Since 2006 Kaingu Lodge has been extremely active in developing and supporting the Itumbi Community Primary School. Through fundraising (mostly through our guests) we have been able to see the completion of a three classroom primary school in Itumbi (or Kaingu) village. We have been able (by contributing part of every guest’s stay) to pay teachers salaries. We have been able to put in a solar bore hole pump and water lines to the school and two other key locations in the village. The school has received countless material donations of school uniforms, teaching materials, stationery, text books, sports equipment. The amount of donations has at times been literally almost overwhelming and has delighted us and the community.
However the reality is that when we first got involved there were just over 200 pupils. There are now almost 450 children attending the school. The numbers simply overwhelm the ability of the Ministry of Education to properly fund the school. Our donations that we raise directly through our bed night contributions and through our guests generosity is also nowhere near matching the actual needs.
Two subsidiary schools have been started in the area to try to reduce the distances that children are having to walk. The Kela Community Primary school and Kasamba were started around the same time as the Itumbi school through the efforts of individuals (initially the schools were not recognised by the Ministry of Education). To say that these schools are rudimentary is a massive understatement – particularly the Kela School (which is sometimes also written as ‘Keela’).
Over the years many past guests have reached out to us after staying with us – especially after seeing posts and news on our social media channels. Quite a number of these previous guests have then reached out wanting to make donations to us. We are happy to do this and will continue to update people on social media and accept donations to our Kaingu Trust via ourselves. But we also feel that online platforms such as ‘Just Giving’ might make it easier (certainly in terms of bank costs) to do so.
We have literally zero expectations. We might raise nothing or we might raise a decent amount through this avenue. To do this costs us a couple of hours and a bit of writing so if it achieves something then it is a win win situation. The community cannot do this themselves. They have not the technology nor the ability to put themselves ‘out there’ on the internet and social media and donation platforms. But we do. And we love imagery and video and story telling – the story telling is literally what we do round the campfire every single night! So why not try and do this?
What the community can do themselves they are doing. They have moulded and kiln fired 20,000 bricks and are transporting them to the Keela School by ox cart. But with no cement and no roofing sheets the project will simply end there…
Any donations given will be overseen by us (Gilmour, Julia, Lynda and Rick) and will be channelled into infrastructure and eductaional material for the schools. In extreme cases funds might even be channelled into food and clothing for critically vulnerable individuals.
This fundraising will in no way replace our bednight levies that we pay directly into the Kaingu Trust (of which the community representatives then decide how it is best used). If people want to specify exactly what they want the money to be used for then that is also absolutely fine. Any monies received will not be simply handed over to individuals: material will be purchased by ourselves with the teachers. Where labour is required it will be overseen by ourselves. In short we will continue to administer and oversee any expenditure at all.
We have kept the fund fraising sum relatively low. As I say, our expectations are very grounded and we realise just how many people are bombarded on a daily basis with requests.
Our link to the crowdfunding site is here: