Vancouver Construction And Music Communities Unites To Build A School On The Other Side Of The World

Astoria, New York (PressExposure) May 13, 2011 -- Project Tujifunze (Too-gee-fun-zay, Swahili for Learning), is a joint Canadian-Tanzanian project dedicated to helping the youngest and most vulnerable children in Mwanza, Tanzania, to have access to basic, quality education.

By building a nursery school in an area called Fumagila on the outskirts of Mwanza city, the project offers an innovative, sustainable and replicable model of facility and education methodology that conforms to the country's Millennium Development Goals.

The post and beam construction will uniquely incorporate material from the old 'sails' of the Canada Place roof in Vancouver, donated by our most recent partner, Canada Place. Many thanks to Architecture for Humanity for their assistance. Other critical material donations were coordinated by Intermind Design as well as project advising. Certainly, the project could never have succeeded without the extraordinary generosity of Dick's Lumber and their help with the wood and construction materials that will become this African school, together with a remarkable donation by Oasis Windows who have generously provided the windows for the school.

The school has been designed to incorporate solar energy and methane capture technologies, passive airflow cooling, rain water harvesting, and use and re-use of various local Tanzanian materials.

In addition to the classrooms and teachers' accommodation the school will have a solar energy-charging kiosk that will provide power for the school's needs and also provide much needed income to help fund the school. This is achieved by offering solar-charged portable battery-powered inverters for rent to the local community to run their radios and charge small items such as lights and cell phones. Imperial College London UK and Solarville, Canada have been key contributors to the solar energy station and will be installing the system on-site.

A large portion of the school has been prefabricated and loaded together with the structural materials, school, medical and children's aid supplies into a container donated by DP World Vancouver who together with Hyundai Merchant Marine is kindly shipping the container to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam free of charge.

No project of this kind can be a success without an outstanding team. In partnership with BCIT's Architectural Sciences and Technology program, this project benefitted tremendously from students' extensive research in a custom BCIT course dedicated to developing the best possible school design. A number of BCIT students will even come to Africa to help. In addition, BCIT instructor and architect Wesley Wollin has worked Pro Bono to hone this prototype school design incorporating many of these researched sustainable systems and features, assisted by architect Heather Stuart.

Dale Vandenberg's Red West Construction is generously providing two highly skilled construction specialists to oversee and build the school pro bono. Amazingly, over a dozen dedicated volunteers and professionals are also personally taking time away from their work and families, flying to Africa at their own cost, and helping to get this school built.

Curriculum development and teacher training are most generously provided by Henry Kulaya, Deputy Headmaster of Nottingham Academy, UK.

This project is also in kind partnership with Afretech Aid Society, a BC registered charity experienced in working in Africa, founded by retired teacher Bonnie Sutherland, who also arranged generous amounts of school books and badly needed medical supplies with the help of Rotary Vancouver. Also, Rotary Club of Tsawwassen and Mwanza have been instrumental in facilitating this project. On the ground the local partnering Tanzanian children's charity is CIT - Director Timothy Timanywa.

Soccer equipment has been generously provided by the Tsawwassen Soccer Club and the Dunbar Soccer Association.

Sincere gratitude for the major contributions from Apollo Au, Gwen Megrian, Jackie Mack, Ivy Chang, Goran Djordjevic, Doug Muir, Johanna Ahn, 22nd Century, Alita Dupray, Rob Montgomery and No Quarter, Hot Lucy, I Braineater, Jesus Krysler, with MC Ron Reyes and many many other contributors and corporate sponsors of the Skoolaid music benefit fundraising events.

Funding is still needed, so to join this very special group of prestigious corporate sponsors in the home stretch of this capital campaign for the Project Tujifunze please contact Susan Bibbings at 604-222-9229 or

This project started as a promise to the children of a Tanzanian nursery who were being schooled in a makeshift classroom without power, toilets or water. With extraordinary support from businesses and countless individuals who are willing to give their time and resources, this project will profoundly change the lives of many children over the coming years, bringing education and hope to those who had neither.

About Music Dish

Susan Bibbings, Founder of Project Tujifunze
Tel: 604-222-9229 Fax: 604-222-1223
E-mail: or
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Press Release Submitted On: May 13, 2011 at 11:47 am
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