Katoke wrap-up 2017


This year with your help we have continued our life‐changing work in Katoke, Tanzania. We have given the priceless gift of education to an increasing number of Tanzanian children and enjoyed the sustained academic success of our 2016 students and staff. In addition, we have expanded our agricultural efforts getting us closer to becoming a more self‐sufficient facility.


The simple phrase “Strive for the goal” has been our mantra since we started Katoke‐Lweru Secondary School (KLSS). We see it coming to life every day and especially in 2017. With so many visits this year from former students who came share their stories of empowerment and opportunity through education, visit friends and thank teachers. It is a privilege and pleasure to see so many of them again and that they are doing so well in young, educated and independent lives.

Several former students have completed postgraduate studies and some have even returned to KLSS in 2017 to find employment on site, in the office, library and as teachers. One former student, Eradius Edmund was among our students to receive sponsorship from a Trust donor in 2009. After finishing form 4 in 2012 (the equivalent of year 10 in Australia), Eradius started a three‐year mechanics course in Mwanza has since returned to KLSS as the mechanic and driver. When the fuel tank from the motorbike of our malaria prevention team leader developed leaks, it was his quick repair skills that ensured the tank was repaired and the bike was back on the road helping the effort to prevent this devastating disease.

Another former student, Beathi Benadax, has recently paid a visit to KLSS, her former home and school, with fantastic results. She has completed Year 1 at Kampala National University where she is studying a Bachelor of Public Administration… As it happens, she topped her class. Beathi is a delightful and self‐confident young woman who has become a glowing representation of KLSS and her local and church communities in Tanzania and Rwanda. We are very proud of her and Eradius! Go Katoke!

Katoke celebrated 20 years at this year’s Annual Dinner on the 3 November 2017. With 275 guests in attendance, the event packed the events hall at Tradies, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue in Gymea, South of Sydney.

Guests enjoyed sharing a meal and hearing the keynote address from former Principal Rowena Bragg who provided great insight into day to day life at KLSS, stories of students, the local community and beautiful Tanzanian countryside where she and her husband Peter lived. We also warmly welcomed home Anna Moir, who after seven years of wonderful service in Katoke was a brilliant addition to the esteemed crowd.

We are grateful for all those who attended and for their contribution to conversation, company and our fundraising effort. The dinner event raised $40,000 plus 8 new sponsorships – an incredible result! Newly appointed Katoke Trust Patron, Hon Mark Speakman NSW Attorney General, attending for the first time told us, “I am humbled to have been chosen as patron of such an extraordinary grassroots organisation.”


We again express our enormous gratitude to Rowena and Peter Bragg for their four years of dedicated service as Principal and Business Manager of KLSS. During their time, there was a strong focus on staff development both in professional skills and experience and leadership. The scope of education was broadened during their time at KLSS including more extra‐curricular activities and the important inclusion of Form 5 and 6 class groups.

Outside the school closer links were forged with the diocese and community. Peter’s tireless energy maintained and improved the school infrastructure including water, IT and administrative systems. Changes that will no doubt help KLSS move towards a more digitally complex future.

The Braggs are now back in Australia catching up with family and friends. Our love, gratitude and prayers are with them as they adjust to living back home.


Our building works continue with the generous assistance both in Australia and onsite in Tanzania of builder Kevin Voigt. Kevin will be accompanied by his wife, Valma, an experienced ESL teacher, who will be living and working at Katoke for (at this stage) 6 months in 2017/18. Kevin is working with a team of up to 200 locally employed workers to construct staff accommodation (4 x 2 bedroom flats) and a boys dormitory.

Kevin reports that concrete block‐making has been progressing well with the newly acquired block making machine (pictured). The staff complex and boys dormitory are both expected to be occupied in March, 2018, with some minor elements such as internal lighting, painting and tiling to be completed. Kevin and Valma will fly back to Australia for Christmas, and return to Katoke for more selfless hard work in 2018.


  • Katoke’ssecond Form 6 class graduates.
  • KLSS remains in the top 10% of national exam results for Forms 4 and 6.
  • Trust founder, Alan Watson attends KLSS to provide direction and guidance to all projects in September 2017.
  • KLSS is ranked in top 5 schools in the
  • district out of 45.
  • Many of the regions brightest Form 1 candidates to attend KLSS in one of two, forty-student classes in 2018.
  • Students completed Form 4 national exams.
  • New headmaster Ken Langford‐Smith arrives.
  • The School has benefited from many visitors including Sydney’s Sutherland-Shire‐based trio Stephen Diakatos (Dentist), Colin Glendinning (Doctor) and David Lefcovitch (Photographer) who visited Katoke in March 2017.
  • Stephen and David’s dental inspections for many students, staff and workers led to more than 40 tooth extractions. The cause is suspected to be malnutrition, lack of money for treatment and lack of dental education.
  • Dr Colin Glendeinning worked with school nurse, Emerlitha Sebikwekwe, in the Katoke clinic, to improve her skills and knowledge. Colin also assisted greatly with projects including malaria prevention, HIV AIDS prevention and agricultural projects
  • 21 new Lenovo Thinkpad laptops donated to KLSS.


Life on the ground remains challenging especially for those in a remote rural and very poor part of Tanzania. We desperately need more buildings, improved boarding and recreational facilities, an extension of toilet blocks and welfare provisions… To name a few things.

Increasing our sponsorship numbers is of continuing importance (don’t forget to tell your friends!). In 2018, we will have 80 students joining us in form 1, of which more than half require sponsorship. The total sponsorship required for 40 deserving children is $50,400 per annum. Without your support financially and importantly, in spreading the word of the Trust’s good work, we can not achieve this urgently required funding. The school does what it can to support students who have no means of payment and have not received sponsorship, but there are of course small areas of flexibility when working in the Development and charity funded NFP education sectors. Please help us spread the word in 2018!

In addition to new students requiring sponsorship, there are many existing students from forms 1 to 6 needing sponsorship. Our work continues in 2018 as we too strive for our goal.


As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we thank God for the inspiration he is to our work at Katoke. Christmas is a special time of year when generosity and family values are paramount.

When considering purchasing a Christmas gift for a loved one, why not give them the gift that keeps on giving to a remote East African community? Click here to learn more about sponsorship or donations as a great gift idea…

Once again this year we are most grateful for your generous support and we are excited to have you with us for 2018.

Christmas peace and joy, from Katoke.