I'm back in Tanzania for a whirlwind of activity to implement even more Pamoja Project programming to support the education, vocational training, and health of Tanzanian children.
PROJECT NUMBER ONE: When one of our treasured donors gifted us with the funds to build a welding training workshop several years ago, we never expected that it would take us 3 years to bring his dream to fruition.
At long last, our beautiful new welding workshop is in the final stages of completion on the grounds of our Tanzanian partner organization-WAMATA- and today (Monday) Emmanuel and I worked on the plan to buy tables and machinery.
The deep concrete-floored veranda will give students plenty of room for welding practice without concern for fire hazard or fresh air. And yes, that is Emmanuel on the phone checking with the furniture maker about work benches!
FACT: According to a 2015 UN report, only 1/3 of Tanzanian children between the ages of 14-20 were attending secondary school. This sad situation is a result of many factors, many of them economic and political. However, the result is a great need for skills training for youth that can lead to employment and avoidance of other common choices like early marriage or drug abuse.
Welding is a highly- demanded skill in Tanzanian construction, so there should be lots of competition for our free program. The search is on for a wonderful teacher to join our team. We hope the first class of students will begin training in May and be ready to find jobs by the end of 2017. It's great to be able to offer training that is of interest to boys as our tailoring training is to girls.
TOMORROW: Filling in the educational gaps with our own tutoring program. See you then!