It has been about 20 months since I became involved with Jerald Malamba and Africompassion Organization NGO Tanzania. It is hard to believe that in the short space of time since October 2021 when we started Africompassion USA that so much has happened and so much has been accomplished!
I am leaving on June 14 for 20 days for my second trip to Tanzania. My first trip which lasted 21 days was in February- March 2022. At that time, I and the other new Africompassion USA board members had dreams and desire and hope to learn and to try and help as yet unknown orphans, impoverished children and villagers in a remote village, half-way around the world. We had very little money to help Jerald’s Africompassion Academy, now newly named the Africompassion School for Hope.
At the time of that trip, the 82 children who attended Africompassion Academy had lost the rented school building used for the prior 15 months and were now relegated to meeting outdoors in an open-air unfinished house. Some had been loaned temporary space by the local public school which had an available room and took pity on them. These children’s guardians or parents are not able to pay school fees or buy uniforms for them to attend school. All of the children have been left outdoors for the past six months as the loaned space had to be reclaimed in January.
As an organization, we decided to pursue the construction of a building on land previously acquired by Africompassion at a very low price with the hopes of a future permanent school. We realized it would take a lot of effort and miracles to raise the required funds. We didn’t really have any options, there were no other buildings in the village that could hold school for this many children.
As we investigated the process of building a school, we felt strongly as a board that we should focus our efforts on providing clean water for the children and the village to help them improve their health and as a step towards eliminating poverty. Since then, we have helped the children, school and village go from unreliable, filthy, contaminated water sources to a reliable, constant source of clean water with the 450 foot deep well, and 2600-gallon water station completed on the school site at the edge of the village.
Tears came to my eyes as I watched the video of the clean water coming from the water faucets sent to me by my friend Jerald. I had seen the women and children fetching water from the dirty water holes and realized that life was too busy for them to boil the water before using it. I was over-joyed and still rejoice to think that the contributions of many good people to Africompassion have allowed us to complete this wonderful project that will bless the lives of the roughly 1000 villagers and children in Kogaja.
We started raising funds for the well project in March 2022 after my return to the US and completed the project in early September 2022! This project included installing an electric transformer for the school site and well pump which we were able miraculously to have installed within four weeks of hiring the contractor! It usually takes 9 to 12 months in Tanzania for installation of a transformer. (See https://bit.ly/afcowater for a video of the project.)
Now, as I prepare for my upcoming trip, I am excited to be able to greet these 82 children and soon to be more (up to 120) in a new school building that has come after many miracles and donations from generous hearts of friends, strangers, and acquaintances here in Utah and the US. I remember greeting the children in the open-air unfinished building on my last trip. My heart was moved deeply as I looked into their beautiful, happy faces. It was an unforgettable moment for me.
We had optimistically taken a rough survey of the land and even had a ground-breaking ceremony although we had no money and little idea of how to go about raising the funds needed for the construction of the school. But God provided us a building designer, a builder, and sufficient funds to build the building!
I and my fellow Africompassion board members are so grateful for all the support we have received during since the well project was completed (and before!)! In just 9 months we have been able to raise the funds needed and complete construction on the about 4,000 square foot, three classroom building for the Africompassion School for Hope!
I am excited to be able to see Jerald Malamba and his family and greet the children and friends in the village of Kogaja. We will be making plans to organize instruction in the new building and making plans for future growth of the school and additional water projects in the area. We are now focused as a team on raising money for desks and books and teachers pay to operate the school. If you would like to help us by funding a desk and books for one child at $50, or sponsor a child at $30 per month or do more if you are able, please reach out. If you have already helped us, thank you!!
Venmo: @africompassion https://africompassion.org/donate