Kome Island School Project
On a small island in Lake Victoria off the coast of Mwanza, Tanzania, is Kome Island. The island is accessible only by ferry or small boat and has no electricity or running water. Bugoro Primary School , on the island, serves over 700 children, who are all taught by 5 teachers. Two buildings, each containing two small classrooms, were built by the government at a time when money was available. Another structure housing one classroom was built by the local people from mud bricks that are now disintegrating. In this building, crudely hand cut windows offer no protection from the downpours during the rainy season. A blackboard and rough, wooden desks give the only indication that this is building is a school. The room is somewhat dark, has a dirt floor, and not even one book or learning aid was visible during our visit. The younger children regularly meet outside under the trees. During the rainy season, classes must run in shifts as only two buildings can be used. The younger grades are simply suspended. The government, seeing the need, began to build an additional building but the plan was aborted over 5 years ago. The meager start of initial groundwork, then abandoned, stands as a reminder of hope denied.
This is where Aid Africa’s Children stepped in. Our purpose is not to go to Africa to bring American solutions to what we perceive to be African needs. Through conversations with the principal of the school and the school board, we heard of their frustration to provide a proper environment for their children to learn. Their desire was to see this building project reinstated. The people in the village worked together to make an initial 2500 bricks, fired in such a way as to withstand the beating rains. Their need was for materials, cement, wood and metal sheeting for the roof and for a mason to oversee the construction process. We are in the process of providing these materials with careful oversight of their purchase and transportation. In this way our donors are joining as partners with the people of Kome Island to provide their children with an environment to learn. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with Bugoro, in the years to come.
Education is key to the future of these happy children. They can be heard singing at dawn and at dusk as they zigzag down a dirt path, buckets on top of their heads, carrying water for their families needs.