Welcome to OnSafariAfrica
That is Kiswahili for welcome. So, welcome to our website where we will try and entice you to come to Africa and help repair or build new facilities.
Travel with us through East Africa to one of the school sites we are linked with. There you will find plenty to do, whether it is painting, making desks, mixing concrete for the floors, building water tank butts or just helping the experienced local artisans.
The school we are helping at the moment is the Magara Primary School in Tanzania, some way south of Arusha. In 2012 we were involved in a three trips which saw huge improvements to the welfare of the local school children.
How can I raise some money to help? Some of our participants have raised the necessary monies by doing Challenges. Marathon running, mountain climbing, cycling, dieting to name a few.
I cannot build
You don't need to be a handyman or bulging muscled builder to take part. Just have the heart to help. We organise everything and there are experienced artisans on hand to help you. They will do the hard manual labour if needed. You will be amazed how much you will bring back from it with a sense of job well done and putting something back into a community that is not so well off as ours.
As we mention, we are involved with Magara Primary School in Tanzania. We also have help build two classrooms in an AID's orphanage in Ethiopia. Masai and Samburu community schools have benefited from our UK students and older people who use their holidays to help.
We always work with communities that have shown initiative to start a school. Sometimes they start and cannot finish, because it takes a long time to raise money. Where we help is to push things along, so the school is a comfortable place for teachers to teach and students to learn. For a community to have a school, it means, as long as there are four walls and a roof; that’s a school. The rest may happen, like chairs and desks, but chances are not much more.
The Project Duration
Many people want to spend their holidays on a school project. This means that they want the project to be finished when they go home. That’s no problem. There is so much work to done, like a floor mortar screed to be laid, on top of old concrete. Laying concrete paths and steps, making new wooden desks and tables, are things that can be done within a ten day period. Painting classrooms is important. School maintenance of any kind is important. Local communities know that maintenance means school safety, but do not have the funds. What money they have must go into student learning. Schools are special places, different from the student’s homes, so a brightly painted classroom is conducive to learning.
What needs to be done?
Magara Primary School needs more classrooms. It needs teacher accommodation; for at least six teachers. At the moment administration rooms are being used. A dedicated staff room is needed. At present a classroom that should be used for teaching, is being use as a teacher’s room. They have to mark papers and prepare for lessons in this room. A Library would be a good idea, something that most UK schools take for granted; it would not cost too much to build one.
Remember, they have over five hundred children, including preschool, to teach.
After Work and the Camp site
Our camp site is situated near the Magara River, ten metres high on the river bank. This camp site has cathedral like fig trees shading our camp site, where our staff look after the camp and prepare our meals. Ten minutes walk away from camp, across a wide sand bar, the Magara River drops over the Rift Escarpment in a series of waterfalls. You may fancy a splash or paddle in the river. Some people may like to shower under the lower waterfall. This is where we often go after work, it great to sit and relax. The water is sifted in sand and is good quality water, free from harmful microbes.
In the evenings we sit in a mess tent for dinner and after around a camp fire. Our tents are two man tents that are safari style. Every morning the fig trees in our camp are visited by birds and monkeys, they feed on the ripe figs. This is often a great photographic opportunity.
Travelling to and from the project
There are number of ways to arrive to the project. We prefer to either pick people up from the Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania or from the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Kenya. From Kenya we will arrange to pick up from the airport and travel across the Kenya/Tanzanian border. We spend one night in Arusha. If the flight is in Tanzania and early morning, we can go straight to the project camp site. The same can be done in reverse.