Matumaini Center Construction Begins!

12 March 2010

Matumaini Center Construction Gets Underway

Construction started this week!!  We signed the contract with the contractors on February 16.  It was a momentous occasion that was celebrated afterward in typical Tanzanian fashion – at a bar :).  We are beginning with the fencing which is slated to take 4 weeks and then will move on to the construction of the main buildings, scheduled to take 16 weeks depending on the rain.  Although we are beginning the process, we are still short about $30,000 for this first phase.  We hope you will help us gather this money as quickly as possible so we can realize our dream in 2010!

Educational Scholarships
We are thrilled to announce that Knock is providing 15 educational scholarships this year.  This is made possible through partnering with several individuals and another organization.  Six of these students are studying at a private English-medium primary school, and all have risen to the top of their classes.  Roger, Erik, and Derick from Matumaini, as well as Caroline, Edwardi and Aloyce have been awarded four-year secondary school scholarships and began January 2010.  Ernesto just started Form 2 at a private secondary school where he will have a better chance of achieving great success than he did at his previous school.  Hilda John, a neighbor to Matumaini, is attending vocational training school where she is learning to become a seamstress.  And last but not least, Elizabeth has completed her ordinary levels of secondary school and will enter into advanced levels in April 2010.  We are so excited to be offering the opportunity of education to so many hard-working and deserving students.

New Kids at Matumaini
Three weeks ago, Matumaini welcomed four new kids to the center: Salome, Angelo, Daniel, and Angela.  Salome is 14 and Romani’s older sister.  She just started secondary school.  Angelo is also 14 and starting secondary school.  He’s been an orphan almost since birth and has been shuffled through ‘the system’ for most of his life.  Daniel is 12 years old and in Class 5.  He was living with his grandmother, but they have never had a permanent place to stay.  And Angela is 5 ½ years old and the younger sister to Emma and Kelvin.  She is HIV+, inherited from her mother.  Last week was spent getting her set up at the HIV/AIDS treatment clinic at Mawenzi Hospital where she will have monthly doctor visits and medication monitoring.  She is a pistol – very talkative, smart, and funny.  It’s refreshing to see her in such high, positive spirits.

Update Corner
Mrupanga Primary School Success
The Class 7 students of Mrupanga took their end of primary school national exams in September and received their results in December.  30 of the 42 students passed the exam and Mrupanga’s pass rate was highest among all eight schools in their Ward.  They attribute much of this success to Knock’s lunch program, providing all students with one meal per day, as well as the textbooks that were provided by Sierra Canyon School.  We hope this success continues as we continue to provide them with our support.

Swimming Field Trip
“In early January I took the Matumaini kids and 15 of the neighborhood kids on a trip to Lake Challa, about an hour from Moshi along the Kenyan border.  Little did we realize Laka Challa is in a crater – it was a tremendous descent into the crater and an even bigger feat getting out!  The kids handled it like champs helping to carry even the food.  Now the mamas on the other hand said it could be their training for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro 🙂  As usual the kids took awhile to get their “bathing suits” on (aka their underwear) but once they did, it was an all day affair.  We were lucky enough to have a few floaties and tubes, which the kids used to swim independently a little.  The mamas just sat and closed their eyes.  I am so impressed with every time they come to water – they improve so much!  After our hike out of the crater we were greeted with rain and muddy roads.  Our coaster bus got stuck twice and it was a group effort to push it out of the ditch – I mean it just wouldn’t be a field trip in Tanzania without a bunch of teenagers pushing a gigantic bus out of the ditch right?!  All in all an amazing day.  See the attached folder for photos!”  ~Michelle

English Class
“I’ve been teaching English to four of the six ‘Six Mamas’ and Mama Lucy (the matron at Matumaini).  We have class three times per week and it is going well thus far.  We are focusing primarily on speaking and some days are more challenging than others.  But overall they are learning, understanding, and most importantly, happy.  Mama Godi came last week with a sentence she came up with all by herself, asking me if it was right…and it was!!  She put together some of the concepts we learned and was able to say “On Tuesdays I go to Memorial Market to buy shoes that I sell at Taveta Market.”  It is times like those when the experience is extremely rewarding.  And I love knowing that I am helping to keep their minds sharp and active.” ~Kim

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