Off the Beaten Path: Mfangano Island Camp – community development

February 7, 2011  By: Gretchen

We also wanted to share the ‘other’ side of Mfangano Island Camp from our friends at Governor’s; what they do for the environment and the local community. Read on…

Community Development

The local communities and especially the kids on Mfangano Island have proved extremely bubbly and welcoming to guests on cultural walks. Their charm has worked wonders, with many guests generously donating to various charitable projects. A big thanks must go out to Erk Thomsen from Germany who is has invested so generously that he is now famous on the island!

Currently we have 3 great community projects on the go:

Solar Electricity

Our neighboring village of Nyakweri now boasts a good primary school with over 300 pupils largely down to the Camp and our charitable guests. In addition to 4 classrooms, our latest project which is currently underway is to introduce solar powered lighting and electricity to the school. This is a first of a kind project in the area and should help to allow students requiring extra tuition to do so at night without the expense incurred by their parents currently of fueling gas lights. Teachers will also be able to use radio and other multimedia to help in everyday classes, broadening the perspective of this isolated community.

Nyakweri Clinic

Late 2010 we managed to secure financing to build a government operated clinic in Nyakweri Village. The construction for this is commencing in the week ahead. The new clinic will provide nursing and drug prescription to this community, who have so far had unfortunate deaths with critically ill or injured individuals which would otherwise be preventable with easy medical access.

TIPS School (www.tipsinternational.wordpress.com)

Erk Thomsen was so taken by this small (74 kids) community run school that he decided to become its patron. The school (in Yokia) provides very affordable and valuable education for Kids aged 2yrs – 14yrs and helps to freely educate orphaned children. The school is also developing a programme to help economically disadvantaged widows to become self-sufficient.

A feeding program started in October 2010 where kids get fed a free lunch every day, where previously many children just went hungry. Last week 100 school bags and uniforms were distributed to the pupils for the first time. Currently we are deciding on a contractor to build a classroom for the year 5’s. We are also securing a supply of books and syllabuses for the kids and teachers as well as other teaching materials and even additional teachers. The kids have also been given a football to kick about! To witness the turnaround in progress is astonishing. Where less than a year ago there were nothing but a few syllabuses shared between teachers for 7 classes and not a dictionary in the entire school! The classrooms are nothing but tin shacks with rubble floors. 30 new desks have also been supplied. It really is a miracle, and we hope to see it progress into a definitive success story in community development and co-operation!

 

Are you interested in planning a trip to Mfangano Island?