Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Building plan for Tembari’s preschool classroom

The floor area of the proposed preschool classroom.

The front and back views of the proposed classroom


A Friend of Tembari Children

WE NOW have an idea of how the proposed pre-school classroom building would look.

As designed by KwikBuilt, PNG’s leading kit home manufacturer, the project would now cost K120,000.

Our previous cost estimate was only K50,000. But the design was so simple such that it would only have a cement floor with iron sheet roofing and plain walls around it, for a total area of 60sqm.

A British-expat-volunteer whom I can’t name here and who has been actively pursuing potential donors and supporters, suggested that we should instead come up with a better-designed-better-built structure, which is what the design (pictured) is all about.

The structure will stand on stilts, but with wider floor area this time (138sqm) to fit with readily-available knock-down parts from KwikBuilt.

With two classrooms, the design of the building is aimed at containing more than 100 preschoolers. (Aside from our early learners, we also have about 79 children in elementary schools, most of them at Wardstrip at Gordons, whose school fees were paid by PNG Children’s Foundation and by an Indian businessman.)

Already, we have started raising funds, and so far we have raised K12,000, an amount which is only 10 per cent of the target cost.

This fund from two donors – the AP Engineering Ltd of Kokopo, East New Britain, and Hugo Canning Co, through its general manager David Slape – has been deposited with Westpac Bank (Waigani) branch under the name of Tembari Children Care. The account number is 6001915787.

The AP Engineering Ltd of Kokopo, East New Britain, was first to respond to my appeal by donating a cheque for K7,000 last December.

Engineer Ariel Parro, APEL managing director, has assured me that he would continue supporting this project. He promised to help us prepare the basic design for the building.

It is important to stress here that the number of children at ATS Oro Settlement needing early education has been growing by leaps and bounds. And Tembari is the only group that so far caters for their needs in this part of the world.

However, the facility is at best what I could describe as “makeshift” classroom despite the presence of two community learning centers (CLs) provided in 2009 by Digicel Foundation to house 78 preschoolers. Now the number of our targeted early learners has grown to close to120.

At the moment, a third of our early learners are holding classes under the mango tree next to the two classrooms fashioned from junked container vans, which have been fitted with necessary fixtures to make for functional classrooms and both serve their purpose well.

Meanwhile, whenever it rained, or there was a threat it would rain, the three teachers had to send home the batch holding classes under the tree. We don’t have enough roofed space at the facility, thus the need to send these kids away just before the downpour.

It’s a pity because almost all of them live across a wide area at the settlement.

For this year, we have lined up at least three major fundraising drives.

For instance, on August 20-27, we intend to hold a fundraising party on a boat (name of the boat TBC as is provided free of charge by a friend, can hold up to 150 people).

And on October 22, the Australian High Commission plans to hold a ball and part of the donations obtained that day would go towards the construction project.

On October 29, we are looking at holding a fundraising dinner at yacht club.

Well, these are some of the activities we at Tembari are hoping to carry out in order to raise the much-need money for our planned preschool classroom.

Of course, we are also tapping other potential donors and those who could donate funds to help defray the cost of our daily operations at The Center. At the moment, we are running on a budget of at least K3,000 a month, plus/minus, drawn from funds raised from donors last year.

For instance, on a fortnightly basis, we spend at least K530 to pay four preschool teachers at K70 each for a total of K280; three cooks at K50 each (K150); and one administrative officer at K100. This doesn’t include other expenses incurred to prepare the daily meals (twice a day) of our beneficiary children, now numbering 180, more or less.

Very soon, the funds we have are bound to run out.

If you think you are able enough to help us with funding, food or materials, please don’t hesitate to do so. This is an opportunity for all of you to support a worthy cause that aims to provide a group of less-privileged children a better life.

Also, if you want to donate towards the preschool classroom project, you can directly credit the fund to Tembari Children's Care (TCC) Westpac Bank (Waigani) account number 6001915787.

Email the writer: ahernandez@thenational.com.pg


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