Big changes and big opportunities at the primary school
A Thinking Generation is donating time and effort to make a difference for our young people.
You can help too!
Dear friends of Kibidula,
Last year we were very blessed to have Joshua White of A Thinking Generation come to Kibidula to help us, as we are seeking to give our students at each of our schools the very best that we can offer. By God's grace, Joshua has come back by invitation to help our schools put into practice many of the timeless (biblical) principles that his ministry promotes. As he is working and planning with the teachers, many needs have surfaced. I asked him to share with us what those needs are. Please read the following message from our friend Joshua White.
Greetings from beautiful Kibidula! I hope this message finds you well. I must apologize for my delinquency in sending updates about the work here. Since arriving I have been very busy, not to mention rather spotty internet connection.
For those of you who are not familiar with the school here, let me introduce you. The primary school here at Kibidula is officially called the Iva Werner Primary School. It consists of 7 full-time teachers, a head teacher (principal), and some long and short-term volunteers. There are about 145 students, ranging from Kindergarten to grade 7.
Here in Tanzania it is required that parents send their child to primary school by age 6. Obviously God’s original ideal for education is within the home, but this ideal is not an option here in Tanzania. So we must go with the plan B that the Lord has given us. Thankfully we have a vast amount of counsel and direction as to how our schools should be operated. It is the goal of the administration of the school to follow God’s methods of true education here at this school, no matter the cost. Yes, there are government directives we must deal with in this world, but our highest goal is to prepare the students, not for this world, but for the next. Many of the students here come from non-Christian homes, some are orphan or from single-parent homes, some from very poor homes, but, no matter the student’s background, our ultimate goal is the salvation of each child. For this we are striving.
The Lord has been blessing the work here at the primary school in marvelous ways. Many good changes and better methods are being implemented. Schedules have changed to include time for agriculture. We’ve added afternoon teacher-training meetings, which have been a significant help in implementing new and better ways. There is much still to be done, but we are moving forward as quickly as possible. Of course, the devil is not happy with the changes being made and has thrown many obstacles in our path. Please keep this school in your prayers.
One of the first goals here was to implement an agriculture program here at the school. We have clear counsel that this a key component of true education. We plowed up new ground for school gardens, with plans for each class to have a garden of their own. School lunches are very poor here (corn and beans most of the time), so home-grown vegetables will greatly improve the quality of the meals. Additional produce can be taken home by the students, or sold for some income. We adapted the schedule to allow for one hour every day in agriculture. As this time comes mid-day, it is a welcome break from classes and the children have been enjoying this time immensely! And of course their minds are refreshed as they work hard in the fresh air.
Another goal of the agriculture program is for the school to become self-sustaining. Currently the school is a heavy financial burden on Kibidula, from teacher salaries and school lunch. We are working on putting avocados in, which can be sold for a significant profit once they are in production. Another cash crop is lemons, and another is wheat.
I’d like to continue with regular updates about the work here, with more details (and hopefully some photos), in the future. For this I shall try. And it shall not be my custom to turn the topic to finances in every email. But it is something that we are dealing with, and I would like to present some needs of this school, with the hope that the Lord will lay it on your heart to help if you are able. And right now we have an amazing opportunity – someone has agreed to match up to $5,000 in donations! That means your $100 becomes $200, your $1000 becomes $2000, your $5000 becomes $10000! Permit me to share some of the financial needs:
Tools for agriculture:
- Hoes. A hoe is an essential tool for gardening and farming here. Many of the students don't have them so we'd like to get some for the school. They cost about $2.50 each. The school has 145 students. If we could get at least 50 to get started these can be supplemented by the ones the students already have.
- 40-50 buckets for watering. These cost about $1.50 each.
- 10 larger buckets - $2.75 each.
- 16 watering cans (2 for each class) - $5.00 each.
- 8 shovels (1 for each class) - $4.00 each
Misc. items like tape measures, rope, etc. - $50
During the dry season here in Tanzania, wells are critical to keeping the garden alive. Kibidula has decided to move forward with digging them (by hand!) for the new garden areas, but they do cost money. Approximately $2,500 for the digging and hand pumps.
Most students do not have Bibles. These can be purchased for about $6.40 each.
Vocational skills building:
There is a big opportunity to teach these kids many practical skills like sewing and carpentry - skills that can really help them in life here - but we have no way to do that right now. They actually have sewing machines stacked in the corner of a classroom, but nowhere to use them. We are counseled "let workshops be constructed" as part of including manual labor in our schools. We have teachers who can teach these things, but no "workshop".
Right now we have available to us the frames for a structure 21x80 feet. The frames are paid for. What we need now is the brick, concrete, and doors and windows. This will cost a total of $8,000 - cheap by US standards. Right now the frames are sitting and waiting. If we had the money we could start construction tomorrow. We want to follow the counsel, but have no money to do it.
This school is most certainly a worthy cause to donate to, as it is leading children in the way of salvation, but still it is a major objective to not be dependent on outside financial support. We would like this school to be self-sustaining. Short-term, this means having the students grow more vegetables and other food. Long-term, this means cash crops and other industries. Our first goal is avocados and lemons. These can both be sold for profit and can significantly help the school. I don’t have exact figures for this, but perhaps a couple of hundred dollars for this to get off the ground. Wheat is another crop that can generate significant income, but this takes more investment in terms of some machinery to harvest the crop.
There is no form of transportation at the school. This is not usually a problem, except when one considers how spread-out things are here. Kibidula is a large place and very spread out, so it can take an hour just to walk to another part of campus. We’d like to include the students in various places around campus to give them more practical forms of education – like helping at the mechanic shop, the print shop, the office, the avocado farm, the wellness center, building a house, etc. The problem is, if it takes an hour to walk one-way, that’s 2 hours of the day spent just getting where you’re going! Also, the principal is often called into town (about an hour away) for various legal matters or school-related meetings. Often he is called last-minute and does not have time to arrange transportation other than hiring a bus or motorcycle. Some form of transport here at the school would be a huge blessing. We're thinking at least a motorcycle would be good. This can be purchased for $1,000 and can carry three people. Of course, we'd love to get something bigger than a motorcycle, but we're not sure how high to get our hopes :)
To donate, there are a couple of options.
- If you need your donation to be tax-deductible, you can go through OCI: http://www.outpostcenters.org/donate/ Specify the funds for Kibidula Primary School. A fee of 1.5% is taken out for OCI operations, along with a fee if credit card is used.
- If you do not need a tax-deductible receipt, you may send the money directly via check or PayPal. This option has no fees and every penny will be used directly toward the projects listed above.
- For PayPal, send to firstname.lastname@example.org . Use the “send money to friends and family” option, and if you have the money come out of your bank account or PayPal balance, there are no fees charged.
- For check, please make the check to A Thinking Generation and mail to P.O. Box 273 Lakeview, MI 48850. (IF you use the check option, please let me know that you are sending it so that I can have the person handling my mail take care of it for me. Thank you.)
Rest assured that even though the money is coming through A Thinking Generation, every cent will go directly to the school here.
Even a small gift can make a big difference. Just think, $25 can buy 10 hoes!
Thank you for considering contributing to this worthy project, and remember that your contribution will be matched. Consider the eternal import of this endeavor. You may see these children in heaven someday!!
The students and teachers have just finished planting a new avocado seedling by their lovely corn crops. The education theses young people are getting, both inside and outside the classroom, will be a blessing to them for all time! Thank you for being part of this.