Today was the highly anticipated groundbreaking of the Burere Village’s new 2 classroom building at the Kingigoro primary school. The event marked a major milestone of a long journey of work by UC engineering students, our mentors from THP, UC, and Village Life, and the generous contributions from our donors. The patience of the Burere people, our partners, and our students is showing some significant steps now as we prepare to begin excavation at the site Monday.
|Richard and Jim at the Burere committee meeting|
To begin our day at Burere, we held a meeting to discuss the construction plans and the role of each party involved in the project. Video and more pictures are coming shortly upon the Village Life team’s return to the USA. We discussed the road and the leveling of the site which are major community contributions to the construction. The road, we were told, has already been repaired and the site will be leveled per our markings starting tomorrow. This was an excellent sign; the community had already begun to mobilize before our arrival and was eager to begin the long awaited construction. Once the meeting was over and the discussions concluded, the district representative, the acting village chairman, Manaen Kawira of SHED, and I signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the responsibilities of our respective parties.
|The Burere groundbreaking ceremony|
The event was attended by members of our Cincinnati-based partners, Village Life, including the founder, Dr. Chris Lewis, and the Executive Director and Burere Travel Mentor, Richard Elliott. Another major partner who attended was the Shirati Health, Education and Development Foundation, (SHED), represented by the chairman of the board, Manaen Kawira. The other leaders in the groundbreaking team were a representative from the Rorya district’s education office, the acting chairman of the Burere Village, and me.
The EWB travel team is en route and should be landing in Nairobi shortly. Tomorrow, they will make the long road from Nairobi, Kenya to Shirati, Tanzania. I expect to see a happy, but travel-weary crew tomorrow evening for dinner. I hope they are eager to experience a new country and continent which includes a unique people and culture. I also hope they are ready to get their hands dirty and get some concrete in for the foundation!