Jan 7, 2019

Keep Marching On

Surrounded by cornfields
Surrounded by cornfields

Greetings from the foothills of Mt. Meru.

In a few short days Ikirwa School will be opening its doors for the new 2019 school year, our 7th in operation. We look forward to welcoming our first boarding students next month and graduating our first primary class in December. Due to a number of unexpected weather and logistical delays our projected completion date was delayed by almost a month. So, even though the school will open next week, we won’t begin boarding until early February. While it is disappointing that we won’t be able to take boarding student from day one, the delay is small compared to how long we have waited to be able to offer this option in the first place.

Most of the boarders will be students from class 7, who need the extra time to prepare for their final primary school exams. For a school that’s has been build from the ground up entirely with contributions from our grass roots supporters, we have learned to count our blessing, take obstacles in stride and keep moving forward. We sincerely hope that our next report will show you photos of those rooms filled with beds and their smiling inhabitants.

From all of us at Ikirwa School Project, may  you have a happy and prosperous 2019. 

 

Regards,

The staff of Ikirwa School Project 

Laying the Roof
Laying the Roof
Our Architect
Our Architect
Nov 20, 2018

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are

Ikirwa Scholars at lunch
Ikirwa Scholars at lunch

Greetings from the foothills of Mt. Meru

 

As I write this, students and staff of Ikirwa school are working hard to wrap up our fifth year in operation. Older students are sitting for the national exams, while construction crews are racing to complete the building of our first dormitory. It is a busy and exciting time of year and everyone is looking forward to the Christmas break, which will begin in two weeks.

Ikirwa scholars, who's tuition you have so generously sponsored have had another great year. Their academic achievements have been excellent, but what is far more impressive is the continuting transformation of these children from shy and reserved to confident, energetic and curious students. Their photos say it all - these children smile unprompted.

Shortly after this letter reaches you, those of us in the United States will be joining our friends and family at the Thanksgiving table and taking stock of things we are truly greatful for. At Ikirwa School gratitude is something that we practice daily, because so much of what we are able to do comes from the kindness of others. We are grateful for the beautiful natural setting of our campus, for neighbours and the Midawe community who help us build and get through tough seasons, for our dedicated teachers and staff who nurture and develop the young minds entrusted to us, for supportive parents who are always ready to contribute their time and efforts. Most of all, we are greatful for the support of the donors like yourselves. Without your lasting contributions we would not be able to carry our mission to those that need it the most, such as these twenty girls and boys who would not have a chance to receive a good education and an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and have a better life then thair parents. 

From the bottom of our hearts we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Thank you,

Staff and Volunteers of Ikirwa School Project 

Nature studies class observing celestial bodies
Nature studies class observing celestial bodies
Oct 9, 2018

Coming together is the beginning

Latest Building Plan
Latest Building Plan

Greetings from Midawe,

Early fall is the season when students anxiously prapare for their national exams while we, the founders of Ikirwa line up the funds and resources to begin the anual construction project. It is always a race against the clock, to try and finishe the building under roof before the rains come and finish it in-time for the new school year, which begins in January.

In this manner, over the course of the past 6 years we have completed the construction of 8 classrooms and 3 offices as well as a kitchen and a dining verandah. Yet this year's project is particularly special. Ikirwa School is located in a very beautiful spot, at the very edge of the Midawe village, where the wooded farms begin a gentle climb and transition into the jungle covering the slopes of Mt. Meru. From the far border of the school campus one can look far over the vulcanic plains. The air is clear and the night is filled with the sounds of crickets. It is quiet, safe and peaceful - a perfect spot for a boarding school. Ikirwa School has been open for 6 years and we are finally ready to complete our visiton and make our campus a resident one. Two weeks ago we broke ground for the boys dormitory. Girls will be housed in a converted classroom with access to bathroom and shower. Offering a boarding option will meet the demand we have observed from more affluent Arusha families, who wish to have their kids in a healthy, natural setting away from city traffic and polution. It will also bring much needed cashflow to aid our mission of keeping day school rates affordable for local students, offering scholarships to those in most need, and, most importantly, making the school financially self-sustainable. 

 It was Henry Ford who said, "Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success". We thank you, our dedicated supporters for coming together and staying to help us make this vision a reality.

Breaking the ground
Breaking the ground
Levelling the floor
Levelling the floor
 
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