Aya Secondary School
|The full story of Aya School was
brought to us when we received visitors from Germany in November, 2005 -
Gottfried Franz and his son, Gunter, and Reinhard Riemer. Reinhard
is a retired German Lutheran pastor who was a missionary in Tanzania for
over 17 years, almost all of that time in Dodoma.
Some of his time in
Dodoma was spent with Pastor Mwamasika (now bishop) as pastors in the same
Dodoma church. Gottfried is a member of the Werlte Lutheran Church in
Werlte, Germany, a small village close to the Netherlands border. He is a
member of the local Rotary Club and as such got this Rotary Club and
Rotary International to assist in the development of Aya School. Karl
Gingrich, from Trinity Lutheran Church, Arcadia, Ohio, visited Aya School
in 1997 and became involved with the reconstruction. The Aya
School committee was formed by a resolution at the 1998 NW Ohio Synod
Assembly. This is
the story Gottfried and Karl relate about Aya School:
Originally, Aya School was used as a primary school just outside the village of Mondo. The school was nationalized during the time of "villagization" and was not used as a school for over a decade, as there was no village nearby. Grown-over ruins and empty window frames - that is the way the remains of the Aya School presented themselves, when the Rotary Club Huemmling zu Soegel initiated the reconstruction in 1995.
Assigned by the diocese and with the help of a former Aya School student, Prosper Jinsen of the Rotary Club-Arusha, Rev. Mshana started the reconstruction of the buildings, turning the compound into an agricultural boarding school.
The inauguration ceremony with 40 students on June 10, 1997, led by Bishop Mwamasika, was made possible also by the Matching-Grant from Rotary International and regular visits.
The Rotary Club and many other donors sponsored the extension of the school, together with giving scholarship funds for students, who otherwise would not have been able to join the school. For the past five years contributions from congregations and persons within the NW Ohio Synod and Germany have provided scholarships to those students whose parents cannot afford to send them to Secondary School. One of the primary interests of the scholarship program is to encourage girl students to attend and to maintain a parity of boys to girls at Aya School.
Further important steps on the way to a smooth functioning of the school were, among others, the building of a dormitory by Bingo-Lotto funds [from Rotary], connecting the school to the public electricity supply, and equipping it with its own water supply. All of which was finance by donations from both Germany and the Northwestern Ohio Synod. [See report below]
Meanwhile the school does not only own a truck, but there also exists a chemistry laboratory, a beekeeping project and a cattle breeding project. First fruits are available from market gardening, all of which were contributed by donations from NW Ohio Synod.
In 2004 donations from supporters in Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, Minnesota, made possible the building of an additional girls' dormitory and a headmaster's house. The administration building was built with the help of the Northwestern Ohio Synod, including a substantial gift from St. Peter Lutheran Church, Norwalk, Ohio, and funds given in memory of Pat Hirschfeld, president of the Northwest Ohio Synodical Women at the time of her death. Pat had visited Aya School and wanted to provide support (See Pat's story).
Today, 176 students in 4 levels of Secondary School (called forms) are looked after by 10 teachers. Each of them now has got his own bed and a school desk, thanks to our many contributions.
Thank you! Asanta Sana!
Committee of NW Ohio Synod - Report from Karl Gingrich
3. develop an accounting system to ensure credible disbursement of funds
4. determine the other then scholarship needs of the children and parents of Aya students, e.g., transportation, water, electricity, health issues (develop programs and projects to meet these needs if they are discovered to be prudent and coordinate these with German church and Rotary).
Out of all of this dropped the accounting system which we have had in place, but having difficulties ; the water well, pump house, and pressure system; the new classrooms; food at times when needed; electrifying all the buildings; new dorm and staff quarters with assistance from Minnesota; truck for the school, admin bldg; tractor which will be delivered when we can; and scholarships every year since then. Scholarships take precedence and we do the remainder as we can and have funds.
Gottfried has been a strong supporter of Aya School, and just recently built several duplex staff houses on the Aya campus.