President’s Report AGM 2023

The Katoke Trust for Overseas Aid

President’s Report to the Annual General Meeting June 7, 2023

Founding President: Associate Professor Alan Watson AM.

Major Aims being Achieved

The past twelve months have seen wonderful and gratifying achievements in fulfilment of the purposes of The Katoke Trust, especially at the Katoke-Lweru Secondary School. For this we thank God.

Transfer of leadership to the first Tanzanian Headmaster.

Osia Mwampashe and family with his mentors Sid and Marilyn Moir

I was pleased to be at Katoke as Osia Mwampashe took leadership responsibility for the school in January 2023 and started the demanding job very well. He is held in high regard by staff who are united behind him and working together well to produce excellent results. This is a major step for our purpose at KLSS and in fulfilment of the vision of the first President of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, “kujitegemea” -“self-reliance”. Tanzania has taken major strides but coming from deep poverty there is more to be achieved. What should be our approach as an Australian partner? Our African colleagues emphasise they need and welcome our help. All we do is in close consultation with the Tanzanian leadership. Sid and Marilyn Moir, specifically requested by the School Chair, Bishop Godfrey, have nurtured Osia into the role during their two years of further service at KLSS when Sid made Osia his Deputy Headmaster.

Excellent results in National Exams.

Top form 4 student Conrad receiving an award.

Results recently released for Forms 2 and 4 (Years 8 and 10) speak to the exceptional quality of teaching and learning. Results are published in five Divisions – 1 is excellent, 5 is fail. In both Forms, over 60% of students achieved Division 1 and 90% scored in Divisions 1 or 2.  These results place KLSS amongst the top 6% of schools in the nation – a wonderful result. Why is the school functioning so well? There is no single reason for such good results. There are many. Students (N=409) who are almost all boarders, show strong commitment, and follow a well-structured day. Their teachers set a great example and inspire them. Classes run from 8.00am to 4.00pm and then students study in prep from 7.00pm to 9.00pm each night. Parental support is evident as enrolments across all years are strengthening.

Lighthouse School!

Professional Workshops were held for staff from over 50 secondary schools within manageable distance of Katoke. The Workshops, one for school Heads or Deputies (N=54) and one for teachers (N=94), were well received.  Participants were very attentive as the visiting academics from St Augustine University, Mwanza, addressed the theme, Building a Successful School in 21st century Tanzania and I presented The Seven Strands of School Improvement. In the evaluation of the workshops most respondents rated their usefulness as “excellent” and all rated them “good” or “excellent”.

Some of the open-ended comments give a sense of the warm appreciation of participants:

  • I actually learned much on school leadership for school improvement and promise to use the learnt skills to improve my school quality delivery education. Congratulations Mr Watson.
  • Let us have it every year if possible.
  • The Workshop was useful. Please may you add another day in the coming workshop, if possible. Thanks a lot. May God bless you.
  • The session was conducted well. Thank you and please try to look upon the challenges which have been mentioned.
  • The seminar was very inspiring. Wish it could have been done a number of people more.
  • Special thanks for all facilitators. You have well prepared and seminar is good to the teachers. Keep it up!

Vanilla Growing is spreading.

I visited several vanilla plots and found there is strong demand for more planting vine. The return from green vanilla beans has continued to be strong and more farmers are seeking help to begin growing the crop. We began this project in the Katoke area in 2002 and it has taken over 20 years to become much sought after.

Building of Engaruka School.

Construction of this school is progressing very well. Professor Jonathan Morris of Sydney University with his wife Cath are leading this project in partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Mt Kilimanjaro. An Administration block including a Guest House is completed and foundations for three double classrooms are laid. Plans are advanced to build an amenity block and teacher accommodation this year. First students are to be enrolled in 2024. Requested by the semi-nomadic tribal group, the Maasai, the school is located on the eastern side of Lake Victoria and not far from Mt Kilimanjaro. Jonathan will show pictures and tell more of progress at Engaruka shortly.

Matters for Further Note

Ks for Katoke Appeal. In 2022 we had another successful EOFY fund raiser. We have been able to build teacher accommodation – five flats – and to continue medical and agricultural projects. We congratulate organisers, Yolande, Sara, Julian, Amanda and the Comms Committee as well as the runners, cyclers and walkers and warmly thank our generous sponsors and donors.

Business Manager. Chair of the KLSS School Board, Bishop Godfrey, requested an Australian to be Business Manager/Mentor for two years. We are grateful to have Emeritus Professor John Hughson from Australia join the staff in this role to support Osia and the administrative staff of KLSS. 

Mention in Hansard. Mark Speakman MP, State Member for Cronulla and our Patron, has recognized the work of the Trust in the NSW Parliament. A summary of our contribution to Tanzania was placed in the NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard on November 15, 2022 and we received a NSW Parliament certificate with the extract from Hansard. We are grateful for Mark’s encouragement and support.

A vision for the further work of the Trust. To collaborate with our partners who are moving towards self reliance as God leads to:

  • remain flexible to meet emerging developmental needs
  • complete the building of the high school; staff accommodation, sports fields, classrooms dining/assembly hall
  • continue medical support for prevention of malaria and AIDS
  • extend vanilla growing and chicken projects
  • increase sponsorship of students from poor families
  • sustain the high quality of education at KLSS
  • be a lighthouse to other schools
  • collaborate to establish a school at Engaruka for the Maasai
  • begin an English medium primary school as part of KLSS

Will gift. We have set up a Will Gift scheme. Katoke Trust would love to be remembered in your will. Can you leave a bequest for Katoke? If you would like to know more I can send you the documents.

Warm gratitude to Julian and Amanda Lefcovitch, who after some 15 years of inspired and very successful leadership of our Communications and Fundraising are to step aside with care of their firstborn, Harper, and work commitments. Mungu asifiwe!


I want to thank God for the range of gifts my colleagues of the Trust Management Committee and our seven sub-committees dedicate to this work. I warmly thank them, especially Adrian who does a mountain of work for Katoke. I also thank God for the loyal support and help of my wife, Elizabeth, for this calling which we share.

Making poverty history in the name of Jesus

Associate Professor Alan Watson


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