Shifting gears on the Porter Education Project
Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and roll with the punches! After feeling personal and political pressure with the porter education project (there is a lot of protection/controversy/sensitivity surrounding porters), things just were not going smoothly and so I felt we should rethink the project. After careful consideration, and discussions with board members, we have decided that instead of rolling out the program ourselves we are better off in a supporting role. There is a local foundation in Marangu who wants to offer free education to porters but has had difficulty getting support and resources and we feel we can be of great assistance to them, while not being in the spotlight as a foreigner meddling in a politically charged area! Even though we had invested a lot of time in planning the school we had not invested a lot of money so now is the right time to shift gears.
I am passionate about helping the porters, who work so hard and have so little, so KiliTech will assist the local foundation by helping them build the school and providing technology such as solar power, wifi, computers, and educational materials, but because of the politics KiliTech will not be involved with hiring teachers, negotiating with park officials, nor the day to day operations of the school. At first, I felt like we were giving up a lot because we (Thadei) spent a lot of time researching the school, meeting with local school and park officials, and creating lesson plans and study materials, but all of these things we have learned from and we can use the materials for other projects! Next week Thadei and I are meeting with the chairman of the foundation and I think the meeting will go very well and we can make the announcement soon of our partnership!
Even though taking a step back from the porter project is somewhat disappointing, KiliTech is very busy in Majengo with the Girls Vocation program and the mobile health clinic. These two projects are large in scope with momumantal benefit to the community who are all so greatly appreciative! I am actually quite happy to be able to focus our efforts on these two projects and am also pleased we can still offer support to the porter education project through the local foundation.