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May 11, 2020

Brick by Brick building a Dining Facility

Our Dining Facility in progress
Our Dining Facility in progress

Dear Friends,

It has been several months since we last updated you about our dining facility, and our news is twofold.  The President of Tanzania has recently closed all schools due to COVID-19.  Though we are happy to report that our staff and students continue to be well, our construction progress has come to a halt.  The silence that now blankets our campus makes us yearn for the laughter and comradery of our children. 

Prior to this Global Pandemic we were making tremendous progress.  Daily, gravel was delivered and cement was continually being poured.  Each day as we walked through the campus we were amazed at the transformation of this incredible structure.  Currently, our first floor is fully framed and the cinder block walls are over 8ft tall.  Your generosity had allowed us to build at a rate faster than we could have ever dreamed.    

With a new season upon us, we look forward to our students and staff returning to school and construction resuming. Our dreams of building an incredible dining facility have been placed on hold, but for anyone who knows the people of the Midawe community knows how strong and resilient they are.  It is at a time like this, when the world is in a holding pattern, that we understand the true meaning of our motto and why it epitomizes our incredible community’s spirit.  “What you imagine you become.”  We are ever changing, just like the world around us.  

Your support in the past has amazed us, please don’t let it stop as construction has.  The building and success of our school community is our future.  Please continue to help us make our dining facility a reality.  

 

Ahsante sana

Rose Hogan

Brick by Brick
Brick by Brick
Our dreams are becoming a reality
Our dreams are becoming a reality
Feb 20, 2020

Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life

Returning volunteer with scholarship students
Returning volunteer with scholarship students

Greatings from Midawe dear Ikirwa School supporter,

Our year is off to a great start and the Tennessee Williams quote we borrowed for this report's title fits the mood on our campus. We are thrilled to share some of the LOVELY accomplishments of our students and staff.

An exciting new addition to our Ikirwa curriculum is RACHEL, an offline educational program that brings educational material and websites to rural schools in developing countries such as Tanzania. We were lucky enough to connect with World Possible, the maker and supplier of RACHEL, and they have been an incredible resource to us.

Of course, we also LOVE all of our volunteers and the contributions they have made. We have had many volunteers who have spent time with us and supported our learning and facilities. Most recently, Jerry spent countless hours working in our computer lab and providing our teachers with professional development opportunities regarding the use of RACHEL as an academic supplement in their classrooms.  He said it was wonderful to see the excitement and enthusiasm of the staff for the new educational resources and the opportunities to enhance their classrooms and learning.

When Jerry left we were lucky enough to welcome Eric, who generously sponsors 10 children. He spent the day with a large group of volunteers enjoying the classrooms, campus life and activities with our students and staff.  We LOVED having him back and  eagerly look forward to his next trip. This visit was especially notable because he was once again accompanied by a returning volunteer, Michelle, who has fallen in LOVE with our beautiful school and the vast plains of the Serengeti.

Not long after Eric and Michelle’s departure we warmly welcomed several visitors from Japan.  After enjoying many days on safari, they were awe-struck by the work being done in our classrooms and the bright, engaging students with whom they came in contact.  As you can tell, our reputation as a world class school seems to be spreading across the globe! 

In addition to rejoicing in our many visitors, we wanted to share the LOVELY progress that has been made on the construction of our new dining facility.  Layers of brick and cinder block continue to grow with each new donation. It is no longer just a foundation, but a true structure. This will include the academic office, assistant academic office and two additional classrooms, as well as a beautiful library and a storage area. The excitement on campus is palpable! The goal of feeding 200 students two nutritious meals a day, in a kitchen that will support our ever growing population, was just a dream at the start of 2019, but now as we enter 2020, that dream is coming true!

Most recently we LOVE that we were spotted on the Rooftop of Africa! At Ikirwa, the level of academic excellence is out of this world.  Just like climbing a mountain, learning takes a lot of stamina, hard work, dedication and practice.  We see these characteristics in all the good learners throughout our campus. We would LOVE for you to visit us and become a part of our special community.  Your continued generosity inspires the children, as they graduate, to aspire to be anything they want to be and in turn become role models for a generation of younger students. 

You continue to be an incredible influence on the lives of our children and for that we are eternally grateful.   In Swahili we would like to say NAKUPENDA.

Ahsante Sana for your continued contributions. 

 

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Dining Hall progress
Dining Hall progress
Jerry and Ikirwa flag on top of Uhuru peak
Jerry and Ikirwa flag on top of Uhuru peak
Students using RACHEL
Students using RACHEL
Jan 13, 2020

Brick by Brick building our Dining Hall

Dear Friends, 

We are truly thankful for the outpouring of generosity that we have received over the last several months.  It is with great joy that we write to you about the impact of your donations. We are thrilled with the progress that has been made on the construction of our new dining facility.  Layers of brick and cinder block continue to grow daily. We have had a great deal of rain lately and though it has slowed some of our momentum there isn’t a day that goes by that we can't look out our classroom windows and see the headway being made. There are walls! It is no longer just a foundation, but a true structure. The attached photos represent the lower level of the building where the academic office, assistant academic office and two additional classrooms, as well, a beautiful library and storage area will be housed. The excitement on campus is palpable. 

It never ceases to amaze us how talented and supportive members of our local community.  Their skills in construction and attention to detail allow us to be confident knowing that our dining hall will not only be a structure we will be proud of, but one that will last for many years to come. The goal of feeding 200 students two nutritious meals a day, in a kitchen that will support the ever growing population, seemed only a dream at the start of 2019, but now as we enter 2020 those dreams are coming to fruition.  Your continued support of our mission is deeply gratifying to us and we hope it is the same for you.  

For a school that started as a wish and later as a conversation over a campfire and grew one classroom at a time, we feel blessed.  Our commitment to the families of the Madawe community and surrounding villages continues to be our number one priority. You have truly helped to make a difference for the students at Ikirwa School and for that we are extremely grateful. Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions, we would love the opportunity to speak to you and say ahsante sana again!

 

With deepest gratitude and warmest wishes. 

Rose Hogan

 
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