anchored in the Tanzanian community


The text below is integrally taken from the Annual Report 2017. The full report, including financial reporting and related notes can be downloaded, is not yet ready for publication.

Report of the Board
Looking back at 2017, we can say that Happy Watoto has had an excellent year without significant problems. The financial targets for 2017 have been realized and no major budget overruns have occurred under the watchful eye of treasurer Fred Arp. The board changes have also gone smoothly on 1 January 2018. All places in the schools and in the houses were occupied and the children have developed well. The appointment of a two-person leadership team on the initiative of ex-chairman Dick Molman seems to be a good decision with regard to phase 1 and 2. Nevertheless, improvements in phase 3 are desirable and we have greater ambitions for phase 4. Whether de current project leaders can handle that, remains to be seen in the coming 1-2 years. You can read more about this under the relevant phases and prospects.
Board and Advisory Board
The board consisted of six members for most of the year. It was known that two members would resign from office on December 31st. For retiring chairman Dick Molman, we have found a good successor with Paul Nielen. Paul had been involved with the foundation as a sponsor for some time and after a visit to the project in Tanzania during 2017 he immediately agreed to take over the role from January 1, 2018.

Outgoing board member Matti Emondts cannot be replaced. Matti's efforts over the last 12 years have been enormous. However, with the organizational and financial basis he has laid, we are confidently continuing with five directors.

The board officially met five times in 2017 and has been on location four times in varying composition. In October, the annual NGO annual meeting also took place there.

The Advisory Board met once in 2017. In addition, the members were individually involved, advising on their field of expertise, and three of them travelled to Tanzania to make a contribution on location. We experience their input as particularly valuable. It hugely contributes to improving the quality of education and the care we provide.
The team on location
We have a team of 56 Tanzanian employees on location, managed by a five-man management team (MT) led by a two-person leadership team. The duo-leadership of Nolarip Ngungat and Mathew Karau worked well last year. Due to both having limited management experience, Marion Hasselaar (a former project director who has been running her own IBES foundation since 2014) has been available to coach them.
At the beginning of 2017 Wim Smit (Advisory board member) organised another training week on location for the MT. The main goal of this annual session is to coach the management team with the increasing responsibilities and motivate them in their leadership development. Wim's commitment is highly valued by the MT and the effect is visible.
The contract with board advisor Marjolein de Rooy, who settled in Tanzania with her family in 2015, ended after the agreed term of two years. Marjolein is still an important ambassador from her Good Safari business (lodge & safari), including the guided tours she provides for (potential) donors. Her involvement and efforts remain important to us.

Kikatiti (phase 1)
At Kikatiti, our kindergarten and shelter for children aged 3-6 years, has been running particularly well under the guidance of Martha Jonathan. In 2017, we included 14 three-year-olds from underprivileged 'families' from the environment. With the fabulous care of matrons and patrons (1 per 6 children) the children feel at home quickly. They receive Montessori pre-school education and are familiarised with the English language in a playful manner.
Board member Pete de Jager has this year conducted an eye test on all the children. This is a new procedure for our team that, partly in view of the number of HIV positive children, fortunately did not give any disturbing results. This task will be transferred to our local 'nurse' in 2018.
In Kikatiti only a few necessary repairs have been carried out. This was because of a significant renovation in Ngorika which led to marginal repairs in the case of Kikatiti. In order to meet the increasingly stringent local requirements, fundamental investments will have to be made in the facilities in the coming years.
Ngorika (phase 2)
We provide primary education at Ngorika, where we also provide a home for 7-12 year olds. In 2017 we had 98 home-children, almost all of whom have moved on from Kikatiti. The costs of the Ngorika home are fully sponsored by the German foundation Good Hope. Good Hope received a very significant donation last year to finance a significant renovation of the house under the leadership of Noud van Hout ( The house looks 'spick and span' again, which is also reflected in the living pleasure of the children.
At our Ngorika primary school we have, in addition to home-children, 174 local village children, which has created a healthy mix of backgrounds. The parents of the village children are expected to contribute to the costs of the school. In 2017, the number of full-paying children was 99, according to plan. During the school year, eight children left the school, most of them because of family reunification and only three because of 'non-payment'. The stricter payment policy introduced in 2017 is clearly bearing fruit.
The school is run with its own team of (partly academically trained) teachers under the direction of Alex Johnson. The interaction between the home carers and the teachers is improving. The personal development of each child is well monitored; problems are identified earlier and approached expeditiously. The input of Wim Smit (Advisory board member) and Nola are clearly bearing fruit.
The school scored well in 2017 with the national exams. However, we see room for improvement, certainly in the context of the strategic choice to allow full-paying neighbourhood children and our ambitions for the home children. It is our belief that with good education we can really make a difference for these children. Bedewing van Velzen, education advisor and member of the advisory board, conducted an evaluation at Ngorika in 2017 and will further roll out his improvement plans in the coming year. More interactive teaching is high on his agenda.

Secondary school (phase 3)
After Ngorika we continue to support the 'home children' by passing them on to external secondary boarding schools. Our social work team, led by Mary Kasale, follows them in their developments during this school period. In 2017 we had 44 home children in form I-IV (class 1 to 4) at 13 different schools and 'vocational centres'.

Since 2016 there is compulsory education for all children in Tanzania up to and including O-level (equivalent of 4 years of MAVO). Only after O-level can children move on to vocational education, or A- (advanced) level with which access to the university becomes possible. This longer compulsory education has major financial consequences for us. Although the majority of our children are expected to do vocational training and only a few are eligible for A-level, the children remain financially dependent on us for at least 2 years.

We consciously strive for the highest attainable level within the boundaries of the individual capacities of the children. For example, in recent years we have placed students at some of the leading private schools in the area. However, in 2017 we were confronted with the fact that children from private schools are not eligible for student finance. Although we had only one candidate for university last year, this will occur more often in the future. This requires a structural financing plan. We are considering a kind of study fund, financed by individual sponsors, to which students can or cannot claim in the form of a loan.

Apart from the choice for a private or government school, each school itself determines its admission requirements and we have no guarantee that children will actually be placed at a 'preferred school'. We must therefore expand our school spectrum on the basis of clearly formulated quality criteria so that we can place all children well. We have now experienced that this is a task that the current team (which mainly deals with phase 1 and 2) are unable to do. We will therefore have to search for reinforcement.
Final support (phase 4)
At the end of 2017 we had the first complete generation of children who took final O-level exams (9 children). We have four university candidates who now first go to A-level and for the others vocational training plans have been mapped out. To cover the months in between the education levels, we have organised temporary job or sent the children back to their relatives to help.
Expansion of the team will be necessary here too to provide the desired support to these children. We still have insufficient insight into the choices of training courses, the vocational centres with boarding facilities in the region and the costs involved. Currently,
In the kitchens of Kikatiti and Ngorika, vegetables and fruit from the Lerai kitchen are increasingly being used. The children eat healthier and are less ill with the better cooking techniques provided by Kees Bakker (Advisory board member).
For 2018 have set the goal that the Lerai garden should contribute positively to the operating costs. With professional gardeners and an irrigation system, several harvests can be obtained from the land and the surplus can be sold on the market.
Fund raising
In 2017 we were able to bind a number of major new sponsors to us. We can plan ahead for the next five years. The financial position of the foundation is healthy and gives you peace of mind. In the meantime, we are now responsible for around 350 children who receive structural training and care.
The resulting financial room gives us the space to implement phase 4 properly and to use additional manpower. We will also consider taking a maximum number of impoverished neighbourhood children after phase 2 for further education. Obviously, this has budgetary consequences and we will continue to shape all of these plans in the course of 2018. In April 2018, three members of the board in Tanzania will discuss this matter with the MT extensively.
Our foundation does not have a budget for fundraising. The board is responsible for this and bears the related costs. All donations therefore almost entirely benefit our children. This is a principle that we have followed since the foundation started and makes our foundation unique. The CBF recognition that we received in June 2017 will also facilitate this task.
We do, however, continue to strive for a larger contribution from local funding. An important source of income is allowing paying neighbourhood children to attend primary school. The proceeds from local fundraising mainly pay in kind, internship addresses and potential workplaces. Although not directly expressible in money, this is very important and something that we will continue and want to give more attention to.
Abuses at Charities
In recent months there has been a lot of negative publicity about abuses at charities. These stories are not recognised by Happy Watoto at all. The fact that we work with an extremely vulnerable target group - orphans and disadvantaged children from dislocated families - makes us alert and cautious. We use selection procedures, life rules, contact norms and protocols for our Tanzanian employees and the volunteers. An alcohol ban, increased site surveillance at night and a duty to report at the entrance gate are a few examples of measures that contribute to the safety of the children.
We work within a flat organizational structure, where open communication and addressing each other on behaviour is encouraged. And we apply a zero-tolerance policy; abuses are simply not tolerated. The children are no exception, so matrons, patrons and teachers are alert to unwanted intimacies among the children too.
In collaboration with Joyce Sagala (NGO director) we started a sexual education program in 2015 to make the children more aware and empowered. This also involves high school students: they are at least as vulnerable in puberty and miss the safety of our homes. The book of life that Margreet Brooking (Advisory board member) introduced in Kikatiti certainly also contributes to the children's awareness process.
In the coming months, the board will be directly involved in the process of ensuring further education and guidance to students will work better. The planned helpdesk, where the children can go for advice in the field of further education, scholarships, job mediation, accommodation and matters such as microcredit, should be realized in 2018. All possibilities must be well planned and contacts with authorities and the business community must be intensified. A significant task that we cannot accept with the current MT and for which we are looking for a suitable person who takes the lead in this. We therefore envisage an expansion of the team for phases 3 and 4.
With everything that takes place within our foundation, we barely pay any attention to the long term within the board. How should Happy Watoto look like in 10-15 years? The ultimate goal is a sustainable project without Western interference and financial support. Time will tell whether this is feasible in Tanzania in the long term.
Tanzania is the most stable country in the region in political and economic terms; the country has exceptional nature and with it a huge tourist industry; agricultural land is available and fertile. With the arrival of President Mugful, numerous cases (corruption, taxes, employment, education) are now being tackled energetically. With a properly functioning government and a better educated population in Tanzania, a transition will take place in the coming years where economic growth will come true. As a board, we want to think about our role in the long term in the coming year
Last but not least
Without the support of our sponsors, friendly foundations, the members of our Advisory Board, our ambassadors and a number of interested Dutch service providers, Happy Watoto would not be able to offer 350 children future prospects on an annual basis. We want to thank everyone for their contributions in the past year, and ask to continue to support us in the years that are ahead of us. Because despite optimism, there is really a lot of work to be done before we can take our hands off the project.
A sante sane, or thank-you very much
Board of Happy Watoto
April, 26 2018

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