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One of three teams working on the Living Waters School Construction
There is nothing more humbling than to see a goal accomplished through people relentlessly pursuing that goal together until it bears fruit. This is how the church and the world is supposed to work - drawing people into the Kingdom by working together to accomplish God's purposes.
Living Waters Secondary School is an example of the blessing God grants to His people when they are focused on His plan! Now three stories high, the school is becoming a large landmark and a testimony to the neighbourhood of what Tanzanians and Canadians, the church and business people, those with much and those with little, can do together under God's direction. We are so blessed to be a part of this team!
Construction has progressed quickly but will pause for a month or two while Living Waters and Bill Hebner our builder attend to some other work that needs to be done. In the meantime, the Tanzanian workers will continue with masonry work, interior classroom finishing and we will work on raising funds to furnish the school with desks, chalkboards and science supplies.
You can check out our facebook page for a time-lapse video of the construction to date and for photos of those who have been contributing their time and labour to the future of these Tanzanian kids. Wow, what a team!!!
Containers Becoming Classrooms
They sit on docks all over the world, abandoned, useless, rusting, unsightly. But with a little care and imagination, ocean-going shipping containers make for amazing building materials. They are strong, made to stack 10-high, earth-quake proof, watertight, uninteresting to termites and best of all - cheap! Recycling these containers into buildings gives new life to the containers and to projects like the Living Waters Secondary School. Once cleaned up and modified they fit together like lego blocks in so many unique and interesting combinations. The walls can be cut out, the pieces used to build stairs or balustrades. All that's needed is a welder and some elbow grease! And a great builder with imagination and experience - in our case, Bill Hebner, originally from Kelowna. He has planned a wonderful building that's useful, expandable, flexible and best of all, affordable. There would clearly be no better use for the donated funds than building this way, where your dollar can go farther and more children can receive the education they deserve.
A Firm Foundation
There are some amazing things happening in Tanzania! Here is the latest news:
Construction has officially begun on the Living Waters Secondary School!
There is still a need for donations to keep this work going - we only need $94,000 CAD to complete our goal of $350,000. The building is quickly becoming a reality and there has never been a better time to invest in kids who have the potential to change their nation. To those of you that are meant to help us - you know who you are - donate today or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Buy one container, give two to build a school
Still looking for the perfect gift? Buy that special someone a gift that will last and last. A shipping container? Yes! Right now, if you buy one shipping container with your gift to the Living Waters Secondary School, your gift will be doubled and the school will receive TWO containers. We need a total of 30 containers purchased before March 1st to complete the building of this school. Dollars are waiting to match your donation towards these recycled, repurposed containers that will be the building blocks of a strong long-lived school for hundreds of African students waiting to enrol. If you have a heart to give the gift of a great education, shop at our gift store at www.livingwatershighschool.com - all donations will be matched $1 for $1 and everybody benefits!
The Living Waters Secondary School
There are lots of buildings in East Africa that are built with high hopes that unfortunately have fallen quickly into disrepair. Termites, weather, poor materials and poor construction practices leave public buildings, often schools, with deteriorating roofs, floors that have returned to dirt, and plaster falling from walls and ceilings. Government is often slow to respond to needs and corruption keeps the money from getting where it needs to go. I have seen classrooms in a school only 7 years old rendered unusable because the ceiling has caved in.
In light of these factors we have opted for a new, greener solution for the Living Waters Secondary School. Using re-purposed ocean-going shipping containers as building materials, this school will be made of clean, insulated containers with solid steel frames that won't rust, won't degrade due to weather or termites and which are virtually earthquake proof, an important safety feature in this area of the world. We will also be removing from shipyards some old containers that if left alone would only pollute their environment. Container buildings are cheaper to build, easier to maintain (containers are meant to last 50-100 years) and can form a building in a fraction of the time.
Your dollars will be used to build an excellent, sustainable learning environment for hundreds of kids that will stand the test of time, while reusing what has already been discarded. Now THAT's an investment you can feel good about!
Uneducated and Unemployed - Youth of Tanzania
It's easy for us to look at certain countries and point fingers as to why the people of these nations spend generations in poverty. We might be tempted to apply some ethnocentric "wisdom" and find them wasteful, not productive, culturally backward or worse, lazy. These aren't words we would want applied to ourselves, but we don't see ourselves through the same lenses and the words don't apply.
Let me challenge your thinking a little: Imagine for a moment that you had not received any education past the 6th grade. You can read and write, but not in the language of government and educational institutions. You can't read a formal application for employment, can't fill out a form at the doctor, can't explain to a city official why you should be allowed to live where you do, would never be considered for a job other than a labourer position at best. Most likely you would make barely enough money to feed your family, will never own a home, will not be able to afford to send your kids to school above Grade 6. You will wonder daily what will become of your kids. You subsist on what you can make without an actual job, likely re-selling goods from your spot on the edge of the main dirt road. Your childhood dreams of becoming a policeman, doctor or politician would never be realized. Your potential would never be tapped or encouraged. And your children would likely spend their lives just like you.
All because you didn't get an education. No welfare, no unemployment insurance, no soup kitchen or food stamps. Nothing to fall back on, nothing to give you hope that it will get better. It's a reality that many live with for generations. People in this situation don't need a handout. They need an education.
Lewis Hine, Lunch Atop A Skycraper, 1936
I once heard a quote that makes sense to me now, more than ever: "Hope meets you halfway on a bridge called Faith". Launching a campaign to bring secondary education to kids in Africa requires a step of faith, in fact you have to crawl out over the edge to get a good look at what is possible in order to have the strength and faith to build the bridge. Like these guys calmly eating their lunch thousands of feet in the air, you have to just enjoy the view instead of thinking how far down it is. For all those who have contributed so far - thanks for joining us out in the breeze!
I'm excited to say we are quickly approaching the half-way mark on our $350,000 fundraising goal! And there are still matching dollars left to claim for your donation!
The kids in Tanzania are experiencing their own 'building adventure' as they wait for this school to be built. Each of them has a goal that first requires an excellent English education. From there they can continue to build a future that goes beyond their poverty, social disadvantage, cultural constraints and build hope for their families and the future generations. I could never ask for a better reason to do my job than that!
Watch and Share!
Here is a great look at the building site for the soon-to-be Living Waters Secondary School in Mwanza, Tanzania. It's a long process, but the work is underway and we are thrilled to see the progress being made! There is no doubt this project will make a big difference to these waiting students - I have spoken with many of them personally and they dream of a school that gives them an education along with teaching them life skills that can prepare them for a career or further education. The donations are coming in and we are finalizing the plans for 12 classrooms, 3 science labs, a library, a kitchen, staff offices and private washroom facilities. To receive regular updates, just "Follow" our page!!
A common sight - shoes without laces
Kids in Africa often struggle with footwear. They grow out of them so regularly their families often can't afford to replace them. In addition, shoelaces wear out so quickly that it means kids are walking around with their shoes flopping around - no way they can run or play sports like they would want to. Replacement shoelaces will make the shoes last longer and keep the kids in the game without risking injury and infection.
On Aug 4th a small group of volunteers is heading to Living Waters Orphan homes and Education Centre. If you have some new spare shoelaces around we would love to take them with us and bless the kids in Tanzania. Also needed are small pencil sharpeners and shoe polish. Donations of these items can be received until August 3rd. Call 250-878-4935 to make arrangements to drop them off.
Thanks so much for your kindness in caring for these precious kids!
Busy Busy Busy
Wow, it's really happening! The Living Waters Secondary School construction has begun. The plans have been adjusted, the rocks are being broken down and the bricks are piling up.... soon the walls will begin to rise out of the broken ground. With every brick the hopes and dreams of these precious students comes closer to reality - a nurse, a policeman, a doctor, a politician, a scientist, a teacher - and we find that we are building more than just a school. YOU are building more than a school! We are building a future for hundreds of students and families. Thank you for your generous contributions to this excellent project!
We still have a ways to go before these kids can take their places, but we will see this school through to completion - Follow this page to get regular updates!
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