Blog

Nov12

New Kingiti Scholars at the Kigwe School for the Deaf

The Kingiti School Scholarship and Village Health Outreach Fund is happy to announce the new enrollment of 10 students at the Kigwe School for the Deaf for the 2014 school year. We look forward to helping these kids gain an education at this great school. Many Thanks to Tino Kasagula for all that he does. […]

The Kingiti School Scholarship and Village Health Outreach Fund is happy to announce the new enrollment of 10 students at the Kigwe School for the Deaf for the 2014 school year. We look forward to helping these kids gain an education at this great school. Many Thanks to Tino Kasagula for all that he does. Nashukuru Tino Kasagula kwa vyote anavyofanya kazi. AllanKigwe AnordKigwe AntoniKigwe DaudiKigwe EmmanueliKigwe KesiKigwe KigweWote MaulidiKigwe RubenKigwe SamoraKigwe TaratibuKigwe
Nov12

Kingiti School Scholarship’s 6th Annual Fundraiser

Live Music! Tasty Wine! Amazing Food! November 23rd, 2013 at 6:00pm The Glenview Condominiums Steinfeld Room 5100 US Hwy 42 Louisville, KY 40241 No Admission Fee – Donations Appreciated Hi Friends! Come out for a fun, philanthropic evening of entertainment for a good cause! This year is going to be the best yet, and it […]

Live Music! Tasty Wine! Amazing Food!

November 23rd, 2013 at 6:00pm

The Glenview Condominiums Steinfeld Room

5100 US Hwy 42 Louisville, KY 40241

No Admission Fee - Donations Appreciated

Hi Friends! Come out for a fun, philanthropic evening of entertainment for a good cause! This year is going to be the best yet, and it is not to be missed. The live music, red and white wines, and gourmet cuisine are on the house while a donation within your budget is greatly appreciated. All donations will go to benefit our education projects, which have supported dozens of Kingiti village's brightest students in primary and secondary schools since 2009. So, tell your friends and come out for what's sure to be a fun night. If you have any questions about our organization or projects, please visit www.kingiti.org or feel free to message me directly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kingitifund). Hope to see you there!   Many thanks, Ben Belknap Co-Founder and Director Kingiti School Scholarship & Village Health Outreach Fund, Inc.
Nov09

KSSVHOF 2011 Trip

Dear All, I am now back in chilly Boston and I have much to report concerning the projects and activities of KSSVHOF. I have also posted a couple hundred photographs to our Facebook page that, when viewed sequentially, should provide some insight into the work that was undertaken over the last two months. The Education […]

Dear All, I am now back in chilly Boston and I have much to report concerning the projects and activities of KSSVHOF. I have also posted a couple hundred photographs to our Facebook page that, when viewed sequentially, should provide some insight into the work that was undertaken over the last two months. The Education Projects: Our 30 kids in the Kingiti Primary School, most of which are now in Year four of seven, are continuing to do well with the gifts our donors have given them. I am very pleased with the new Kingiti Head Teacher, Asha Bwanary, who is a great improvement for this school. She is a mother of two from Northern Tanzania who moved to Kingiti to take this position last year (government teaching placement), and is now a great asset to the implementation and supervision of our primary school project. We are truly grateful for her. Since her arrival, a USAID and WFP funded lunch program has been implemented, which I applaud as a wise use of USAID money. All of the kids in the primary school now have beans and corn (a dish called kande) cooked for them at noon everyday for a small annual fee to pay the cooks’ wages. Whereas many children used to sit silently with fatigue, they are now happier and more attentive in class. It should be noted, two of the children from this year’s primary school project have recently moved away from Kingiti and, in order to stay at the number 30, we have replaced them with Nyemo Chapeza and Visenti Chihimba. Both of these kids will be entering Year two in January. I am very pleased with our students at the Kibakwe Secondary School all of which are continuing with their studies, now entering Forms Four, Three, and Two (Kibakwe Secondary School provides education up to Form Four). I see as one of the greatest accomplishments of KSSVHOF that all of the secondary school kids we have sponsored, kids from disadvantaged backgrounds even by village standards, are succeeding in their studies outside of the village. I am personally very proud of these children. There are six of them and their names are- Alberto Kuhoga, Benitho Kujela, Xavery Malama, Mariamu Said, Alfonzina Suluti, and Teopista Suluti. Alberto, Xavery, and Alfonzina are entering Form Four this January, Benitho and Mariamu Four Three, and Teopista Form Two. For more information on these kids and how to help them please visit our website- Kingiti.org. The Clean Water Project: When I arrived back in Kingiti at the beginning of September my first goal was to tackle the problem of limited flow through the water intake. Before setting up a system for clean drinking water, it was clear that we needed a substantially better flow rate to the village. Kingiti’s water system starts as a simple concrete embankment damming a small stream halfway up the mountain four miles West of the village. A two inch pipe runs from this intake all the way down the mountain, gravity feeding water to the four village water stations, each with two taps. The first couple weeks were spent investigating exactly where it was that we were losing water and what we can do about it. As you can see in the pictures the fixes varied from small to large and there were many village men lending a hand during this process. After some effort, we were able to increase the flow rate through the main village line to about 50 liters per minute and, at that point, started working on the water treatment site. We placed the site on the side of a raised water tank next to the Kingiti Primary School grounds. This had the advantage of structural support for the platform as well as security for our water treatment machine which we were able to install inside the small concrete room below the raised holding tank. In the pictures you can see the hoses from the machine running through a small opening in the wall to the treatment tanks on the platform. Furthermore, at this location we were able to join the main village line and be centrally located on the school grounds, two necessary requisites. There was no shortage of volunteered labor in building this treatment site and we were all eager to see exactly what this machine was all about. I had tested it in a Dar es Salaam swimming pool to make sure it ran with its most basic functions, but was yet to know the machine’s efficiency in cleaning large tanks of water or the quality of the product. In our first day of treatment, with a fully-charged car battery, we were able to adequately chlorinate 2,000 liters in 40 minutes. I was very surprised by the fast rate at which this machine worked and greatly pleased with the product, which after a few hours completely loses its taste of chlorine. The demand for clean drinking water was immediate and we soon had over one hundred households contributing monthly to the project’s expenses and savings. This contribution is less than 20 cents per month, a nominal fee that even the poorest villagers can easily manage, but when collected from many it is adequate for the monthly expenses of charging the battery and buying other small supplies. Most importantly, villagers contributing monthly for a service, no matter how nominal the fee, is in and of itself the greatest step toward sustainability that this project, or any other, could possibly accomplish. Finally, I am pleased to announce that, according to officials from the Dodoma Region Ministry of Health, Kingiti is the first village in the entire region to have clean drinking water. Special thanks to my fellow Co-founder Patricia Gagne for the very generous donation of the water treatment system and for the support and understanding she has granted me throughout the trials of this work. Much love. The Health Project: Due to its lack of trained medical personnel, communication, and reliable transportation the Mpwapwa District has been recorded to have the highest infant and maternal mortality rate of any district in Tanzania (Dodoma TZ Health Development Org). The KSSVHOF village health project is working with district physicians and the district medical office to put in place some medical infrastructure in Kingiti village, where there is none. Our greatest ally and advisor in this is my dear friend Dr. Eliab Senyagwa of the Kibakwe Health Center, located 10 km down the road from Kingiti. We have selected two women to serve as village health attendants in Kingiti, Doris Malema and Betina Mnego. They have been trained in basic first aid and midwifery skills and are working together with two traditional elder midwives to provide safer methods for childbirth in Kingiti, a village where 75% of women give birth in the home. Key elements of the midwifery project are nutritional supplements for pregnant women, prenatal observation and education, emergency transport in case of obstructed labor, and postnatal observation. In addition to the midwifery component of the health project are the medical and first aid components. The village health attendants, under the supervision of Dr. Eliab Senyagwa, are able to provide basic medical services and treat some of the most ubiquitous infections that cause much needless suffering in villages lacking medical personnel. With $120 I was able to construct a small clinic room along the Kingiti road where those sick can be treated, women can give birth with basic modern equipment, and those in danger can wait for emergency transport to the Kibakwe Health Center. This room is located on the front wall of Betina Mnego’s home assuring that there will always be someone to answer the door. The village health project goals are some of the "lowest hanging fruit" in development-speak, it only requires small measures to be taken in connecting the dots with resources that are already available, and subsidizing a few that are not, in order to make a great impact. I am hopeful for this project’s development and, as always, so grateful to Dr. Senyagwa for the invaluable guidance he provides throughout this process. In conclusion, I would like to say thank you to all of our donors who have made this work possible. And also, to my fellow board members and directors who have placed a great amount of confidence in me. Yours, Ben Belknap
Kingiti School Scholarship and Village Health Outreach Fund, Inc. Follow us Facebook Twiter RSS