One of our volunteers Valerie Anderson is back after a month long visit to the school. During her time she made some very good new contacts from HOJA who are partners with the COCO charity. This group are developing permaculture gardens in secondary schools and will be able to offer us advice in our plans to set up a more organic approach in our school’s vegetable gardens. We are planning to develop the gardens this year and to introduce chickens in a mobile hen coop with the help of visitors from One Solution. Five of the volunteers from last year have signed up to return this July and they are busy designing a mobile hen house as part of our permaculture peparations for the vegetable and fruit garden. With the help of HOJA we will establish a compost area too. The aim is to replenish the depleted soil of the school site through natural and sustainable methods and the chickens will be making their own contributing to this.
As always Valerie worked with the children in the classrooms too and they studied plants using the magnifying lenses and the microscope she took with her. And in addition to story telling lessons she used the lovely bright wool we collected from charity shops to teach the children how to knit. Several of the children already knew how to crochet and they taught the others how to do it and it became something of a craze. We are already collecting wool and crochet hooks to take for our next visit to the school later this year.
Valerie also oraganised some sporting events including the high jump whcih was dominated by Maasai boys. Other events were less serious and not at all competitve, these were more like wacky races loke rhino where there were no winners or losers.
There will be two members from RUDA, Louise and Alice going out and each will take a suitcase full of books for the school library collected from various chairty shops and donated by friends of RUDA to carry on the great work that was done by Jill Dike in cataloguing the library during her visit last year. We are planning to fly with Auric Air and they have agreed to allow us discounted fares in recognition of the work we do in raising funds for the Ntimbanjayo School of Excellence. A we are volunteers and pay our own fares any help keeping the cost down is much appreciated.
Valerie noted that we need to do some repair work on some of the school buildings and some of these tasks like replacing glass in windows broken by the strong winds during the rainy season, have already been completed. We are thinking about using a recent generous donation from Ken Anderson of One Solution to do some other upgrading of the existing classrooms befiore we start any more new buildings. We need more storage solutions and work tables for each classroom to encourage group activities.
Our next big fundraiser will be another art auction hosted by One Solution later this year the date has still to be decided.
Futher details about this visit and regular updates can be found on the rudatanzania Facebook page