The story so far...
Behind the Scenes
The story of how the Kutamani Foundation came to be, started way back in the small home of Paskalena Khaddy, in 2017, where she ran a day care centre for local children within the area.
With more and more children in the village needing Paskalina’s support and wanting to attend the daycare, the conditions for learning were rapidly becoming less and less ideal. With 40+ children in one small room, very limited resources and facilities and a severe lack of space, the children’s learning was being impacted. Some volunteers also found their placement at 'Power the Children' difficult and, were regularly requesting to move to other placements, causing further issues for Paskalina and the children. Furthermore, the sustainability of the help being provided by volunteers was in question. Volunteers who came with the intention of helping would find themselves purchasing items like books, stationary, backpacks, clothing, tables and chairs, food, painting the classroom, etcetera.
Over time, Paskalina found herself with an abundance of these items and eventually it became clear that initiatives needed to become sustainable and long term in order to have a real positive impact. The need for more space and proper facilities was clear!
THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE FOUNDATION
In 2017, the incredible Dayna Roy travelled to Arusha as a volunteer, and was placed at Power the Children, and quickly fell in love with the school and Paskalenas passion for the children's welfare and education. Understanding the challenges Paskalena and the children faced every day, with the lack of ability to learn in an adequate environment, Dayna and Paskalena started a project to buy land and build a school. Shortly following in 2018, Lucy also travelled to Tanzania, and also fell in love with Power the Children, jumping on board with the project. Leena came on board during her time volunteering in December 2018, and we each became interconnected with a common goal of providing the children with a functioning learning space.
A wonderful woman named McCrea, contacted us shortly after purchasing the initial block of land, in early 2018. Her foundation, Team Nelson, donated $10,000 USD to begin building the new school! Throughout the following years, fundraising efforts continued, and the project grew.
Although it was a long journey, it was all thanks to the help of many incredible people along the way. In January of 2020, Dayna, Leena and Lucy each travelled to Tanzania to meet for the first time, and be a part of the official opening ceremony of the school which had been in the works for three years.
THE OFFICIAL FOUNDATION IS BORN
For the three of us, this third trip was a catalyst moment in the formation of the official Foundation. Upon our arrival in Tanzania for the opening ceremony, we were met with both achievement and a wealth of new challenges moving forward. New hurdles in the project allowed us to realise the need for an official NGO, so we could continue legally and responsibly, achieving long term success.
Through further exploration of establishing educational systems abroad, and evaluating how ‘good development’ is achieved, we collectively came to the ideological basis and mantra for The Kutamani Foundation.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
Despite maintaining close personal relationships with Paskalina, and her family, The Kutamani Foundation was forced to take a step back from the original school, as a result of a range of legal formations, which prevent us from directly working with Paskalinas school. This was definitely a big challenge, however some things do not always follow a clear path, and the school is still thriving!
The Kutamani Foundation understands the great need for more free education facilities within Tanzania, and using the wealth of experience we have gained through the journey getting to where we are today, we are able to go into our current project with knowledge, understanding, experience and an even stronger sense of care for the children we work with. The 'mission and vision' outlines The Kutamani Foundations aim for the next 5 to 10 years, which involves new avenues and micro-projects which aim to provide the best possible education, which is relevant to the children we teach.
As we move into the first phase of our project, it is clear, the journey to success for our children is only just beginning.