Dunia ya Heri – The Project

The Dream

»The fulfillment of a dream requires a sound mix of realism and reverie.«

Alexander Beeb

We called our dream „Dunia ya Heri“ which is Swahili and means „Land of Blessing“.  This name expresses the idea we have in mind ... a fruitful and fertile piece of land which shall become a blessing to many.

As we started asking ourselves how this dream will actually look like and as we started thinking about the idea to establish an orphanage, some of the following aspects became important to us.

The Education

»Education is nothing else but an example of love.«

Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel

As Christians we believe that a child’s education should be based on Christian principles.  The focus should be on the development of a well-balanced character.  This means that at the center of any education there should be care and love.  We want to give the children a feeling of security so that they can develop self-determination, honesty and a sense of responsibility.  Because of these sound principles of education the children should become positive examples to others.

As long as it does not contradict Christian ideals “DuniayaHeri” wants to preserve the African culture with many of its positive customs and habits.  At the same time international standards will be conveyed so that the children will be able to adapt socially and to increase their job-opportunities.

Ideally, orphans will be admitted as babies or toddlers.  And just like in any other family  they should be cared for until the time when they have completed their education and are able to take on full responsibility for their own lives.

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The Educators

»The beginning of all education is having time for a child.«

Karl Hesselbach

Children are important to God.  On many occasions we can see that Jesus takes special care of and interest in children.  On one of these occasions he invites them by saying: “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them. For to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  This should be an example for us.  We want to spend quality time with them and give them the best of our attention.

“Dunia ya Heri” has the goal to provide one nurse for approximately every five orphans. The „Mamas“, as they are fondly called in Swahili, will need to have sufficient experience in order to guarantee a thoughtful and considerate but also a consistent education.

Additionally, specific talents and skills like playing musical instruments, proficiency of the English language, kitchen or garden work, etc. ... should be developed.  Because teaching these skills does not require any formal education, we plan to recruit volunteers who will be willing to spend some time with us in order to help in these areas.

The Size

»Even in a small room the character of a person has sufficient space for tremendous growth.«

Werner Bergengruen

In order to provide a family atmosphere, „Dunia ya Heri“ wants to limit its capacity to approximately 60 children.  If in the long run more space will be needed, an additional orphanage would have to be constructed.

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The Autonomy

»In companionship it is easy to live by the rules of others. In a secluded place it is just as easy to live by your own rules. But it is a sign of greatness, if you are able to live in the midst of a crowd according to your own set of principles.«

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Current political and economical events demonstrate how important it is to operate an orphanage which will be self-sustained. We have the goal to become independent – specifically as far as energy, food and water are concerned.

Because of the geographical location of the orphanage, i. e. closeness to the equator, no heating system is needed.  And due to the abundance of sunshine hours, there are ideal conditions for the production of electricity through photovoltaics.  Because of a continuous breeze from the Indian Ocean, wind energy will also be an option.

Water will be supplied through our own well, and septic tanks will solve the problem of sewage. In order to produce agricultural products for food a few acres of fertile land will be sufficient. Corn, sweet potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers as well as tropical fruit such as mangos, passion fruit, avocados and bananas can be cultivated with relative ease.

The Place

»Wherever you feel well, that’s where home is.«

Aristophanes

Of all the countries which need humanitarian aid we chose Tanzania. Despite of its political stability, Tanzania is not the strongest country economically. Even though recent developments are very encouraging, the number of individuals infected by AIDS is still around 20%.  As a result, Tanzania has approximately one million aids orphans.  Only a small number of these children can be helped by means of private or governmental initiatives.

In recent years international organizations have set up a number of orphanages in the north-eastern part of Tanzania.  In that region temperatures are much lower than in the tropical warm and unfortunately Malaria-infested coastal regions.  We decided to care for children in those regions of the country where other organizations are hesitant to go.

A piece of land for an orphanage must meet certain criteria.  Amongst those water supply is one of the most important aspects to consider.  In addition, the property must have a certain size and it must have fertile soil.  Natural beauty and a diversified landscape would be a good setting for the children.  Even though it should be a peaceful and secluded location within the country, it would ideally be located within the vicinity of a larger city – assuring good medical aid and food shopping facilities.
For a while we were wondering, “would we ever be able to find a piece of land which would suit our purpose?”

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The Beginning

»Dimidium est facti coepisse – It is more than half of a task to have made a beginning.«

Decimus Magnus Ausonius

It is encouraging to see how God is there to accompany this project.  That which a short time ago was just a dream is about to become reality.

The Decision

»The most expensive work-related disease is the fear to take a decision.«

Hans Böck

As we were looking for a suitable place for “Dunia ya Heri” – the land of blessing – we became aware of a piece of land which was not too far from the “House of Peace” – as the city of Dar es Salaam is called.  Dar es Salaam is, with a total of 4.4 million inhabitants, the largest city of Tanzania.  In the south the extension of the city is restricted by the ocean which extends into the Msimbazi river delta.  This straight can only be crossed by ferryboat.  Reaching the other side the noise and bustle of city life, with all its colonial buildings, high-rises, churches and mosques transforms into an idyllic country atmosphere of a village with forested surroundings.  The busy life of the city – even though just a few minutes ago still very present – sinks into the far distance.

The further one drives south the more sparsely populated the country becomes.  The lush green of the fields with huge mango and cashew nut trees and plenty of coconut-palms is lining the country road.  It leads south not far from the blue shores of the Indian Ocean, which – even though hidden from sight –is ever present providing a cool and salty ocean breeze.

After approximately 20 miles the tarmac road abruptly ends, giving way to another 15 miles of gravel road.  It leads to a small village called by the exotic name of “Yale Yale Puna”.  A short distance behind the village a small track leads directly into the wilderness, where one reaches a lovely piece of property blessed with old trees and plenty of grassland.  At times one may even come across long-tailed monkeys and baboons.

Even though we experienced sporadic spells of enthusiasm important matters still had to be settled.  The availability of good quality water is one of the most important criteria for the usefulness of land within Africa.  Our drilling for water produced a well with the capacity of approximately 800 gallons/hour.  This would definitely be enough for supplying the sanitary needs of an orphanage and for watering lawns, gardens and trees.

The property also meets other important criteria:

  • The 12 acres of rolling land offer sufficient space for all of the buildings of the orphanage.
  • The soil is fertile and suitable for the cultivation of fruit trees and vegetables.
  • The property already has a good tree population including palm trees, mango and cashew-nut trees as well as the famous African baobab trees.
  • The property is located only 400 yards from a country road with little traffic.
  • Within its vicinity there is a primary and a secondary school which could be used for our children during the first few years – until we set up our own school.
  • For medical emergencies there is a small clinic in the nearby village of Yale Yale Puna.
  • There is a possibility of purchasing additional land for the cultivation of important agricultural products such as potatoes, corn and cereal.
  • Beginning in 2015, the property will be connected to a public power supply.
  • Also in 2015, a newly built bridge across the bay south of Dar es Salaam will substitute the ferries and save substantial time for reaching the city.

The proximity to Dar es Salaam offers further advantages.  The supply of food and necessary medical attention will be easier.  After finishing secondary school, the orphans may continue their university studies in Dar es Salaam without abruptly losing contact to their “family and home”.  Additionally, the nearness to the great social needs of a metropolis like Dar es Salaam, offers vast possibilities of supporting the poor and needy.
Finally, it should be mentioned that the airport of Dar es Salaam is one of the major hubs for air traffic into and within East Africa.

We were sure that this was the right place for the orphanage.

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The First Steps

»The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.«

König Salomo (Sprüche 16,9)

After finalizing the purchase of the property and carrying out a successful search for water we were able to take further important steps:

  1. A topographical survey was carried out.
  2. Due to continuously increasing property prices the purchase of another piece of land was initiated. This property would offer a place for constructing a primary and a secondary school as well as vocational schools and production facilities for a school industry. The land borders on a small creek, which carries water all year around and is ideal for the irrigation of organic fruit orchards.
  3. The construction of a house for the guardsmen who will ensure the security of the property was started.
  4. A small Suzuki pick-up for the transport of construction materials was purchased.
  5. A team of individuals knowledgeable in legal, financial and medical affairs was formed in order to deal with all necessary bureaucratic matters.
  6. A new website was created.

The Construction

»Whoever builds his life on service does not live in vain.«

Emil Oesch

Our faith in God gave us the courage to start with this ambitious project.  We ask God to lead us all the way, because “unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.“

Within the next few months the construction of the buildings for the orphanage will involve intensive work.  A large number of decisions are to be taken.  Despite of this vast amount of work, we have set ourselves the goal of receiving the first orphans during the first half of 2016.

Until then important administrative matters have to be settled;  among them the acquisition of a work permit for a German family who will run the project on site.  Also a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) needs to be established.  At the same time detailed plans for the construction of the orphanage need to be worked out.  These include:

  1. A master plan for the position of all future buildings of the orphanage – together with architectural plans for each building.
  2. A detailed plan for the electrical layout of the photovoltaic equipment, wind generators and public power supply.
  3. Underground engineering for the general water supply with a well, a water tower, a water distribution system, septic tanks and solar panels for warm water.

In September of 2015 the construction of the first buildings for the orphanage can start.

To be in a position of receiving the first orphans an initial investment of approximately $285,000 (250.000 Euros) is needed.  The following buildings have top priority:

  • A dormitory
  • A nursery with a small kitchen and laundry-room for babies and toddlers
  • A general chapel and meeting room
  • A generator house with a small office
  • A water tower
  • A building for the entrance gate

Additionally, equipment, machinery and furniture at a cost of approximately $46,000 (40.000 Euros) will be needed.  Without taking into consideration the expense in connection with the German family, we calculate the running costs of the orphanage for the first year at approximately $42,000 (37.000 Euros).

In order to be able to receive all of the planned 60 children, an additional budget of $228,000 (200.000 Euros) is needed for:

  • Further dormitories
  • A kitchen with a dining hall
  • A laundry room and storage house
  • Two school buildings, each with one classroom for pre-school education.
  • Accommodation for personnel and volunteer workers.
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A Chance to Create a Better World

»What may the future hold? It will hold whatever we are willing to invest.«

Peter Benary

It is not easy to put oneself into the position of a person who has to deal with the challenging circumstances connected to the loss of one’s family.

Our team consists of very committed individuals.  They are willing to dedicate their personal time, financial resources as well as their skills and talents for caring for some of the poorest and most underprivileged individuals in the Third World, i. e. children who find themselves in a hopeless situation, who are in need of food, shelter and love.

Some individuals of our team will move to Tanzania in order to dedicate their lives to this project.  They will work together with the local population and try to give people a chance to find hope and courage in their lives – to help them make their lives once again worth living.
We are aware of the fact that there are many organizations soliciting support for children in the Third World.
Because of our personal involvement we are able to supply our donors with a maximum amount of transparency in all of our activities.  We depend on you and your personal support.  In return for your engagement we will be more than happy to let you participate in the success of our project – so that the story of “Dunia ya Heri” will become a very personal experience of yours as well!  We pray that you may receive some of the blessings involved in helping to make this world a better place for children.

We would like to point out the following facts:

  • 100% of all donations – without any deduction of any administrative costs of our organization – will go directly towards the project of “Dunia ya Heri” in Tanzania.
  • Aside from the supply of food and shelter we also care for the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of our children.
  • Our children will receive an education which in the long run will enable them to stand on their own feet in the future.

Will you help us to establish this project?

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»The true heroes of history were not the greatest of its conquerors but those men and women who fought the battle against injustice.«

Martin Andersen-Nexö