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Jul 11, 2018

From the ground up

6th graders posing in front of their classroom
6th graders posing in front of their classroom

Greetings from Midawe! As I write this, unusually cold weather has descended on Mt. Meru foothills, while the students and staff of Ikirwa School are starting their second term. July is also the month when we finalize our plans for the year’s construction. 

Over the break, we were able to put a metal roof over the kitchen and dining area and add a hand washing station. Our resident artist, Mr. Siphael Joseph, decorated the exterior walls of the new classroom building with images of human anatomy.  

Upon reviewing our class sizes we have decided that for the next two years we will be able to accommodate our rising class 7 by installing a wooden wall and  splitting one of the existing classrooms into two. So instead of constructing another classroom, we could direct our resources to finally construct a dormitory and take a giant step towards financial self-sufficiency for Ikirwa School. The location of the new dormitory will be at the quietest corner of the school property, closest to the forest and Mt. Meru. The planned building will house up to 30 children. 

Looking at the campus, which now sports 3 classroom buildings, plus kitchen and dining area, is hard to believe that 6 years ago this land was just another plot among the farm fields, especially when these buildings fill with 138 inquisitive minds hard at work. From the ground up, we built this place of learning with the hold of our generous grassroots donor community, and we are thankful for each and every one of you. 

 

Asante Sana

Resident artist at work
Resident artist at work
New classroom, new artwork
New classroom, new artwork
May 21, 2018

Time Flies

2018 Ikirwa Scholars
2018 Ikirwa Scholars

 

Greetings from Midawe at the foothills of Mt. Meru!

How quickly time flies! In a few short days the first term of 2018 will be over and the students and staff of Ikirwa School will go on a well-deserved one month break. The last two weeks are reserved for examinations which will be followed by class party day. On that day, the students are not required to wear uniforms, so they will arrive to school wearing their best-looking outfits. In their backpacks they will carry some treats which they will trade and share during the tea break. The first half of the day will be filled with activities of their choice and almost inevitably they will gravitate to reading picture books and drawing. By lunchtime every blackboard will be covered in their original designs. After the mid-day meal, it is award time. If it's sunny, the whole school will assemble outside and teachers will honor the top three-ranked students in each class.

It is a very special time for all of us at Ikirwa School Project. On this day we celebrate the hard work of our students and their teachers and their successes in the face of the obstacles and challenges they had to face. This year, particularly heavy rains have once again washed out the road leading up to the school, leaving the students and staff to walk the last muddy, up-hill kilometer on foot. It also fills us with immense pride to see our twenty scholarship students thrive. In-spite of their young age, these children seem to grasp the opportunity that their scholarships afford them, and it is apparent in the diligence and hard work they show in their studies. Since last year they all have ranked near the top of their respective classes.

Their success would not be possible without all of you - caring and generous supporters so we invite you, to share in our pride and joy for their achievements. You made it happen!

 

Masha Skuratovskaya

Executive Director on behalf of Ikirwa School staff

Award for Ikirwa Scholar
Award for Ikirwa Scholar
Class Party at Grade 4
Class Party at Grade 4
Asante Sana
Asante Sana
Apr 12, 2018

Strong Foundation

Informatics Class
Informatics Class

Greetings from the foothills of Mt. Meru! As I write this, the students and staff of Ikirwa School have just returned from their Easter break to finish the first term. Our 6th graders have taken over their new classroom space and made it their own. Following a donation of several laptops in January, the classroom has also become a makeshift computer lab for the whole school.

The start of the year was not without some excitement. Shortly after the school year began, we had to re-enforce the foundation and complete a retaining wall around the new classroom building to prevent soil erosion. About half of the school territory is on the hillside. Its soft volcanic soil is ideal for growing vegetables and flowers – the school shamba (garden) provides much of the maize used in school meals - but it is tricky for terracing and building. Rainy seasons have been bringing heavier than normal rains for the past two years, making soil erosion an ever present concern. So thanks to the donations that came it at the end of December, we were able to complete the retaining wall in early February, before the rains came.

With our 6th grade classroom complete and the academic year in full-swing, we now shift our efforts to planning the construction of classroom space for 7th and final grade of the Primary school. It will be added to the east wall of the new building and will sit on the strong foundation, that was already built with your help.

 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,

 

Maria Skuratovskaya, Executive Director on behalf of the board and staff of the Ikirwa School and Ikirwa School Project

Midawe, Tanzania

Finished Classroom
Finished Classroom
Reinforcing the foundation
Reinforcing the foundation
Maize from school shamba
Maize from school shamba
 
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