Summer Greetings from Irente Rainbow School

Dear Friends of Irente Rainbow School,

As we closed our school for four weeks of vacation, I want to send you many warm greetings on behalf of all our pupils and our staff.
Athumani, pupil in Class 1 at IRS
Athumani, pupil in Class 1 at IRS
The first half of the school year is already over. Time seems to fly. We made it through the quite unpleasant rainy season with its muddy roads and running noses. Now the sun is out again but the cold season is here, so sweaters and socks are needed when sitting in the classrooms or offices.
On 30th of May, the Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, Hon. Sofia Simba did a short visit at the Rainbow School. She was given a short introduction and a tour through the school and then the children had the chance to sing some songs for her. The Minister was very impressed by our work and congratulated the pupils and the staff.
Minister Sofia Simba greeting the pupils at IRS
Minister Sofia Simba greeting the pupils at IRS
From 4th to 8th of June we went to Moshi with six of our pupils and some parents. We stayed at the CCBRT Centre (Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Tanzania), an organization that is financed by the Christophel Blind Mission. They invite disabled children and their parents to an Intensive Rehabilitation Week. Our main reason to go there with our pupils was to be able to meet with specialist doctors at KCMC, one of the biggest hospitals in the country. We are glad that all our six pupils got the needed medical check-ups, although even at KCMC available services are limited.
Pupil Hawa doing some exercise at CBR in Moshi
Pupil Hawa doing some exercise at CBR in Moshi

Another problem that we face is the costs of medical treatment or medical devises like casts or seeing aides are often too high to be covered by the parents. For example needs nine-year-old Ibrahim a new cast for his leg because the old one is too small and the costs of TSH 150,000 (about US$120) are unbearable for the father who shows a lot of efforts for his son but only works as a casual labourer.
The last school week was used to clean up the school and taking out fish from our school pond that – of course – were eaten the next day for lunch.
On the last school day, we had a small party to say farewell to one another and especially to Angela Stone-MacDonald, a PhD-Student in Special Needs Education from the University of Indiana, USA, who visited us for six weeks and intends to come back to Rainbow School for her research for a full year in 2008.
On 16th on July we expect to open the Rainbow School and all our pupils and staff will be happy to be together again.
Many warm greetings from Irente,

Caroline Bidmon

School Coordinator