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  • Writer's pictureSteve Whitehouse

My Trip to Africa June 2023

Just 16 months ago I first visited Kogaja, a village in northwest Tanzania in East Africa. That 21-day trip was really life changing for me in many ways. I experienced a new kind of poverty first-hand. Not inter-generational poverty, but national poverty. I experienced people living without clean water, without education, without medical care, and with very little food.

About six weeks ago, I returned to Tanzania to visit my friend Jerald Malamba and the village of Kogaja. It was so wonderful to see him and his family who have become beloved friends and the school building we have built and the water project we have completed!

The villagers now have access to clean water and the children have a new school building, an incredible change from last February, 2022.

What was more amazing was to visit with so many people whose lives have been touched by these projects. My life has been touched also and changed by the experiences I had there, especially by the children and families who are part of the school and the Africompassion Women, a group of women who work together on some self-reliance projects we sponsor.

We met with the children and many community members, including village leaders and the Africompassion Women’s group to celebrate the school. My heart was touched as I met the children in the school and reflected on the change this building will bring to their lives. It was heart-warming to experience their singing and clapping and excitement and see their beautiful faces.

The women prepared a feast from a cow donated by Jerald. Afterwards village leaders shared their expressions of gratitude for the school and well. I felt a new spirit of hope and encouragement in the village. I felt a lot of personal joy to see how the lives of the villagers and children have changed.

The school construction of the first three classrooms is essentially complete. The last items to finish were delayed a little including installing the drainpipes to the septic system and the classroom windows.

We are really just beginning with this project! With the completion of construction, we will now focus on implementing a great education for the children there. The only option they have is a local public school with 100 students per classroom and very poor facilities and few resources. Often, families cannot afford the school uniforms, school supplies or school fees for the public school.

Our school will welcome all children, beginning with the poorest children, and asking families to pay only what they are able, either through fees or donated labor. The school will use an English immersion program. We will also teach the national language of Swahili as well. This will prepare them for high school which requires an entrance exam in English. In addition, we will implement a solid program of math, science and other core academic subjects that will prepare them with the education they need to escape the cycle of poverty in the village.

We are now focused as a team on raising money for desks and books and teachers' pay to operate the school. Additionally, we have set a goal to continue our building efforts and to add 3 more classrooms in 2024 to host grades 1, 2, and 3. Our progress has only been possible thanks to the support we have received from many individuals. We need continued help to keep progressing.

Would you please help us by funding a desk and books for one child at $50, or sponsor a child’s education at $30 per month? Or if are able, contribute a larger donation to our construction fund? If you have already helped us, thank you and please remember us in your ongoing giving plans!!

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