Working together to paint our school

Back- to- school time has arrived and we know many parents and children must be full of joy! This moment brings us memories of a special moment for us: the embellishing of our building!

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

Luckily, we managed to find the funds needed to build our whole school! Thanks to the generosity of many, but mostly thanks to the Rotary Club of Nuernberger Land and the market research company Psyma. However we held off plastering and painting the school as the cost of these two stages was extremely high and we were unsure how much we would fundraise.

Reasons why plastering and painting costs are so high:

  • Regulations in Tanzania require 3 buildings for schools. One for classes, another one for the toilets, and one for the kitchen. This creates a lot of surface to cover!
  • Plaster costs a lot in any country, but we needed 6 plasterers to do all the buildings.
  • The cost of paint is also extremely high in Tanzania, which is why other schools often do not paint their walls.

We were happy the way things were! We had our own building so didn’t need to pay rent and could use the money we saved to feed the children and teachers. However, looking at the bare concrete walls made us a bit sad. We want the school to be a happy place for students as they spend so much time there, including evenings and weekends.

Tiphaine Nilias, the founder of Tanzania School Trust decided to paint the school during her visit, where she was also working a full time job. With Tiphaine volunteering to paint, labour costs were kept to a minimum and the local painters even offered her tips and tools to ensure she was completing the work efficiently!

Before Tiphaine could paint, the walls had to be plastered. This took 6 plasterers 3 days working from 7am to 6pm! The school provided them with meals that they enjoyed together so they were comfortable working long hours.

The painting took Tiphaine and 3 other painters 3 more days, painting inside the classrooms as well as the outside walls. Importantly, the children were taught their lessons outside in the garden so their tiny lungs would not breath the chemicals of the paint!

Plastering and painting cost us a lot of money, but it was worth it to see how happy the students were! In total, we had to pay USD 1,458 – the equivalent of GBP 1,268. This may seem like a lot of money however we did hire 9 workers, each of whom worked 11 hours each day! Supporting local businesses and workers is also a way to help our community and boost financial sustainability.

Whilst we are very happy that we have a shiny new school, our fundraising efforts did not quite match the costs of the project. We still need your generosity for the long term survival of the school so if you ever wish to help further, please click on this link and join our family 🙂

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