The purpose of this campaign was to provide the school at Rumangabo with new desks and benches, and in so doing further strengthen the relationship between the park and the people who will one day protect it. In comparison with the Senkwekwe Centre Campaign this one seems a little pale. It was nowhere near as ambitious, it had little glamour, it didn’t address the needs of a flagship species and it didn’t promise infrastructure. For all these reasons, perhaps, it was difficult to raise funds. Nevertheless this campaign served to remind people, if that were necessary, how difficult life is for the people who live here, and how easily it can be changed for the better.
The desks cost $70.50 each plus $10 for transport from Goma to Rumangabo (45km).
We wanted to buy 21 desks per classroom (3 columns of 7 desks each that fit between 2 and 3 kids) - and there are 7 new classrooms, which makes 147 desks.
At $80.50 each the total needed for the desks and benches comes to $11,833.
The price seems high - it is high - that’s because the wood has to be brought all the way from the north of the country. The transportation costs are substantial not least because various armed groups or authorities impose â€˜taxes’ on freight as it passes through their spheres of influence. The additional expenses incurred in the manufacture of the furniture have, of course, been added to its final price.
The campaign, which lasted from 25 January until 27 March 2009 when the school opened, was launched by an announcement post on the website. It was promoted by update posts that included progress reports and thanks to named donors.
By the 16 February 2009 the following people and institutions had donated to the campaign:
Daria M: 1 desk & bench and 1 school seat (NB: 3 school seats to 1 desk & bench);
Happy Hollow Zoo: 1 desk & bench;
Iris P: 3 desks & benches;
Jacina B: 3 desks & benches and 3 school seats;
Mattias L: 4 desks & benches.
By the 22nd March we had registered the following contributions:
Lisa H: 1 School Desk & Bench;
Kathleen W: 1 School Desk & Bench;
Robin D: 1 School Desk & Bench;
Lisa T A: 1 School Desk & Bench;
Brenton H: 1 School Seat;
Iris P: 2 School Desks & Benches;
Jean Luc P: 6 School Desks & Benches.
Those donations brought the total numbers to:
24 Desks & Benches;
& 5 School Seats.
We ordered another 30 desks and benches and they were all ready and in place for the inauguration of Rumangabo School on March 27, 2009. The campaign was not a great success. In fairness, although we devoted what resources we could to it, we didn’t give it very much support. On a more positive note, this is just the kind of campaign that could be managed by someone from outside the park by using the campaign widget. The target is not too daunting - you wouldn’t have to have access to corporate or institutional donors to reach it - the cause is worthy, and the results are concrete. The subject and the context: school desks and the relationship between the park and the schoolchildren; could have wide appeal.