The tent at Mnazi Primary School is pitched! A year and a half after we first came up with this idea to tackle (temporarily) the scarcity of classrooms at Mnazi, it has finally come to fruition.
To provide some background in brief: we first noticed the need of another classroom at Mnazi in February of last year after a Magufuli initiative closed down a bunch of private schools and accelerated nursery-age kids into Grade One. Trump-like, Magufuli made this rash decision before determining that the existing government schools had the infrastructure to absorb these extra pupils. Predictably, chaos ensued.
Toa activities were halted at Mnazi for the remainder of 2016 as we tried to work with the local government authorities from the education sector to find a reasonable solution. They desperately wanted Toa to build a classroom, but I had to draw the line. Toa is not about construction nor any kind of material goods. Toa is about people, strengthening the existing human resources, and lassoing Tanzania's abundant social wealth. However, we all realized the dire need for a classroom, so with permission from the Toa Boards of Directors (both US and TZ), we allotted a sum of money as a one-off contribution toward the construction of bedrock; bartered a deal with a kindly local safari tent company; and voila, going on two years later, we have, at least provisionally, a classroom space.
Here is where I must remain brief. The time which passed between our idea of the tent as a compromise for building and its actual erection were shida-ridden, to say the least. We at Toa so value our public-private partnership with the regional officials in Kilimanjaro, but dayum! The negotiations were on par with a Middle East peace treaty!! I pitched more than a couple fits, for sure.
But, apparently, that is all in the past. The agreement was made and both sides have stood by it; the tent was delivered, erected, and filled with desks; the Mnazi community is appreciative; and I have one less thing on my "To Do" list. Win, win, win, win!
Check out the glory of the Toa tent below, and revel in its majesty!!