CWU Humanitarian Aid volunteers have ensured that one of the charity’s key objectives for 2016 got off to a flying start in the first month of the New Year. As January draws to a close, construction work is now progressing fast on new library block at the Kilima Hewa School in Tanzania.
CWU NEC member Julia Upton, CWUHA project manager Alex Pearson and former CWU rep and long-time CWUHA stalwart Roger Jones self-funded a working visit to the remote school in Moshi. With the foundations now complete and work on the walls just beginning, hopes are riding high that the library building, which will ultimately also house a computer suite, will be finished and watertight before the rainy season starts in April.
In the seven years since CWUHA embarked on its “African Project” the charity has transformed a tiny school that had been set up by a philanthropic farmer to provide a rudimentary education to local village children.
During that time CWUHA has organised the building of three new classrooms, a toilet block, the installation of electricity and a much needed rainwater collection and storage system.
Apart from infrastructure improvement, the charity pays for the employment of an additional teacher and a porridge breakfast for children who have often walked miles to attend classes. Meanwhile, CWUHA donors contributing to a special ‘sponsor a child’ scheme have enabled 50 youngsters from particularly poor families to attend lessons – nearly half the current school roll.
The library project is CWUHA’s biggest collaboration to date with an Australian charity called the Koala Project – triggered by Koala’s founder being approached by an American family who wanted to donate 9,000 books to the school.
CWUHA chair Carl Webb told the Voice: “Both charities saw this as a great opportunity to help the school move up a level. The total cost of the building work will be about £9,000 – split equally between our two organisations.
“With the commitment already shown by all the partners involved, it’s clear the school can go on to bigger and better things and give even more children from Moshi a better start in life.”
Carl stressed that CWUHA’s busy January in Tanzania is just the beginning of another action- packed year for CWUHA.
“In 2016 we will, once again, be delivering aid direct to vulnerable children in Moldova, where we also plan to run our very own football tournament for children from the local villages.
“We’ll also continue to help refugees fleeing war and persecution – and will keep developing our 20th anniversary project – the Phoenix Centre in Moldova – that is helping disabled children and teenagers in a country where specialist facilities are lacking.”
Carl concluded: “As a charity, CWUHA is unique as we do not pay any salaries or have any overheads as all of our trustees are volunteers. We all work from our own union rooms; which means we have no office expenses to pay out. There are very few charities that can make that kind of claim!”