Yesterday we went to visit the children at the Pepo La Tumaini School, where Mama Hope has built the Mama Tumaini Health Clinic. The school was empty because it was holiday break, except for the orphans and vulnerable children who board at the school. It was great to spend time with these children, as they are the ones who directly benefit from the health clinic, most of them are sick from HIV and receiving weekly medications.
When we got there the children were building a boys dormitory, from scratch! All the children were from age 10 to 15 and were making a huge building. At first I was kinda sad that these orphans who had no home to go to on holiday, were spending their break doing hard labor to construct a building. I soon realized that the children were actually having a lot of fun. They were so happy working in their teams, showing off and were very proud of their accomplishments.
I told you before the students were building it from scratch but I want to describe to you exactly what that means. First they dug a 7 foot deep hole surrounding the building perimeter, which they filled with hand mixed cement, to form the foundation. When we got there the foundation was complete and a team of kids were hammering huge bricks of granite into shape. They would then throw these bricks which were half their size, on to their shoulders and carry them to the foundation. Other teams would then stack the bricks on top of one another, using cement and sand as mortar. They were hand mixing the cement and sand which they would shovel into a wheel barrow, and then carry over to the brick layers. The brick layers would measure blocks with string to find ones the correct size to fit in the gaps. Within 30 min, three rows high of bricks had been constructed. And let me add that all this work was done with no shoes on, in the hot 92 degree sun, and because of Ramadan the kids were all fasting which meant they had no food at all during the day. This spectacle left me speechless!
After talking to one of the caregivers I was even more amazed to find out that the students had built a girls dorm last year. From last years progress they project it will take the 35 kids, 2 week to construct the entire building this year, from foundation to roof. The building will be complete when the other students return from holiday. Talk about efficiency.
We were only at the school for two days, but from the pictures below you can see the quick progress we witnessed.