The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
If you haven't been greeted by the students at Lutangilo Secondary School, it's worth the three-hour drive just to experience it. Listening to the students sing about their school located in the forested mountains of Tanzania and how education will give them a better life is inspiring. Under the leadership of Headmaster Sebastian Chaula, students at Lutangilo have been studying hard and a higher percentage than ever have been passing their national tests. This is why it was so important to build science laboratories at Lutangilo. And thanks to those in the Saint Paul Area Synod and beyond, the students at Lutangilo now have two brand new science labs.
In order to receive national accreditation in Tanzania, secondary schools must have science labs. Lutangilo coped with this requirement by having a cupboard of science equipment that they set up and a sign that said "Science Lab" that they hung above the door of a classroom when needed. It was, understandably, a temporary fix. Three years ago when I visited, Headmaster Chaula showed me the foundations for two science labs that they had begun on their own. When I showed photos to the Scholarship and Education team of the Iringa Committee, we talked about how partnering to fund this capital project would broaden our thinking about how we partner with those in Tanzania to support education for larger purposes than simply paying the fees for one student at a time.
We worked with Sebastian to develop a budget and how we might partner with the Iringa Diocese to complete the project in a timely manner. With your help, we received over $32,000 in donations to finish the project on time and within budget.
We're looking forward to seeing photos of students using the labs. Those of us who have visited Lutangilo encourage groups visiting Tanzania to plan a trek to Lutangilo. You will be amazed at the beauty of the countryside and inspired by the students and faculty.
As we continue to partner with the Iringa Diocese on educational infrastructure projects, our next joint venture will be a multi-purpose building for the students at Mtera Secondary School. Watch for more information about how you can help us work bega kwa bega to complete this project.
Chair of the BKB Scholarship & Education Group