Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tanzania via Milton Keynes

If the truth be told it wouldn't be my first choice for a day's holiday, but on Tuesday this week Gill and I made the pilgrimage to Milton Keynes around the M25 and up the M1

Why? To visit World Vision HQ. I set up this blog to chart progress of The Kili 5's attempt on Kili in February 2007, and also to try and raise £25,000 for this very worthwhile charity
For the last few weeks I've been in touch with Peter Halewood, the major donor (funds rather than organs) executive at World Vision, and he kindly invited us up to talk through some ideas to generate interest and to find out more about how and where any funds will go
We're looking to help out the Kisiriri area in central Tanzania. Infant mortality rate? 104 out of every 1,000. Average life expectancy? About 43 years. Poor? The average annual income in this district is US$140. So if we can hit the £25,000 target that would represent about 300 years of income for 1 person. Imagine what they could do with that sort of relative wealth
Here's a summary of a few elements of the World Vision Project Plan for the community from October 2006 to September 2007:
  1. Facilitate 170 workshops to educate children on HIV/AIDS and malaria
  2. Construct 6 classrooms and 3 teachers' offices (currently there are 2 secondary schools in the community for 469 pupils)
  3. Support 200 orphans and vulnerable children with uniforms and school materials


  1. Train 38 village workers, 20 traditional healers and 38 birth attendants on HIV/AIDS and malaria awareness
  2. Construct 2 staff quarters
  3. Purchase 200 insecticide-treated nets


  1. Train 20 focus group farmers on improved farming methods
  2. Provide farmers with good quality seeds (eg sunflower and millet)

Income Generation:

  1. Provide training on business skills to potential working groups
  2. Provide small loans for people to set up businesses

Leadership Development:

  1. Conduct community committee meeting and workshops on HIV/AIDS and malaria
  2. Conduct village leaders' meetings on budgeting
  3. Construct a training centre

As I mentioned in a previous article World Vision take a long term view of the problems facing a community like Kisiriri, and look to provide them with the tools and knowledge to improve their own lives, rather than just throw money at a short term fix. World Vision's input into the Kisiriri Area Development Programme is planned to last for 15 years

We also met Sophia Mwangi, the charity's really helpful PR guru who will hopefully pull out all the stops to spread the Kili50 word for us. Sophia's Kenyan husband's grandfather lives on the northern slopes of Kili. If we were doing the Rongai route we could have dropped in for a cuppa....

Many thanks to everyone at World Vision for their hospitality, generosity of spirit - and t-shirts!

We're looking forward to working with you to raise the £25,000 for the Kisiriri community as a small measure of our thanks for allowing us to enjoy (if that proves to be the right word) the majesty of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro

And please click here or here to contribute if any of this has struck a chord


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