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History of Twing Memorial School, by Ethel Twing
Through the years I have become very involved in helping African young people get sponsors to help them get an education. The country of Tanzania is sadly lacking facilities educational facilities. Probably it was because of my activities in the field of education that the local church at Heri Hospital chose me to be the educational secretary, then they voted to start a pre-school. Therefore, I was the one to direct this project. We opened a kindergarten in a building on the campus of Heri Hospital in January of 2002. It had a very successful year and continued through 2003 with an enrollment of 40 pupils. Then it became apparent that a primary school was needed to accommodate the graduates of the preschool and so they and other young people in the community could have the advantage of a Christian education.
One of the pastors whom I was able to help with his education is Musa Mitekaro. He got his degree for theology in West Indies college in Jamaica. Then he sold religious and health books in Norway to help finance his education while getting his Master’s degree in Germany. He became the registrar and Bible teacher of Tanzanian Union College in Arusha, Tanzania. (Most recently he has been appointed as ministerial director of the Tanzanian Union Conference.)
About three years ago (2000) Musa began to get a vision of starting a primary school under the name of Twing Memorial in memory of my husband, Dr. James Twing, who lost his life in a plane accident in Tanzania in 1972, and also to commemorate the 30 years I have served there since that event. The educational secretary of Tanzania Union agreed that the school must be known by that name.
Musa was determined the TWING MEMORIAL SCHOOL School would become a reality and set out to organize an NGO (Non Government Organization). It can legally solicit funds to finance the programs it plans to sponsor. It is not owned by the government but highly regulated by it. The funds received are audited to make sure they are being used for the purpose stipulated by its constitution. It is non profit, and one must prove that the purposes of the NGO will benefit the people of Tanzania. Getting one is very complicated and difficult. It involves a legal procedure and a high fee is paid for the privilege of having one. It must declare the scope of the activities it anticipates it will be engaged in, and operate within the guidelines of the scope. The one Musa registered is dedicated to promote health, education, and evangelism. Once one has been functioning for a stipulated period of time and has operated in an acceptable way, it has the privilege of importing things into the country without being charged custom duty.
Musa chose the legal name of TWING ASSOCIATION FOR HEALTH AND EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT. It has at least 12 members on the board made up of well known church leaders and educators, in Tanzania.
The first project the board decided to sponsor was the TWING MEMORIAL SCHOOL, and decided to operate it under the umbrella of the NGO. Then they had to find a suitable place to build it. Musa was able to purchase five acres of very choice property in an ideal location near Heri Adventist Hospital in Kigoma, Tanzania.
The next step was to make the bricks. In June of 2003 Musa went to Kigoma during his summer vacation from the college to organize that project. Because the hospital is far from the college, it seemed logical to find someone locally who could work on the school during Musa’s absence. Musa choose Charles Ndaraka, a retired nurse who had worked with me in the mobile clinic I supervised years ago at Heri Hospital. He has proved to be a very able assistant. Being retired he has been able to devote full time to the project. That has been stepped up and has enhanced the work. After about two months 40,000 bricks had been formed, baked, and are ready for the next step of the operation.
In December of 2003, Musa went to Kigoma to start the construction of the primary school building. While in route he was introduced to a builder who had the reputation of doing superior work. He certainly has lived up to his reputation. Musa reports the building is certainly of superior quality. In January of 2004 the shout of triumph was heard. The foundation was finished and the walls were up.
Musa returned to the college and left the rest of the project up to Charles to supervise. He agreed to take the contract for a far less amount than could be expected. It remains to add the roof, doors and windows and floor which will be cement.
This story continues, another five classrooms have been built, as well as another building, new bathrooms, a library and a teachers resource center. Over 600 students now attend in two shifts -- one in the morning, and another in the afternoon. Two seventh-grade classes have graduated making it necessary to build a Secondary School. Currently secondary school students are either working at home or have been sent to schools throughout Tanzania to finish their education.
Twing Memorial Secondary School is under construction. It has not yet been approved for occupancy, although four classrooms have been built. The Tanzania government is requiring a math/science laboratory building, housing for staff, and roads throughout the campus. To meet government requirements another $50,000 is needed to finish the campus.
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