small foundation with a big impact

visit report April 2012

Short after their last visit, Jan Priester and Matti Emondts were back in Tanzania in April to visit our projects. Two subjects were important during this visit: the progress of the budget management and further orientation on the new secondary school. Now that Mathew, our book keeper, is switched to the accountings program Quickbooks, Jan and Matti could easily go through the results of the last three months together with Marion. All budgets and costs until half of April were imported in the system, through which we could get good insights in the actual expenses versus the budget. Not only can we now monitor the costs better, we have also increased our budget awareness. We expect that this will eventually lead to lower costs. It appeared that, with exception of the maintenance costs for the cars, we did not have special deviations of our budget this year. The road from the high way to the Ngorika project is in such a way bad that the cars have a very hard time! The situation did not improve during this visit. The daily rain (varying from drizzle to showers) flushes most of the sand, and only rocks stay behind. On the other hand, all our water thanks are filled with water for free, and our corn grows very fast! 

Jan and Matti visited two schools: St Jude, which gives free education to the smartest children of the very poorest. This project, mainly managed by Australians, has a nice concept – but according to our ideas it is very big and way too luxurious.  After that they visited Braeburn Academy, a private and commercial school. A nice concept, with just like us no ‘intelligence sellection’ at the gate, the level of education is good, but they ask extreme high school fees ($ 7.000 - $ 12.000 dollar per year per child)! Although it is not completely in line with our concept, we have got many new ideas and input from this visit that appeared to be very useful during the brainstorm sessions that we had with Marion, Edward (head of the school) and Walther (social worker). The Imbaseni project is making progress slowly: the pipes have been buried on the right depth, but we are still looking for the blocked pipes and we are working on the right way to control the power and pump. Fortunately we can now rely on full tanks with rainwater. Walther would manage the hopefully last bumps in the water system, together with a group of six men. A couple of hours before we flew back to the Netherlands, Walther let us know that they checked all the pipes. Instead of a blockage they (fortunately) found large air bubbles that blocked the pipes! After letting out the air, the water sprouted out of the pipes. Turned out that a farmer went a bit too deep while ploughing his land. With the consequence that we watered the land of our neighbours, but at Ngorika we still have nothing! So, the story continues… but on the bright side: this is the first time that we came this far! The last two days have been spent on discussing all running matters with the employees and management, and Matti and Jan visited two other secondary schools. The first outlines for the new school have been given to two architects. Based on the drawings that will result from that, we can calculate the costs of construction. With Joyce Sagala (Arumeru Women Support Group), we discussed the finishing of our contribution to her projects the upcoming three years. We will need al financial needs more than ever for our own projects. Luckily Joyce understands that and we will give her all the tips and advice to find new sponsors for her group. We look back on a successful and inspiring visit in a wet Arusha! 
Matti Emondts, Aerdenhout,  April 28, 2012
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