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Kirenga Primary School

The Earth Assistance

Book of Smiles Tanzanian Children at schools developed by the Earth Assistance Adopt a School Program

A smile is such a little thing It needs no skill or art But O such happiness they bring to heal and lift the heart.

The Earth Assistance

Book of Smiles Tanzanian Children at schools developed by the Earth Assistance Adopt a School Program Kirenga Primary School

All profits from the sale of this book are invested entirely in the African schools developed by the Earth Assistance Adopt a School Program

The Earth Assistance

Book of Smiles Tanzanian Children at schools developed by the Earth Assistance Adopt a School Program Kirenga Primary School

Text, Photographs and design by Brad Warren The Earth Assistance Foundation Arusha Tanzania 2012

This book is dedicated to the smiling children of Kirenga Primary School and to Susan Bachar of the African Schools Assistance Project who puts up with a lot and can still smile.

Contents Kirenga Primary School


No classrooms but many smiles


Light in Darkness


Work with a smile


A Smile is the Greater Gift


Making Pots


Just Joy


Grown ups can smile too


Earth Assistance

Kirenga Primary School A school that is built with smiles

The Earth Assistance Foundation through our Adopt a School Program develops village Community Schools in Tanzania. It is a work of giving without any expectation of return. Yet the reward is great and it is in these smiles. They are many, they are huge and they are beautiful. Kirenga Primary School is one of the schools we have adopted. Like our other adopted schools it is owned in common by the village and built on village land. We find them in a ramshackle, dangerous and poorly administered condition with almost no facilities. We seek for funding then make every effort to build the school up to its optimum condition. We overcome the demoralisation and provide an education that is the only hope for these subsistence villages with insufficient land. We have been very successful and Kirenga Primary School is, among others, substantial proof. It would be an understatement to say that this work is not without difficulties and challenges. They are many and our volunteer workers are often deeply distressed. Some just give up. But for the rest of us, when we are burdened by our labours, we are bombarded with these exquisite smiles and we know that what we do is good and the value of it is understood by those we have come to love.

No Classrooms but many smiles

When we first went to investigate Kirenga Primary School our car got stuck in the mud. A group of teachers and villagers came to push us out. They were laughing as they did it although all of us were soon covered in sticky brown clay. We thought, “these are fine people.� We were greeted at the school by smiles such as you see in this small book. We looked around the school. Two of the classrooms had been erected by unskilled villagers and were falling down. Other children were being taught under the trees. They sat on the damp ground. The school had almost nothing. Very few books, nowhere near enough desks. No room for the teachers. No water. Inadequate toilet facilities. Very little paper and just a few shared pens. But the smiles were everywhere and this is how the love started. These children are our children. They have given us their smiles and now the smiles are ours too.

Light in Darkness Smiles that light up a room

When we start with a school we inevitably find that the village made bricks of the existing walls are under-fired (soft and soluble) and have been laid with mud or mortar with too little cement. The walls are unstable and need to be reinforced, Inside, the windowless classrooms have earth floors and the walls are unrendered. This makes for a very dark classroom with the children’s eyes only inches away from their books. Eye damage is the inevitable result. One of the first things we do is to render the walls and paint them. Instantly the room becomes brighter and the students can sit erect. But as these photos will show the spirits of the children are undampenned. Give them a reason to laugh and another light fills the room,

Carrying stones so the tradesmen can lay the floors

Work with a smile Child labour say some. Joyful work say the others

Everyone contributes to an EAF project and the kids are no exception. If you walk into a classroom and say, “Ok Totos we are going to dig the garden,” they are out of the classroom faster than a rabbit chased by a cat. My old Dad used to say, “Hard work is the best exercise”. I believed him then and I believe him now. This school belongs to the children. They know that because they helped build it. They care for the gardens and sweep the floors. They take this care back into their own homes and will carry the knowledge with them forever. They love to go to school and they will love it for the rest of their lives. When they are old they will walk past their school and say to themselves, “I helped build that.”

Planting Trees

Cleaning the school

Cleaning the classrooms

Collecting switches to sweep the floors

A smile is the greater gift What you get when you give to someone who has nothing

“You give but little when you give of your possessions It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear that you may need them tomorrow? Ant tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the over prudent dog burying bones in the trackless desert as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?... ...See that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.

For in truth it is life that gives unto life....while you who deem yourself a giver are but a witness.. ....rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings.� Kahlil Gibran

Text books and general reading books have been given to all the students in the school

Making Pots The smiles were not made of clay

To make bricks we have to bring in some trailer loads of ant hill clay to mix with the local earth. The clay is excellent for making simple earthenware pots and figures so, of course, we could not let this opportunity go without making some.

What child does not enjoy playing with mud?

Just Joy

Earth Assistance Assistant Teachers at Kirenga Primary

Grown ups can smile too

The King’ori deserted wives group is supported by the EAF

ASAP group with EAF staff in the new Kirenga classroom June 2010. Susan Bachar is in the white shirt.

Partners in the Development of Kirenga Primary School Kirenga Village Committee

Local materials and labour

The Arumeru District Education Office

Permissions, advice

Teachers and staff

Supervision, communication

Kirenga Parents Committee

Advice, labour

Kirenga School Development Committee

Organisation, supervision , advice

Earth Assistance Project (US)

Text books

Books to Read (Singapore)

Books, Text Books

African Schools Assistance Project

Senior funding partner

The Earth Assistance Foundation

Planning, management, funding

Earth Assistance

Book of Smiles. Kirenga Primary School  
Book of Smiles. Kirenga Primary School  

The Earth Assistance Book of Smiles. Kirenga Primary School