Twelve Lewis River Rotarians and friends of the Rotary recently traveled to Arusha, Tanzania for fifteen days. Their trip was twofold: to volunteer at the Red Sweater Project (also known as the Mungere Secondary School) and to go on safari afterward to see the vast array of African wildlife.
Last spring, the Lewis River Rotary Foundation donated $20,000 and Lewis River Rotarian Steve Mays donated $20,000 in honor of his mother Wanda Mays to build a new science building for students at the school. The building was recently completed and is all set for students to attend classes there. The Rotarians held a building dedication ceremony and installed a brass memorial plaque while at the school. The Lewis River Rotary Foundation also purchased eight new microscopes as well as science textbooks, and medical and dental supplies for students.
The Rotarians worked for five days landscaping the school campus. They lined walkways with rocks, transplanted plants, trimmed shrubs, and dug holes for new trees for much-needed shade for students. Students showed up daily to help with the work and to have the opportunity to practice their English skills with their international guests.
Following the service project at the school, the Rotarians embarked on a five-day safari where they saw extensive wildlife at Lake Manaya National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti National Park.
The Red Sweater Project is an educational non-profit founded by Ashley Holmer of Beaverton, Oregon. Its purpose is to provide a quality secondary education to students in rural Tanzania, an impoverished country where only 5 percent of students attain a high school education. Each year over 200 students apply for the 30 to 40 available spots in the incoming class. When completed, the Mungere School will serve over 300 students per year.
The Lewis River Rotary club, as well as individual Rotarians in the club, sponsor multiple students for $1,500 a year. This provides school tuition, uniform, books and supplies, medical care, and two meals per day. Educational sponsorships and financial support of the school are needed to continue providing a quality secondary education to students in rural Tanzania.
— Lewis River Rotary Club