“Almost a little too much.” This actually should be the headline of this newsletter. You could also say: “God is good!“
Building or finishing four buildings at the same time, indeed, is quite a challenge. Especially, if one keeps in mind that we have not commissioned a general contractor but handle everything ourselves—with brick layers and other construction specialists whom we have hired ourselves. Even though this way of building is rather cumbersome and time-consuming, since we have to organize and buy all building materials ourselves, it also has some advantages. For once, we are better in a position of assuring the quality of the structure. We can make sure that nothing will be built “on sand”. On the other hand, the cost is much lower. We save approximately 50% compared to working with a general contractor.
Currently, we are doing structural work on the following two buildings:
- a church and school center,
- the third orphanage building for boys ages 6 to 12.
In addition, we are working on the interior finish of two other buildings:
- the house for the manager (i.e. our own home),
- the second orphanage building for girls ages 6-12.
The much longed for construction of the water tower has been completed. All that is left is a paint job and the fitting of a steel door on the lower level. A solar water pump (donated by the Grundfos Corporation) was connected to six photovoltaic panels. It is all working well. Because of the height of the tower the 2,500 gallon tank (10,000 liters) is producing water pressure of approximately 15 psi (1 bar). In the long run, two additional tanks of the same size can be mounted on the tower. We thank all donors for their dedicated support of this important project and hope that in the coming year we will be able to build the second urgently needed water tower for the other side of the campus.
No, it is not (yet) too much – and God really is good!
1. Church and School
The school building has become possible because of dedicated students from Stuttgart University. The blueprints were the Master Thesis of an architectural student by the name of Saskia Maier.
Together with 12 fellow students of hers who, between August and Christmas, are helping for a few weeks each, she laid on hand herself at the construction site. We thank God for this commitment, especially since a great part of the financing for this project has been raised by the students themselves together with a special fund from Stuttgart University.
Our plans are to open the school for local children as well. The operation of the school is to be costcovering. This should be the case if we calculate on the basis of 15 students per class (and approximately 12 Euro or $14 per student per month). However, classes will be held in English only, in order to give the children an additional advantage for their long-term future. The building will be a place of encounter—an encounter with general education and with Christian ethical values. Living together peacefully as Christians and Muslims is being learned and promoted through the encounter in childhood days. The coastal region around our orphanage has a strong Muslim mold since approximately 80% of the people belong to Islam.
On weekends the school is to be used as a church. That is why the building will be more than just a house of academic learning. Simultaneously, it will serve as a home to the local Seventh-day Adventist Church in the village of Puna.
2. The third Orphanage Building
Construction on the third orphanage building (for boys ages 6-12) was started at the end of July. The land was cleared, the batter boards set, ditches were dug for the strip foundation and the cement foundation was poured. By now the entire cement slap is finished and part of the brick work has begun. The foundation of a major German newspaper has provided us with the financial means for the construction and finishing of this building.
3. The second Orphanage Building
The second orphanage building is being finished in small steps. The interior and exterior plastering, most of the doors and windows, the tiles in the bathrooms and the sanitary installation are almost all completed. What is still missing is the power hook-up, the paint job and the finishing of the upper floor—which in the short run is not that important since all the children and the care givers, for the time being, will be put up on the ground level. The building is intended for our girls ages 6-12. We are especially grateful to RESTORE A CHILD for their strong dedication to help us with the completion of this building.
4. Finishing of the Manager’s Home
Unfortunately, we still will have to wait a little longer to have our own privacy in our own home because we were let down by the carpenter who was supposed to install the doors and windows. Despite a sufficient down-payment which he received in May, he still has not yet finished his job. With the help of the local village chief (which is common practice in Tanzania to involve local politicians in case of judicial problems), we are trying to find a solution and hope that we will be able to move in before the year ends.
Program for Volunteers
Since August our orphanage is being supported by two volunteers who are spending a year with us. They are sponsored by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (and placed by the “weltwaerts” program together with ADRA). They are giving us valuable support in the care for our toddlers and the managing of many other household jobs.
(For additional information, please contact ADRA)
We are also grateful for the support from a volunteer from British Guyana. Dwayne came to us through our American partner organization RESTORE A CHILD. He offers valuable work in regard to many construction and maintenance jobs and other technical chores.
By the way, all volunteers hold residence and work or internship permits which are good for two years.
A big Thank You
Our partner RESTORE A CHILD with its director Norma Nashed are very dedicated to help us. They have supported us with many needful infrastructural investments for water, electric supply as well as the planting of fruit trees.
We continue to be grateful for each and every donation—especially for regular monthly support. Especially those monthly payments—even if they are very small—help us to cover our regular expenses. After all, we by now have 18 regular and permanent workers – including the workers needed for construction.
Aside from that, this time, we would like to ask for your support for the completion of the church and school building. The building is to serve both functions equally and thus, beyond the orphanage, will help the local community. Even though there may be elementary schools in the nearby village, they, however, have more than 80 children per classroom. Besides that, the teaching to some extent is marked by pagan-spiritualistic practices.
As soon as the school is finished we will apply for a state license to be able to teach the first four classes of primary school.
May God bless you.