Umoja - Network for Africa

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Newsletter 01/2015

The time goes by so quickly: The Umoja Training Center gets 2 years old

A review by Daniel Hartmann


2014 was a very successful year. It began with funds from Umverteilen that made possible to finance the extension of the training center in Nungwi. When we have started to advertise our sponsorship program in February, we have already been able to find the first sponsor in March. In the meanwhile we have already won eight sponsors for eight children that can be considered as a great success in the present times. Furthermore Imi has collected additional donation money for the project through several events in and around Buxtehude. We are very grateful for that.

In summer we have been again at the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin and had a great time at our stand by bringing the Tanzanian culture closer to the visitors and got to know many interesting people by that way.

In August I visited the training center in Nungwi together with my family. It was nice to see, what has been developed so far and how many children, young adults and adults have been reached by the training center. At the same time Imi had started to work with year one in Nungwi and after short time she was able to provide new impulses for the training center because of her experiences. As a result she has improved the structures and the work with the students of Primary School and Kindergarten. 

All in all for the project very good year. I want to express thanks in the name of the executive committee of Umoja-Network for Africa all donors, members and volunteers. Without your support our Ngo couldn’t exist and do such a good job. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!


A review by Lydia Kilindo


It is very exiting how everything has developed.  Everything has started by laying a cornerstone in order to create a place for gatherings of each kind.  In the beginning we asked the people in which way we should make the room come alive. Today Kindergarten, pre-school, primary school, student coaching for students of the village school, language courses for young adults and adults and illiteracy training for women exist under one umbrella. In all areas we note an increasing number of participants. Especially the language courses are very popular. By now our project can finance four teachers and two unskilled workers. Through the very successful sponsorship program it has become possible to guarantee the financing of the kindergarten and the primary school with a high chance of success and to ensure a secure income and a long-time employment. 

Furthermore we are able to afford also children from low-income families an access to high-quality education.

Many thanks for all the supporters of the sponsorship program.


Special thanks go of course to all the volunteers who have been supporting our project actively this year as well as the worldwards-volunteers that have been realising our projects concerning the sustainable development in tourism.


I look forward to a new year full of new challenges. It is a great purpose and concern to extend the ground of the training center and create more space that can cope the greater variety of learning opportunities and the increasing number of participants. Thus the learning atmosphere would improve significantly and we would create space for a computer class, an arts and music room. Of course you are in demand, even the smallest donation will bring us closer to our goal. 


I wish all friends, supporters and beneficiaries a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


If you are interested in further information about actual events at our Training Center in Zanzibar, please download our actual Newsletter Leitet Herunterladen der Datei einhere!

Newsletter 01/2014

Umoja Training Center- Impressions after the first year

By Lydia Kilindo


Looking back on the last year, I see a place of cooperation and change growing. The mistrust and suspiciousness of some locals drops more and more and converts into curiosity.

The pupils who have already been for one year in the training center for extra tuition in reading, writing, maths and English are very successful. Parents were so grateful, that Mwanakhamis has finally managed to teach their children in writing and reading.

Pupils are great in learning Swahili, English, German, Swedish and Italian in our training center. It is a pleasure to listen to their stories and ideas. Even if there is sometimes a course with only a few pupils, I think it is still great what happened during this first year and it is still capacity to house more pupils. We offer the possibility to learn a foreign language. Sometimes people, who have learnt a foreign language before, visit us to use their knowledge and have a little chat with us. This makes us all happy.

The principle of our training center is that education is a public good. Education shouldn’t be traded as product of the private economy; it should be given to the population. Our training center is a non-profit organization which uses all its income for the salaries of the teachers and operating expenses.

Our current team involves: Lydia, Mwana (=Mwanakhamis), Enock, Rita, Thabea, Ida, Hannah, Belina, Mino and Danai. We usually have a lot of volunteers. This helps us that we don’t need to cancel lessons if a teacher is on sick leave.

Presently we have 3 permanent teachers employed: Mwanakhamis Suleiman from Zanzibar, Enock Kilyabusebu from Mwanza and Rita Ndugu from Kenya.

Our Volunteers are: Ida Midnattssol from Sweden who studied “Gender Stuies”, Hannah Heidelberger and Belina Schuster both from Germany, who study “Social Work”, Thabea Rocker from Germany who studies “African Studies”, Mino Giannone and Danai Kuhn both from Germany who complete their ecological year at our center with the organization “weltwärts”.

Thank you so much for you effort and your immense commitment!


Progress in the Extension of the Umoja Training Center


By Lydia, Mwana, Enock, Rita, Thabea, Ida, Hannah, Belina, Mino, Danai


50% of the costs for the progress of our community center was donated by the foundation “Umverteilen!”. Thank you so much for this big support!!

We built two rooms, one meeting room with 35m2 and a library with 17 m2.


Big thanks to Imke Müller-Trudgett, a teacher from Buxtehude, Germany. She was visiting us with her husband Alex and her daughter Frances in July 2013 and spent one school day in our training center and taught the pupils new songs. Through her engagement a school church service was held at “Realschule Camper Höhe” in Stade, Germany with the theme “hope”. In preparation for this service different teachers talked about the education in Zanzibar with their classes. Parents, relatives and teachers donated 1982 €! This is really great, you helped us a lot with your engagement!

Big thanks as well to Eike-Christoph Klindworth, son of one of the teachers for his donation!

Big thanks as well to Franziska Diepold, former volunteer, for the donation from the altar server from “Katholische Pfarrei Kösching”.

With the donation we received we will purchase teaching material and books. As well we will redecorate our playground.

We are happy to announce, that Theresa Hackelber psychologist from the Netherlands and Miriam Weicker, educator from Germany, will help our team as volunteers for 4-9 months. Our team welcomes you! Karibuni Sana!




News "Umoja Training Center" 10/2013

1. Reports from Nungwi

2. Call for donations: We get 2000,-€ the foundation Stiftung Umverteilen in Berlin

3. Publication with senior people from Nungwi/Zanzibar „Come, I will tell you a story! “


1. Reports from Nungwi


Since the training centre got ready, loads of things happened. The learning opportunities are well accepted, the kindergarten provides by now 21 children and the team consisting of Lydia and three employed teachers has equipoised well. As well the integration of the changing volunteers works fine. In August we welcomed our new two worldwards volunteers, Danai and Mino, who shall work for Umoja in Nungwi for the period of one year. In the run-up to the stay in Tanzania they have been prepared well by our former volunteer Lotta Braunert and the cooperating organization DTP (Hamburg) to get to know their responsibilities and activities.  We wish both lots of fun, success and exciting experiences for the coming left 10 months. You will receive their report in the coming newsletter.


For the coming months it is planned parallel to the usual learning opportunities to open the shop that belongs to the training center. For these purposes we implement workshop in the training center in cooperation with local artists to the topics recycling art, screen-print and constructions through water bottles. Recycling art will be used to gain conscience within the local population for the worth of rubbish and its usability.  The print shop IVM Signtex and Trude Ahlers from Münster who we thank a lot because of the design and printing of our school t-shirts promised to print a UV-protected poster for this purpose that is designed by Mino and Danai. So everything is pretty exiting! Additionally we plan to continue with the research for our hotel-ranking project and to inspect the hotels and guesthouses in the region of Zanzibar due to its sustainable business management in its commitment for the locals. We follow up the plan to build up a website based on this data.


Special thanks to Katrin Giese who has enriched the training center by her distinct experiences as a professional social worker for four months and has led the center in the time when Lydia was absent. Thank you so much, Katrin!

We thank Franziska Diepold, high school graduate, and Alena Brüning-Wessels, student for Cultural Anthropology/ African Studies and active member at Alma Terra who have been in Nungwi for 2 months and assisted Katrin in the Kindergarten and with the German courses.


2. Call for donations: We get 2000,-€ the foundation Stiftung Umverteilen in Berlin


Good news come from the foundation Stiftung Umverteilen in Berlin. We have been promised 2000 Euro for the construction of a second classroom in our training center. The requirement is that we supply a financial contribution of 2600 Euro. Through the donation of family Frühauf , several small donations and the membership fees we have already got 2000 Euro. Totally 4600 Euro are needed to finance the second classroom and the library.  They have to be built and fully equipped with chairs and tables. So it is possible to widen the learning opportunities and to provide standard one after pre-school.


That’s why we need your support! Every single Euro will bring us closer to our goal.


Thanks a lot!


3. Publication with senior people from Nungwi/ Zanzibar „Come, I will tell you a story!


In cooperation with people from Nungwi, Lotta Braunert, our worldwards volunteer from Hannover and Lydia Kilindo stories were collected and translated. Saskia Hesse, photographer at hessbeck fotografix from Dresden was responsible for the design and made the print of 200 books possible sponsored by Addprint AG.


Mrs Imke Müller-Trudgett, Teacher from Buxtehude, visited our Training center in Nungwi with her daugter Frances and husband Alex. Here to see during the drumming lessons with our musical education teacher Kesh.
Imke teaches the children the Teddy Bear Song that is now firm part of our morning circle.

News "Umoja Training Center/Nungwi" 04/2013

Our second term has started this April. We have an additional German course for beginners and next may we will start to offer illiteracy training and Arabic courses. We feel that our facilities will not be sufficient any more for the students that have a run on our little training center in Nungwi, Zanzibar. We tap the capacity of our classroom completely and have classes at almost all times of the week. We need to build a third room that’s sure. And we need your help! Please check our homepage for doing a donation. With an additional classroom it will be possible for us to implement year one of primary school.

We have been enriched a lot by two new enthusiastic teachers, Hassan from Zanzibar Town and Enock from Mwanza. Unfortunately Heather has left to be in Britain and we were really excited how it will be without her. Sandra, our social pedagogic volunteer is still with us together with Mwana our Nursery School Teacher.

By the donation of the Music club Seebronn in Germany it was possible to install a new weekly schedule with several additional activities in the Kindergarten like e.g. gardening, music education and to have cooler rooms because of new fans. Our slay and the swings got ready now.


News "Umoja Training Center/Nungwi" 03/2013

Education makes a change! – The fundraising campaign for the completion of the third room of the Umoja Training Center in Nungwi, Zanzibar


The donation marathon goes on – make it possible to create space for education in Nungwi. Teachers, social workers and volunteers are ready to open the Training Center and to make education for all generations possible. Beside a Kindergarten we will create space for student coaching, language courses and further educational trainings. Each euro makes a change and moves us closer towards our aim. 1200 Euros are still needed for plastering, floors, coloring and furniture. We count on you!


Donation Account:

Umoja – Network for Africa e.V.

Account No: 110 9100

Local Bank Code: 100 205 00

Bank Name: Bank für Sozialwirtschaft Berlin –

BIC (Bank Identifier Code): BFSWDE33BER



Karibuni sana katika Umoja Training Center!

Warmly welcome to the Umoja Training Center!


The first month since opening of our training center was a really positive experience. Our training center is on everyone’s lips at the moment. There’s mostly a positive resonance from the village. Lots of people want to educate themselves or look for a possibility to educate their children. As our training center pursues a holistic approach our educational offers fit all generations. There are English and German courses adults. Students of the village school especially from standard one to three are invited to learn reading, writing and basic math or to develop their Kiswahili and math skills. Students from standard one to seven have the opportunity to learn English in order to prepare themselves adequately for Form 1 to 4, Secondary School that takes entirely place in English. In addition to that there are some people especially women interested in illiteracy training. We have invited all people through our promotion campaign that we are interested in initiating workshops that created on the fundament of their ideas so that we can adapt our program to the needs of the population.



The Kindergarten


The most popular are the language courses and of course our Kindergarten group that contains of a colorful group of 11 children at the age of 2 to 6 years. Two girls from very poor families are sponsored by Umoja-Network for Africa. The group can admit up to 20 children. It meets from Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 12 am.


The staff


We are very lucky with our teacher Mwanakhamis that has actually studied law but haven’t finished the studies yet and with heather from Scotland who has a widespread experience in teaching that she had received in teaching in her home country, in Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, the Caribbean and Zanzibar. In weekly meetings we will conduct teachers’ trainings to exchange new methods and develop them.





It is absolutely important to us that the parents and all members get informed about all monthly expenses and incomes, so that we assure the best possible transparence. Lots of private educational institutions focus on making profits and don’t see that they produce additional financial hurdles that seem to be unattainable. The language courses cost 2.50 Euro per month approximately a quarter of the price of comparable courses in town . The student coaching is almost for free for 50 cents/month, furthermore we provide exercise books and paper.


The registration form is for free. That is not a matter of course cause in most of the schools the registration form costs 1 to 2,50 Euro.



Feedback from the village population


 As everything that’s new our institution is eyed curiously from many sights and beside of many questions and registrations there can be found skeptical attitudes about that we spread Christian ideas as well. That was announced in public through the speakers of a pretty conservative mosque in the village.


The training center aims in achieving the image of a community center. We aim to create free space for the exchange and acquisition of knowledge. All people are appealed to plan and organize new interesting educational projects. It is especially required that we offer Arabic courses or Quran school as well if there is a special interest for it.


We hope that we will gain more trust from the people and that there isn‘t th focus on the religious aspect but on knowledge acquisition.



Dreams of the future


In February we will start a screen-print workshop with our volunteer Sandra’s support and print Shirts for Umoja and other nice motives. As we received a generous donation from the music club Musikverein Seebronn in Germany, in March we are going to buy local music instruments like e.g. drums, tambourines etc. and organize a music workshop and music lessons in the kindergarten.



Thanks a lot…


Thanks to all the involved persons that have supported our project over the years. It touches us much that the hard work has gone into reality now and that we have created a platform for so many people (this month January 2013: 85 Students). In the next weeks and months we will be occupied with the creation of firm curricula and collect and print new teaching material so that we can prepare our lessons effectively.


Mwanakhamis is supported actively to make her refrain from her well-tried teaching methods and to provide more playing and games as well as to design the learning process as a kind of expedition and to take compulsion out of our pedagogic work. In regular group meetings we are going to discuss and develop new concepts. Our main objective represents the encouragement of project work.


Furthermore the container from Switzerland arrived with all your donations. Thank you so much for all the toys, tons of papers and exercise books and the computers and the printer/copy machine. We send the greatest „Thank you! “ to Barbara and Malou from the Ngo Maisha Zanzibar that has provided us with the space in their container. Thanks a lot!


We are very happy and thank my toys thousandfold for their fund raising campaign „Gemeinsam für Kinder“ (German: Together for children) and their generous donation of 2000 Euro.


We are going to embellish our garden and playground and to build another classroom so that we can offer more courses. The demand for the courses is increasing as more and more people hear of our institution and the courses are almost for free.



We look forward and are very excited, what the next months will bring us.