We’re Building a School Together

Last year, 2018, at the Berlin edition of beyond tellerrand, Andy, one of the volunteers came to me and wanted to tell me about his new project. He told me that he started something special with his friend Jan. I sadly was a busy with running my event, so that I asked him to get back to me later to chat about what they are doing.

A slogan of Makuyuni.org stating “Education is a human right”
Education is a human right – the slogan of Makuyuni e. V.

He luckily did come back to me and explained, that they met this wonderful person in Tanzania called Lalahe and his project with which Lalahe was trying to build a school for the Maasai children. Their biggest problem is the long distance to a city with a school and that they are not easily able to reach the next city. So, what is the solution to this, if you can’t get to a school? Build one in your own village!

A collage of photos showing the built process of the first classroom and happy children in the middle picture
Acting instead of talking – first classrooms were ready in only a few months

Lalahe infected Jan with his spirit and Jan did the same with Andy. Now Andy did the same with me and I directly fell in love with their pro-active way of doing this. Not asking a lot of questions, not being German and thinking about all the bureaucratic problems to solve, but just go and raise money for materials and workers to build a primary school. So in Düsseldorf I took Andy on stage with me and he was able to introduce Makuyuni to the 500 people in the audience. I said, I will put my profit of all the workshops in Düsseldorf into the hat to fund as much as we can in Düsseldorf and we managed to raise enough money to build the roof and pay for the windows of the school.

After this I asked Andy, how much it would be to pay for a full classroom and he said, that about €7500 would be enough to get one room fully done. I said, no I promised, that we’d raise enough money at the next Berlin edition to fund another room completely. And what can I say: we, all together, did it!

A collage of photos showing Andy on the left, Jan on the right and their booth and stage presence in the middle
We made it! Andy [left] and Jan [right] ran a booth to tell people about their project. Photos by Steffen Mumm.

Jan and Andy ran a small booth at Berlin’s 2019 edition of beyond tellerrand and told people about their passion project. We organised a screen to show on stage, telling the people at how much money we were and some of the attendees event went more than one time to donate money to the Makuyuni project, speakers donated their honorarium for this and finally we were able to get the money we needed.

I love that our industry/community is like this. I am proud that I wasn’t wrong, when I promised Andy that the people at beyond tellerrand would be the right ones to address. I mean yes, there are still a lot of things broken and wrong, but I tend to see the positive aspects and try to fix the broken parts with believing in and emphasising the positive. And to see, that we managed this, to give children in one part of the world the chance to get eduction – which is immensely important – makes me happy, proud and is wonderful.

I will keep supporting Jan, Andy and Lalahe with beyond tellerrand as I think what does not seem much for some people means the world to others.

Thank you so much!

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