Presidents speech to the 2023 dinner

Jambo! Habari gani? (What news) Hakuna matata! Mungu asifiwe! (God be praised!)

Good evening supporters of Katoke!

Unexpected meetings

When I visited Katoke this year I was having lunch at the Rose Café in our nearest town, Bukoba, when I was greeted by a young African, “Hello Professor Watson”. I did not recognize him so I said, “Hi, how do you know me?” “I am Anganyiro Tito. I was a student sponsored at KLSS, have done an engineering degree and I’ve just completed my first contract as a civil engineer.” Wow! How good was that!

Another day at the same town I was walking past Bukoba Hospital and I was similarly greeted by another former student, “I studied lab technology and I’m now I work in the laboratory at the hospital.” Again a wonderful chance meeting.

A couple of years ago I received a letter from a sponsored student Anivea Derickson, “I write to thank you, the KLSS staff and the Katoke community back in Australia. I have just finished my degree in Human Resources Management… Thank you for your tireless and tremendous support…Thank you for teaching me love, confidence, respect…. Thank you for fighting for my dreams with me…. Thank you for teaching me to live in God’s ways…. “ Then she said, “ I have nothing to pay you in return but I always pray God will give you whatever you pray.” And she had a further thought, “Please don’t get tired of shaping young generation’s future… May I dedicate this degree to you”. How moving and encouraging. These are a few of very many who would not have been able to realize such dreams without our help.

I’ve been very privileged to work on this Katoke project since 1998 when I began the Katoke Trust after a visit to Tanzania that year.

With your support we are making a difference to the lives of thousands in Tanzania. The development effect is rippling out to many, many more as we help reduce AIDS and reduce malaria, support productive crops, e.g., vanilla, and centrally, we strengthen education. Our students finish high school well prepared to do further study and move into a wide variety of productive careers. We are having an impact on one of the greatest challenges of our time – the injustice of third world poverty. We act with a sense of gratitude to God – we’re so well off in Australia – and we’re doing it in service of people who are needy and grateful .

KLSS. This year I was delighted to be there as the school year began. It began under our first Tz Head, OSIA Mwampashe. Sid and Marilyn Moir trained him for this job. He has a wife and three children. The school is functioning wonderfully under his leadership and our poverty relief projects continue strong.

Some Highlights:

Building of five teacher housing units is complete and now accommodates teacher families.

We have funds raised for two more classrooms which we are starting to build very soon.

National Exams: students did well, both at Form 4 (Year 10) and Form 6 (Year12). Form 4 came in the top 6% of the nation. Best students were presented with a scholarship for Form5.

Almost all of Form 6 qualified for entry to university entry.

Student numbers are increasing. 414 now up from 375 last year. There are large but attentive classes. Some 277 sat the entry test for next year, with exam centres in large towns in NW Tz. We’re hoping for 3 streams – 40 in a class!

Providing a full-sized competition standard Sports Field, for football, – men’s and women’s – for athletics and other events. Murphy House from Trinity Grammar has raised funds & contributed

What support can students get for further study after school? Generous donors have funded a vocational support scheme. So we are taking two initiatives that can help.

  1. Loans Scheme. With very generous donors, we have support to help pay for student university or other tertiary study.
  2. Will gift. We have set up a Will Gift scheme with legal advice. Katoke Trust would love to be remembered in your will. If you would like to know more I can send you the documents.


As tonight we celebrate 25 years of the Katoke Trust, we also say asanteni sana, to many

* Our wonderful Event Organisers – Holly and Josiah Binet. (Who were married just last December!) –Assisted especially by Sara Heard and Grant Underwood of our Comms team as well as our great helpers around the room. They have worked very hard to make this night a great success. To our welcomers from Trinity Grammar and Danebank schools – warm gratitude.

* The Katoke Trust Board, Committee heads and members; Here and in Tanzania. There are some 40 people involved in the committees in Sydney and a similar number in Tanzania. We have very capable and committed leaders of different dimensions of our work and there are no paid workers in Australia. All give their time and gifts to the work.

This volunteerism is what enables us to be so

Cost efficient – virtually all money you give goes to projects

Delivery effective – we build relationships and “walk with” our brothers and sisters.

So we are cost efficient and delivery effective.

But we have much yet to do: Our Vision ?

  • complete the building of the high school … and other items in your table book
  • Continue the medical support and prevention program
  • extend vanilla growing
  • Ensure water security for site
  • Sustain the high quality of the education at KLSS and
  • be a lighthouse to other schools for educational excellence
  • begin an English medium primary school
  • support Katoke campus to become a College of a university.

What at present? *Two more classrooms, * Finish the Sports field, * Build an Assembly Hall

And we are partnering with colleagues from North Sydney to build a school at a place called Engaruka in Tanzania for the semi-nomadic tribal group, the Maasai.. This is a new committee of the Trust led by Professor Jonathan Morris AM, from the Faculty of Medicine at Sydney University. Tonight is not a fundraiser for Engaruka but Jonathan and team have had some very successful fundraising on the north of the bridge. I want to introduce you to the leader of our newest committee. Welcome Jonathan.

Why do we do it? We are encouraged by the great support we get from you and by the warmth of gratitude from Tanzanians. It is wonderful to read glowing letters from former students

But most of all we do it because we know the grace of God, especially in Jesus,

We respond to the great needs of third world poverty and injustice because we have experienced that amazing grace ourselves.

So our thanks goes to God who gives the inspiration and the provision for this work.


Associate Professor Alan Watson

President, The Katoke Trust for Overseas Aid

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