Hi all, and forgive the corny title of this blog post.  It’s the end of summer and the start of autumn and I’m all out of pith and pun for the moment.  Hopefully, this will be rectified soon for your reading delectation!  🙂

At any rate, I wanted to take a moment to introduce you all to our new “boss,” Mr. Nicolaus Ngonyani, the recently appointed District Education Officer of Moshi Municipality where all 11 of the schools in which Toa currently works are located.

The DEO is an important relationship for Toa Nafasi as the person in the post allows us to do our work in his/her school district and we are required to report to this office.  We always strive to have a cooperative and friendly relationship with the office-holder for the purposes of sustainability and replicability of our project.  This public-private partnership is one of the pillars that upholds all that Toa Nafasi does in Tanzania.

DEO Ngonyani replaces our beloved former DEO, Mr. Patrick Leyana (pictured below at the head of the table where he belongs!) with whom Toa had a truly remarkable relationship, but DEO Leyana was appointed to a post in Dodoma so we have had to say goodbye and good luck to him. 

However, we have high hopes for our relationship with Mheshimiwa Ngonyani who already seems to understand and appreciate our program and has given us various permissions for our work such as the ongoing construction project with Friends of Tanzania on which we previously reported and will give another update again shortly.

Augustino and Ema went by Mr. Ngonyani’s office a while back to explain Toa’s objectives – both in supporting the children and training the tutors – as well as how our presence in the public schools elevates the general population of students in addition to the Toa cohorts.  They also spoke of our various partnerships with other NGOs in Moshi and how Toa serves as a bridge between the schools and the families in order to ensure that each child has the chance to succeed in a holistic manner.

According to Augustino, “the new DEO liked the project but was wondering why Toa Nafasi is not in all schools in Moshi Municipal district.”  Indeed, Mr. Ngonyani, indeed!  Someday we hope to be there but for now we go polepole and provide the best possible services in the schools in which we are able to have a presence.

They also talked about challenges we face such as at Mnazi Primary School where we have been teaching in a safari tent the past few years.  Mr. Ngonyani said there is a plan of building a class there instead of using our tent but he is not sure if the current foundation meets the standard dimensions of a classroom as stated by the government.  Still, he is going to be working on this although it may take some time.

All in all, it sounds like we have a new friend and ally in DEO Ngonyani and of course we maintain our relationships with the lovely, caring, and knowledgeable support staff in his office who have assisted us in our efforts throughout the years: Agnes Mathew, Ester Rambau, Joyce Urassa, and Joyce Sauwa.  Tunashukuru sana.