Author Archives: acecharity

Ride East Africa – Rwanda, 16 – 23 March, 2019:

A Challenge in Aid of ACE!

ACE has been invited to join Charity Links, a UK registered grant awarding charity, as part of a thrilling mountain bike challenge in aid of the charity and three others.

The ride starts in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, and is through some of Africa’s most beguiling landscapes. Whilst the week long ride in the “Land of a Thousand Hills” will test your fitness, you will have incredible views and experiences, form lasting friendships with other team members and bring home enduring memories of this beautiful country which neighbours on Tanzania. And, of course, you will also be working as part of the whole team to raise funds for ACE.

To find out more about this great opportunity, please contact us at: ACECharity@aol.com and we will email you the brochure with all you need to know.

For a flavour of the 2017 trip log on to https://youtu.be/Dan56BQKpxg

The booking page has just opened. To be sure of your place, complete the booking form at: https://bookings.theslowcyclist.co.uk/product/ride-east-Africa-Rwanda-2019/

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Newsflash: The Well is Built at Arise!

Last September, we launched our ACE Well Appeal. We wanted to raise £12,000 for the construction of a well and the purchase of an irrigation system at Arise School. A well would enable the school to progress its journey towards self sustainability – a self sufficient school for the community. It would secure the future of Arise School and the education of their children.

For a small charity like ACE, this was a huge amount of money to raise. We anticipated that it might take a couple of years. Yet, with the generous support of so many of you, the well has now been built!

From Arise, the water (snow) on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro is clearly visible. However, to reach the water under the mountain, it was necessary to drill down 104 metres. In spite of this, the construction task, made even more difficult because of the unusually heavy rains this year, has already been achieved!

The water is currently being analysed to ascertain whether it can be used for drinking as well as for irrigation. Irrespective of the outcome of the analysis, work is already underway to irrigate the land adjacent to the school. Crops will be grown to supplement the children’s diet. Any surplus will be sold locally to bring in income to achieve the school’s long term aim of self sustainability.

The well is a huge step forward. Both the school and the charity are entering a new stage in their development and their respective journeys towards the eventual aim they share. It has been achieved much sooner than expected and would not have been possible without the overwhelming response we have had to the Well Appeal. On behalf of Arise School and ACE, a huge “Thank You” to everyone who has contributed in whatever way to making this possible.

St Helens Rotary Supports Arise School!

Since ACE was registered as a charity, we have received tremendous support from the Rotary Club of St. Helens. Only a week ago, we were delighted to learn from Paul Winstanley, Team Leader New Generations (Youth) and Colin Ince, Team Leader World Community Service from the St.Helens Rotary, that an application had been made by St Helens Rotary to Rotary International. The good news was that the application had been successful and Arise School was to receive text books to the value of £1,000!

Text books in Tanzania are expensive and tend to be few and far between at Arise as in most Tanzanian schools. Within two days, a list of much needed curriculum related text books, including Maths, Science and Technology and Reading books, had been received from Arise.

With Paul’s and Colin’s support, the money for the books was swiftly transferred, via ACE, to the school. The next school day, a shopping trip was undertaken to the local town to purchase the books. Delighted pupils from Class 3 excitedly helped to open the many boxes and posed for photos with the brand new books.

The books are particularly timely as the next group of children are now working hard in preparation to sit their national exams in November. What a boost to their studies and, also, for the staff in the absence of sufficient text books, until now, the teachers have become used to preparing and copying worksheets for the children.

The grant is especially important as it comes at a point when the focus is on assuring the overall educational standard of Arise. A huge “Asante Sana” (Thank you) to both Rotary International and the Rotary Club of St Helens from all the children and staff at Arise School and from ourselves at ACE for helping to make such a big difference in the children’s studies by awarding this grant and for all their ongoing support.

Learning to Care at Arise – new kids on the block!

When we posted the last blog, there were just 10 goats at Arise School. Now, just a couple of weeks later, there are 15!

Firstly, two of the goats gave birth to three young ones, including twins. The baby goats were up and standing within minutes of being born. Very soon they were attempting to walk around on their spindly legs and then drinking their mother’s milk. Within a day or two, they were hopping, leaping and playing with the other kids in the herd – true goats already!

The three new baby goats were welcomed into the world by the children. After a few days, the Arise pupils had an opportunity to spend time with them. They were so excited when they were told they could play with them. Although some of the children were a little bit afraid of them at first, they quickly learned how to tenderly care for them.

The children were encouraged to spend time with the baby goats to help them learn how to look after animals by being kind to them. In this way, they are not only able to learn how to handle, care and take responsibility for animals but they also learn how to develop compassion – an important part of a child’s development.

Secondly, we mentioned in the last blog that a donation had recently been received for two more goats to be purchased. The donation was made by one of our supporters in lieu of a wedding present to her cousin, who is also a supporter of ACE, and her new husband. It was a a lovely gesture. The two new goats arrived at the school last week and have been named Dotty and Jim after the newly married couple. We hope that Dotty and Jim quickly settle into the herd and their new life at Arise.

Arise Community School: Achieving Self Sustainability

Since Arise School first opened, it has been the aim that, eventually, it would become self sustaining in the local community – a school for “their children and their community”. Self reliance is the way forward. The school will no longer be reliant on outside help.

In the last few years, Arise has particularly focused on growing fruit and vegetables and animal keeping. Various long term projects have been initiated that, through much hard work, are now beginning to come to fruition. Additional land, not needed for classrooms and other school buildings, has been used to plant fruit trees, grow vegetables, keep animals and house chickens.

In the world of food, bananas are the rock stars! As the world’s fourth largest crop, almost every free spot at Arise has become a breeding ground for bananas! They are not only eaten as a fruit, the Arise pupils greatly enjoy banana stew for their lunch. On other days, they enjoy home grown beans, another Tanzanian food staple.

After the bananas have been harvested, the leaves can be used as food for the ten goats that the school now has. The other part of the plant is used as compost for growing vegetables. The vegetables peelings are used to feed the five pigs. Nothing is wasted!

Thanks to a very recent donation through ACE, the ten goats will soon become twelve. As goats are able to reproduce twice a year, it is hoped that the school goat herd will rapidly increase providing both milk and meat. Certainly, it’s amazing how quickly the number of chickens has grown since they were first introduced just a couple of years ago. The eggs provide much needed protein and vitamins to the children. Any surplus eggs or chicks are sold locally in the community.

In addition, these various projects provide learning opportunities for the Arise pupils as part of their studies. Recycling the water they wash their hands in for irrigation purposes helps them to understand the importance of water conservation from an early age; focusing on a live chicken for a science project makes it so much more real.

Just as Arise first started from small beginnings five year ago with one classroom and one teacher, these projects have also started from small beginnings. But, they are only the start. There is so much more to look forward to in the future. We very much hope that in another five years, Arise School will be well and truly self sustaining.

“Rock Choirs Raise An Amazing £870 for ACE”

One of our supporters is a member of the St Helens Rock Choir. She sent us the piece below:

“For anyone who is unfamiliar, Rock Choir is the pioneering, contemporary choir of the UK with over 20,000 members across the UK. The power of music, meeting new friends and performing at life changing events contribute to a seismic journey for the choir members.

Every year each group of choirs chooses a charity to put forward for fund raising. Our supporter proposed ACE. Her suggestion was accepted by the members of four choirs and fundraising took place during the last two weeks of March.

The four choirs joined together and performed a repertoire of songs at a wide range of venues, including Booths Supermarket, two churches and a High School Spring Fair. At the St Helens choir rehearsal, Sue came along, enjoyed a free performance and set up a stall of African crafts for members to buy. Choir members sang in their pyjamas to raise funds; luckily it was still dark at night!

One choir member is now sponsoring a child in the ABC class at Arise School and is delighted to receive news from ACE. Our choir leader, Laura, expressed her pleasure at being able to contribute to Arise School and the children’s education there. Having looked on the ACE website, Laura commented that they are lovely children and so happy.

The result of these very enjoyable fundraising events was a staggering £870.53 for the ACE account. Ron as Treasurer is a very happy man!”

A huge “Asante sana” (Thank you) to Laura, all the members of the four Rock Choirs concerned and our supporter for their brilliant efforts on behalf of ACE and Arise School. Their singing both raised such an amazing amount for the charity and was uplifting for all who listened to them.

Arise Pupils Take Part in Umitashunta for the First Time!

Ever since Arise School first opened, the children have loved the regular opportunities they have had to participate in sport. Much of this has been made possible by local schools here in the UK, in particular, Cronton C of E Primary School, who have donated sports kits and equipment enabling all of the pupils to take part.

This year, the Tanzanian government reintroduced Umitashunta. These are games and sports organised by the government for Primary Schools across the country. Some of the Arise students had the opportunity to take part in these activities for the first time.

All of the schools in Siha District where Arise is located, both private and government schools, came together to showcase their skills. The games included running, jumping football, netball, dancing and singing. Our Arise students took part in singing, running and football.

Although they were not successful in going through to the next round, the students gave it their all and enjoyed the experience. We are sure that next time the Arise students will build on this experience and improve their performance.

Who knows, perhaps with hard work and dedication, next time they will get to national level and become champions. Whichever way, we are proud of their efforts and hope they are, too. Well done, Arise!