As we move into the third quarter of 2014 I can say it has been a momentous year so far. We have been able to assist 65 children with school fees in all three schools in the village – Lyamungo Sinde Primary, Mwowe Primary and ARI Primary. We have also had the good fortune to benefit from the work of our first volunteer, Martha Austin. Her contribution has been significant and game-changing for us. The benefits she has nurtured in all three schools lead me to realise that encouraging volunteers for the charity would be major step for the future.
The benefits that come from volunteer contributions, whether they are in teaching, in building or in technical support far outweigh any funds that we can bring into the village. Martha’s contributions motivated relevant people in the village to come forward and help to build new toilets, motivated teachers through her own teaching styles and commitments and motivated schools to consider the hygiene welfare of the older girls – something that had not been done previously.
Many teachers and administrators in Tanzania (and elsewhere, I’m sure) are set in their ways. Bringing a young volunteer in to introduce, simply through the act of teaching, new teaching methods and skills can radically shake up an organisation. This will of course, cause friction but if it begins to change mind-sets even a little, then it will have been worthwhile.
We still have much work to do in the village. All the work that we undertake will be for the benefit of the children. ARI is in need of a new toilet block; Mwowe needs a full time computer technician to maintain a classroom of computers that have been donated; L.S. Primary’s toilet block needs a water supply to the building; the new classroom at L.S. Primary needs to be populated with desks, electricity supply and a computer suite and much, much more.