February 2024
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Nacoda Meeting

Spent much of yesterday at a long meeting in the Serengeti restaurant in Songea trying to sort out the remaining issues to do with registering the school. Prior to the meeting Louise, Alice and half the Nacoda members met up with the education officer and he advised on the best way forward. Unfortunately in order to go forward keeping everyone happy we have to take two steps backwards and change some of the existing documents so that no one person owns the land on which the school has been built.

While this is frustrating especially for Baraka who has traveled back and forwards to Dar es Salaam to complete stages six to eight, we are now back to stage 6 again. The education officer assured us that the registration process with be complete very soon after the new documents are received in Dar es Salaam and that they can be sent by post.

After the meeting there was time to send the previous two messages one of which was written in Dar but for some reason the computer there did not allow it to be published. Before returning to Namanditi we shopped for some plastic containers to store the oil since the palm oil  bought by Malaika had been put into a very dirty container and we had to dig the clean solid out of the centre and then melt it and pour it through a piece of material to filter the dirt out.

Today, Wednesday the soap group met again at the hostel, this time to make simple soap and the foot scrub which is the same recipe as the heart shaped soap but without colour or perfume and with a slice of loofah inside. By this evening the first batch of heart shaped lavender soap should be ready to turn out of the moulds. The group seem to be working happily together and are showing initiative.

They were determined to take a shorter time than before to make the oils saponificate and working very fast stirring at speed. The soap began to turn after just 30 minutes and they were able to pour it into the moulds. We also spent some time trying out the stamp which has been designed for us by Gary Gowans and they were delighted to see how well it worked and how professional the labels look. The women made  a mock up of a finished packaged soap and put an extra refinement of their own so the ends of the ribbon look prettier.


The group has arranged to meet up again on Sunday by which time both lots of soap will be ready to turn out of the moulds. For the next session they will split into two groups so together will make twice as much soap. There was a trace of orange colour on one of the first batch of soaps and I think this was because too much sunflower oil has been used to prepare the mould. For the second batch we used coconut oil which is white, so there should be no problem.

Valerie has spent another morning with the children and also advising the teachers and is now sewing a sample hat to show to the sewing group which will be meeting soon. The teacher Julius is also keen to learn to make hats and asked Valerie if he can join in.



2 comments to Nacoda Meeting

  • Richard Johnstone

    Hi, Louise.
    Great to read your messages, and it seems to be going well. I’ve just about finished the soap you gave me which you had been trialling in Scotland before going to Tanzania. it has been very successful. Maybe you can bring me back a sample of the soap which is being made where you now are.

    All the very best, Keep going, and best wishes to Alice too.

  • Anne

    This all sounds very promising and exciting. Well done!

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