First Visit In Africa
A winding dusty road leads to the school area. Beatus and father Mrema, project manager and fundraiser, proudly showed my wife and me around the workshop and the half finished school building, which, together with a shed for the construction materials, were standing rather forlorn in the dry plains. Two Massai who guard the buildings were accompanying us when we walked around to look for the corner stones - which we did not find. Nevertheless, infrastructure in the form of a water tap, dripping slowly, thereby transforming the dessert into a small garden of a few square feet, has reached the estate. Electric installations in the buildings were useless until the Area would be fenced in we were told. And a simple wire fence would be no real protection. Even the guards would not be able to prevent thieves from quickly cutting the wires collecting valuables onto a pickup truck and dash off. It was clear that they were finding it difficult to ask for a real wall; thinking of how many nice and presentable buildings, classrooms, dormitories one could build for that money. Protection to the Compound seemed to be a bottleneck problem for the project. I decided to pay for this wall. It should also mark possession of the land, which the school would take years to utilize and build on.
The 50th Birthday Campaign
With my 50th birthday approaching, I was asked what I would like for a birthday present. »A donation for VTC Bomangombe - and I would double your amount.« This brought a financing contribution of over 32.000 Euro (almost 45.000 US$, over 23.000 GB£). Thank you again and again!
Building The Fencing Wall
Building the Wall, 2.700 feet (800 meters) long. This attracts attention. The wall is a promise: something special is materializing here, something that is going to stay. The government officials realize it too; they send a symbolic sign back: The Uhuru Torch visits the VTC compound. (To care for the visitors' needs, a little »bog-toilet« is erected at a rather unsuitable place for the occasion).
The Uhuru Torch
From the Tanzania National Website (www.tanzania.go.tz/profile.html),
The Uhuru Torch symbolizes freedom and light. It was first lit on top of mount Kilimanjaro (5,890m) in 1961. Symbolically to shine the country and across the borders to bring hope where there is despair, love where there is enemity and respect where there is hatred. Yearly there is the Uhuru Torch race, starting from different prominent places.