Introducing Katoke Trust for Overseas Aid sister project: ‘The Engaruka School Project’.

This project is the vision of Jonathan and Katherine Morris who first visited the Arusha region of Tanzania in December 2017 on a family trip that was planned before the death of their 15 year old son Marcus in October 2017. On that visit the local community shared that their desire was to have a school established as many children do not attend school and those that do have to walk for up to 6 hours to reach the closest school. Jonathan and Katherine resolved to build a school in memory of Marcus.

For a project like this, having partners on the ground and partners abroad to support the project is critical. Jonathan and Katherine’s School project is in partnership with Northern Sydney Churches: St Thomas’s, Church by the Bridge and St Marks Northbridge have supported the Ministry of Joshua Lisenko in the Engaruka region of Tanzania for 15 years.

In June 2019, the vision is starting to take shape with Katoke Trust agreeing to provide expertise and share our experiences in the construction of a school in Tanzania.


If you’d like to donate to this wonderful project please click here


Engaruka is in Northern Tanzania within the Great Rift Valley and in the Arusha region approximately 800 kilometres from Tanzania’s capital Dar Es Salaam. It is an isolated town that is over 3 hours from Arusha City by car with the final 60 kilometres being a rough dirt road that is at times impassable in the wet. The school site is 9 kilometres east of the township of Engaruka. Click here for googlemaps location.

The area is home to the Maasai people, who are pastoralists and live in their traditional Boma which are groups of houses made from mud and cow dung.






The local Maasai community have assigned 25 acres of land for Phase 1 of the project with a pledge for a further 25 acres. The site is flat and barren which is good for building.

Pictured below is Katherine Morris walking the boundary of the site with locals. 





Project aims 

In line with Katoke Trust’s aim to care, educate and grow the people of Tanzania, more specifically the Engaruka project will seek to:

  • Provide high quality education for both primary and secondary school students at Engaruka.
  • The School will welcome students of any background but will uphold Christian values and sense of purpose.
  • This will require the building of classrooms, teachers accommodation, an administration block, toilet facilities and guest accommodation.
  • The site will have water but will require solar electricity.

Proposed project timeline 

The first steps for the project are underway and include:

  • Finding local partners: Village Chief (pictured below), Massai Community leaders
  • Planning for the school including site selection and scoping of proposed school building
  • Seeking funding for stage 1 of the project.






Our timeline to date and next steps are outlined below:

  • December 2017: Jonathan and Katherine Morris and family visit Engaruka and are asked to help found a school.
  • May 2019: Jonathan and Katherine return to Tanzania and meet with the Bishop of the Diocese of Kilimanjaro who agrees to support the building of a school.
  • June 2019: Katoke Trust agree to partner on Engaruka School development project.
  • September 2019: Title for 25 acres of land assigned to Diocese of Kilimanjaro. Chair of Katoke Trust, Alan Watson and his wife visit Engaruka and meet the Bishop of Kilimanjaro (pictured below).
  • October 2019: Masterplan for site to be developed.
  • November 2019: Building for Guest Accommodation to commence.
  • From January 2020: Classrooms for years kindergarten to year 2, teachers accommodation, administration and facilities block to be built.
  • January 2021: First student intake.