Chowe Village from the rock
Village Tours & Community Projects

Village Tours
For those interested in seeing our local village, we offer a village tour.  All proceeds from our tour go into our community projects. 

The village tour starts with a cup of tea at the home of our chief Mr Majidu Bakari where we discuss your areas of interest and plan our walk through the village.  Our tours mainly focus on the community projects that we are involved in.  Mr Bakari has spear headed all of our community projects and is the perfect guide.  

Community Projects
We offer special rates for any groups interested in getting involved in our community projects. 

Chowe Village is a dynamic, self motivated community that has been helping itself since the 1950’s when they built their own Primary School.  In the 1970’s they built their own clinic and about 10 years ago they built their secondary school.  This culture of helping themselves made our community projects easy, the community provides all necessary labour for free and we have minimal administration costs. 

Past community projects 
Electricity has been installed at our clinic and maternity unit thanks to the generosity of an Icelandic community.  Not only has this made a huge difference to the emergency care provided to villagers – women were previously giving birth by candle light – but it is also being used by local students who want to study after dark.  

A placenta pit and incinerator have been installed in the local clinic thanks to the generosity of Icaeda.

Current community projects  
Our water project is half way there with water from a high mountain spring providing clean, safe water for areas of the community – including our clinic and primary school – that previously had no easy access to clean water.  The entire internal plumbing installed in the clinic in the 1970’s needs to be replaced and we have plans to continue the supply of water to the secondary school.  We have almost finished building a large water storage tank in order to meet the high community demand on this water source.

An Australian Scholarship fund has been set up by a past guest that will provide tertiary education in exchange for a period of community service.  Our first student has just completed the first year of his degree and the program will be extended to 10 students this year.

Our apprenticeship program has started on a high with our master mechanic Willie who has been training 6 young men.  They have been involved in multiple complete engine rebuilds and already have a good understanding of mechanics, electrics and welding.  This year our guide Brave is taking his own students on.

The first of our school field trips was highly successful and we are excited about hosting them again this year.  There was a gift exchange which left our local primary school with a very generous amount of sports equipment and visiting children were given handmade local toys.  However, the main exchange was one of friendship and learning between the local and visiting students.  If we could all learn to overcome cultural and socioeconomic barriers, the world would be a better place.

Our local drama group has had its first meetings with the initial aim of promoting forest conservation alongside the new community co-management scheme for the entire Namizimu Forest. 

Future Community Projects
We plan to establish community woodlots to lessen our dependence on the forest for fuel.  Income generating activities like bee keeping will be integrated into this.

We have several building projects in mind, the first of which will be a doctors house for volunteer doctors and nurses to help with the running of the clinic.  Currently our clinic is run by a 23 year old Medical Assistant and 2 nurses who are responsible for 10,000 people.  If you are a doctor or nurse who would like to help our clinic, we have temporary accommodation that will be available to you immediately! 

While we are proud of the buildings we have built, they can all use a lick of paint! Anyone interested in painting our local primary and secondary schools or our local clinic and maternity unit, just has to raise the money for paint, the community is ready to get their hands dirty with you!

 How to get involved
If you are interested in getting involved in any of our projects, please email us at with details of your group and specific areas of interest. 

Mr Bakari talks about the water project and thanks our donors.
Chowe Village as seen from the Namizimu viewing rock. Mr Bakari talks about our water project and thanks our donors.
Happy smiling faces The primary school
Happy faces on village tour. Part of the local Primary School built by the community in the 1950's can be seen in this picture.
Battle of the pipes! All important connection
Battle of the pipes on the day that water was connected to the village clinic. On the right you see the main outpatients department and on the left the maternity unit, both were built by the community in the 1970’s. In this picture the all important connection of water to the clinic is made. Very soon afterwards we realised that the entire internal plumbing installed in the 1970's will have to be replaced.
Standard 2 at our local Donations from Char Char
Standard 2 at our local Primary School in their outdoor classroom. Another future building project... Donations from the CharChar Trust of high quality learning material brought many smiles to our local Primary School.
1,500 students A lick of paint
1,500 students gather to receive a generous donation of books and learning material from the CharChar Trust. A lick of paint – I believe this group project will be a highly satisfying experience – first come, first serve!
The joys of an etch-a-sketch Doctors & nurses welcome!
The joys of an etch-a-sketch! Any doctors or nurses who want to live in the village and support the clinic team will be warmly welcomed.

<< Activities

Uzuzu Mountain Ridge Walk >>

© Namizimu Forest Retreat