From Sponsor to Godfather
Two times in 2007, in January and October, I have visited Tanzania and the priests' community in Sabuko. During these visits my role as fundraiser and benefactor of the project did change: Not knowing how the ALCP wanted to continue, i started to ask more and more questions and found myself involved in the project planning. It started with trying to find out, where exactly the three existing builings – the construction of a canteen building had started – are located on the VTC compound. It became clear, that neither of them were standing where the original master plan had put them.
Masterplanning the VTC Compund
By taking bearings from the buildings and counting the pillars of the fencing wall, I drew a first new plan with the approximate location of what was already there. Then we, Father Beatus, Father Mrema and myself, defined zones for future workshops, classroom buildings, dormitories for boys and girls and administration buildings. We didn't know, where to put the boys' dormitories at first, whereas it was quite clear, where the zone for the Girls' would be. In the end we decided to leave this question open, as it would be unrealistic to start with boys and girls at the same time. So the girls' dormitory would be inhabited by the boys until we were able to build a second dormitory.
Returning in October I found the dormitory and the central toilet block nearing completion. But the workshop building stood there pretty much as I left it in January 2006. There were discussions about the necessity of Teachers accommodation, a matron's house, and an administration building. But haven't we agree to transfer the school operation from Karanzi to Bomangombe and start with a new first year class in January?
To learn more about the organisation and building structure of car repair workshops, Beatus and I went around Arusha and Moshi, to look at other car and metal workshops. Especially the Toyota Service Station in Arusha was very helpful, letting us explore their layout and work flow organisation. From this experience I drew a new plan for the workshop compound which will need to be separated from the rest of the school compound to ensure security for the entrusted vehicles or other objects to be repaired or constructed there.
After much further discussion Fathers Beatus and Mrema agreed, to concentrate on the Workshop compound. The accommodation for the teaching staff would have to be improvised by giving them one of the wings of the dormitory. In my eyes it was anyway better to start with a close relationship between teachers and students as so many things will have to be improvised. Sharing the problems and their solutions would help the pedagogic concept of the school.
Interfering With The Recruitment And The Organisation
Having seen the scale of the operation in its old location at Karanzi, I was convinced, that the new VTC would need some fresh blood for managing the garage. Father Beatus has been talking to an experienced Motor Vehicle Mechanik who claimed to be in charge of a government garage in Arusha. When we visited the site in Arusha it was clear that no suitable candidate could come from such a run down operation.
'We visited the VETA Institute in Moshi and asked for an advice. Fortunately the teacher in charge of the diesel injection unit recommended one of his students, who was about to finish his degree, had teaching experience and was looking for a job. I liked him from the first look. But he was too young in the eyes of Father Mrema to make him a workshop manager, beside the sitting principal of the VTC. Still I urged them to employ him. Which in the end they did.