Construction progess III - Kitchen finished!
It’s been a year since our fundraising events in le Lavaux, Switzerland took place. And here we are with the construction of the orphanage well underway: the water well, the fence, the living & dining room as well as the kitchen, are built!
Sandrine was in Tanzania for the past 9 months and followed closely every step. Both of us are now based in Switzerland, and will continue to travel to Gairo from time to time to supervise the next works. In the meantime our local partner keeps an eye close on the daily processes.
Our construction team has started to work on the dorms’ buildings (one for the girls and one for the boys), and we look forward to share with you the final result in the next months!
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!
Construction progress II - Living and dining room finished!
We are SO HAPPY! You probably saw the pictures, but check them again, we’ve finished the living and dining room!! Doesn’t it look great?
The construction company is very serious, and we are very satisfied with the quality of the works. Sandrine has been visiting the site two more times since March, and each time she had the opportunity to discuss with the construction manager as well as with the district engineer. So far, we’re in line with our budget, although, we had a few additional costs. Indeeed, we decided to add a gutter to collect the rain water as well as a PVC board to cover the roof.
Also we’ve started the construction of the kitchen, which will be finished soon, stay tuned ;-)
Finally, we had to review our architectural plans for the dorms as the authorities were worried of the unclear separation between girls and boys within the initial plan. Therefore, we submitted a new plan and we hope to start the dorms’ construction within the next few weeks!
WORK IN PROGRESS
Construction progess I
The construction is currently going on and very well: the living and dining room is getting built so fast! Sandrine visited five times since December 2017 and confirms that everything is going as planned and that the building already looks great!
We should be able to share with you the final building in a month or two ;-)
WE HAVE STARTED THE CONSTRUCTION
2018 couldn’t have started in a better way: we’ve raised 100% of the funds needed! Thank you to all of you for making it happen. You can follow the whole construction here and on Instagram (@twigashouse) and keep spreading the word around you <3
Step 1: Water well - done
We hired Jersey Drilling Company for the drilling of the water well. The water is at 180 meters underground. The pump is really important in the water well system, and it is crucial to buy a quality one. We asked quotations from several pump suppliers in Tanzania such as Davis&Shirtliff, Merrywater, WILO, and we finally bought a Grundfos pump from David & Schirtliff. They are known for their good sustainability. Also, it is planned to place the water tank on the top of the water stand in order to have enough pressure to distribute the water to the different buildings.
In parallel, we have built a small guardhouse, as during the whole works we need someone to watch the site and the material.
Step 2: Fence – in process
Step 3: Living and dining room – starting
Visit to Gairo
Sandrine moved to Dar es Salaam end of October. Now that she is based there, it will facilitate the supervision of the whole construction phase. Yet, we went together to Gairo at the end of November to prepare and arrange everything along with our partner that is needed before the start of the construction – planned for January 2018. We had internal meetings with the team as well as with external parties, such as with the engineer.
In fact, it was important to first register with the electricity company (Tanesco) and to start bringing the electricity all the way to our land by installing new poles. Second, it was key to obtain the approval of the architectural plans by the district engineer – which we got! Finally, we also discussed the water well drilling process as this will be the first work we will start with.
And of course, we spent time playing and singing with all the children at the Bethel centre. Sadly, the number of orphans and vulnerable children at the centre rose from 250 to 325 in just one year…
The picture illustrates all the children having lunch: we all teamed up to cook 100 kg of rice and beans!
After several months spent on the elaboration of the budgets, the architectural plans, the application for the building permit, the website, social medias and many other pre-required activities, we were finally ready to launch Twigas’House in July 2017.
From there, our main objective was to share our project and start looking for financial support for the construction of the orphanage. Therefore, we organised three fundraising events in September 2017 in le Lavaux, Switzerland, gathering more than 150 people. We presented Twiga’House and explained the first phase of our project: the construction of the orphanage.
These events were very successful: we raised 75% of the amount required for the construction!!
So a sincere THANK YOU for your presence, attention and great generosity! We are very grateful to be surrounded by such amazing and generous friends and family. We feel that you guys are not only financially supportive but that you do genuinely believe in our project, and this is what drives us.
Since then, the word spread and we were able to raise even more funds. And to fill the remaining gap, we have sent our project proposal to a number of Swiss Foundations and we really wish to be able to achieve our objective of starting the construction in January 2018!
Signature of the partnership
Twigas’House signed a partnership agreement with Bethel Orphan support centre to agree on our common goals, respective responsibilities and duties. We believe that our shared values; collaboration, commitment, transparency and integrety will make our partnership succeed in the long term.
Meeting with the local authorities
During our trip in November 2016, we had the opportunity to meet with Agnes Magoweko (ward district executive director), Sharifa Yusufu (exectuive officer of community development of Gairo district), Amri Mohamed (officer in charge of HIV/AIDS in Gairo), Makacha (district executive officer’s assistant) and Adam Libanbanga (general secretary of ditrict commission).
These meetings were really important to us as the authorities got to know who we are and what we do. They gave us official authorization to work in Gairo district and warmly welcomed us. We will need the district’s approval before the construction, as well as an authorization from the social welfare officer to take care of the children. This also allowed to establish ties/relationship with the local government for potential future partnership for a common vision of community development.
Twigas’House and Bethel have bought the land during our visit in November 2016. After visiting three different lands, we agreed on the first we visited, which is 5000m2. It has three advantages: 1) Near the town’s centre, 2) access to electricity 3) size and price. The second one was just next the one we bought but it was too big and thus too expensive. The third one was too far from town and has no access to electricity.
Visiting children’s families
As does Chacha or other Bethel staff members nearly everyday, we spent two afternoons visiting the children’s families. Indeed the orphans and vulnerable children live with their mothers – often widow –, or relatives – if both parents passed away –, along with many other siblings or cousins and children. That is to say a home accommodates about 10 people. These huts are made of rough earth and the roof of straw or metal. They have 2 or 3 small holes on the walls used as windows and entail 1 or 2 spaces for mattresses lying on the ground and one space for cooking on wood-fire. There is usually a bench and 2 or 3 small stools made of wood. It goes without saying that these living conditions are very poor and basic needs such as eating, drinking, and washing are not always met. A widow taking care of 4 to 8 children cannot afford meeting these conditions. This is the reason why Chacha along with Bethel members try their best to help 250 of these children by offering them a weekly meal at the centre, nursery school and access to water since recently, in addition to visiting them and their families to spend some good time with them and bring them soap and/or sugar.
This time we visited five families, bringing them soap, sugar and some clothes that our friends in Switzerland gave us. First, we visited a grandmother, her daughter, widow, and her 4 children, of which two attend nursery school at the centre. We also visited a family reuniting two orphans (a 12 year old girl and a 15 year old boy) and their grandmother, along with two aunts and their children. The two children’s father had just died from a disease and the grandmother raised the issue of access to healthcare for the two children, asking for support to pay one year of health insurance for both. After spending some time discussing with them we gave them each 1000 Tanzanian Schilling (0.5 USD) for the insurance, which covers free medical care for one year. The next afternoon we visited a widow and her 6 children, of which two attend the centre’s nursery school. The mother told us about her hut and how after each rain season it is partly demolished because of water flows coming from the mountain. She already had to rebuild the back wall 3 times. Lastly we visited a young mother with her new born baby, which she was breastfeeding, although she suffers from HIV, as she has no other choice than to feed her child.
Visiting and taking care of these families is the heart of Chacha’s commitment and our visits to Gairo. Not only do we bring material things they need, but most importantly we spend quality time with them and definitely make their day as they make ours! We both agree that nothing is more heart-warming than seeing their smile and how they are welcoming. We are so grateful to have met them and this clearly drives our action.