Our bags are packed – well almost! We leave home in the very early hours of next Wednesday and fly into Kilimanjaro Airport much later the same day. It will be a long day but it means that Thursday morning we will be back at Arise School in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
As always, in our suitcases will be everything from posters for the classrooms to knitted hats for the children (it can get quite chilly in the foothills of the mountain at certain times of the year!); from wooden building blocks for the nursery children to reading books; from dental kits to stickers (they love smiley faces!). Thank you to those of our friends who always come up trumps with things for us to take.
Our last trip was at the end of September. We can’t wait to see the children again – up from 88 to 102 at the last count! – the staff, Frank, his family, and so many others we have come to know in the course of our various trips.
So much has happened at the school in the few months since we were there. We are looking forward to seeing the newly completed third classroom in use and what needs to be done to finish what will eventually be the staffroom, currently being used as an additional teaching area.
We plan to join the children whilst they are having breakfast – only made possible by the generosity of all of you who supported our “buy a breakfast” Christmas appeal. Then there is the new school kitchen which has gone up so rapidly in recent weeks, the result of an anonymous donation from a retired, local couple to whom we remain immensely grateful.
We are sure that there will be other changes and developments at the school, too. One of the things we learned at a very early stage in our trips to Africa is that nothing stays the same for very long!
As always, whilst in Tanzania, we hope to see the individual young people who we are supporting to continue their education in school or at a higher level through ACE. This will involve the hot and dusty eight hour journey by road to Dar es Salaam where two of the older girls are currently studying.
One is studying for a degree in Sociology at the University of Dar es Salaam. She will be sitting her final exams in June. It seems no time at all since we waved her off to university at the start of her degree. Orphaned at a young age, getting to the stage she is now at has been a tremendous achievement.
Finally, none of this will be at any cost to the charity. All of our expenses – travel, accommodation and maintenance – we always pay for ourselves. Every penny donated goes directly to the work of Arise School unless otherwise agreed with the donor.
A standing order of £12 per month will meet the costs of a child’s schooling, including school fees, tuition, two school uniforms and daily porridge
If you would like to give a young person hope for the future by supporting them to continue at school or study at a higher level, we would love to hear from you. Please e-mail us at: ACECharity@aol.com