyakongo Primary School

On our last day at the school a great celebration, attended by local dignitaries, school teachers and staff, Parish Priests and Ministers, was held in our honour under the trees at the back of the school, the children singing, dancing and drumming.  The gifts were formally handed over to the school and speeches were given.  A truly great occasion.

Speech by the Head Teacher, Mrs. Angelina Munduli

Teachers bringing gifts

Presentation of donated goods

Presenting sports kit to Parish Priest, Fr. Romuald


Without help from Project supporters, San Diego State University and the companies and groups who donate the goods, none of this would be possible and I offer grateful thanks.

Parting Shots – groups

At Mnyakongo Secondary School

The students




For a review of the tour by one of the SDSU students, Erin Castillo, please click this link :                                                   Tanzania Experience: Kongwa | Sun Dance, Moon Walk. sundancemoonwalk.blogspot.com

November 2012In September this year 1227 pens were donated by Pens to People in the United States www.penstopeople.org.  They were delivered to a friend in Atlanta and stored there until a way could be found to get them to the UK without cost to the Project Fund.  Today they found their way to me for safekeeping until the next tour in 2013.

Pens, wonderful pens!


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