Since our mid 2022 report, Mary and I visited Tanzania in September, during which time we stayed at the college in Mtandika for a couple of days. As our 2020 visit had been cancelled due to Covid, this was our first visit since 2018 and Sister Barberina’s tragic death in 2019. It was good to meet the new Principal, Sister Damiana Kikoti and Bursar, Sister Restituta Msemwa for the first time, as well as Vice Principal Shabani Bilaly, who teaches Electrical Engineering and Engineering Science, Peter Madeba, who teaches English and Communications, Technical Drawing and Life Skills, Yohana Mtagawa, who teaches Computer Studies and Mathematics and Sylvia Mfalamagoha, who teaches Tailoring, Business Studies and Entrepreneurship.
As well as having a good look around the buildings and surrounding land, we had a detailed meeting with the two Sisters and Vice Principal (Shabani) regarding the college’s immediate needs, as well as meeting with the students.
The immediate needs at the college, totalling TSh 10,000,000, or some £4,000, were :
- Water supply – completion of re-plastering of the main water tank; purchase of a new solar pump used to fill the main tank; maintenance of the diesel pump and purchase of replacement pipes used for irrigating the shambas (fields)
- Electricity – purchase of batteries used to store electricity from solar panels used in lighting of dormitories and classrooms
- Animal sheds – maintenance/enlargement of pig house; provision of better chicken yard/sheds; provision of better rabbit shed.
The students have continued to assist in the production of crops and in November prepared the shambas prior to sowing. The rains seem to have started as I am writing, so sowing will now start.
Unfortunately over the last few weeks reports have been received of elephant damage at night to trees and crops around the site. Luckily no harm has come to personnel in the college.
In late November we sent £500, TSh 1,250,000 :
- TSh 800,000 for the solar pump
- TSh 450,000 for three solar batteries.
Prior to the practical exams in early December, we also sent £420, about TSh 1,050,000, being TSh 250,000 for the repair of four sewing machines and TSh 800,000 for electrical materials and tools.
The college is now an approved VETA examination centre and at the beginning of November VETA visited the site to check the accommodation where Supervisors and outside students, would be staying, as well as the examination rooms where students would take their theory and practical exams. The Supervisors and attendant security personnel arrived for the exams in mid - December.
Fundraising has continued from cake and jam sales in October and December, as well as continued generous support from TWOAT (Tadworth & Walton Overseas Aid Trust). In addition we held our first post Covid Quiz in November. Whilst we reduced the number of tables slightly, to make it feel less crowded, we still had about 90 participants and raised over £2,000, a wonderful total. This will enable us to send more money out in the New Year for the other essential needs mentioned above.
Many thanks to all our sponsors for their continued generous support. Without you we couldn’t continue.
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
Mary and Michael