The community centre, built by the trust in the village of Olmuringiringa, has been open since January 2002. The kindergarten in the centre is attended by four to six year olds from several surrounding villages. Around fifty to seventy children attend each day and receive a hot breakfast of porridge and milk.
Last November 2004 40 children graduated from the kindergarten and left to start Standard One in 5 different primary schools in the area. A leaving ceremony was attended by the parents and local dignitaries. Since then the feedback from these primary schools has been very positive. The children from the centre have been praised for their confidence and independence. A tribute to the teachers!
The trust has sponsored the three teachers to attend training workshops, which have been held at The International School of Moshi, Arusha campus. From the money donated by the Earthdance held at Masai Camp, Arusha last September we were able to make and fit canvas and plastic windows to the centre. Masai Camp will organize another Earthdance fundraiser this September for local charities.
The women's group has been very active this year. They have been attending English classes and Masai jewellery making sessions. Visiting agriculturalists have held workshops in crop management and improved use of the environment.
Sibusiso the foundation for mentally disabled children has continued to hold regular outreach clinics in the centre for the disabled children in Olmuringiringa and the surrounding villages.
Sibusiso is providing care and support to the children and their families and is motivating the whole community to help improve the situation of these children.
By offering advice and demonstrating simple exercises to the parents, the programme has been very successful in bringing about changes.
The community centre has been visited by tourists from overseas from Tropical/Wilderness Trails safari company and from The Adventure Company UK. The centre has received cash donations educational equipment, toys and clothes.
The centre has a dedicated local volunteer called Esther who makes the porridge daily for the children. Esther was delighted when the trust bought a new locally made, economic-fuel cooker to make her job easier. The cooker was made by a Tanzanian women's project
Since then another NGO has worked with the women's group to show them how to make these cookers. In May this year two enthusiastic Dutch fundraising, Claudia and Jannemiek came to visit the centre, They donated toys and books and gave a cash donation to the centre which was used to buy large floor mats, and mattresses for play areas.
Claudia's father, Jan van Westen, organized a donation from The Welding Companies in Holland, which covered the teachers' salaries for four months.
Also in May each child in the kindergarten received a cuddly sheep thanks to The Adventure Company UK and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis.The smiles and the excited faces onthe children were a joy to behold.
Thanks to Mr Boaz the headmaster of the primary school next door to the centre for repairing a classroom floor and for the paper donation.
Elias Samson, one of the teachers in the centre, successfully completed his one year Montessori Training course last December. We hope that we can send the other teachers on a similar course.
The director of the centre Ole Supeet, has been on educational and environmental courses and has shared his knowledge with the community.
There is still no running water to the village and the centre. Local bureaucracy has brought the water project to a standstill but the director is still trying to resolve the problems.
The primary student council at the International School of Moshi, Arusha Campus had a bake sale and raised enough money to buy eleven 10 kg bags of flour for the porridge for the kindergarten.
Robert Gunn (USA), a friend of the Trust for several years, continues to support the kindergarten. Friends of Brittany Stephen donated cash, sports equipment and school supplies.
Many thanks from the children, the parents and the teachers for all the donations and equipment.