Sense of Space makes sense...
Spending a lot of time creating fictive worlds, it's important to me to now and then check in with the real world (debatable definition) and make sense rather than make believe...
During my recent travels in Tanzania I ended up in a very remote and spectacular corner of the world called Mambo. It's located in the Usambara mountains, a two hours drive (half a day by bus) from Lushoto, the nearest town. Mambo is lushly green, hilly and looks like an African paradise with women in brightly coloured chitenges and smiling children everywhere. Here I came across a small, wonderful NGO called JamiiSawa, run by three locals with great knowledge of the politics and needs of the region. Besides Health and hygiene problems and the very long distance to the nearest hospital, family planning is a major issue here. Schools don’t have enough space for the children, nor the economy to maintain the buildings.
This sparked the initiative to the school renovation project, where a total of ten classrooms in different stages of decay were renovated. I provided the material and the people in the villages did the work themselves (This made it not only affordable, but also gave everyone a sense of responsibility and ownership of the project, which I believe is the key to sustainable aid). Once walls and floors were built or repaired, a local artist decorated the classrooms together with the kids.
Due to heavy rains, politics and other unforeseen obstacles, the project took longer than I had anticipated, but it was completed in August 2018!
We are currently raising money for our next project: to build a new classroom in one of the local schools, where about 100 children sit outside and the classrooms are filled to the brink with up to 90 children per room. Our aim is to have this completed before April 2019, when the rain season starts. If you’re interested in helping me fund the project, you can do so HERE. No contribution is too small!
JamiiSawa do a lot more for the local area. If interested, visit their website: JamiiSawa.org