August 2019
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Newsletter March 2019

Issue 35March2019

We have a new sponsored child who will need some extra support as she suffers from arthritis. We are currently trying to source lightweight crutches here in the UK since none of our Physiotherapist contacts in Dar es Salaam have any in stock.

Update on Secondary School April 2019


The first two classrooms above are almost finished and have been fitted with aluminium sliding windows and electricity has been installed. The Form One children are currently registered at the nearby Secondary School where they are taught by our teachers. Once these first two classrooms are complete along with a science laboratory we can begin the registration process for our school. There will be a further two classrooms needed so the children can complete four years of Secondary and sit their leaving certificate exams.


The current funding applications and fundraising events this year are to complete the laboratory building the shell of which is currently at gable height and we also need to equip the laboratory and install water and gas. Our project manager is trying to find a firm who can do this work locally but it seems no-one can – so he is looking for a firm in Dar es Salaam who does this kind of work.

Meantime we are taking part in the Dundee Kilt walk and are looking for individuals to walk with us or to sponsor one of our team members. We have people walking each of the different length of walk and the link below should take you to the page for the Tartan Twiga team who are doing the big Stroll if you would like to sponsor. We also benefit from the generosity of the Tom Hunter Foundation which adds 40% to all donations.

Newsletter November 2018

Issue 34November2018

First Graduation Ceremony at NMSE


This was a special year for the NMSE school, marked by the first cohort of students completing their Primary School Education. There was a great deal of creative planning put in ahead of the Graduation Ceremony, which benefitted from enthusiastic teamwork by the management, teachers and workers.

Covered seating areas were constructed from bamboo poles stretched with blue tarpaulin – to shield guests from the sun. The route to these seated areas was through archways decorated with banana leaves and Bougainvillea.

The families of standard 7 students were all invited to attend along with representatives from Ruvuma Development Aid, HOJA and COCO and previous members of teaching staff. The event itself was colourful and exciting, with fabulous student participation and mercifully short speeches.


There were amazing young acrobats from HOJA, comics with painted faces and big cushion-filled bellies, actors, traditional dancers and drummers and a slightly scary masked man teetering along on very tall stilts – all creating a carnival atmosphere. Children from every class in the school from nursery upwards took part; they were singing, dancing or giving science talks to demonstrate the function of a microscope or the structure of a flower.  The teachers and workers joined in the celebration participating in a traditional dance routine with the students.


All the staff, both teachers and workers, were dressed in outfits of the same bright yellow material but each made up in very individual styles. The graduating students were presented with smart enamel badges of the school logo and printed certificates to mark their completion of Primary School.


After the performances were over the teachers and workers had prepared a delicious feast of chicken, goat, rice and water melon for all the visitors to round off a very joyful day which will be remembered for a long time.

There are many more photos and videos posted on our Facebook page

Charity Art Fair

We are holding a charity Art Fair and Pop up shop at the University of Dundee Botanic Gardens opening on Tuesday 22nd May- 27th May. Please come and support the building and equipping of the first Secondary School classroom at the Ntimbanjayo Memorial School of Excellence. We hope to have the classroom ready for the present standard 7 students to progress to at the start of the new school year in January. Please support in person or online using the flickr link below to view the work and then contacting Louise at to place a bid. Bidding will stop on Sunday 27th when successful bidders will be notified.



Harkess Claire 'Bee-Eaters'

Issue 32 April 2018

The Vegetable Garden

The Vegetable Garden

NewsletterApril 2017 Edited

Issue 31 Jan 2018

Issue 31 Jan 2018

New Term

The children of standard 4 have achieved excellent results in the recent National exams and as a result the NMSE school has come out top of league in the Songea region. This shows us that standards are being improved and maintained at the school over the past three years. While exam results are only one measure of success, they are a clear reflection of the hard work of teachers and students. These strong results will encourage parents to send their children to the Ntimbanjayo Memorial School where all the children this year had either an average A or B grade over all their subjects.DSC00572

Christmas Holiday


The children have completed their end of year exams and will return to their villages at the end of the week. We have written to sponsors to explain why it is unfortunately necessary to raise their donations for January 2018 and the new school year.

We are facing two challenges, firstly the poor exchange rate on the pound since the Brexit vote over a year ago and the school fees which have been raised to 1,150,000 Tanzanian shillings per year. This means that sponsors will now pay £32.50 per month and RUDA will use gift aid claimed on these donations to buy new school uniforms each year. Last year we had to divert £2,650 from construction fees to buy uniforms and this year we asked for help from sponsors. The new sponsor rate will cover the cost of the fees and RUDA will use income from gift aid to buy uniforms in future.

Meanwhile we are looking for a sponsor for a boy in standard seven whose sponsor after seven years of supporting him, has dropped out. Please contact Louise on if you would like to sponsor him for his final year at Primary School and on to four years at secondary in 2019. Louise will be able to send you photos and information about the boy who is doing very well and is so happy at the school he has attended since nursery with his friends.

Anne’s Memorial Garden

During the first week at Namanditi Louise walked around the school with Ntimba looking for the best place to make a garden for Anne. They chose a quiet area beyond the vegetable garden with three mature shade-giving trees. Ntimba said he often sat under the trees when he needed time to think and it has lovely views of the hills. It is quite a large area but the plan is to develop it gradually and to begin the planting nearer to the rainy season which starts in November.


The first stage was to establish the hard landscaping; laying the paths and building the round house as well as creating circular seating patio areas around two of the mature trees. A hedge of Moringa will be planted around the perimeter but kept low so visitors can still enjoy the view of the hills. Although it is near the school it is a remarkably quiet and peaceful spot. The attached photos give some idea of the layout but the round house had still to get its grass roof trimmed.


A large, strong metal arch has been built and positioned at the entrance to the garden.  Once the fence is in place, the garden will be reached by walking first through the vegetable garden and then through the archway into Anne’s Garden. The existing garden areas around the school have never looked better and we are confident that the gardener, Ibrahimu, will make a good job of the planting out of flowers, medicinal plants, shrubs and trees. The planting will be undertaken by the children, later this year, supervised by the school gardener, Ibrahim.  Some of the standard six boys enjoying the new benches. The funds for the garden were donated by Scottish Potters for Anne who was a keen gardener as well as a sponsor and supporter of Ntimbanjayo School.