1,000 flowering trees for Lutindi

In mid-May 2022, the 1,000 saplings of native tree species were planted on the newly built road to the Children’s Village construction site with the help of the students of the Lutindi Primary School.

Half of the trees planted were the yellow-flowering Markarema lutea (rosewood tree) and half were the blue-flowering Jakaranda mimosfolia (sial tree). Both varieties belong to the now rarer native woody plants. By planting these trees, we are not only helping to prevent erosion, but also actively contributing to the protection of species, nature and the environment. 

As a thank you, Ombeni received a T-shirt from the World Permaculture Association, which accompanied the planting campaign. The trees were delivered by the “Friends of Usambara-Society”, which has been working for years in the Usambara Mountains to breed rare native trees.

But there was more than just planting. The children were also given an on-site lesson on nature conservation and the importance of preserving native species. And everyone had fun.

Infrastructural side projects

In extension of our association purpose, legitimized by our statutes, we support the people in the region of Tanga, mainly in Lutindi with infrastructural projects besides our main goal, the construction of a children’s village. All goals serve to improve living conditions as well as health and education.

In addition, our targeted help for the population is an essential building block for the community acceptance of our main project.

This help can be of various nature. It should be primarily aimed at following the principle of “helping people to help themselves”. 

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” | Confucius

Bridge to the property

The way to our 91,000 m² building plot leads over a creek, which can carry a lot of water in the rainy seasons, and then goes quite steeply over our self-made path, which is about 1.3 km long and which we still have to develop into a road, to our building plot. 

In order to turn the path into a road and to allow construction vehicles to reach the property, we first have to build a bridge over the stream at the foot of our path that can also be used by trucks. The bridge was planned with a length of twelve meters and a width of 5 meters. The first construction works started in June 2021. After completion of the structural work, the bridge had a length of 25 meters and a width of 5 meters. 

Now, the construction work to extend our road to the property to road width over a length of 1.3 km can be started so that heavier transport vehicles with construction materials can also reach the property.


Dokumentation der Baumaßnahmen

In this section, we would like to go into the individual construction phases one by one in order to provide a detailed picture of the individual trades.

These individual construction measures can be accessed via the corresponding submenu.

Procurement of school furniture for the primary and secondary school

The Primary School in Lutindi is an old building in need of renovation. Nevertheless, the school serves its purpose and is still in an acceptable condition compared to other schools in Lutindi Ward (the umbrella term for the five villages that make up Lutindi). However, the condition of the school furniture was such that it was time to replace it.

Thanks to donations from MSV fans and a large donation from MSV fan Peter Schürer, we were able to commission new chairs and new tables for a total of two schools here in mid-February 2021 (140 tables and chairs in total). These were completed in August 2021. Half of these went to the Secondary School, as the headmaster’s call for help drew our attention to the lack of school furniture. There were more pupils than workplaces. The other half went to the Primary School.

The discarded chairs and desks of the Primary School were completely refurbished (by the residents themselves) and given to another school in Lutindi Ward in the village of Tamota after we became aware of the dramatic school situation there. The situation is so dramatically bad that we see great dangers for the integrity of the school children (more on this in the submenu “Situation Tamota Primary School”).


Lutindi Mental Hospital

The first mental hospital in East Africa, Lutindi Mental Hospital was built by German mission in the Usambara Mountain in 1896 and is owned by the ELCT North-Eastern Diocese. It is the only specialized hospital in ELCT. It has a bed capacity of 120 beds and serves Tanga region. Recently Irente rehabilitation center was combined with Lutindi. Now about half of the patients are chronic cases, who have lost contact to their relatives.

The hospital is well maintained with the help from Germany. It has 3 nurses specialized in psychiatry and 37 other staff. Recently they got a neuropsychiatrist from Germany.

They have also started an outpatient clinic, which is in the center of Korogwe town on the main road between DaresSalam and Arusha. This location is more accessible than the mountain hospital. The hospital is also running dispensary for local population, which has 2 COs and 4 other staff members.

To play the pictures in large size please click on a picture

To play the pictures in large size please click on a picture


Establishment of a community sewing room

Last autumn 2019, the Weltladen Duisburg-Rumeln donated 2,000 euros to ZAC e.V. for the purchase of 10 sewing machines for our planned project “Sewing Room”.

That presented us with the big problem of which women we can provide this limited number of sewing machines without causing something like envy within the community among those who can not be considered.

We have, we believe, brought about a good solution. With the director of the Lutindi Mental Hospital, Dr. Marwa, on whose premises our Tanzanian NGO “C.B.R.O.” also has its headquarters, we reached the following agreement:

the hospital will provide us permanently and free of charge with a room suitable for the installation of 10 sewing stations, in which the machines will be installed and the sewing stations set up. The room will be renovated and prepared at our expense. In this room we offer sewing courses for interested women from Lutindi, primarily women who are socially disadvantaged. At the same time, female patients of the hospital can be trained here as seamstresses within the framework of occupational therapy.

In addition to the idea of training, the sewing machines can also be used by the women for their own sewing work. The keyword here is “sewing machine sharing”.

We as ZAC also provide an initial supply of necessary cloth and sewing materials. This is to be used to make typical products from typical fabrics of the country (e.g. scarves, capes, shirts). The products can then, according to the offer of the Weltladen Rumeln, be sold in the world store and 50% of the proceeds go to the sewing women and 50% to the chronically underfunded Lutindi Mental Hospital.

We had the roof of the assigned room repaired, walls plastered and brightly painted. In Dar es Salaam, ten sewing machines of different types (butterfly and electric) were purchased in advance and transported to Lutindi. A carpenter built a large cutting table. 

In February 2021, the first training series began with a group of 8 by a tailor specially hired for this purpose. Further groups will follow. After that, independent work can begin and we can consider the project complete.

A nice opportunity for the women to improve their living conditions and for the Lutindi Mental Hospital to start a new therapy.

(Slideshow follows)

“Bridge of solidarity” for a safe way to school

Lutindi (translated from the Swahili language: “village in the clouds”) consists of five individual villages with a total population of around 3,000 people, from which the children sometimes have to travel long distances to get to the primary school or the newly built secondary school. 

In the rainy season, this route is dangerous for most of the children, because at one point they have to cross the small creek, which can turn into a raging torrent, especially during the two rainy seasons. The last rains have now given the rest to the existing “bridge”, which was defined by the simple laying of loose wooden boards. This “bridge” must be crossed even by smaller vehicles.

The constant efforts of the villagers to get this cobbled-together something not to fall apart permanently voluntarily were often blessed with only short durability. Here, we quickly realized, we needed a solution, and a durable one at that, and one that was specifically safe for the children.

So we gave our ZAC representative in Lutindi, Ombeni, the order to build a solid and thus safe little bridge, which, according to the wish of our supporters from the MSV environment, should be given the meaningful name “Bridge of Solidarity”.

Materials were immediately procured in nearby Korogwe and transported to the mountains, the creek bed was laid at short notice and two stable concrete pipes were laid along the direction of flow of the creek. The whole was then covered with a stable concrete slab and the flanks were again filled with material.

On February 16th, 2021, the “Bridge of Solidarity” was inaugurated with great participation of the community, school children and important political persons.

(Slide show follows)


School furniture for the Secondary School in Lutindi

When considering the following information on the school system and its costs, one should always keep in mind that the majority of the people in Tanzania, and thus especially in the rural area of Lutindi, are below the poverty line and that people who have work earn between two and three euros a day.

The school system in Tanzania, which has been reformed several times and is based on the English school system, is divided into four areas:

The voluntary preschool (roughly equivalent to kindergarten).
The Primary School – here are the school years 1 to 7 located
The Secondary School – here are the school years 8-11 located
The University

In general, preschool and primary school are free of charge. But, there is a compulsory school uniform already in the state Primary School. Meals and school supplies must also be financed privately. Thus, already for the Primary School monthly costs of about 35,– Euro per child accumulate, which can hardly be afforded by a simple day laborer. It is also not uncommon to pass on the costs for school furniture to the parents. These costs vary depending on the school and the region…

In order to get into secondary school, students must have above-average grades from primary school, otherwise they are rejected.

At the Secondary School there are day students (i.e. those who live in the immediate vicinity) and boarding students (i.e. those who stay overnight in the school’s premises due to a too long way to school). Already for the admission the students have to pay about 100,– Euro for the initial equipment. For a day student the parents have to pay about 450 Euro per year and for a boarding student about 650 Euro.

Subsequent years of teaching must also be paid for.

Here alone it becomes clear how many children are only granted access to education because the parents can hardly afford these costs as a rule. In the primary school, Swahili is taught as the community language (more than 125 different languages are spoken in the country) and in the primary school, the official language English is also taught.

Lutindi is home to both schools, a Primary School that has been in existence for many years and is in generally poor overall condition, and since 2020, a newly constructed Secondary School. Here, too, the state is withdrawing from financing elementary basics and leaving the schools, or the parents, to cover costs that should have been covered by the state in a well-functioning school system.

For example, the management of the Secondary School approached us with a request for financial help in procuring 70 missing pieces of school furniture. There are already more than 50 students who do not have a seat/desk. 

For us it was no question: if students have qualified for the Secondary School with enormous diligence, then their further education must not fail because they cannot attend classes due to missing school furniture. The ZAC e.V. takes over 100% of the financing and thanks the supporters from the environment of the fans of the MSV Duisburg for the great support in this subproject. The production furniture was delivered in August 2021.

Aufbau einer Schweinezucht

Mit Beginn der COVID19-Pandemie explodierten die Fleischpreise in Tansania derart stark, so dass speziell Familien aus der ärmeren Bevölkerungsschicht sich kein Fleisch mehr leisten konnten.

Mit dem Aufbau einer eigenen Schweinezucht in Lutindi, angesiedelt bei den alleinerziehenden Frauen aus dem Single-Mother-Cultivation-Project, konnten wir diesem Missstand entgegenwirken. So haben wir die Anschaffung gesunder Tiere unter aktiver Mithilfe des örtlichen Veterinärs vorangetrieben (der auch die permanente Überwachung der Tierhaltung und deren Gesundheit übernimmt) und insgesamt 50 Jungschweine finanziert. Die Tiere wurden allesamt von Fans des MSV Duisburg gespendet . Im Vorfeld wurden bei den Häusern der frauen entsprechend große Ställe gebaut, die wichtiger Teil der Freilandhaltung sind.

Ziel ist es, genügend Schweine zu züchten, um den Eigenbedarf an Fleisch zu decken und um auch in der Gemeinde günstig Fleisch anbieten zu können. Alles, was nicht zum Eigenbedarf benötigt wird, wird auf dem lokalen Markt verkauft. Mit den Erlösen können die Frauen ihre Lebensverhältnisse verbessern.

Aber, die Frauen wurden auch verpflichtet, eine feststehende Quote an Ferkeln aus den Zuchterfolgen an unsere NGO zurückzugeben, die dafür sorgt, dass die damit erzielten Erlöse aus den Marktverkäufen in einen sogenannten “Lutindi-Aid-Fond” fließen.

Der Fond wird von unserer NGO und der Gemeinde verwaltet und es werden gemeinsame Entscheidungen getroffen, welche Investitionen für die Gemeinschaft aus diesem sich stetig aufbauenden Fond getätigt werden sollen.