After a 12 hour bus ride where we got trapped at the border for 2 hours with no visas and money, we have made it safely to Moshi, Tanzania. Yesterday myself, Lucia Crenshaw Mama Hope’s Program Coordinator and Bryce Adolphson, our photographer met with James Nathaniel the founder of Tanzanian Children Concern and visited the site where St. Timothy’s school is going to be built. Throughout the day we met with the architect, and the local officials who will be overseeing the project. They told us that they had purchased this land for the school in 2005 and they had all but given up hope that the school would ever be built.
The site of the school is in the center of six villages and will serve a community of 30,000 people when completed. It is a beautiful plot of land about 5 miles from Moshi at the base of Kilimanjaro, surrounded by sunflower fields and enormous baobab trees. During the committee meetings Mama Hope’s team stood back and let the community officials run the show trusting that they would know best what was needed to initiate the construction. Because of this approach by the end of the day they had decided all labor and the construction of the bricks would come from the communities themselves. That they would simply tap into the city water instead of dig an expensive well and that they didn’t need to put up power lines to get electricity that they could just share the lines of a neighboring building and share the costs. In the end these creative solutions are going to save them thousands of dollars and make the school a truly sustainable project. We were very excited about these conclusions because we know we would have never learned about them if we insisted on leading the project. They are true examples of how incredibly resourceful the communities are when you leave the planning and implementation of the project in their hands.
That’s all from the field for now!
Yours in hope,
To learn more about St. Timothy’s School project: Click Here