April 11, 2012, School mentoring event (Rotary Global Grant 25585):
Karoro Primary School’s average performance in Primary School Leaving Exams (PSLE) over the three years, 2009-2011 was 52% whereas its mentor school, Kirosha Primary, averaged 85%. Last year, Kirosha was one of the two primary schools in Mwika that achieved 100% pass rate!
Focus group discussions revealed weak parental support, a dirth of books, a rift between parents and teachers. Students want more exercises and asked for their days to start with exercises and end with it, not just in Standard VII. Teachers responded positively and promised to do so a week from hence.
After being informed by the Rotary simple foods they can set aside from the previous night for their children’s breakfast, parents promised to give children breakfast before they go to school from the very next day. Within two weeks parents and school will come up with a plan for parental contribution for book purchases and school lunch. Improvement comes in small steps which are carefully and faithfully executed….
On March 7, 2012, Helmut Krieg, a long time friend of Mwika, succumbed to colon cancer and passed away in Heikendorf Germany. The whole of Mwika mourns with his family, friends and associates for this great loss. In the 30 years that he has been closely linked with Mwika, he has made many friends who cherish him dearly.
The Kondiki Milk Processing Plant was built with support from his Tanzania Group in Heikendorf, and it is in the course of MWIDEFU’s efforts to expand the plant’s capacity by automating milk processing that MWIDEFU chairman, Dr. Kimaro, came in contact with Helmut Krieg. Despite his declining health, Helmut Krieg raised funds to provide the plant with a large capacity standby generator which will keep the plant running even during frequent power cuts.
But this is only one of many achievements in Mwika that we associate with Helmut Krieg. The very first vocational school in Mwika which enabled primary school leavers to acquire marketable skills, a nursery school at Uuwo parish, a class for the handicapped, Uuwo dispensary and mortuary, spacious dining halls that serve as multipurposes halls in many primary schools are only a few of those.
Seven people from Mwika went to Heikendorf for Krieg’s funeral. Anticipating his own passing away, Helmut Krieg requested that the funds that had been set aside for a joint trip with his wife Doris toTanzaniain this March should be used, instead, to pay for the trip of some friends from Tanzania to attend his funeral in Heikendorf. He asked that instead of bringing flowers his mourners should contribute that money for the Kondiki Milk Processing Plant. Interestingly, he told his friends and family to watch out for a special signal on the day of his funeral. And behold, March days that had been exceptionally cold in Heikendorf turned exceptionally warm on the day of his funeral that people had to take off their jackets!
Mwika will always treasure the memory of this true friend, and the whole community is determined not let the development impact of his efforts be eroded. May the soul of our dear friend, Helmut Krieg, rest in eternal peace.
March 29, 2012, School mentoring event (Rotary Global Grant 25585):
Mawanda Primary School’s average performance in Primary School Leaving Exams (PSLE) over the three years, 2009-2011 was 37% whereas its mentor school, Mwika Primary averaged 93%. Focus group discussions revealed that Mawanda is a school torn apart by serious breach of trust between the school, parents, and village political leadership. Mawanda stands out as one of the most beleaguered of schools in Mwika. It has been losing students. Over the past year, its enrollment has halved to below 100. Could the school be saved from self-extinction? Should it be?
March 21, 2012, School mentoring event at Kirimeni Primary School (Rotary Global Grant 25585):
Kirimeni Primary School’s average performance in the Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE) over the three years, 2009-2011 was 52% whereas its mentor school, Maring’a Chini Primary averaged 85%. Focus group discussions pointed to lack of teacher discipline and commitment and parental indifference; tough challenges facing the school’s new management.
March 14, 2012, School mentoring project launch (Rotary Global Grant 25585)
Mawanjeni Primary School’s average performance in Primary School Leaving Exams (PSLE) over the three years, 2009-2011 was 55% whereas its mentor school, Maweni Primary averaged 93%.
The project was launched with the first focus group event at Mawanjeni Primary School. Two representatives each of students, teachers, students, parents and school management of the mentoring school joined in the indepth discussions of the problems of Mawanjeni school faces. Weak management, lack of discipline among teachers and lack of parental interest, and children not having a voice in school’s affairs seem to underlie many of the school’s problems. These findings were shared with all in an assembly, planting seeds for further thoughts, deliberations. Concrete, monitorable actions to improve the situation are what the project aims for the school to arrive at.
They toured the Rotary Global Grant 25059 funded school water and sanitation project sites which have been implemented MWIDEFU oversight which were nearing completion. They attended a harambee meeting called by the school to raise fund for new toilets for students and a dining hall/kitchen complex. Maweni is located in the dry plains of Mwika. It is among the poorest of areas in Mwika and yet it is the very best performing school in Mwika.
Feb. 22 – 25, 2012, Music for One fund raising recital for secondary school scholarships for orphan girls
A recital tour to Moshi by two concert performers from Korea — Dr. Ki-Bum Park (trumpet) and Dr. Hyosun Lim (piano) – was arranged through the Music for One Foundation in Korea. They gave performances to thrilled audiences at the International School of Moshi (ISM) and at Makumira College in Usa River Arusha. Their recital at the ISM helped raise almost 1 million shillings (about US$650) toward the scholarship fund. Including all other contributions received, about 1.7 million shillings (about US$1,100) was raised in total.
About one hundred brass players in all from Boma Ng’ombe, Moshi, Mwika and Makumira College took part in three separate master classes with Dr. Park. At Makumira College, Music department students who had participated in the master class staged an impromptu performance of Tanzanian traditional dances and music, much to the delight of the visiting musicians.
For the 2012 school year, with funds raised from previous recitals MWIDEFU and the Rotary Club of Mwika placed six orphan girls two secondary schools in Mwika – Mwika Secondary and Lyakirimu Secondary – as boarders.
February 15, 2012, in anticipation of the school mentoring programme launch, Young Kimaro of MWIDEFU and Esther Shao of the Rotary Club of Mwika met with the Teacher Resource Centre Coordinator John Elitumaini and Head Teachers/Assistant Head Teachers of participating schools to prepare them on how the whole day affair will be conducted.
The dates were set for March/April. Head Teachers and Assistant Heads will prepare participants from their schools for the roles they are expected to play.
Partnering schools were seated side by side at the meeting. By coincidence, the Big brother/Big sister schools, the ones that are performing well, seated themselves on the left.
Every Parent Can: a public education project without cost
(November/December 2011 and on-going)
Mwika Rotary Club members delivered messages to parishes and schools, giving parents who have little or no education eight tips on how they too can make a difference to their children’s education with simple actions.
Then about 12 foods, left-overs from the previous night that won’t spoil easily and others, were mentioned.
These messages were enthusiastically received by the community. MWIDEFU and the Rotary Club of Mwika has spread the word to 11 parishes and 2 schools, touching more than 3,000 people.