small foundation with a big impact

visit report November 2012

Jan Priester and Matti Emondts went on a working visit to Tanzania on 29 October. The Lunenburg family accompanied them for a couple of days together with friends. It was their second time visiting our projects. Board members of Good Hope were also present, together with a sponsoring party.

The annual NGO meetings took place on 31 October, where various managers gave a presentation on the past year and their plans for 2013. It’s amazing to see how professional their approach has become.
The annual budget plans were also on the agenda during their working visit. This meant long days filled with meetings together with Marion and the management team. Even though the budgets were prepared really well, it took a lot of time to go over everything in detail. The most important issues were:
- How can we manage the annual costs? Inflation costs only already add up to 18% in Tanzania.
- How can we improve professionalization of the organization?
For example, issues such as intensifying the contact between the children and their families, and improving the educational curriculum and infrastructure. How can we become less dependent on funding? For example, by cultivating our own fruits and vegetables and generating income from the school, etc. The financial contradictions of the abovementioned issues did not make it an easy discussion. After having made an inventory of all the wishes and possibilities with the management team, we are now able to put the calculations through. We will settle on a final budget once we have the results of the calculations and after having passed everything by our German partner Good Hope.

We now have a quality plan that can considerably improve the performance of our organization and the current educational programme. However, it is important for SVVT and Good Hope to consider the impact of it all, including and especially the impact of the possible increase of operational planning costs regarding any further education of our children. Meanwhile, a few long-term sponsoring parties have also been involved in these discussions to receive as much input as possible.
Another important item of our visit was to analyse the quality of the kitchens and the food and to see if there were any improvements. Our aim was to increase the nutritional value and variety of meals on one hand, and increase efficiency of cooking on the other. Kees Bakker, who is a friend of the organization, went along on our visit especially for this part. Kees spent many hours with the kitchen staff in the kitchen and has given them a number of points of improvement. He will write down a few others issues when he is at home, so that we will be able to improve them.
To end this report on a positive note, here is some good news about the water: the Imbaseni project finally fills up our tank. A milestone after 6 years! The water system works, with a little help of a prepaid card to once in a while activate the power of the water pump. In addition, a Water Committee has been established in the village to collect money for the use of water. We can then use this money to pay for electricity and any possible repairs. In combination with the successful borehole at Lerai, this means that we now have controlled our water problems. Once we have invested in pipes to lead the water from the borehole in Lerai towards Ngorika, we will be able to save more money in operational costs, because we do not have to organize for water tanks to come over anymore.
Matti Emondts, Ngorika, 7 November 2012
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