On my recent visit to Blackburn Estate in Tanzania I was delighted to visit the nearby primary school in Mangola Juu village. In partnership with South African roaster Origin Coffee Roasting and with the assistance of Blackburn’s owner Michael Gehrken, Mercanta has sponsored repairs and building materials for the school.
The new space is much needed. The primary school has upwards of 600 pupils enrolled and its seven existing class rooms are crammed. There are still significant repairs and building work to be done – the school estimates that it needs an additional five classrooms to operate comfortably – and we hope to continue working with Mangola Juu in the future. The school is around 3km from Blackburn and many of its pupils’ parents work on the estate.
Below are some photos I took on my visit (click to enlarge), and also a short clip of the song that the entire school performed for me! I was very moved by the warm welcome that I was given – a massive thank you to both the school and Michael for arranging my visit.