Monday, July 14, 2008

Zawadi ni Zawadi

About two weeks ago, Mama Tesha called all of the teachers into the staff room and when we all arived, she seemed incredibly happy. She informed us that a recently retired couple from Illinios had decided to build a library for St. Margaret's Academy.

David and Kim Olson of Chicago Illinois traveled to Tanzania a few years back and while they were here, they took a visit to St. Margarets. They happened to visit at a time when school was not in session so there were no students at the school. The two of them still felf like St. Margarets had a need that they could help fulfill. When they returned to the United States, they began talking with friends and family and decided that what the school needed was a library. They started an organization called "Zawadi ni Zawadi" ("A Gift is a Gift") and began talking to libraries and schools asking them to donate books. To date, they have gathered an entire container of books which are currently being shipped across the ocean.

As of now, St. Margarets Academy has a very small library which consists of a corner in one of the small closets and almost never gets used due to a lack of books and books that are out of date. Very few of the students have text books, and the teachers have next to nothing for books to refer to when teaching. With the addition of this library, the quality of these students education will be greatly increased.

The ground breaking happened on July 2nd, which happened to be Mama Tesha's birthday. Quite the birthday gift! It was an exciting day as all of the teachers, bus drivers, cooks and anyone that could use a shovel was helping. It has been really neat to see all of the hard work that everyone is putting into this project. Everyone is contributing every free minute they have towards the construction of this wonderful addition to the school. I have spent as much time as I can using the digging skills I have learned from landscaping to help start the foundation. With everyone's hard work, the construction should be complete withing two to three weeks.

1 comment:

joz12 said...

MATT! this is absolutely without a doubt the most wicked awesome experience I've ever read about! I'm so happy you're getting to experience all of these amazing cultures and environments! Good for you man! I might try and do something like this someday! I'm so happy you're having an amazing experience. Can't wait to hear all about it on the family vacation! Stay safe and see you soon!
-Jackie O. (The Monster)