Nyegina Girls’ Dormitory
In partnership with the community-based organization UMABU (Umoja wa Maenbeleo ya Bukwaya) and the Nyegina Secondary School Board, Tanzania Development Support participated in the architectural design and construction of a new girls’ dormitory at Nyegina Secondary School, near Musoma.
March 2012 The dormitory is finished! The first showers and flush toilets at the school are plumbed, electric service is connected to the building, and the first of 160 girls are ready to move into the dormitory in April to start Form V classes! Three years of effort, with over 200 donors contributing more than $150,000 has been rewarded with a 21st century facility that will serve generations of girls who want to continue their educations beyond ordinary secondary school. These are the girls who will be able to enter university, become teachers and doctors, or start their own businesses. We look forward to meeting the founding class during our 2012 visit to the school.
December 2011 The girls’ dormitory on the Nyegina school campus is nearly complete. Construction began in 2009 on the two-wing structure which will house 160 girls in forms five and six, the U.S. educational equivalent of fourth and fifth year of high school. Graduating from form six will allow students to go directly to teacher training college or university. The dormitory is part of an expansion program that will enable the school to offer education at this advanced level and the program will begin in the spring of 2012. TDS has provided financial support for this project through contributions from our generous donors. In addition, TDS volunteers traveled to Nyegina in 2009 and 2011 to assist with the actual construction.
With the girls’ dormitory near completion, we are undertaking another opportunity to support the community’s efforts to create a 21st-century educational facility on the Nyegina School campus. Plans are being drafted for a community library/resource center. Architecture for Humanity Chicago is our newest partner and has agreed to undertake the design of a combined library, teacher enhancement center and computer lab. The facility will serve the Nyegina School, a nearby government primary school and the village of Nyegina. Julie Force and Laura Bowe, architects representing Architecture for Humanity Chicago, were among the volunteers who traveled to Nyegina in July 2011. Julie and Laura surveyed the proposed site at Nyegina School and met with Father Leo Kazeri, UMABU representatives, Nyegina School officials and other stakeholders in the project to develop the plan. This will be only the second library in this district of 2 million inhabitants, and a crucial piece of infrastructure for the schools and the community.
May 2010 Another partner organization, the Northern Illinois University chapter of Engineers Without Borders, went to Nyegina Secondary to install solar panels on classrooms and took pictures of the most recent progress on the dorms. The walls and roof of the first wing are now up and contracts have been signed with the workers to finish the windows and interiors.
June 2009 We took a group of 23 volunteers, including students from Northern Illinois University and Elon University, to visit the community and assist in the construction. The group received a joyous welcome from the community in a festival which included a cornerstone laying ceremony with the Bishop of Musoma and a choir competition.
The group worked for two weeks (with a brief intermission for an overnight safari in Serengeti National Park) moving stones and massive piles of bricks and pouring concrete for the floors and walls of the dorm and future computer labs. The group worked side-by-side with teachers, students, and board members from Nyegina Secondary School; with UMABU members; and with other members of the community.
Thanks to our generous donors, by August 2009, we raised $40,000 to pay for the design of the building, to buy construction materials, and to pay for mafundi (skilled workers) to mix concrete for the floors and walls and to lay the bricks.
Work on the new dormitory is ongoing to finish the walls and roof for phase 1 of the building, which will house 80 girls. This will allow the school to move some current students out of their crowded one-room dorms and admit additional students. To complete the second dormitory section for another 80 girls, the TDS Board is committed to raising a total of $100,000 by the end of 2010. Below is a picture of a dormitory at a school in a neighboring region that is the model for the new dorm in Nyegina.