There are three questions I get asked a lot, so I thought I’d try and give a few answers:
Why do you need to raise so much money per month?
I’m answering this without the budget in front of me, which may not be the wisest… but… there are a few main costs associated with our time. One is flights to and from Tanzania, plus the internal flight to Mwanza. I believe this also includes a budget for a return trip mid-way through our three year stay. One of the biggest costs is the cost of a car. Cars in Africa tend to be expensive due to the high import cost. We will also need a pretty robust vehicle due to the fact we will be doing a lot of travel on pretty bad roads. We have made the decision to base ourselves in Mwanza and travel to the Islands for the project work there. For that reason we will need accommodation in both places.
Finally some of the things we take for granted in this country include the cost of health insurance, and there’s also a budget for home-schooling, which isn’t massive, but should cover some syllabuses in core subjects.
We haven’t put the budget together ourselves, it’s a joint effort between the Emmanuel International operations team and those already on the ground. We think it’s a great cause though, and are committing to it financially ourselves too.
What will you eat and how will the kids cope?
I’m working on the basis the transition will be pretty tough. My understanding in the main staple food is Ugali, which like many foods you’re not used to, is a grim substitute initially, but you get used to it. Mwanza is a city and I’m therefore guessing you can pretty much get anything, if you’re willing to pay for it. Or at least will be able to get most of the ingredients needed to produce it yourself. Our experience in Malawi was that many normal things here would be available in specialist shops, with a high premium attached. We’ll probably go a bit easier on ourselves at the start and then cut back.
On the Islands life will probably be pretty basic. Vegetable and what have you will be available from markets, which will no doubt be the central point of most villages.
I have a few plans in mind, for one thing I’m planning to take a load of the stock cubes we use, in a clip lock box. I think that will give the undercurrent of a familiar taste to the food we cook, at least initially, which I hope will help the children. In Malawi Simon used to make pasta and we also managed to somehow get our hands on a bread maker, which was amazing. We’ll be exploring all of our options, at least for our time in Mwanza.
Will you need to take clothes for the children in bigger sizes?
Global clothes waste in unfortunately a reality. Our charity shops in the UK and elsewhere get so swamped that much of it is sent over to Africa. Local individuals are able to purchase a bundle of clothes and sell them on to make a small profit. For this reason second hand western style clothes are available io a lot of local village, markets. In Malawi there are also shops that sell quality second hand clothes. New clothes imported from China are sold in bigger markets and some shops. There were also one or two South Africa fashion chains. I actually quite liked buying clothes for myself in Malawi because the sizes tended to be small! I will have to confirm with the guys on the ground, but at the moment I don’t plan to take a whole load of clothes out for the children.
One thing I’m more concerned about is shoes, I’m a bit of a clarks shoes fan for the kids, and I’m planning to stock up on sandals and possibly shoes of various sizes at the end of the summer.