I am Judith’s youngest son and have recently got more involved in the charity since my mother’s passing.
October’s 2019 trip to Tanzania was an emotional one for me as it had a dual purpose. Breaking the news to the village and my late grandmother the news of her daughter’s passing. The trip also coupled as a fact-finding mission to get a good understanding of the needs of the school and in the wider community.
This was the first time I had traveled to the village without my mother which was quite daunting.
Emotions aside, it was truly amazing to see firsthand, the impact the charity and ultimately my mum’s life work had achieved in enriching so many lives in Buturi.
The water pump was the first successful project undertaken by the charity and it was great to see the positive impact it has had on the Buturi people. Seeing family collect clean water is a drastic contrast from my trip in 2005 where they would use unsafe water from a nearby pond. The water pump plays such a vital role to the Buturi village especially during the drought months in the summer, which would usually force locals to drink unsanitary water.
Although the school is not the finished product that my mother envisioned yet, it was beautiful to see the standard of education the children were receiving and the potential the school has. Children with an age range from 2 – 8 years were reading and writing in both Swahili and English. It was such a pleasure to see the enthusiasm and the joy the children have for learning and Karoline the teacher has for teaching them.
Karoline is such an inspirational woman. She has quite a severe physical ailment in her feet which makes walking quite a challenge for her traveling to the school. But it does not faze her in the slightest. She spends 90% of her salary just traveling to work.
The school is only operating at a fraction of its capacity/capability as only one of the 9 classrooms are currently being used. And the school only has one teacher.
The unused classrooms are left bare and are still somewhat of a construction site. The school is currently lacking doors and windows and is unpainted. All of which are requirements in order for the school to be recognized by the Tanzanian government.
The school does have a Rain harvest system in place to offer clean water for children. But it needs crucial maintenance as there has been weather damage. So, it is unclear how long that will remain effective.
It was truly humbling to see the need and want for education in Buturi and how much it enriches the children’s’ lives; education plays such a crucial role in the world and it meant so much to my mother. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a great project.