Kilimanjaro Education Foundation Builds New Bathrooms For Mrupanga Primary School in Tanzania
NEW YORK, October 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — When most children in the United States attend school, one of the things they take for granted is a clean and modern bathroom facility. But for kids in Tanzania, this can be a luxury only in their dreams.
Thanks to the Kilimanjaro Education Foundation (KEF), children in the Mrupanga Primary School in the village of Rau near Moshi, Tanzania, the dream is now a reality. KEF is a nonprofit volunteer organization with a mission to provide African children the same education opportunities as children in developed countries.
With approximately 400 students in grades K-7, the school serves many of the local orphanages as well as villagers. The bathrooms had been in a dire state, according to Michelle Landy, KEF board member and senior vice president for legal and business affairs for FremantleMedia Enterprises (Americas).
“Children were going to the bathroom outside rather than going into the stalls because they were falling apart around them and filthy,” she said. “They were quite simply a total health hazard, particularly for kids who are already in varying states of health.”
Landy put together a budget for 12 new bathrooms with a septic system and water tank and in just a few months, the new bathrooms were opened for the schoolchildren.
Landy recently traveled to Tanzania to check in on all current KEF projects, including the Mrupanga School, attending the opening ceremony for the new bathrooms. “To my surprise, they were waiting for me to come over before unlocking the bathrooms for the kids to use,” she said.
The bathrooms are housed in what looks like a small house and each toilet area was nicely tiled, with two separate entrances for boys and girls. During the opening ceremony, all 400 children gathered outside, as did the District Education Officer and her team, the headmistress and teaching staff.
“The kids were all singing and cheering in excitement,” said Landy. “We all inspected each bathroom, in the form of a chanting conga and we cut the ribbon to officially open the bathrooms.”
According to Landy, the District Education Officer told her that KEF had made a huge difference to the quality of these kids’ lives, “beyond what we realized. They were thrilled to finally have clean and safe facilities that they were proud to call their own.”
A dance party followed, complete with cake and soft drinks. “It is not often that they would get soft drinks and cakes, it was a real treat for all of them,” said Landy. “Many probably only have one meal a day. Also, most have probably never used a bathroom with a proper flush system and it was important to bring a water tank to the site as well.”
The Mrupanga project represents the third bathroom project completed by KEF, with the others located at Olturoto primary school and Natema primary school.
Kilimanjaro Education Foundation (KEF) (www.kef4kids.org), founded by Todd Grossman in 2006, is incorporated in New York State and organized as a 501©(3). KEF strives to improve education and to build school facilities for underprivileged children in Tanzania and other countries bordering Kilimanjaro. KEF’s volunteers and directors share in and impart not only the Foundation’s passion for children and education, but also in KEF’s core values of honesty, integrity, creativity and imagination.