We are very happy to report that the new solar panels at Msalise Primary School are working well! David and I visited the school on Tuesday to deliver the next surprise – a computer, printer and projector! Mwalimu Churi and the other teachers were speechless. We also delivered some soccer balls donated by friends and family from Canada.
Some of the best news is that the school has already earned 600 shillings (about 50 cents) from the first day of the small cell phone charging business they have started! We advised them to set a limit of 5 cell phones per day so that it doesn’t drain all the power from the batteries. They have also hired an askari (night watchman) so the panels have created an employment opportunity in the village. Isn’t it amazing what one small gesture can do?!
They are now talking about hiring a secretary to operate the computer and then they can charge a small fee if anyone in the village needs letters typed and printed. And we recommended that they also charge a small fee if groups from the area want to hold meetings in the school at night and use the lights in a classroom. Then they can earn money to make small repairs or buy supplies for the school. They are also petitioning the village council to put in strong metal doors on the library to protect the computer and the solar power system which is housed in there. It is so exciting!!
David, Ala (the woman who teaches conservation education at the Udzungwa Ecological Monitoring Centre where we live) and I went to other primary schools Wednesday morning to distribute the soccer balls donated by Kristi Wowryk and Jackie Ross, from Calgary, Canada. The students and teachers were very happy and excited. At Mang’ula A Primary School they called out all the students from class and they sang us the school song after a small presentation. Imagine so much excitement for one ball and a pump – unbelievable. Thanks so much for the donation!
Friday is the big Asante celebration at Msalise for the solar panels. The students have already been practicing songs and dances. We also asked them to set up a short football game between the standard 6 and standard 7 students to use the new ball!
One of the soccer balls donated on behalf of Jackie Ross of Calgary, Canada.
The head teacher at Mang’ula A Primary School tells the students about the gift of the soccer ball.
The teachers of Mang’ula A Primary School with David and Grainne and the coach of the school’s football team (front row next to David).
Kindergarten and Standard One students learn about the new soccer ball.
Mwalimu Churi overwhelmed by the news of the new computer.
The village chairman and teachers from Msalise (along with some curious villagers) gather to see Mwalimu Churi practicing on the computer.
More pictures tomorrow after the solar panel celebration at Msalise!