Perse pupils Go MAD in Tanzania charity quest
23 Aug 2019
Year 11 pupils Kimi Willson-Brandtner, Isaac Pfaender, Ben Haynes and Ben Hancock spent three weeks this summer working with the charity Go Make a Difference in Tanzania (Go MAD). Kimi Willson-Brandtner gives an insight into their experience.
After a long journey, we arrived safely at Eagle Lodge, the home of Go MAD and our place of stay for the following few weeks. Having settled in, our work with the charity quickly began with laying foundations on a 9,000-litre water tank, a fatiguing job which included mixing bags of cement alongside dozens of buckets of sand, aggregate and water. The process takes around eight days, requiring the steel frame to gradually be rendered.
The following morning, aided by a larger group, we started work on a new 14,000-litre tank for a school. With approximately five people digging a base for the tank, others worked to create the large steel frame before beginning the daunting job of cement mixing. By evening, we had laid all foundations, giving a great sense of accomplishment.
We were deeply shocked at the immense danger that albinos face in Tanzania. Many rural communities have retained a strong belief in witchcraft, with the body parts of albino children being used in an array of different tribal medicines. Therefore, we wanted to help a boarding school that provides a home for albino children all the way up to adulthood, allowing them to live in security until they are older and at less risk.
Unfortunately, the school faced a huge lack of bedding with many of the students being forced to share tiny single beds, often without mosquito nets and bed sheets. To solve this, we funded the construction of 10 metal-framed bunk beds and provided all the bed sheets and mattresses. This was a brilliant project to have funded and we were pleased to have improved the welfare of the children.
I was involved in a project which aimed to map out a huge farm land and grazing area using drone photography. By the end of the trip we had managed to map out an area of over 20km². The aim of this was to help farmers define their farm land, to designate specific grazing zones for goats and cattle and to plan an irrigation system. The area being mapped has faced major problems with illegal timber felling, as well as overgrazing. These problems combined have resulted in reduced rainfall and biodiversity. Despite this project being in very early stages, it was wonderful to have kick-started what should be an amazing project which will revitalise the area through widespread planting of trees, hedges and other flora.
Overall, the trip was a fantastic experience, and we all developed an understanding of the problems faced by millions of people worldwide. The thought that we hopefully improved the lives of some of these people was wonderful and we all left with a true appreciation of just how lucky we are.