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  • Laurel Werner

Tunakua, We are growing!!


What great progress the village is making in so many areas! We now have power, lots of power! Thanks to REA (Rural Energy Agency) Majengo village has power to the maize mill, community hall, schools, homes and more!!

The vocational school for women is underway! We have provided the women with all the necessary tools and supplies (sewing machines, fabric, cooking utinsels and pots, furniture, school supplies) and we built the community hall where the classes will take place. It is now finished with cement floor, outdoor toilets, awesome tin roof, and power!! The hall is big, about 50'x30' and two smaller classrooms! The women are sooo excited!

The women approached me with the idea of event planning in September. This is a great idea because the village has about 10,000 people and very little entertainment possibilities so with our group they can cater and plan weddings, confirmations, funerals, etc. for up to 100 people. The group is called Maua, which means "Flower" in Swahili. The Maua group will charge fees for their services which include catering, beauty/hair/skin/nails, childcare and event set up complete with tents, tables, and enough chairs for 100 peopl! This is truly a money making opportunity for them and creates jobs for these thirty women and they are growing!!!

The sewing group has six new pedal operated sewing machines and we will teach them tailoring and sewing! This will create jobs for as many as twenty women who can sew school uniforms, clothes, material decorations for Maua group, and tailoring for the entire village!

The men are very excited for the women and asked me, what vocations can we have? We brainstormed and as fate would have it, we have a beekeeping teacher, Simon, that works at The Forestry Institute in Moshi and he runs a workshop. That gave me the idea that for men we can teach them carpentry and small mechanics so we should build them a workshop where they can make beehives, chicken coops, fix the sewing machines and motorcycles, and make furniture! The men are also starting a poultry group who will make the chicken coops and sell eggs and chickens and also fence, plant, and harvest about one acre of sunflowers!

Here the men are meeting to discuss the beekeeping and workshop ideas. We have twenty-three men participating in beekeeping and this number will grow as more people find out about the program and the men's vocations. This is also a photo of the community hall, named Pentagon Hall, which KiliTech built for the village. The hall can easily accomodate one hundred people and has two smaller rooms we are using for the sewing vocation and administrative office.

Rashidi is one of the village leaders and is very involved with the progress and development taking place in his community. Here is is taking Simon, the beekeeping teacher, for a ride to scout out the best area for a sunflower field for the bees and the best place where we can build the workshop!

The maize mill is complete, we have all the machinary but we have been waiting for several months for power. WE NOW HAVE POWER thanks to REA!! The mill will open very soon and the labels will read Tunakua Flour Majengo Posho Mill!

In September we began the clean water project to run a water line from a well about 1/3 of a mile, at least 500 yards, to a pre-school. The school has about sixty children and they had no water other than what the women would bring each day in buckets. The children now have clean, filtered, water at their school! This greatly improves their health and wellbeing. The village surprised us with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Just prescious!!

KiliTech is working with The Chikima Foundation, which is a wonderful charity that helps youth in Mbahe village, near Marangu gate on Mt. Kilimanjaro. The school is under construction and we will finish it in the next couple of weeks, make the announcements to the porters that we will offer FREE English lessons starting late March or early April! English lessons will help the porters communicate with their clients which can lead to better jobs and improved working conditions. Porters start working

on the mountain as young as 17. The youth have to drop out of school to work as porters and this is a very hard life. When they can no longer work on the mountain it is difficult for them to find other work because they do not have an education. The partnership between Chikima Foundation and KiliTech addresses this need by offering free education to porters. It is a wonderful program!!

All this work we are doing is about the Majengo Village, it is not about KiliTech, so I wanted for them to have their own logo and name so we came up with Tunakua, which is Swahili for We are Growing! All the products that will be generated by the village, honey, candles, soap, flour, chicken eggs, sunflower seeds, and more, will bare the name Tunakua with the village contact information. The logo is simple but effective, a growing spiral! They will also have their own web site so stay tuned!

FUTURE PLANS are for a medical clinic and family planning, working with Mawenzi Hospital, and volunteer housing!

ASANTE SANA!!!

We have made HUGE PROGRESS with all the projects! Thank you everyone for your donations! We hope you have enjoyed this update and are pleased with how far we have come. TUNAKUA! WE ARE GROWING!! With our efforts we are creating jobs for as many as two hundred people in the community!! Please remember to share our website and the work we are doing with your friends and family!

#marangu #mbahevillage #majengo #kilitech #chikimafoundation #rea #ruralenergyagency #kilimanjaro

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