On our whirlwind trip back to Moshi in July 2017, we put the finishing touches to the library and painted the outside of the building.
Annual Health Checks
We completed the health checks on all children again during our visit, and completed another parents seminar on health and wellness.
CLASSROOM VERANDAHS AND GUTTERS : completed April 2015
Verandas and new gutters have been placed on all classrooms to not only provide much needed shade during the summer months, but allow collection of valuable water during the rainy season.
WATER TANKS : completed April 2015
Two new 20,000L water tanks have been installed to capture and store water forint the rainy season. This water not only ensures reserve water supply for drinking and cleaning, but will allow us to commence some new income generation projects such as a school vegetable garden.
SCHOOL LIBRARY : commenced in November 2015
In 2015, we were incredibly lucky to receive a donation of Library books from Mr JL Shaw and the
Immanuel Lutheran Church of Saratoga, California. They very generously donated over 9000 books and
freight to get the books from USA to Tanzania.
The KOALA Project believes reading is a critically important part of any child's education, and should be
accessible to all children not just those in the developed world. We have joined forces with a key partner
from the UK, the CWUHA, and have commenced this new Library project to ensure we build a great
facility, in which our books will be looked after and be a valuable learning resource for all the children of
Kilimahewa community for many years to come. Not only will it be used by the children of Kilimahewa
school for reading lessons, but a resource accessible for the whole community such as High school
students to come and study after school hours.
After a long and challenging process of getting our books through customs in Tanzania, they finally arrived
in November 2015 and we have commenced building our new library on New Years Day 2016.
TWO NEW CLASSROOMS : Nov 2013 - July 2014
It is one of the requirements from Tanzanian Government to have 5 functioning classroom to gain accreditation as a Primary School, so The KOALA Project funded the completion of classrooms 4&5 in 2014.
SCHOOL GETS A MAKEOVER - July/Aug 2014
Not long after the completion of the classrooms, I arrived in Moshi for my annual visit, this time with my Parents Terry & Wendy. One of our key projects was to paint the new classroom, but we soon realised the school needed a makeover, to not only make it look more like a school but to add some much needed 'happy' colour. Check out our before and after video :-)
RETAINING WALL FOR EROSION PREVENTION - July 2014
The rainy season in 2014 was particularly heavy, unfortunately causing much of our fence down the western side of the school to washed away and severe erosion. Ist was critical this was fixed to prevent further erosion and enable the fence to be fixed. The incredible workmanship of our 'Fundi' Adam saw this amazing wall finished in 3 weeks. He broke the stones/boulders down by hand with a chisel to the exact size and carefully placed them along the wall.
PLAYGROUND UPGRADE - July 2014
A new slide, swing and soccer goals we built and installed in 2014 to provide the children with some new equipment to enjoy during play time. Check out our video, I think they were a huge hit with the kids !
NEW SECURITY GATE - July 2014
A Security gate was fitted in July 2014 making the school fully lockable, and improving safety for the children and Mr Massawe and his family.
NEW TOILET BLOCK: December 2014
The second toilet block was completed in December 2014. Most of the toilet block was very generously funded by Mr Stewart Pickup from the UK, who is a friend of the CWUHA who are also big supporters of Kilimahewa School. Stewart completed a gruelling Ironman in 2014 to raise money for our school, with most of this money going toward building the new toilet block. A fantastic example of how anyone can raise money and help us keep improving the school.
ANNUAL HEALTH CHECKS - July 2014
Once again Dr Cleopa Mwamba returned and conducted over 65 medical checks on our children. I was pleased to see that none of our children had any serious medical conditions, with most being treated for fungal skin infections and receiving worming medication.
We also held our very first Parents meeting where the parents were invited to meet Dr Mwambo, and listen to valuable advise about nutritional and how to care for their children. Most of the families in the Kilimahewa community rarely visit a Doctor or hospital as it can be expensive, nor do they have access to basic health and nutrition advise, so this session was a huge success and something we will continue to support in the future.
ANNUAL HEALTH CHECKS - July 2013
2013 saw the start of annual health checks for all the children attending Kilimahewa Nursery School. For most of these children access to health care or medicine is impossible. We hope with regular school check ups we can treat and prevent any serious illness that may arise.
NEW CLASSROOMS - Nov 2013
Building commenced in November 2013 on the 4th and 5th classrooms at the school. To qualify for Primary School accreditation we are required to have a minimum of 5 classroom. Once the classrooms are complete we will need to start on office, kitchen, and toilets. Building, Building, Building…….
WATER BORE - July 2013
It was our aim for 2013 to drill a water well for the school. This well will provide a constant water source for the school, as well as allow Mr Massawe and the children to start a school vegetable garden. Mr Massawe will teach the children valuable lessons in growing their own produce, and will also sell vegetables at the local market to raise well needed funds for the school. Unfortunately, we did not find enough water in our first drilling attempt, but we have not given up and will return in early 2014 with new equipment that will allow us to drill much deeper and reach the water table.
2012 was all about Chickens, Cows and Water............
I returned to Moshi in July 2012 to see first hand the impact our projects from 2011 were having on the school and its students. Our initial 200 chicks were thriving and produce between 150-160 eggs per day, which Mr Massawe sells to generate income for the school. Following the initial 5 months of getting the chicks to laying stage, this project is now completely sustainable and requires no additional financial support to continue.
Before I left Moshi, I was asked by a friend who manages a School Sponsorship Project in a neighbouring village, to speak to the parents and community about our chicken project, and how it was possible for them to also generate their own income to support their families. It was an honour to be asked to speak about our work and I am extremely proud of the hard work and commitment Mr Massawe has given to ensure its success.
Expanding our Chicken Farm - June 2012
Given the success of our chicken project started in 2011, Mr Massawe and I agreed it was critical to expand our chicken farm in 2012. With a small amount of renovation work and another order to Kenya for 200 more chickens, we now have 390 chickens in our farm. (Sadly 10 chicks did not survive the first year).
Aussie & Sydney the New School Dairy Cows - July 2012
Our other major income generating project for this year is a new venture into Dairy Cows. With 2 cows, it is estimated they can produce up to 25litres of milk per day which can generate between $16-$20 per day income for the school. (It costs approx $5 per day to feed all the children at school)
Mr Massawe found and negotiated, what I have since found out to be a very unusual deal, to buy 2 pregnant dairy cows! Buying the cows already pregnant means the time period to generate income from the milk produced is only 2 months, rather than the usual 9. It is however very unusual for any farmer in Tanzania to sell a pregnant cow. This has left many people wondering how we managed to get such a good deal ! Whatever the reason, Aussie and Sydney are now very comfortable in their new digs, and gave birth to 2 healthy female calves in January 2013.
Water Tank - July 2012
The drought has hit the small rural communities of Tanzania particularly hard this year. Most of these communities rely on the annual Maize crops for food and income throughout the year. To drive around the region and see acres upon acres of dead and useless maize crops is devastating.
We have plans in place to drill a Water Bore to permanently supply water to the school. Hopefully this will be completed in 2013/14. In the mean time, with water at such a scarcity (the government started turning off the available water supplies while I was there) we agreed it was critical to have a reserve water supply for the cows and the school should the water shortages get worse. Therefore, we bought and installed a new water tank, which can also be used later to hold water reserves from the well.
The School Fence - July 2011
Our first project in 2011 saw us build a new and rather large fence around the perimeters of the school yard (approx 70 cement poles and 2000 meters barbed wire). A majority of the school grounds are used to grow corn maize which is harvested and used to make the porridge that the students eat each day for recess, for many of them their only meal. Without a fence, animals would often eat much of their produce and street kids would break in and ruin play equipment at the school. It was also great to see our friends from Wales TUC help to finish this project by providing the much needed chicken wire to complete the fence - thanks must go to Roger Jones for leading this initiative.
Kilimahewa Chicken Farm - July 2011
Mr Massawe, and I discussed a few options for projects that would help make the school more sustainable, and we agreed the best project was to invest in setting up a chicken coup. We were able to convert a disused room into a chicken coup for 200 chickens, this would allow them to farm and sell the eggs, generating an income for the school and to feed to children eggs 1-2 times per week instead of porridge to increase their protein intake.
I received this email from Mr Massawe in January 2012 which bought a huge smile to my face !!!
" Hello Sara, The chicken have started pouring eggs like water! It is so wonderful!! Thank you so much. I have attached some photos." (3 January 2012)
Other contributions for 2011
We also contributed a small amount of money to upgrade some of the equipment at the school. This included: