Meet our team of volunteers working for us in different countries around the world. Within their respective countries they have been handling the bank accounts, dealing with all of the sponsorship payments and donations and corresponding with sponsors and donors. We could not manage without them!

HETTY ERMERS first met Ian and Mary in 2010, and visited the school when there was nothing more than than a dining-area and a piece of land with rocks all over and they were about to recruit the first class. She loved it!


As a photographer, Hetty tries to return each year, to take pictures for the sponsors, for the website and Facebook.


Hetty manages the Dutch bank account and hopes that EMCS can become an official Dutch ANBI in the near future so that donations will be tax deductable.

Hetty particularly values the fact that EMCS is a small project and not only the children but also the people of the community benefit.

HELEN MANDL is a Librarian who comes from Wollongong in New South Wales.


She spent three years working at The School of St Jude as a Teacher Librarian, which is where she met Ian and Mary and learnt of their plans to build a school.


Living in a country that doesn't have a reading culture Helen became acutely aware of the importance of literacy as a foundation for citizenship and the value of education to change lives.


She has been supporting EMCS since its foundation and donated the funds to build the first composting toilet!


Helen has also been managing the Australian bank account since the school began.

CATHERINE BIRT is a teacher living in Whangaparaoa New Zealand with her husband Douglas. 

She first became involved with EMCS in 2008 when she spent the year working as a volunteer at the School of St Jude in Arushua. There she met Ian and Mary and shared their aspirations to provide an education for the children in the village of Maruvango.


Catherine visited the site, where the original buildings were being transformed into classrooms, and has been closely following its progress ever since.

Catherine has been managing the New Zealand bank account since the school began.

ALAN and DIANE WHITEHILL have known Ian for many years. Alan was a colleague of Ian's when they were both working at Range High School in Formby, Lancashire.


Their interest in education in a developing world context took them to Northern Ghana for two years with Voluntary Services Overseas, and this strengthened their commitment to the ethos of providing an inclusive quality education for children in remote rural communities.

On hearing about Ian's plan to build a school in Maruvango they willingly agreed to join the Tanzanian Board of Trustees and have also been managing the UK Tikundane bank accounts since the school began.

If you would like to contact any of our representatives for more information, please email info@eastmerucommunityschool.org

Get social with us
Telephone : ​+255 782 736 838

Email: info@eastmerucommunityschool.org

  • Facebook Clean Grey
  • Twitter Clean Grey

East Meru Community School

Maruvango Village


P.O. Box 36

Usa River



East Meru Community School is a private English medium Primary School registered with the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Vocational Skills. Reg No: AR.03/7/018

Owned by Tikundane a Tanzanian registered NGO. Reg. No: 00004359 UK Registered Charity Friends of East Meru Community School No.1168456 

We are very grateful to our photographers:  © Andrew Hives, Hetty Ermers and Simon Scott. All rights reserved.