Tanzania School Trust and the school of hope

As any charity, Tanzania School Trust is always looking out for ways to be more sustainable, making the most of the generous donations. It is not the easiest thing to do: after all, the donations are going to the teachers’ salaries, the food and water for the children, and the rent. The rent is actually the element the least sustainable cost the charity had to pay and it was becoming also the most expensive one!

Hill Crest school, the school supported by Tanzania School Trust, is in the back garden of a private who’s been more and more keen to have his privacy back. The property doesn’t have a garden but gravels, which is not just inconvenient for the kids to play but also prevents the school from growing their own corn, beans and other ingredients the school uses on a daily basis to feed the kids.

Elizabeth, founder of Hill Crest School, has been patiently saving money donated by some of the volunteers for the past 9 years so she could buy a piece of land in the hope that someday she’ll be able to build her own school there!

For a small and young charity like Tanzania School Trust, building a school is a danger: it can take too much money that would be otherwise spent on the salaries or food. However, after the rent increased and became almost impossible for the charity to pay, I felt like the right decision to invest into the construction!  And then the race to fundraising started!

Even if the land had been purchased by Elizabeth, and even if Elizabeth was able to find enough money to build the walls, the sum to collect was still considerable. Tanzania School Trust couldn’t afford to ask for money from the donators who are already contributing to the school’s salaries and food. This is when the charity asked for help from others: Nora, Tanzania School Trust’s project manager, and Bernd Wachter, a friend of the charity.

Nora asked for her colleagues of what to do, and eventually presented her idea to the CEO of her pharmaceutical company, Leopold Berthier. Leopold was thrilled to listen to Nora’s big plan and agreed to give the money needed to build the roof, which is the most expensive part of the building! Naturally, Elizabeth did a video of herself thanking him from the bottom of her heart and organised for the kids to take a photo with the company’s name.

Bernd was amazing at contacting his network and managed to get the Rotary Club of the Nuernberger land to arrange a meeting with Tanzania School Trust’s founder, Tiphaine Nilias. Her passion to keep the school alive and sustainable convinced the Rotary Club to donate 2,000 EUROS, enough to pay for the flooring and some part of the electricity set-up. Then Bernd, CEO of a market research company called Psyma, offered to have the company donate whatever money needed to finish the school construction!

What an amazing journey, a fruit of collaboration and generous, great people connecting with each other not just to make Elizabeth’s dream to come true, but to also give the children the chance to have a nicer school, to play in the grass and to enjoy the vegetables grown on the school’ land! Finishing the school building is also give the charity a very welcome rest to fundraising, and in only two years the investment will be returned! This means the charity will be able to focus on employing one more teacher and welcoming more kids instead of paying the rent!

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