KuJenga: Building Minds, One Block at a Time, World Relief Campaign 2011

Our 2011 Campaign: "kuJenga: Building minds, one block at a time"

The Social Action Leadership Team (SALT), the Chapel’s social justice ministry, has completed our 2011 World Relief Campaign, “kuJenga: Building minds, one block at a time.”  (Note: kujenga means “to build” in Swahili.)  Our goal was reached, with the total exceeding $12,800!

This campaign will benefit children in the village of Masaera in Tanzania. SALT will fund the contruction of a pre-primary classroom for the Mandaka Primary School in the village of Masaera, Tanzania. The school will provide a place of education for many generations of children in the future.

To learn more about the campaign in the meantime, read the case statement

The Social Action Leadership Team or SALT is the Spirit-led social justice ministry of the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University in which students in community seek to embody the Christian call to be the "salt of the earth" (Matt. 5:13). SALT helps students develop a passion and practice of Christian social action. SALTers draw upon God’s love for all people to cultivate the skills of community organizing, awareness raising, and fund development. SALT alumni are equipped to lead lives of social justice and serve as agents for positive change in their communities.

As an essential part of this mission, SALT partners with both international and local communities in order to address critical needs within those areas. Every year for the past two decades, SALT has selected a specific project in need of funding and organized a fund raising campaign around it known as the World Relief Campaign (WRC). These projects vary greatly in location and type, but consistently offer a sustainable asset to the selected community. Once the project and target monetary goal are established, SALT works to educate and organize the campus and surrounding community in order to both increase awareness of the need within the selected region and raise funds.

SALT is excited to announce the 2011 WRC - kuJenga: Building Minds, One Block at a Time.  This campaign will benefit children in the village of Masaera in Tanzania.  SALT will fund the construction of a pre-primary classroom for the Mandaka Primary School in the village of Masaera, Tanzania. The school will provide a place of education for many generations of children in the future.  The name of the project was inspired by the Swahili word kujenga, meaning “to build” or “to create.”  SALT will collaborate with the Masaera Village Community Development Group (MAVCODEG: a non-profit community based organization in Masaera, Tanzania) which works alongside the Mandaka Primary School to enhance the education of the children in the village by helping to give them an environment in which they can succeed. SALT will be working in cooperation with MAVCODEG to carry out this fund raising campaign and educate the Valparaiso community about the impact an early place of education can have on a child’s development and future. 

Brief History of Tanzania and the Masaera Village

Tanzania lies in central East Africa and is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean. Tanzania has a landmass of 881,000 square kilometers and a population of about 40 million people. The name Tanzania is derived from the names of the two states Tanganyika and Zanzibar that united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later that same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

World Relief Campaign 2011 – kuJenga: Building Minds, One Block at a Time

The completed pre-primary school room in Masaera, Tanzania.

The completed pre-primary classroom.

SALT will help raise $12,500 for the completion of the Mandaka preprimary school classroom. The project kuJenga: Building Minds, One Block at a Time will aid current and future students of the Mandaka School and the Masaera village.

MAVCODEG (Masaera Village Community Development Group) works on sustainable projects that benefit the village of Masaera. It was founded in 2006 and is run by non-politically elected members of the community. Recently, MAVCODEG has started working alongside Masaera Primary School to help enhance the education of the children in the Masaera village. Mandaka Primary School was established in 1963 by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Moshi, Kilimanjaro to cater to the growing population.

The Mandaka Primary School enrolls approximately 500 pupils, both boys and girls equally. The school teaches grades one through seven (approximately ages 7-14). After the primary schooling, only those who pass a nationwide exam can continue their education in secondary school. The rest go to vocational schools or simply return to agricultural labor in the village.

There is a great need for the construction of a preprimary classroom at the Mandaka Primary School. The preprimary is similar to what we know as kindergarten. Currently, the school has a small preprimary classroom, which is neither designed as a kindergarten nor meets the requirements of a preprimary center. At this time, the children in the preprimary school do not have a classroom and instead huddle together outside on a cement landing under an overhang from one of the other buildings at the school. It is envisioned that when the classroom is completed it will have room for 60 pupils between the ages of 5 and 7. It will be furnished and have all of the supplies necessary to give the kids a quality education. The parents of preprimary pupils began work on the building with their own out of pocket contributions, but soon discovered they couldn’t complete it due to lack of funding and the project was abandoned. There are currently only three unfinished brick walls in place.


Canute Temu founded this Community Based Organization (CBO) in 2006 for the development of sustainable projects benefitting the Kilimanjaro village of Masaera. One of these projects was the rehabilitation of the village irrigation canal, for which MAVCODEG requested technical and financial assistance from Engineers Without Borders - Valpo. EWB is in the process of repairing the canal and MAVCODEG is partnering with them for this ongoing job.

In addition to EWB-Valpo’s separate irrigation project in the village, SALT members are passionate about continuing to work in a community that Valpo has recently built ties with. With these already formed bonds with the village of Masaera, Valparaiso’s community can now help this village continue to improve by providing assistance for the completion of the construction of the Mandaka preprimary school classroom. The village community is very excited about the campaign because they came up with the idea to finish the preprimary school. Although it has no political authority over the community, MAVCODEG’s members were elected by the community and strive to work with others to make positive changes within the village and surrounding areas. After some deliberation, it was decided that improving the school was a great way to help the community because it provides many opportunities for its children. The community believes education is one of the most important ways to improve the current state of the community and prolong the development and well being of the village.

This passion for helping their children is overwhelming and the WRC will provide the resources that the community members have been seeking to complete the project. Now is the time to provide the much needed help to better the children and community. Parents of the children and residents of Masaera are willing and able to volunteer their time to complete building the classroom. The environment created by the project will provide a better learning environment for the children of Masaera. The pupils attending the preprimary school will have a better foundation in their primary school, and hence increase their chances of passing the exam to go on to secondary and university studies. Through its children, this community believes it can learn to thrive and live to its fullest potential. MAVCODEG and SALT hope that finishing the construction of the preprimary school will enable this group of children to continue to attend school close to their home in a better learning environment, as well as provide an improved place of education for future classes of children.

The cement landings currently in use for class time will be incorporated into the new plans for the finishing of the school. All of the materials needed to build the school will be locally purchased. Local community members and parents of the children will be the builders. Therefore the project not only directly benefits the school, but also indirectly benefits the community.  Tapping into local resources and involvement of the people being served is a major criterion for picking our World Relief Campaign each year. In these ways, the project will contribute to the long-term sustainability of MAVCODEG’s mission to support and encourage the involvement of the people of the Masaera village for many years to come.


There are three major goals for the 2011 World Relief Campaign:

  1. First, SALT has set a monetary goal of $12,500 to be raised by May 2011 which will be used to fund the construction of a pre-primary school in the Masaera village of Tanzania.
  2. Second, SALT seeks to educate Valparaiso University and the Valparaiso community about the culture and people living in Tanzania (specifically those of the Masaera village), and the positive effects of a safe and sheltered school for the children in this area.
  3. Finally, SALT hopes to equip and inspire student leaders to become lifelong activists.

Opportunities for Offering Support

SALT gratefully accepts any personal and corporate monetary donations to kuJenga: Building Minds, One Block at a Time.  Furthermore, campus and community social organizations are encouraged to plan their own fundraising events.  Anyone interested in working directly with this project may attend upcoming on-campus fundraisers organized by SALT, as well as join our meetings on Tuesdays at 9:30 pm in the Lumina Room of Huegli Hall.  SALT welcomes opportunities to speak to campus groups, congregations, and community organizations.  Finally, SALT invites you to pray for this worthy cause and seek opportunities to serve those in need in your community and around the world.

Donations may be directed to:

Chapel of the Resurrection

Valparaiso, IN 46383


*Checks payable to Valparaiso University with “WRC” in the memo line



Questions may be directed to:

Amy Lukas, WRC Chair



Other Contact Information

Canute Temu

Founder of MAVCODEG in Tanzania



Mary Zastrow, SALT Chair