Online Fundraising for Clubs, Schools and Causes

Tumu Tumu Primary Schools Project - Kisiju School Project

Tumu Tumu is a small rural village in the Central highlands of Kenya. Situated in the foothills of Mount Kenya, it is a region of green forests and dusty red soil.  The weather is variable with chilly nights, cool, damp, early morning mists, and warm or hot weather from mid-morning to dusk. Due to its location on the equator, it is dark by 6-6.30pm every day. People live in small wooden houses scattered throughout the forest, often with no electricity or running water.  Childhood is a very different experience in rural Kenya than in Ireland.  Life in Kenya is tough, with most people surviving a day to day existence. Despite this, wherever you go, you meet the same eager and vibrant children that you would meet anywhere in the world.  Education is the only way out of poverty, but Kenyan children must pay school fees and have a uniform before they can attend school.  School fees are very costly so most family income is put towards education at the expense of food, clothing and indeed housing.

Tumu Tumu Primary School is a multi-denominational co-educational school with 256 pupils and twelve teachers.  There is no private transport in this area and children walk several kilometres to and from school every day.  The school day is much longer, and children are at school from 8am to 6pm.  Despite this, Tumu Tumu Primary School had no kitchen or dining facilities until recently, when funding from Gaelscoil Chnoc na Ré Sligo enabled the building of a kitchen.  The school needs schoolbooks and supplies for the children, many of whom cannot afford books and stationery.  Equipment and furniture are basic.  There are no whiteboards, no laptops and very limited sporting or musical facilities.  There is no money for extracurricular activities. 

Tumu Tumu Deaf School is a specialised regional residential school for 174 children with hearing impairment. Many of these children have other developmental disabilities and challenges, and several are orphaned, or sadly have been abandoned by parents who cannot afford to support them.  Funding to the school has deteriorated severely over the past decade and even the provision of food and water is a struggle. Last year, funding from Mercy College Sligo provided much needed food supplies. Tumu Tumu Deaf school has no functioning kitchen.  Recent heavy monsoon rain caused buildings, including the main pit latrines, to collapse into the ground, leaving the school with limited sanitary facilities.  The school is also in urgent need of funding for essential supplies such as schoolbooks, uniforms, and renovation of its very basic dormitories. Our long-term aim is to fundraise enough money to build a well to provide water for the school

Kisiju Mission

Kisiju is situated 100 km south of Dar-es-Salaam.  This journey takes three hours by jeep - one hour on a tarred road and two hours on a dirt track.  Its bush land runs beside the Indian Ocean.  The Mission was set up by Fr. Patrick Keaney a Salvadorian Missionary Priest who has worked all his life in Tanzania. The area of Kisiju is unfertile, the people living there are subsistence farmers and fishermen who survive on what they can produce themselves. As the soil is very sandy, little to nothing grows there, with the exception of mango, coconut and cashew nut trees. Their only farming implements are hoes and machetes. The women gather salt along the shore to sell in Dar-el-Salaam. They live in grass and mud houses.  It is a place where there are only a small number of government primary schools, no opportunities for students who leave primary school to advance themselves, and no aid organisations to help.

Over 13 years ago, Colette O’Hagan, undertook the challenge of raising €40,000 to build a Trade School in Kisiju whose main focus would be the education of girls. A girl who has completed 7 or more years of schooling will marry four years later, have fewer children and will send her own children to school. The exponential benefit of educating a girl reaches far beyond the classroom, an educated woman will re-invest over 90% of her income back into family and community.  The better educated a girl, the more choices that become available to her.

The building of the trade school was completed in 2008. The Trade School consists of 2 classrooms, 2 workshops, 1 office, 1 store and toilets.  Accommodation for teachers has also been purpose built  (block building) and this means that teachers can be recruited from other parts of Tanzania and Africa.   The success of the project to date has resulted in the need for a Kindergarten School which opened in Feb 2020 with an enrolment of 64 children. However, there are absolutely no resources in the school. The success of the project has also meant the need for a Boarding House to accommodate students (Monday to Friday) who would have exceptionally long distances to walk through the bush. Our current goal is to provide resources for the Kindergarten and to build the Boarding accommodation. Our long-term goal is to empower the Kisiju community to become self-sufficient.

 Dara Gallagher, Fióna Gallagher, Colette O'Hagan and Mícheál Ó Broin have established this fundraising site for three East African Schools. Dara first worked as a doctor in Tumu Tumu Hospital in the Kenyan Central Highlands in 1992, and has maintained close links with Tumu Tumu ever since, travelling there regularly. Her sister Fióna has been travelling to Tumu Tumu since 1995. Dara and Mícheál, the Principal of Gaelscoil Chnoc na Ré, Sligeach established a link with Tumu Tumu Primary School in 2016, and Gaelscoil fundraising in the past, through the parent body CAIRDE, has enabled the building of a school kitchen.  In 2018 Dara, Fióna and Colette, Principal of Mercy College Sligo, established a link between Mercy College and Tumu Tumu School for the Hearing Impaired. This is a special residential school for Deaf Children, some of whom also have developmental difficulties. Colette, Dara and Fióna, together with  15 Mercy College Students and teacher Katie Kelly, visited the school in 2019 providing much needed funding for food and water access.  Colette and Mercy College also have a long established link with Kisiju Mission School in Tanzania and fundraise for much needed basic equipment and supplies.


Contact Details

c/o Gaelscoil Chnoc na Ré Sligo, c/o Mercy College, Sligo , , IRELAND