Oldonyo Sambu, Arusha, Tanzania — November 12, 2010 –
Two new classrooms and a teachers’ office were dedicated to the community of Oldonyo Sambu on November 12, 2010, by International NGO Jenga Jumuiya, a United States-based non-profit organization working in tandem with Tanzanian Community Development Organization.
The project, begun in July 2010 and completed today, focused not only on building classroom capacity for the rural, heavily overcrowded school, but on encouraging community involvement in the process. To this end, the organization worked closely with the village and school boards to create a partnership by which the project was partially funded by the local community.
The two new classrooms and teachers’ office were erected on the site of, and using the existing concrete blocks from, a formerly built outer structure funded by the community in 2008. In addition, the village and parents of children in attendance at the school provided sand and stone for the construction.
Prior to the completion of these new classrooms, Oldonyo Sambu Primary School taught 1,038 students in a mere seven classrooms during the 2010 school year. The additional building brings the classroom count to nine.
The cost of the construction was approximately $7,000US and took approximately six weeks to complete. All funds were raised through donors in the United States through Jenga Jumuiya, under the direction of Heidi Henneman. Materials and labor were sourced locally in and around Arusha and Oldonyo Sambu in order to create economic stimulus for the area.
A dedication celebration was held to honor the Jenga Jumuiya organization and Ms. Henneman on November 12, 2010. The event featured traditional Maasai dancing and singing by the Oldonyo Sambu school children, speeches by school and community leaders, a poetry reading by several of the upperclass girls, an exchange of gifts, a speech by Ms. Henneman, a walk-through of the completed classrooms and office, and a lunch, served by the parents and teachers. More than 1,000 people were in attendance at the event, including students, teachers, parents, and community members.
Jenga Jumuiya is a United States-based non-profit organization focused on creating community through the building of classrooms, the renovation of existing school buildings, and the sponsorship of students in marginal and under-funded rural schools in developing countries. The organization was founded in 2010 by Heidi Henneman, a journalist and businesswoman who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas and a Professional Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University. Ms. Henneman has traveled extensively throughout the world both as a tourist and a volunteer vacationer. She founded Jenga Jumuiya after visiting a cultural tourism program in Tanzania that opened her eyes to the need for education facilities in rural areas of developing countries.
For more information, please contact:
US: +1 646 373 9084
TZ: +255 (0)758 306 151