Double winners in Jambiani as carpenter fundis start work

Now that our two trainee carpenters have completed their training, ZAP has set them up with tools and premises in the village. During Janet’s visit to Zanzibar in March this year, she was able to organise their first commission of 15 school desks for Jambiani Primary School. This is a brilliant way to support both the carpenters and the school, where most of the classrooms have no furniture and the majority of children do all their writing on the floor.

Before the carpenters, Haji and Shamari, could start work, ZAP bought them a comprehensive set of woodworking tools, and also enough wood for them to build their own workbench. Our wonderful local manager Mr Pandu took the boys to town to order wood and supplies for the school desks, and they set to work immediately. We were thrilled to see these photos of them with an amazing production line in progress!

Fifteen desks are enough for one classroom, and the cost is about £1,000. Once this first set is complete we have asked Haji and Shamari to produce another batch for a second classroom, courtesy of one of the girls from Headington School - recently returned from their annual field trip to Jambiani. Janet was also able to take out donations from a group of friends from the UK who visited the village recently, to equip a third classroom.

The head of the Primary School, Mr Topu, was delighted with these donations. He is always pleased to welcome visitors to his school, and has a “wish list” prominently displayed in his office. Janet was very pleased to hand over donations towards two more items on the list – a new computer studies room and a staff toilet, while the Headington School team also took out loads of educational material.

It is extremely rewarding to be able to report on success stories like this. The carpenters now have the tools and the skills to make a good living for themselves, while many children will also benefit from the new school desks. Once these orders are complete, the boys will be making sample pieces to show to prospective customers, and tourist items to sell from their base at the lockup. We are confident that they will attract many orders and build up a thriving business.


See our Gallery for more photos of the carpenters


Janet, May 2013


ZANZIBAR ACTION PROJECT is a Registered Charity in the UK No. 1108030