News from Tanzania

We are always full of admiration for the verve with which Gabriele and Ulrich Winkler have committed themselves to their life’s work Asante Tanzania. La Grange and Weinkontor Freund make a small contribution to this: every year a donation from the sale of the Lions wine Tradition Sélection goes directly to this great aid project.

Habari za Tanzania

It was due to the pandemic that Gaby and I were last together in Tanzania at Easter 2019. In the fall of 2021, after an interruption of two years, Gaby was finally able to travel to Tanzania again together with her friend Ingrid Echterhoff. In April 2022 we were able to continue our routine easter visits. This time our friends Petra & Stephan Wecke accompanied us. Petra and Gaby flew 2 weeks before us, Stephan and I then started almost two weeks after the two. Together with us traveled the dentist Jochen Ruschhaupt from Bielefeld and the technician Bastian Siebbrand. The two of them were supposed to finally set up the equipment for the small dental clinic at the Rhotia Health Center, because the boxes that had been stored there since 2019 were waiting to be used for their intended purpose.

Through regular email communication, however, we were well informed about the status of the individual projects during the long Corona break. But of course it was time to inspect everything on site again, to solve problems if necessary and to check and plan further projects. In the following, we will now briefly report on the current status:

The Ayalabe School

(School lunch at the Ayalabe School)

For many years we have been working very trustfully with the principal of the Ayalabe Primary School/Karatu Magreth Qamunga. We regularly buy food for school meals, school sweaters, notebooks and school supplies. This time, a conversation revealed that many girls stay home during their periods out of shame because families cannot afford underwear or hygenic items for their daughters. The young girls then miss several days of classes, which further marginalizes them. This issue is not discussed in the families and the girls are left completely alone. Fortunately, they confide in the principal. We then decided that we would first buy 400 panties, 100 leggings and 50 packages of sanitary napkins, so that the supply for the next few weeks is secured.

(New material for school lunches)

We also purchased 400 plates, 400 spoons, stainless steel buckets and ladles for serving food at noon. In this context it should be mentioned that we were able to enter into a partnership with the catholic parish Heilig Geist Bielefeld/Dornberg, which will be financially involved especially in the projects around the Ayalabe Primary School. With a used laptop from our stock we were able to facilitate Magreth’s administrative work at the school.

The Tumaini School

During the Easter vacations it was unfortunately not possible to meet all of our sponsored children from Tumaini School, as most of them were at home with their families for the holidays. However, by chance we met the three girls from Endabash when we visited our kindergarten and sewing center there. Leonia Francis (6th grade) and Anna Wilhelmi (5th grade) have been supported by ASANTE since preschool and it is a great joy to see how great they have turned out. They speak good English and are both always at the top of the class rankings. Little Anjelina is in 1st grade and will surely be as successful in Primary School as her two role models.

(Some of the children we sponsor)

At Tumaini Secondary School we met six of our 12 sponsored children, who admittedly are no longer children at all, but have matured into young self-confident teenagers. At the end of this year, some of them will leave school with good grades, which will qualify them to study at a university, college or technical school. They cite medicine, law, teaching or engineering as their career aspirations. Whether and how ASANTE can get further involved in this has yet to be determined.

The kindergarten in Endbash & the training centers for seamstresses and carpenters

These three projects are located in the Catholic community of Endabash. The respective parish priest is responsible on site. After the extremely active and hands-on priest John was unfortunately transferred, his successor had none of John’s energy and empathy. He, too, was transferred again and with the new pastor Emanuel things are a bit better. Thus the kindergarten presents itself splendidly under the leading sister Rosi and her assistant. A total of 27 children are intensively cared for and encouraged there. The kindergarten materials, which were purchased about 8 years ago, are maintained and continue to be used. The knowledge imparted is gratifyingly good – not only play is on the agenda, but also the first basic mathematical skills and an introduction to the English language are taught. The training school for seamstresses is also 75% full. Teacher Petro teaches the young women so much within a year that at the end they have the ability to independently make shirts, jackets, pants, dresses etc. and to sell them on the surrounding markets. This activity strengthens the self-confidence of the young women and gives them a new perspective on life.

For the last 2 years we have not been satisfied with the development of the training school for carpenters. Currently there is only 1 student there, with a capacity designed for 10 students. The teacher in charge is overburdened with the task and the parish priest unfortunately does not take care of this project properly. We have asked our friend Alex Mushi to act as a “headhunter” so that we can find a new director of education for this area. Then we hope to restart this training project for young men in the fall of 2022. Until then, we will not be spending in this area – we will report on how this project continues to develop.

The Massai Kindergarten & Standard I + II in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Although located in the middle of nature and 3 hours by car from the next town, this project is running outstandingly and shows that with the right selected Tanzanian management staff an incredible amount is possible. The responsible teacher Danny o’le Telele, of course a Maasai, has been with us for 8 years now. Together with his deputy Matthias and the two teachers Neema and Pascalina, they manage the kindergarten with a total of 55 Maasai children as well as the two primary school classes Standard I + II with a total of 36 children. What makes the work of the teachers so extraordinary is their great cheerfulness and empathy, which leads to concentration and intensive cooperation among the children. You can really feel that kindergarten and preschool is a great experience for everyone. The level of achievement that is reached is far above average. Many Maasai bring their children from far away to have them taught in the ASANTE TANZANIA kindergarten. This time we had among other things many pedagogically useful games and materials in our luggage. In addition, the teachers had requested raincoats, which were tried on immediately, although it was very warm with 28 degrees and the rain had not fallen for months.

(The teachers in their new raincoats)

I was more than impressed by the perfect bookkeeping of Danny and Matthias. All receipts were available, income and expenses were entered in Excel tables and were up to date. The parents now also regularly meet the obligation to pay a manageable school fee. Occasionally, 1 – 2 goats have to be sold for this purpose. However, thanks to the good results of the children and the convincing work of Danny and his colleagues, this is accepted. A planned building project for the expansion of the school, in which friends from Prague also wanted to participate, has been postponed for the time being.The current Tanzanian president would like to resettle a large number of the Maasai currently living in the Conservation Area, as their numbers have risen sharply in recent decades. This meets with strong resistance from the Maasai, who live as semi-nomads. There is no solution in sight for the time being. For the time being, however, all construction measures have to be stopped. However, we will thoroughly renovate the kindergarten, which was opened in 2014, so that the structure can continue to be preserved.

The Rhotia Health Center

Readers of our previous newsletters know well this hospital run by Catholic nuns. ASANTE Tanzania had already started in 2012 to systematically improve diagnostics and therapy in the various departments. The laboratory was completely reorganized to meet current requirements. Among other things, a digitalized X-ray department was set up, a blood bank was established, a tuberculosis ward was structured, an ultrasound department was established, and the possibility of writing ECGs was also created. All technical equipment is maintained with care and repaired when necessary, also with the help of ASANTE. Thanks to these measures and many capable employees, this hospital has now reached a very good level of care.Further investments, for example in the laboratory area, are planned. It is always a great pleasure for me to meet former colleagues.

The dental clinic at the Rhotia Health Center

(The new dental clinic)

The special highlight this time, however, was the construction and commissioning of the small dental clinic. The donated equipment had been stored in Rhotia for almost 2 years now. Until now, the Corona Pandemic prevented the technician and the dentist from traveling. But now it could finally start: Already a few hours after their arrival, the technician Bastian Siebbrand and the dentist Jochen Ruschhaupt set to work. By the evening, everything was structured.

(Handing over the new dental clinic)

The following morning (Good Friday) the engineer and friend Doug Ommanney, together with the Tanzanian contractor Alex Mushi and an electrician met to discuss which adjustments still had to be made. Work continued non-stop on Saturday and Easter Monday. In fact, everything was ready for use on Monday evening.

At the end of August 2022, Jochen Ruschhaupt flew back to Tanzania to continue training the dentist and to further build and expand the dental practice. Jochen Ruschhaupt does this work in his spare time! He deserves great respect and thanks for this. This practice is the only dental practice within a radius of 150 km and is available especially to patients who otherwise could not afford dental treatment.

Last but not least:

During our visit to the Rhotia Health Centre, we were told that the ancient Miele washing machine had unfortunately finally given up: it washed only at lukewarm temperatures and finally not at all. Unfortunately, spare parts could no longer be procured. So the sheets and towels had to be scrubbed by hand for weeks with the help of root brushes. Here, too, we were able to lend a helping hand. Thanks to the great proceeds from this year’s golf tournament on June 25, 2022, we were able to provide a good but perhaps not equivalent replacement in the form of a professional washing machine from Electrolux.

(The new washing machine)

Afterwards, we received expressions of gratitude from many sides. After all, word of the problem spread just as quickly as the good news about the purchase of the new washing machine.

Finally, we would like to thank all the friends and supporters of ASANTE Tanzania e.V.. Without your generosity, help and commitment many of the projects could not be realized. We are therefore in a position to provide long-term, reliable aid – in places where there are few alternatives to aid. In this sense a heartfelt “ASANTE SANA “

Yours Gaby & Ulli