To Grow or to Consolidate?

When Father Beatus visited me in May 2009 in Germany it was already obvious, that the shadows of the financial crisis had hampered fundraising badly. No chance to finance the strategy of quick growth which we thought necessary to improve the cost structure of the school. But also the risks of a quick growth strategy have become more apparent than anticipated. Especially the shortcommings in management organisation and leadership competence posed a great challange. It seemed to be wiser to rather finance an operating deficit for some years than pushing capacity above managable proportions. On the other hand it is much more difficult to raise funds to subsidise an operating deficite than for investments in tangeable assets.

Anyway, with or without the funds for a growing capacity, an improvement of management competence on the operating level was urgent. With the promise of the Missio Bolzano, Italy, to cofinance a development expert, I tried to convince an experienced engineer from the automotive industry to spend a year or two in Bomangombe, by inviting him to a short visit there in June.

What we found was encouraging:

  • In January the boys had moved from their temporary quarters to the new dormitory
  • 11 Girls have moved into the old dormitory, which was intended to be the girl's dormitory from the beginning.
  • In the matron's house 3 sisters of the Usambara Sisters had taken quarters
  • One of them a teacher for tailoring, a vocational training which had started with some donated sewing machines in one of the classrooms.
  • The driving school vehicle, had been restored to roadwothiness by the teachers and students in the workshop
  • The staff houses were finished and 3 of the 4 appartments inhabited by the teachers

Only one appartment was still free. And this we wanted to reserve for the volunteer expert, which i had brought. Unfortunately, after two months of persuasion we did not come together.