Have you wondered how we got started?
Back in 2005 Ian Horne, from Wigan in the UK decided to climb Mt Kilimanjaro as a fund raising venture for a home for street children in Moshi, a town at the foot of this beautiful mountain. Whilst working at this project, Ian witnessed the poverty that families in these rural parts of Tanzania were experiencing and vowed to do what he could to help. He began talking to Tanzanian contacts and friends about the best way to do this.
During this time, Ian met Mary, who was later to become his wife, and Mary's family introduced him to their home village of Maruvango, nestled in the foothills of Mt Meru, Tanzania's second highest mountain. It was decided that what was really needed was a good quality school where local children from the most impoverished families could attend without cost.
Mary's brother, Elibariki and his wife Jaquiline, very generously donated a piece of land which has become the site of the school that we know today and they also gave them the loan of a building and a derelict cowshed.
For the next few years, Ian continued to live and work in Tanzania, gradually raising sufficient funds, through his own earnings and contacts in the UK, to renovate the cowshed and convert it into the first classroom, whilst the other building became the office, staff room, accommodation, and store.
Construction of the Dining Hall, kitchen and toilet block also began.
The school needed to be registered as a Tanzanian NGO and in December 2010 Tikundane was formed - comprising a group of like minded supporters from both Tanzania and overseas, including the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
By 2011, the school was ready to recruit its first class of children and in January 2012 the converted classroom officially opened for business!
Since then we have been able to add one class of children and build one new classroom each year.
In addition, we have built a slightly smaller classroom for our Prep class and an Administration Building.
Mary's family remain crucial to our success - especially her brothers Elibariki who donated the land and original buildings, Samwel who is our Building Manager and has overseen all the building development on the campus so far, and Wilson who does much of the handiwork around the school. Mary's mama also lives very close by and hosts guests as part of the cultural experience which we offer to our school visitors.
As part of our commitment to the community we have also built a chicken house and a shoe making workshop, which not only benefits the school, but also provides much needed employment.
All of this has been achieved through funds raised by our donors and sponsors as we receive no funding from any other source. We still have two more classrooms to build and we urgently need more play space, but we are so very grateful to everyone for helping us to get this far. THANK YOU!