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Funding classrooms in Morogoro

Published: 21st October 2022

Children outside a classroom in ChamwinoSevernside parishes, on the edge of Worcester have been fundraising to help the parish of Chamwino in Morogoro, Tanzania to provide two classrooms so local children can attend school.

St Mary’s Church in Kempsey, part of the Severnside parishes have had a partnership with Chamwino parish since 2013. In 2015, Jan and Peter Venables visited the parish, heard about their vision to create a local school and have helped raise over £3,500 for two classrooms to be built along with providing desks and chairs for the children.

Chamwino classroomsJan said: “Our visit to Morogoro was completely life-changing for Peter and I. We were taken to a number of different places within the Diocese and realised just how basic conditions were for many people in Tanzania. Part of the trip was visiting our partner parish of Chamwino, about 2-3 miles outside of Morogoro and one of the poorest areas of the Diocese. It was a humbling experience, they have very little and poverty is endemic, but their faith is terrific! We met the priest, the Revd Captain Enoch Chibada and heard about his vision to build a school which taught in English; they had just started building the first classroom. Education is so important to the families there – it give children a focus and many of the state schools have over 100 children in each class.”

On returning to Kempsey, Jan and Peter organised a variety concert at St Mary’s Church which raised £1,185 towards the cost of the school. When they visited Morogoro again in 2019, the first classroom had been finished and was filled with nursery children. A second classroom for children up to age six was planned and on returning to the UK, another concert was held, raising £2,169. A further £250 was raised and sent in September to provide desks and chairs as otherwise children sit on the floor.

children in Chamwino“The parish are incredibly grateful for the funding we’ve been able to send them,’ said Jan. ‘They have even named the classrooms after our parish! We also took lots of resources for the children on our second visit. Most of the learning is done by rote and they were delighted when I taught them ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’! During this trip, we also visited a sustainable agriculture project not far from Chamwino and we hope to put them in touch as something like this would really benefit the parish.”

Jan and Peter are now looking into how they might help provide a clean water supply and proper toilets for the school. “Everything we have achieved to date has only been possible thanks to the generous support of people in the Severnside Parishes and their friends. We have a couple of smaller fundraising events planned over the next few months – we had a parish event when Bishop Godfrey and his wife Tunaimi were visiting for the Lambeth conference and will run an online balloon race at Christmas. We also hope that others will feel inspired to visit Morogoro and get involved in our fundraising. It’s very difficult to put into words the welcome and love shown to us by Chamwino parish – the people there are incredible and there is always more we can do to help them.”

Page last updated: Friday 21st October 2022 11:09 AM

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