small foundation with a big impact

visit report October 2014

At the end of October, a large delegation consisting of chairman Matti Emondts, new board members Marjolein, Ruud and Maria, and two major donors who visit the project every virtually year, travelled to Tanzania. The main purpose of the visit was to discuss the annual budget. For the new board members, it was an intense experience, and their first opportunity to get acquainted with the local team and to exchange ideas about fund raising in the Netherlands and Tanzania.

The visit began on Monday with trips to the secondary schools where our students are continuing their education, or may do so in the future. We started at Tengeru Vocational Training Centre, and the adjacent Tengeru Boys School, and then continued on to Deluti Secondary School. We also paid a visit to Henry Gogarty Memorial School, which is supervised by nuns. During the visits, we all formed the impression that these are well-run schools. The choice of a secondary school for students is however entirely dependent on their own school results.

Our programme for the following day included a visit to Ngorika, where we were met by our managing director Edward. We particularly enjoyed our visit to all of the classes; we were greeted with curiosity and excitement in the lower forms and were impressed with the level of concentration on the part of the upper form students. There was cause for hilarity as well. Introducing himself, Ruud, who wanted to tell the children that his name was easy to pronounce, said “my name is very simple”. A girl quickly responded by saying “hello Very Simple!”

The new board members were impressed with how well organized the school is, and how cheerful everything looks. During our visit two German volunteers were playing football with some of Ngorika’s youngest residents. Before continuing on to Kikatiti we stopped by Lerai, the area where the vegetable garden and sports field are located. Kikatiti also left a lasting impression: the discipline, the colours, the cheerfulness. The children look healthy, and that is in large part due to their greatly improved diet (more fruits and vegetables). The irrigation system is still not up to par, and a lot of soil is washed away during heavy rains. Also, the roof is in need of repair due to the poor quality of the  work that was previously carried out. Nolarip, the head of Kikatiti, is doing an outstanding job. In the afternoon we listened to presentations by the teachers, including George, the very enthusiastic new sports teacher.

Wednesday was the big day for budget discussions. We were impressed with how well-prepared everyone was, especially our bookkeeper Matthew, who works under Edward’s supervision. The team had a well-founded answer to all of the questions posed by the board.

On Thursday we visited two projects in the neighbouring area, which are operated by Dutch volunteers: the Watoto Foundation for former street children, and Sibusiso, which shelters mentally handicapped children and their carers. The visit finished with presentations by various teachers regarding their work over the past year, and was attended by our board and two German colleagues from the Good Hope centre. The session closed with a round of applause for all of the staff at Ngorika and Kikatiti. Their enthusiasm and commitment to the future success of these children deserve our respect.

Maria Lauret, 3 November 2014
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