2015: Working in Tanzania

In 2015 we went to review progress the school had made with the poultry farm and gardens, and to see what additional support we can provide

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Judy Elphick's Blog from Tanzania - November 2015

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2 November 2015

It is two years since I sent my last blog from here and here we are again.

Today we went to Nkwasangare Primary School in Machame about half an hour's drive from Moshi to find out how they are getting on with the Rotary-funded Chicken Project. We spoke to the Headmaster, the Chairman of the Governors and a parent representative. 

Two years ago, we ordered and paid for 72 of these desks from Ghona Vocational Training College for the Deaf. We were pleased to see that they had all been made and delivered and are now in use at Nkwasangare Primary School. 


Mr. Meena, who has been such an invaluable help to us in everything Haddenham has done in Moshi, was very pleased to show us the completed chicken hut.

Note how he is proudly wearing his Paul Harris badge. 

At the moment they only have 50 chickens which were purchased as day-old chicks.

That is not enough to make a viable concern so more need to be bought.

We are advised that 300 - 400 would be best.


3 November 2015

Today we went to Msandaka School for the Deaf. It was lovely to be back as we have such a long association with the school. 

We were amazed and really very pleased when we saw the new chicken hut. 

The Lions Club of Moshi, who have supported this school for many years, have supervised the building of it and it has made a huge difference.

One Lion just happens to have a poultry business and he has taken an interest in it. Unfortunately he is out of the country at the moment but when he gets back next weekend we will meet him to discuss costs of feed and potential income from the sale of eggs, etc.

Just thought you might like to see this mango tree which is in the play area just outside the classrooms. Unfortunately the mangos are not quite ready!

4 November 2015

It's been a busy day today and, fortunately, not quite so hot. This morning we went to Child Reach, an independent Tanzanian Charity who work with many NGOs. They could be a great help to us because they would monitor and advise on any projects we set up here.

Two years ago, they installed a chicken house at Ghona Vocational Training School for the Deaf so were able to give us valuable information on the price of food and how much we could expect to raise from the sale of eggs. 

In the afternoon, we went to Ghona, accompanied by Victor from Child Reach, to see their chicken project in action. The chicken house at Ghona College, set up by Child Reach and apparently successful. 


Boys, aged between 18 and 24, learn woodworking at Ghona Vocational Training College for the Deaf. They are very short of saws and planes (probably many other tools as well) which makes us realise just how much help is needed wherever we go. 

The girls are learning to sew, a skill which it is hoped will enable them to get employment when they leave the College. Probably half of their machines are in need of repair and cannot be used. 

5 November 2015 

Today we drove to Arusha, a journey which took us more than 2 hours each way. There is a speed limit of 50 kph most of the way, and the volume of traffic means that everyone travels at the speed of the slowest. And we think our roads are bad!

The purpose of the Arusha trip was to visit Rabbit Bliss, a commercial operation, which supplies farmers with 5 does and 1 buck.

The rabbits then produce around 6 kids every 2 months and when the kids reach 4 – 6 months they are bought by Rabbit Bliss for slaughter.

It all sounded very interesting and could well be another project for Haddenham Rotary to consider in the future.

On first sight it appears that if they were put into schools they could prove to be more profitable than the chickens we are installing at the moment. Worth thinking about anyway. 

Rabbit hutches installed and ready for production. Breeding rabbits at the Rabbit Bliss premises in Arusha.

They are so cute they would surely be a hit with the children at any primary school in which they are installed. 

We saw this Masai farmer taking his cattle to market in rural Arusha. Note the horns on them!

6 November 2015 

Today we have had a day off from chickens, rabbits, water-harvesting gutters, swings, saws and planes and have travelled to the back of beyond to spend the night at a Masai Lodge somewhere to the west of Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

We travelled through scenery like this ....

....to be welcomed by the staff at the lodge ....


 .... and shown to our accommodation in Masai round huts. 

9 November 2015 

It was back to work this morning after our safari to the Masai Lodge and Tarangire National Park.

We began with a shopping trip to Moshi, where we called in to see 2 sets of swings under construction which we ordered for Msandaka School for the Deaf before we went away.

They are now being painted and will be ready to install very soon.


We then went to buy 4 saws, 4 planes and 3 sets of chisels for Ghona Vocational Training College for the Deaf and we delivered these ourselves later in the day. 

Lastly, we bought a very large pot of paint for a Pre-School near to where we are living.


10 November 2015 

Over the last few days we have made extensive enquiries regarding the profitability of small chicken projects in Tanzania and as a result have decided that it is worthwhile to go ahead.

Therefore, this morning we went up to Nkwasangare Primary School, a small rural school in a beautiful setting on the lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The school is about 200 yards down a track to the left.

Note the lovely jacaranda trees which surround the school.

After discussing at length the responsibilities and expectations of the Staff and Governors we handed over enough money for them to be able to buy another 100 chicks and to feed them until they begin to lay.

It was very humbling and moving to experience their profound gratitude at receiving our gift. 

The School Staff (see photo 17 -the lady standing next to the Headmaster will be responsible for the chickens and seems very enthusiastic about the project. We wish them the best of luck).


This afternoon we went again to visit Child Reach to discuss the major project which we hope to begin two years from now with the help of a Global Grant.

This project will be to install chickens into more schools as well as model gardens which are aimed at teaching the children and the community how to grow a greater variety of vegetables.


11 November 2015 

We were back at Msandaka School for the Deaf this morning to see the completed swings which we ordered at the end of last week. There was great excitement among the children who have been without any form of play equipment since the last swings were destroyed by termites a few years ago. 


While we were there a lorry arrived with bricks for the new kitchen.

The old kitchen was so badly destroyed by the fire that it has been decided to start again and knock down the walls of the old building.

Several different benefactors have rallied round and contributed towards the cost of replacing the kitchen. Haddenham and District Rotary is one of them. 

12 November 2015

Today we went to Njiapanda a lovely school for the deaf which has the benefit of a very enthusiastic and ambitious Headmaster. We are planning to put a school garden here so we went to view possible sites.

The purpose of a school garden is to teach the children and also the local community how to grow a wider variety of vegetables.

The project would be managed by Childreach - this doesn't look like a very suitable site for a School Garden!

We then went to view a garden which has been in place and managed by Childreach for almost a year.


We were very impressed by what could be achieved and how much more varied the diet could be as a result.

The garden on the right is at the end of its first growing season. It is managed by Childreach and cared for by the local community.

In the early evening we went to a meeting of Machame Rotary where members are very young and inexperienced. They are having great difficulty in paying their dues to Rotary International as the amount being asked of them is equal to the monthly salary of an average teacher.

After much discussion we handed over to the Machame Rotary President sufficient money to purchase a goat for their first event "Chagga Bite". It was agreed that they would hold an event like this once a month to which the local community would be invited. The profit from these events will help pay the fees dues to Rotary International.

13 November 2015

We spent a large part of today in negotiations with Childreach at their Head Office in Moshi.

After a wide ranging discussion it was agreed that we would put in a garden at Njiapanda School for the Deaf and that Childreach would monitor it and send regular reports on its progress back to us in the UK.

A Memorandum of Agreement was drawn up and signed by both parties.

Once this was done we felt that we had been successful in what we had set out to do. We had installed sustainable chicken projects in two schools and a trial garden in another.

We feel that these projects have every chance of success and, provided they are, we hope to be able to install similar projects into a further 10 schools in two years time.


After this was done we entrusted to Godwin, our very reliable driver and friend, the task of organising the installation of a fence round the quarter acre garden plot at Njiapanda. He accepted the job with great enthusiasm and we have no doubt at all that he will make an excellent job of it. 

We have now run out of time and money and it just remains for me to sign off and say "See you all soon back in Haddenham". 

Judy Elphick