The 17 day trip in July 2013 was designed to give adequate time to both projects, with the opportunity for a team safari in between the projects and some R&R in a Dar resort at the end.  The cost of the trip was around £2100.

The dates were selected to ensure that we were in both locations on a Sunday, a key day when the community gets together.  There were 6 in our team, a smaller number than usual.


We found Magnet much changed for the better.  Since our first visit, the school has developed enormously.  The site was better managed and more attractive, with hedges delineating different areas.  We saw the new kitchen which was done with money raised by St Catherine’s school in Bramley, and the new eating hall – a tin classroom not currently in use!  Since our last visit, the Primary school has been established with day pupils and full time orphans.  One of the teachers, Esther, used to be a Magnet student and has now qualified to teach and wants to give something back to the Magnet community.  Number of students are down, however the number is picking up again as parents and guardians realise the hidden costs in the ‘free’ state education.  Kibobi has 108 students on role, and the able ones are asked to pay £142 a year for their education.  He is fully supporting 36 children, and his aim is to continue to support these children beyond their school years until they are self-reliant.  There is a lot of emphasis on this for all of the children, all from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Kibobi hopes to develop vocational training for the older ones as funds allow. 

We saw the computers which we paid £400 to Computers 4 Africa for the school to acquire.  Unfortunately, they were rather old and four of the monitors didn’t work.  Kibobi continues to need computers to help students develop basic skills, although wireless and broadband technology is still in its infancy.

Students continue to develop agriculture and small holding farming as part of their courses.  Students look after chickens and sell the eggs, they also have a goat, grow kale and bananas.

Our team interacted with the students and teachers, and offered lessons in music, drama, art, computing and theology.

Church was a good experience for all, with the local community joining the children and teachers at the Visions of Glory church in Ongata Rongai.

WWSL hopes that Kibobi and his wife will be able to come to England in May 2014 to develop their charity links, and visit Dulwich College in anticipation of their 2015 expedition. 


MAPED was much more developed than the last time we visited.  We know that the NGO has several sponsoring partners in the wider world, although all their donations seem to be well allocated.  The church which our students helped to build in 2008 is now functioning and a centre for the community.  The school which was still being built in 2010, now has two classes with Maasai day children learning English and the Primary curriculum.  This will help them when progressing to Senior school, traditionally a concern as the children did not speak Swahili or English and therefore could not progress.  Peter, one of the Maasai leaders, is now a qualified teacher thanks to WWSL, and he helps lead the teacher team.  He still needs more training, as do other staff, and they need more funds to build more classrooms and teacher accommodation.  They very much see this as a way of sustaining Maasai ways and life in the future, by investing in the children.

Another interesting development was that of onion farming!  Traditionally Maasai are pastoralists and so herd cattle.  Recently however the Tanzanian government has been giving grants to get local Maasai into growing and selling onions along the Ruvu river.  This seems to have been very successful.

This particular group of Maasai are famous for their choir.  They have produced CDs and have a sponsor in Arusha.  There is a possibility that WWSL could help arrange for a UK tour, following the success of their USA and Canada tours.   

As we left the leaders in the nearest town, they were going to buy a motorbike from funds we have raised.  This will help the leaders access the villages, which are all very remote.


It was heartening to see both projects making progress, despite the difficulties they face.  WWSL continues to be committed to these projects, and will look for ways to continue to raise funds and awareness, as they keep close contact with both Magnet school and MAPED.

I hope that a Dulwich College team could visit both projects and interact with the young people there.  Four days in each place is an optimum time.  There would be opportunities to teach, play and live with the boys and girls of each project.  Anyone visiting finds it a very rewarding experience.

Future Projects:

Magnet hope to increase the amount of children they can support by continuing to develop their facilities.  They are looking to build a better boy’s dormitory for the orphans, set up vocational training for the leavers and fund two computer suites.

MAPED are looking to continue to build the school, which is half finished, and provide teacher’s with accommodation.  They are also wanting to develop the cow project, encouraging boys who haven’t been educated, widows and single parents, to take a loan to build a herd for themselves.

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