The purpose of the Mailisita Foundation is to enable Fr. Kawishe and his like-minded colleagues to really make a difference in the lives, hopes, and realities of these children's futures through improving their educational opportunities.
Fr. Kawishe has been and continues to provide whatever help and assistance he can to
these wonderful children who live in such fragile conditions. It is easy to be fooled by their smiles and happy dispositions into thinking that all is well. But many of these children are living under very difficult circumstances.
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The successful development of the Mailisita Education Center as a financially self-sustaining campus to serve the health and educational needs of the growing orphan population in rural Tanzania will improve the lives of many and serve as an example of how people a world apart can work together to bring about positive change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions and Answers


What is the Mailisita Foundation?

What is the problem?

How can I help?

How are we approaching the problem?

Who is helping?

What are the risks?

Why choose the Mailisita area?

How do you pronounce Mailisita?

Where is Mailisita located?


What is the Mailisita Foundation?

The Mailisita Foundation was created to develop a financially self-sustaining Education
Center to serve the needs of a growing orphan population in rural Tanzania. The
proposed educational center (including a revenue generating guesthouse) sits at the base
of Mount Kilimanjaro. While an area of great natural beauty, the Kilimanjaro region is
seeing the early stages of a major AIDS epidemic. Our objective is to provide hope and a
future for the area’s children orphaned by this growing crisis.

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What is the problem?

The emerging and worsening AIDS crisis in the town of Moshi, Tanzania and its rural
surrounding area is creating an expanding group of orphans with little hope
and dim prospects for a brighter future. Moshi is a relatively tranquil, fertile
and beautiful area situated on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, but much like
most areas of Tanzania and sub-Saharan Africa, its largely agrarian economy
is stagnant and produces little more than the minimal food the area's
residents require. By and large, the 200,000 people of this area have been able
to get by – it’s a simple life, but enough. The emergence of AIDS within the area in the
past 10 years has changed that balance. As of 2008 the adult population infection rate is
approaching 12%. We’ve met a number of the orphans this looming crisis is producing,
and save for some unexpected miracle, they will be joined by hundreds more.
What happens to these orphans? Some are taken in by extended
families, some of which have the resources to provide them adequate
care and education. Others become street children, surviving off
handouts and petty crime. In Moshi the number of street children has
doubled to 1,000 in the past 2 years. The future for these children is
very bleak.

Fr. Augustine Kawishe, a Catholic priest of the Mailisita district of Moshi works to
provide free education and a simple daily meal to Kindergarten age orphans lucky
enough to be taken in by extended family, but too poor to afford the additional cost of
their care. For some, the only meal they will receive today is the simple corn mush
lunch the local residents donate and Fr. Kawishe's parish workers prepare. These
families would not be able to provide a home for these children were it not for the
education and food Fr. Augustine and his parishioners give and would thus add to the
growing street population. His two room school house is currently serving 80
Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten children between the ages of 5 and 7.
The importance of education for these children cannot be overstated. As orphans, they
have no family to fall back upon or to help them get a start in life.
Nor does the government have resources or programs to address
the problem. These children will absolutely need to have sufficient
education to become successful in a difficult job market.
The Kilimanjaro area public primary schools are currently
overcrowded. The average classroom size for public schools was over 90 students in
2006. The shortage of secondary schools (grades 7-12) is even more acute. Typically
only one in five students is able to progress from primary to secondary school due to the
limited secondary school capacity. The shortage of secondary schools creates a vicious
competition for entry and only students who attend the best English-medium primary
schools (overwhelmingly private) stand a chance to progress. Interestingly, secondary
schools in Tanzania screen applicants and teach in English rather than the native Swahili
language, further disadvantaging these children.

The children from the Mailisita Kindergarten program that Fr. Augustine currently runs
progress to the local public primary schools. In ten years, not one alumni of the
Mailisita Kindergarten program has gained entry into secondary school. This track
record underscores the importance of improving the education these children are
receiving and adopting English as the medium of instruction in primary school.

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How are we approaching the problem?

Our Approach – To develop the Mailisita School as a financially self-sustaining English-medium primary school for AIDS orphans. Teaching the children in English from the 1st
grade will give them a meaningful advantage as they compete for public supported
secondary school entry or for the local job market. The Kilimanjaro area is popular with tourists seeking to climb the continent’s tallest mountain or embark on safaris in the area’s world class animal reserves including the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater. There are no major hotel chains operating in the area and most tourism accommodation is provided by small private guest house or bed and breakfast style operations typically having no more than 10-20 rooms. The proposed accompanying fourteen (14) room Mailisita Guesthouse will be able to generate enough income to operate the 300 pupil primary school on an ongoing basis. The Mailisita center sits on an excellent parcel of land for developing a tourism
guesthouse. The site has 200’ of frontage along the roadway connecting the major towns
of Moshi and Arusha and has an unobstructed view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Travelers using
nearby Kilimanjaro International Airport must pass directly in front of the Center on
their way to nearby Kilimanjaro trek starting points.
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Who is helping?

Many people in many ways....Fr. Augustine Kawishe is the Mailisita parish priest within the Catholic Diocese of Moshi, Tanzania. He was born and raised in the
Kilimanjaro region, left to further his education in the US and UK, and returned to work in a number of roles for the Moshi Diocese. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Walsh College in Akron, Ohio and studied law at Kings College in London. He has served as the
Director of Education for the Diocese as well as legal advisor. Fr. Kawishe has managed past construction projects for the Diocese and with the assistance of his Board of Directors, overseas all local aspects of the Mailisita Education Center construction. He is further assisted and supported in overseeing the work by Fr. Daniel Amani, head of construction projects for the Diocese of Moshi and Fr. Paul Uria, a long time colleague and diocesan counselor.

Help from U.S.
Fr. Augustine’s brother, Rev. Valerian Laini, Ph.D. is the associate
pastor at St. Joseph’s church in Libertyville, Illinois (www.stjosephlibertyville.
org). He grew up in and around the Moshi, Tanzania area
and continued his education in Rome, received his Masters from Concordia University
in Montreal, and his Doctorate in Communications from Northwestern University.
Under his direction, St. Joseph’s parish launched its International Sharing Ministry in
2005 to focus on care for the vulnerable in the community of Moshi, Tanzania. The
parish continues to raise awareness and funds for the project.

The Mailisita Foundation (www.mailisitafoundation.org) was created in 2007
specifically for this project in order to expand the circle of
involvement to those who might otherwise be restricted from giving
to faith-based organizations. Further, the objectives of the
foundation and the project are not religious in nature, but more accurately
humanitarian. For example, the Moshi orphan population served is comprised of
children from a variety or religious backgrounds.

The Mailisita Foundation is an IRS designated 501(c)(3) charity (EIN: 20-8174181). As such,
all contributions are eligible for exemption from US federal taxes. 100% of all donations
to the foundation have gone, and will continue to go directly to the purchasing of
building materials and labor for the construction of the Mailisita Education Center. All
administrative and fund raising costs have been covered by separate personal donations
designated for such purposes.


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What are the risks?

Kenya impact. Election violence in Kenya continues to remain contained within
Kenyan borders. However, some construction materials have become scarce or
more expensive due to Kenyan supplier disruptions. Key construction materials
such as cement have risen by 40% since the project began.

Weakening US dollar. The US dollar has lost nearly 10% of its value with
respect to the Tanzanian Shilling since the project began. Better than estimated
construction performance has kept the work completed on the original budget,
but estimates to complete the project have risen to reflect the change in exchange
rate.

Fund raising pace. Completing construction and beginning limited operation of
the guesthouse by 2011 will require we raise funds at a 50% faster pace than we
have in 2006 and 2007. If a lack of timely funds leads to construction delays,
needed revenues from the guesthouse operation will be lost, thus adding to the
total project cost to donors.

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Why choose the Mailisita area?

We believe in the goal to educate children who may be disadvantaged. We also believe this is an area in which our help can enable success in the goal of creating an education center. Here's why. A group of twenty (20) from the Libertyville, IL area including an attorney, pediatrician, construction contractor and management consultant, studied the situation and determined that yes, it was feasible to help. Key findings included: the orphans are healthy enough to be educated; the area is politically and economically stable enough to support development, and the tourism trade brings enough money into the area that a small school and guesthouse combination could be financially self-sufficient. A business plan outlining operating budgets and required capital “investment” was produced and continues to provide direction to the team. Land was acquired and the Diocesan architect created preliminary drawings and estimates. With money raised from the Libertyville community, initial building materials were purchased or donated by local Mailisita residents. Already, there is a strong team commitment and shared responsibility for the success of the project from here in the U.S. and in Mailisita.

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How can I help??

There are many ways to help. Helping ranges from dontations, to sponsoring children, to spreading the word about the project. Please see our donation page for more details. Donate.

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How do you pronounce Mailisita?

To pronounce it, say "my-liss-eet-ah with a smile on your face and an inflection at the end.

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Where is Mailisita located?

Mailisita is a village in Tanzania six miles outside the town of Moshi.  "Mailisita" is Swahili for "mile six".  Mailisita is along the main road connecting Arusha, Moshi, and the Kilimanjaro International Airport.  

This area of Tanzania is dominated by the presence of Mount Kilimanjaro.   The highest peak in all of Africa creates its own lush and beautiful ecosystem in what is generally a dry and semi-arid part of Africa.  The mountain's high elevation forces rains to fall and cascade down innumerable streams to the surrounding crop lands.  If the rains are good, corn is easy to grow.  The mountain's slopes are dotted with high quality Arabica bean coffee fields.   Bananas grow easily enough and are used for both food as well as brewing the local beer.

 

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To see all who seek education to be educated
To see orphran & underpriviledeged children in Mailisita are able to effectively compete for scarce secondary school openings
Create an English Primary School

Create a self-sustaining revenue source for the school
 
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