Christmas is in the air and things are buzzing in Tanzania. Sometimes I miss snow as Dar es Salaam is hot and humid the only reprieve are fans and air conditioning. Then maybe it would not feel so surreal. All of the boys in Mwanza have been working hard at school and in the shamba, some few making top marks. Others are struggling to keep up. So this year in time for Christmas we have hired a teacher to ensure they are actually learning the English and Maths that are necessary for their future and are preparing to send new books to read. At Chez Kristo books are treasures.
We have started a partnership with SchoolAid International to help to build libraries in Tanzania schools to spread the love of learning. A full container of books has arrived and will be divided between 10 schools. Five schools in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam and 5 schools in Mwanza. Our TabLabs project faced challenges as the schools needed libraries to have a place to teach the tablets as there would not be enough yet for one per child. Building 10 libraries may be as challenging as it sounds but surely worth the effort for children to learn to read and have access to books. Education and literacy are what are most needed in Tanzania.
It will cost about $200 per ton of books to have them delivered to a school in Mwanza via train or truck.
As the books are already in Dar, it will be much less than that to deliver them to the schools in Kigamboni. We will also need to work with the schools to make bookshelves to store their treasures. When I say per TON of books, I literally mean 2,000 pounds (1,000 kg) of books. The headteachers are eagerly anticipating their delivery. These public schools receive $4 per year per child and are allocated no resources for learning materials. Yes, $4.
Rakesh from Twaweza explains the education challenge nicely in this YouTube video…
I can’t yet post photos of what our 17 little boys will get for Christmas because what they are getting can’t be wrapped. Their gifts are people and education. Plus a secret box from our friend Nilu.
We have grown and are continuing to grow. This month we hired three underemployed women to help grow food on our small farm and learn organic agriculture. The women will work daily side by side with the boys passing on their wisdom reinforcing their respect for women. While Hapnes continues to lead the farm and manage the project while Charles is away for Christmas.
This month we employed a full time teacher for those who cannot to school or are lagging and they now have a security guard, because uneducated people outside sometimes fear change. In addition, they will have a fantastic meal and hopefully get a ton of books as we focus 2016 on English, Math, and Farming.
We are a big, beautiful family only growing. Happy holidays to all and we hope you have a memorable year end. If you would like to send something for the kids or towards the library we definitely appreciate the support. Seasons blessings!