As 2016 draws to an end, we are delighted to look back at the progress at Arise School in the last 12 months. In fact, it has been amazing. It has certainly exceeded all our expectations.
There are now 210 children registered (soon to become 236 in January) and demand is outstripping places. In Frank’s words, Arise School has rapidly become “a beacon for the area”. Three new classrooms have been built this year. Two are already finished and it is hoped to furnish them ready for use at the beginning of the new school year in January. The third is being completed and furnishing will then follow after that very early in 2017.
A bigger toilet block has been built and the new shade area is making excellent use of the grounds. It is already in regular use as an outdoor resource area for a multitude of purposes. Although the rains failed again this year, the school grounds have been transformed into a beautiful oasis of tropical flowers, plants and trees using recycled water from the children’s hand washing.
Most importantly, the children have made so much progress. They have visibly grown in confidence. The older ones speak excellent English and the younger ones are picking it up so quickly. They enjoy learning so much and always look so happy to be at school.
Although 2016 has been a bumper year, we anticipate that things are going to be much tighter next year. Development of the school will inevitably slow down as a result of rising inflation in Tanzania. This is impacting on the cost of everything and is seriously compounded by the recent introduction of 18% VAT by the new Tanzanian Government and the fall in the value of the £ as a result of Brexit!
Nevertheless, we will keep going! Looking forward, in early 2017, we hope to be able to construct a new stove in the school kitchen given the continuing growth in pupil numbers. We also hope to be able to purchase a photocopier for the school as the ever increasing amount of photocopying required for teaching purposes is placing a huge strain on the stationery budget.
Following that, we hope to start the footings for the three additional classrooms needed to complete the school. This will make a total of 10 classrooms. In the longer term, our aspiration is for a well to be constructed – an expensive but essential requirement that we believe will be the single most important factor to ensure the school’s long term sustainability.
A huge “thank you” to everyone who has supported the work of ACE in 2016. We hope that you will continue to read our information blogs and to help us to complete the development of Arise School in 2017.
A very Happy New Year to you all!