This 4th quarter in Tanzania has proved a very busy 3 months for ABCD (UK) and an end to a very busy year. I began an art programme at Mwowe school which took over completely, leaving little room for work in ARI and L.S. primary. As in L.S. Primary last year, the children loved learning through their art work. Their picture-making ability improves quickly, considering they normally don’t do any kind of art work as we know it. Their work reflects the level of art we expect from children much younger in the UK. Nevertheless, their enthusiasm and dedication is just the same and their sense of achievement at the end well worth the effort.
Martha’s girls, as they were to become known in all schools, received this quarter’s consignment of sanitary pads thanks to the donations from Martha, her friends and family in Australia. Starting 15th September, we supplied new pads and bags for the new girls in each school, as well as for all the existing girls on the lists. I followed up at the end of November as well and contributed pads to 2 new girls in ARI, 2 in Mwowe and 5 in L.S. Primary. All the girls currently supplied will be re-supplied in January. The scheme is working well with liaison established in each school through the teacher responsible for health. The girls are briefed and taught how to use the pads.
And what a successful few months we had with our first volunteer, Martha Austin. She arrived all the way from Australia at her own expense and of course left a huge mark on the community. She will be remembered for a long time. Her legacy is a new set of toilets for Lyamungo Sinde Primary School. Nothing like bricks and mortar to leave as a mark of success. The toilets are now in use and during this quarter they have been connected to a water supply.
We have raised about half as much again in funding as we did last year so I hope not only to support those children on last year’s list who are still at primary school but also those on the list who are invited to join secondary school. If funds are still available, I hope to start a supply of basic school uniform kits, made to different sizes that can be distributed at the schools. Each day we visit a school we can see many of the children with torn and dirty jumpers, shirts and shorts. Many probably only have one set of each. I think that a new uniform for some, if not all would bolster their pride and make their school experience enjoyable. Quite a statement having been all these years as a teacher against the idea of school uniform!
And again, I thank Mike and Janet Gibson for their invitation to the very successful Coffee Morning held in support of the charity. Their contribution this year complemented our regular fund-raising efforts in Roxwell and at the Morden Rotary Family Fun Day.
A we wind up the year we look forward now to our 2015 challenges on the “To Do List”:
1.Pictures and paintings from ARI sand L.S. Primary
2.Sanitary pads and bags for Martha’s girls-new cohort
3.Assessment of children at risk in all schools
4.Consensus meeting with village and education officers
5.Assessment of successful secondary school entries from village schools
6.Distribution of 2015 donor funds for the children
7.Assess needs for new toilet block at ARI
8.Prepare schools’ art works for sale
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all friends, family and donors. Thank you.