On Tuesday 1st November members of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary welcomed their Honorary member Peter Swan to give them an update on his extraordinary efforts to assist education in Meserani, Tanzania.

Peter explained that the process was often two steps forward and one back or even two to the side. The journey to support schooling for Maasai children began in 2004 when he was Deputy Headmaster of Acklam Grange School and took a group of pupils to Tanzania. The journey opened these young people’s eyes to the stark differences between their upbringing in the UK and the experience of a similar aged cohort in a remote and barren area of rural Tanzania.

Since that time Peter and his wife Diane, supported by many local volunteers both school age and much older, have devoted a significant part of their lives to supporting East African schoolchildren eventually focussing on an area of Tanzania near Arusha in what is now known as ‘The Meserani Project’

Almost three hundred children have been sponsored through Primary, Secondary, College and University education, none of them would have received more than a rudimentary schooling otherwise and in many cases for the girls involved, forced marriage to a much older man.

The project is now working hard to complete and fit out a new secondary boarding school at Meserani. All of the charity’s trustees are volunteers so that not a penny is taken from donations for expenses and a whole series of safeguards are in place to ensure that absolutely all of the funds contributed are used for the purpose they were donated for on the ground in Tanzania.

Challenges of Bureaucracy, logistics and integrity are regular and overcome even if a backward or sidestep is often required. The new Meserani Secondary Boarding School is now in the final build stage and fitting out is the current financial challenge.

Rotarians from Erimus have fully supported the project for over fifteen years, often individually sponsoring pupils through their school careers. Rotary North East has grant aided Meserani in 2022 and Peter expressed his personal gratitude to all donors who have given the gift of education to a young person on another continent.

In thanking Peter on behalf of Erimus Rotary, Bryan Sloper expressed the hope and aspiration that our partnership would continue and that our Tango in Tanzania would soon be taking more forward steps together.

Pictures show young children at the start of their education, two of the Meserani Alumni and the new Meserani Secondary Boarding School.



Meserani children


Meserani School



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