In early February of 2010, a tour group of alumni from Yale University visited the school and were touched by the students and staff of Kibaoni. Before boarding planes to travel back to the United States, they emailed the foundation asking what they could do as a group to help.
After several planning sessions with the staff and Parent Committee of the Kibaoni Primary School, it was determined that the building of a combination kitchen/dining hall would allow the school to take advantage of a World Food Organization program that would provide all 788 students with a second meal each school day.
Some Kibaoni parents have been donating grain for the past year that has allowed the school to feed a hot lunch to all 788 students on a daily basis.
So, the Yale group collected over $9,100 and one of their generous members funded the final $10,000 and in early July the project funds were sent to Kibaoni and the project is underway.
At the same time, another previous donor gave the foundation a gift of $10,000 to honor her recently deceased aunt and uncle. Part of those funds were added to monies already collected to build a much needed water reserve tank. Water is precious in Tanzania and this storage tank will allow the school to always have a necessary supply of water.
The balance of her gift will be used to begin funding the installation of solar panels at the school. The Tanzanian government has offered the Kibaoni Primary School two or three desk top computers and a course to teach the staff and students how to use computers and the internet. This will allow the students of Kibaoni a look at the world outside of their small village and give them a real look at the world as we know it.
We recently received the cost estimate for the solar panels and the installation of an internet connection. The Board of Directors has decided to phase in the project – starting with 2 solar panels. The initial cost will be about $13,500, so we are looking for donors who wish to contribute to this most meaningful project. We need to collect an additional $6,200 to begin the project.
To complete the installation of solar panels and wiring for all 6 permanent classrooms and the school’s library plus necessary batteries, inverters and wiring the foundation will need to collect a total of $28,440. But, what a wonderful gift it would make!!
During the February 2008 visit to Kibaoni Primary School, it was noted that the school had no electricity and no running water, but more importantly the school only had one, very small and outdated latrine.
During the transition stage to forming our own foundation, communications with Madam Mzava made it clear that getting running water to the school would be priority project number one.
By combining the nearly $500 left by the tour group in February, with an additional $250 donation after our return to the United States, Madam Mzava was able to finally get a water spigot installed for the children of Kibaoni Primary School. Getting the vital water spigot installed proved to be a very good start for the foundation.
Following additional discussions with Madam Mzava, it was determined that the building of a new latrine would be the next priority project.
Once Madam Mzava provided a cost estimate for the project and our fund raising reached $7,500, we approved spending the money. On December 12, 2008, the first installment was sent to Kibaoni. The work on the 14-stall latrine began the week of December 18th when the construction team began to map the location. The structure measures twenty-seven feet by ten feet and all the back-breaking work was done by hand. Large stones were carried to the site for use in building the foundation. Work on the latrine was completed in early November 2009 and is now being used by the Kibaoni female students.
In the Fall of 2009, Palatine High School, part of northwest suburban Chicago’s District 211, agreed to become the first sister school to the Kibaoni Primary School. A student leadership program, under the direction of Mr. Heath McFaul, took the lead in the program. During a Palatine High School community outreach dinner, money was first collected to sponsor a Kibaoni Primary School graduate, Emanuel Lelo as he pursued his educational dream in Tanzania.
The balance of the $1,200 needed to provide Emanuel with his first year’s tuition was collected following Palatine High School’s “Holiday Concert” in early December. Palatine’s Music Department, under the direction of Ms. Raeleen Horn gave the foundation an opportunity to present the concert attendees a brief glimps at the difficult lives lead by the students of the Kibaoni Primary School.
The Kibaoni Primary School Foundation wishes to “Thank” Dr. Nancy Robb, Superintendent of District 211 and Mr. Gary Steiger, Principal of Palatine High School for their support of this sister school program.
I am thrilled to report that all of the repairs and upgrades to the dininghall have been completed on time and on budget. The KPSF board feels strongly that the succesful compleetion of this project will significantly extend the useful life of the dining hall.