One year ago, as you may know, the govt shut down 5 local orphanages and dropped a total of 67 new kids off onto our doorstep, without notice, in one day. Since then, our wonderful staff have been miraculously feeding, clothing, cleaning, housing and teaching over 100 kids, 24/7. Things have calmed down considerably, the kids are doing really well: healthy and happy now. But lest we forget, we are in major survival mode. We’ve got 77 kids crammed into three small makeshift cottages – clean, but barely adequate.
We are determined to give them the proper space they deserve, as fast as we can…and amazingly, everyone started helping! By January this year, the government approved a gift of 6-8 acres of land to us, pro bono!
Canadian architect Margie Zeidler of 401 Richmond fame traveled with me over to Tanzania in January this year, visited Majengo and fell in love with the children and the project. She spent hours researching every aspect of African orphange life, talking with our staff, govt engineers, even the children of a new Majengo home. She came back with great stories and plans, which inspired her father, renowned architect Eberhard Zeidler to collaborate with her – both generously donating time, ideas and awesome skills to creating a much needed, new Majengo!
A few weeks and a couple of all-nighters later, Margie and Eb presented to us just this past weekend, a full concept design of the new orphange space, including detailed drawings of a great hall with dining for over 100, an outdoor kitchen, library, designs for houses, preschool, infirmary, office, playground, a community soccer field – even vegetable and goat gardens.
It was a fabulous meeting, with our Majengo Canada and Warren Majengo USA team: Matt McKissock, Matt Moore, Ian Asbaugh. Lots of new ideas…now we’re back to Tanzania in April for local approval, ideas, cutting costs, estimates, legals, all happening…we are on our way!!
We’ve started fundraising! Big thanks to generous donors who got the ball rolling. We are already a quarter of the way there!! Planning big fundraising parties in Toronto, Creemore and Warren this spring/summer – stay tuned….
What do you think of the design concept? Want to get involved? Leave your comments below, or get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!