Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic reached impacted the entire world, including Africa. The Tanzanian government has ordered the closure of schools throughout the country. We also agreed that it is a safe course of action to fight the pandemic and keep our students safe; leaving about 500 students isolated from the community and our learning environment. Despite the crisis, our teachers decided to do their best not abandoning their students on their own; proving their sincere devotion. They organised a new system of homeschooling. Of course, not the way we are used to in Europe. Not only they lack computers and internet, lots of households, within Maasai bomas, do not even have electricity. Through hard work and dedication, our teachers had to innovate to find a way, regardless. The teachers decided to buy exercise books and pencils for the students and visited the local communities every other day to teach them while practising social distancing. If there is not a classroom and chalkboard, the tree’s and earth dust will suffice. The dusty ground became filled with letters and numbers surrounded by children wanting to learn. This day the school gates have opened, and education continues for these children.

New dormitory in Karao

With our current project, we are aiming to bring the Maasai children closer to the school, to decrease the distance between them and the place of opportunities. The completion of this project is instrumental in the continuation of our plans. For centuries, the Maasai families have been living so-called ‘bomas’. The word ‘boma’ in Swahili means enclosure, referring to both community and livestock. The fence of a boma is built out of thorny branches in a circular shape; this surrounds the small houses of branches and mud. Five or six families are living together in these boma communities, keeping in enclosed hatches their cattle and goats as their livestock. Although these homes seem neat but compared to our comfortable living conditions, they are not as convenient for families of many children.

We chose the place of Karao for building the first dormitory, as it is the place of our mission’s largest school, where more than 150 students are learning in eight classes. The dorm building will be suitable to accommodate around 50 girls, who perform well in their studies. Building this dorm for girls will fulfil many needs, as well as providing a sense of comfort and safety. Instead of living in the environment of bomas, these girls can live in a much more convenient and suitable place. Most children in Karao school are commuting from the surrounding villages and bomas. These young students need to walk daily, some at least 4-5 kilometres in the morning and the same distance back from school. They are walking so they can study, belong to a community and eat one meal in school. The girl students will experience the benefit of the dorm in many ways. They will not need to walk alone to school every day, and they will not go to bed with a hungry stomach at night. They will not have to worry about difficult house chores hindering them from revision time. Furthermore, these girls will not be at risk of being attacked by wild animals and of facing other dangers.

The dorm would provide a safe place and a whole new world of opportunities to these young girls. Based on our plans, these girls would be distributed in 15 bedrooms, 3-4 girls living in each room. As accessing the main power supply is difficult in this region, solar panels will supply the electricity in the dorm building. The initial steps of the project will consist of structural construction. The crucial support of further sponsors will allow us to obtain and use electrical devices powered by renewable sources. The next phase of the plan has much potential in learning. In the dormitory, we plan to equip the common-room with IT equipment, which will aid learning performance, and provide an interactive learning environment for further development. To the students, even having meals three times a day is a great privilege which not many people have. We are delighted that we can provide these boarding girls safe, secure and more comfortable living conditions, where they don’t have to worry about their daily struggles and are given space to concentrate on their future. Naturally, we don’t want to forget about the boys, as after the girls’ dorm is finished, the boy’s dorm will follow.

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Supai e.V.

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