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Grandma Africa's Children

$2,250 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 7 people in 40 months
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“Stop, stop . . . Wait, wait, wait!  . . . they're so precious!"  I'll never forget the sounds of the children welcoming us as we approached the newly built Twing Memorial Elementary School (TMES).  No doubt these sounds still haunt my husband, Randy, our daughter, Tammy Twing Pannekoek, as well as our friends Curtis and Carol Frembling.  We are all so very far away, we’ve seen their needs, and gratitude with our own eyes!  


Ethel Twing was a registered nurse when she returned to the place she served with her physician husband, Dr. James Arthur Twing, who in 1972 lost his life in an airplane accident.  Since 1975 she has worked with more than 300 young people.  She’d take them into her home, determine their aptitude and character.  She helped those who had promise.  Ethel became known all over Tanzania as “Mama Twing.”

“Mama Twing” had three children of her own.  To her grandchildren, including my children, James, Tammy, and Jeremy;  Bruce’s children, Denise, Shawn, and Tara; as well as, Sylvia’s son, Jeff, she was known as Grandma Africa.  Their childhood memories include trips with Grandma as she raised funds for her African children and projects. They spent time with her on item specific shopping trips, and watched her carefully pack up those precious supplies to return to Africa. 

Several of her projects included purchases of property to build an elementary and secondary school for children.  It was a great day when the first round of bricks was laid for the elementary school which opened in 2005!  Unfortunately, at 80 years of age her time in Africa came to an end as Ethel suffered a stroke and was sent by medical transport back to the United States.  She tried to return to Africa at age 83.  With her frail condition and lack of access to appropriate medical care, she returned after a few months.  Last year at age 92, Ethel passed to her rest at a nursing home in Kennewick, Washington. 
 
Why do I share all of this with you?  

The children and grandchildren of Ethel are now responsible to raise funds and operate her ministry which has obtained non-profit status as:  Twing Memorial Ministries.  The ministry funds Twing Memorial Elementary School which currently has enrolled more than 600 students.  The 12 full-time teachers each receive $140 salary per month.  The school operates in two sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Some children walk five miles each way to attend school.  Most of the children have a single parent or no parents at all.  Many are refugees from conflicts in Rwanda and Burundi.  These children are loosely supervised by adults in the nearby communities in which they live. None of the children attending this school can pay tuition or fees.  
 
After grade seven some of these students are sent all over Africa to continue their education in government secondary schools, even as far away as Dar es Salaam. Three classes of students have graduated while Twing Memorial Secondary School (TMSS) is being constructed.  There are a few more things that must be done by the end of August to obtain permission to accept students in January 2016.


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An African, Musa Mitekaro, one of Mama Twing's students, is directing the work at the school.  I asked him why he has worked so hard to build the school in memory of Dr. & Mrs. Twing.  His reply was, “My people must know of the sacrifice made by those who come to our country to make our life good.”  He has developed an official African non-governmental organization for the school to make it easier to get things into the country.  It reports to our US non-profit which has ultimate authority of the program. 

We must raise $100,000 by the end of 2015 to fund teacher's salaries and to finish the secondary school. Our school and children have many other needs as well:  supplies for the teachers and children, well water, a meal each day, shoes, clothing, and school uniforms. 

Should this school close there are no other options available for the education of these children.  Poverty will continue to plague them for generations to come.  A gift of $50 will educate one child for one school year.  Where else can you do so much for so little?  Please make a tax-deductible gift here.  Your entire gift (less a modest credit card processing fee), goes to the ministry. There are no paid employees for our non-profit.

On behalf of our children, Thank You!


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(Dr. & Mrs. James Twing, in their early 50's, before his death from an airplane accident in 1972.  Ethel returned to Africa in 1975 and remained there for more than 30 years until she became ill with an African fever.)

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(Dr. Twing transported patients in his airplane to the hospital from more than 20 dispensaries in the region.)

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(Children in front of Twing Memorial Elementary School in 2007, Phase I)

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(Phase II, classrooms built in 2008-09)

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(Phase III, New campus for Twing Memorial Secondary School, currently under construction.)

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We desperately need your help.  Would you partner with us in doing good - educating young people in Tanzania - Grandma's children?  On behalf of the children, thank you so much.

-- Rachel Twing Terwillegar, President
    Twing Memorial Ministries
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Just learned from the builder, the science building will be finished at the end of this month. When he is done he will start a foundation for teachers' duplex housing.

Musa Mitekaro will go to Kigoma to see the project, fill out the paperwork for inspection and schedule the secondary school inspection. Funds are desperately needed now to finish this project so children can begin in January 2016. All gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law.
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Early in September each year there is a National examination for students in standard seven. During the Twing Memorial Elementary School (TMES) examination there was high security with police and investigators on hand. In 2013 our school performed so well the government increased security thinking that maybe there may be cheating behind student performance. There were seven courses with seven examinations.
Before each examination the security team was surprised to hear students sing and pray. This is not common at any school in Tanzania, only at TMES. In their report on student performance, they concluded that, “The secret of high performance at Twing Memorial School is prayer. They even prayed for us. They trust in God and that is why they always pass their national examinations.”
While our students are out of school they face many challenges. Some will be involved in child labor, taking care of cattle, doing small business in the street, etc. to earn some money for their family. All who performed well in standard seven final national exams will be eligible for secondary school.

2014 results were as follows:
-- 17 are among the best 1,000 students in the whole Nation
-- 3rd position in the Ward among 42 schools
-- 20th position in the District among 89 schools
-- 72nd position in the Region among 627 schools
-- 968th position in the Nation among 15,867 schools.

TMES is the only educational opportunity for students in this large community. They pray that their school will continue to be there for them, and that those who have graduated can come back home to attend secondary school.
Students of Phase II Classrooms.
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My name is Nakudana. I am a Maasai girl from Morogoro. I used to take care of cattle seven days a week. The Morogoro area was too dry and many cattle and people died during a very bad dry season. My father decided that we should go to the Kigoma area (Lake Tanganyika), where there is much water and good grass for cattle. It took us five months to reach to Kigoma land as there were many cattle and people from my family.
As I was taking care of cattle in the morning and evening, I saw girls and boys coming and going from Twing Memorial school. I was impressed and requested my father to take me to this School. My father agreed and took me to Twing Memorial Elementary School which made me very happy. I joined grade one. I was older and bigger than any pupil at the school because most of my childhood experience was in keeping cattle. I did very well at school especially academically. I was shifted from class one to class four.
I became famous in the school. This was a new experience to me because I never had such an experience with my Maasai. I enjoyed devotions at school. When I was in class five I decided to be accept Christ as my personal Savior. I am so thankful to God for the dry season and famine that forced us to immigrate to Kigoma region. My father has many children and wives. I want to be a veterinary doctor.
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In Africa many still live in houses of mud and thatched roofs. In Mwayaya Village, five miles from Twing Memorial Elementary School (TMES), 10 houses were burned. Some of the TMES students are from this village. TMES students decided to help by building new simple homes for these displaced people. They cut all the supplies from the bush and forest, and collected roofing straw, grass, and cow dung to mix with mud (mud and cow dung mixed is like cement). The material collected by students was enough to build 22 simple African mud houses.
The villagers were deeply impressed by the construction material collected by the students. Soon, the villagers became involved in the project, building additional houses for the needy in the village. The village and leadership thanked TMES students for their love, care, and the initiative to collect enough materials to build the houses.
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$2,250 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 7 people in 40 months
Created April 11, 2015
Funds raised will benefit:
Twing Memorial Ministries
  Certified Charity
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College Place, WA
EIN: 916054221
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