Category Archives: Madawati/Desk Project

Desks Project: This is where we are

I know our project sponsors, alumni and well wishers would like to know what we are doing on Desks Project! I would like to take this opportunity to explain just that.

As I mentioned in the emails, the first phase of the Desks Project was done in February 2008. In this first phase MAO created the first 50 Desks, which were given to the school in March 2008. Because of your generosity, these first 50 Desks have enabled all students at Mlimani Primary School to have a sit on the desk, and none is sitting on the floor. But, there is still work that needs to be done. A lot of desks are in a bad shape and need to be fixed and some need to be replaced. Therefore, this is still an ongoing project.

Now, we are not creating any desks at the momet for 3 reasons.

1. The Wood type that was used in the first phase might need to be changed. We used “Mpodo”, which is also used by others, but the Teachers at Mlimani are suggesting Mahogany (“mninga” in swahili). There are some suggestions that the desks created using mpodo may not be durable enough, but because mninga is very expensive, we are in a process of finding a balance between costs and quality.

2. We are in the midst of re-evaluating how many desks needs to be replaced, and which ones can be fixed. Ones we know the numbers, we will proceed with the project.

3. Funds; Fundraising has continue to be one of our biggest challenges. Doris, our Fundraising Chair, is working hard to involve MAO in different activities that can help us sponsor this project. But it has been difficult. So if you have pledge to buy a desk, please pay your pledge and if you haven’t, this is the time to do so. You can donate through paypal HERE

The goal:

Our goal is to wrap up this project in the beginning of the 4th quarter, which is October. This will give our project manager ample time to have their reports done before the holiday season begins.

Thank you for all your generosity! Cheers!

“Mahogany” vs “Mpodo” ….small Challenge

We are facing a small challenge on desk project.

Headteacher, Ms. Pendo Kujerua, expressed concerns about the type of lumber that is being used to create the desk. She had approved on this before the project, but a lot of teachers have brought to her attention that it’s better if we can change it to Mahogany type of lumber.

For Phase I, we used what they call in Tanzania “Mpodo” type of lumber. A lot of new schools use this also because it is more affordable than Mahogany (“Mninga” in swahili).Because MAO wants to support projects that can have impact on students for the longest possible time, all MAO officers have also agree that starting with Phase II, we will be using Mahogany type of lumber. This means the budegt for Desks Project will go higher than earlier estimates. It is my hope that our sponsors will continue to help on this project.


Fundraising Bonanza!!

This past weekend, I spoke to our Fundraising Chair, Ms. Doris. The progress on paid pledges is slower than expected, so she proposed we host a Fundraising week/month that we will focus on raising funds. Therefore, MAO will be hosting a huge Fundraising Bonanza to raise more than 10 Million Tshs (USD 10,000) for Desks Project/Madawati. We are working for this to happen this coming month. In the meantime, Doris and her team will continue to call people and urge them to pay for their pledges. So Stay tuned!

Great day for MAO!!!

Our struggle to find a Project Manager is finally over!! Today, MAO has a new volunteer on board!! Very accomplished young lady has accepted an offer to become our Project Manager for Madawati/Desk Project. This is a huge deal for MAO because we have been in desperate need of a qualified person. She is coming on board at the right time because our first 50 Madawati/Desks will be produced starting this coming weekend of Feb 02, 2008. There are busy days ahead for her, but I have no doubt about her abilities. She is very dedicated, like the rest of the MAO team. I know she will fit with the team very well. Welcome on board Ms. Neyciah!

Follow ups Phone calls to TZ!!!

Recently, I wake up between 5-7AM and make few calls to Tanzania to follow up on MAO projects before I go to work.

Today, I spoke to 3-key individuals who are involved with Madawati project. First, I spoke to Mr. Safari who will be selling us Mbao; an alumnus volunteer referred MAO to him (thanks Kim). He has given us a fair market price for Mbao, if not the cheapest and guarantees quality. You can refer to madawati proposal for information. Mr. Safari is always ready to do business, so he has no problem to deliver this weekend. That is good news! I did not give him any advance notice, so I was worried of a possibility that he might not have what we need in such a short time.
My second call was to Mr. Edward, the carpenter. Mr. Edward and his team will be creating the madawati/desk for MAO. Since we are buying our own mbao, the labor charge is 18,000Tshs. Again, it is a very fair price, if not cheapest. Someone else was charging us more than double this amount. Mr. Edward is also ready to start the project. We agreed on two things. First, he will go to Mwenge, to see Mr. Safari and provide instructions about cleaning the Mbao and misumari sizes. Second, he will meet with the rest of the team at the delivery location on the day of delivery.
Move on to my last call, which was to Mr. Emmanuel, MAO’s lawyer. This man has done so much for MAO! Now, he is helping us making sure all contracts are good and is helping us in other financial matters. I spoke to him about multiple issues, which happens to be confidential to MAO key individuals.
Tomorrow, I will call the Head teacher and give her some updates, so she can be ready for madawati project.