Girls Secondary School Peramiho

“Maintenance” is not a word that currently exists in Africa …. we’re told this by Joshua in our 8 am meeting at the hospital and this is the challenge facing the Foundation with its projects here, if they are to last in the long term.  Identifying the right person to handle it is the only solution – a view held by Klaus, the Würzburg priest we met in the guesthouse on his way to Mbinga.

In contrast, African parents do share the universal dilemma of how to manage the development and schooling of their teenage girls and we’ve seen their solution. Today’s focus is the soon to be 50 year old Peramiho Girls Secondary School, where the Foundation’s new dormitory has been recently completed. Here, under the watchful eye of Headmistress, Sister Katherina, the school’s 350 cheery and enthusiastic girls focus on academic study, prayer and seemingly little else. Started by the Sisters in 1968, there’s little evidence to suggest much has changed since then. Sister Katherina’s overview suggests the goal is tertiary education and to achieve this, the girls are up at 5am, showers are cold, nobody leaves the grounds, mobile phones are not allowed and relaxation is limited to Saturday evenings and entails group discussion. No surprise then that we’re told the Sisters’ principle motive for bricking up the secondary entrance into the school was to curtail the access it provided to local boys! The results mirror the strict education. With rank one in the region and rank 30 in the country, the school belongs to the best of all 3000 in Tansania.

The girls welcome was fantastic – a hearty display of dancing and singing without a hint of self consciousness – perhaps a stark contrast to a visit to any UK school. Our tour of the classes revealed a similar curriculum to the UK but ages were less defined and academic hurdles more stringently imposed. My daughter Beth’s time spent with the girls revealed an openness and curiosity as well as a contradicting picture – that Instagram accounts were prevalent and the aspiration was marriage at18 – I think the Sisters have a battle on their hands but perhaps the new chess game, table tennis and the new netball will help them to fill those long Saturday evenings. Beth now realizes the “grass is not always greener …!”

(by Mike Tyler)


Headmistress, Sr Katherina, Prioress Sr. Ruth, and Subprioress Sr. Grace in a discussion about the school with the volunteers.


Focus on academic studies.


Sophia is very interested to learn more about the countries of the volunteers.


Manuel explaining German’s school system to the students.


Mary has prepared an elaborate presentation in chemistry.


Traditional clothing as presents from the school board to our volunteers.


The students in form 5 and 6 (aged 16-18) are happy about their recently opened PATRIZIA dormitory. 


First chess lesson in the school – the students are excited about the new game.


PATRIZIA Orphanage Songea

Picture this: red soil, yellow grass, green bushes and trees in a wide landscape. You can see some giraffes, zebras or maybe a lion or elephants.  And a Masai on the road gracefully wearing his red blanket. That was the memory of Tanzania I had. Until now.

Some new images: A little girl called Agnes, sitting with her new cuddle like she never ever wants to let it go. Or the three year old Pendo, constantly seeking for your attention, very successfully of course by being so cheerful and bright. One more: 14 year old Oceana who is eager to read a Miify book together, asking for more and more. These are just three moments of a very special day at the PATRIZIA Orphanage Songea managed by the Benedictine-Sisters of Tutzing.

On Thursday our group spent a day at this orphanage. We were welcomed by app. 30 boys and girls (age between 3 and 18), clapping and singing and the young ones were dancing as well (not cool for the older boys of course). This was followed by a warm welcome of Sister Magdalena. Then it was time to give the children some presents; footballs, a table tennis set, Miffy books etc. The kids all went playing with these new treasures and we joined them. It was good fun playing with them and getting to know some of them a little bit better. After a nice lunch it was time for something more serious. Together with Sisters Ruth, Grace, Magdalena, Julia and Manuela we discussed the needs of the children. These needs vary from having a broken water pump fixed to the need of warmer clothing and the wish for more extracurricular programs to empower especially the older boys and girls. The Sisters do what they can but rely heavily on donations. So many things to do and think of and where to start? The memories made today will certainly help us to do the best we can for them.

(by Evelien van der Plaat)

1-Groupfoto in front of the PATRIZIA Orphanage Songea

Group-photo in front of the PATRIZIA Orphanage Songea

2-Manuel Dancing with the children

Manuel dancing with the children.

2-Manuela is curious about the visitors

Emanuela is very curious about the visitors.

3-Esta is happy to be visited by the volunteers

So many guests to play with – Pendo is just happy.

4-Evelien stamping names with the orphans

Evelien stamping names with the orphans.

5-Mike brought a set for table tennis. The children are learning the new sport very fast

Mike brought a set for table tennis. The children are learning the new sport very fast.

6-Manuel playing soccer with the new ball

Manuel playing soccer with the new ball.

7-The volunteers evaluating ways to support the orphanage

The volunteers evaluating ways how to support the orphanage.

8-Evelien with Oceana

Evelien with Oceana.

9-Adam with the PATRICIA cuddle named Hope

Adam with „Hope“ the cuddle of the PATRICIA ChildHouse Foundation.

10-Wolfgang shaking around with Pendo

Pendo does not want us to leave.

Operational Business or how to run a hospital in Tansania

Yesterday, we assisted the architect students from Augsburg by doing further measures of the buildings during their absence. The students from the Hochschule Augsburg together with their professor, Susanne Gampfer, were contributing to the renovation of the PATRIZIA Children Hospital in Peramiho. In the near future they will also start with other renovations and conversions of the St. Joseph Hospital (the Childrens Hospital is a part of). Therefore, we had to conduct some structural surveys and measures together with Baraka (Head of Maintenance). Following, we had an in-depth tour across the entire hospital campus, visiting the current pre-mature department as well as the construction site for the new one, laboratories, operating surgery, wards, nursing school and service units. In the evening, after a hard day of work, we accompanied a non-serious rescue mission with the emergency ambulance (a white VW beetle built in 1975 and still in good shape, only 34 HPs but 4 occupants),  that drove us to the highest point of Peramiho, with a fantastic view over Peramiho and the lovely countryside.

The earlier, the better

Today, the united group (Evelien, Beth, Mike, Wolfgang and Manuel) accompanied the responsible doctor for the Community Based Healthcare Program, which is part of the precaution of the hospital. One objective of the program is to examine students from schools on site with regard to various diseases. Therefore, we visited a primary school with 400 students at the age of 4 to 15, who rewarded us with a very warm welcome, especially when Evelien (from PATRIZIA Netherlands) distributed orange (what else) balloons to the students. We were also able to watch the installation of a water pump by volunteers of the local village. This is also sponsored by a regional program of the Benedictine brothers of Peramiho and contributes to preventative health care, providing fresh and clean water. In the evening, the voluntary team was sitting together and discussed about the lesson learned from the day as well as potential ways of support by the PATRIZIA Foundation.

(by Manuel Käsbauer)

1-PATRICIANS in front of the PATRIZIA Children Hospital

PATRICIANS in front of the PATRIZIA Children Hospital

2-Evelien Mike and Beth discussing with the Chief Medical Officer

Evelien Mike and Beth discussing with the Chief Medical Officer

3-Measurement of the buildings

Measurement of the buildings

4-Within the theatre

Within the theatre

5-Premature Birth Station

Premature Birth Station

6-Up the hill with the VW Beetle

Up the hill with the VW Beetle

7-Primary Health Care Service

Primary Health Care Service

8-Water Pump in the village

Water Pump in the village

9-Happy Pupils with Evelien´s baloon

Happy Pupils with Evelien´s baloon

African Culture

Yesterday we were lucky to experience African culture at its best. Being invited by Joshua and Ruth, the prioress of the Missionary Benedictine-Sisters of Tutzing we participated at the final confess of two Benedictine-Sisters. The mass, which lasted more than three hours, was never boring due to the matchless way of celebrating with dancing and singing. For us it felt rather like a concert. Or like Johannes, another visitor from Austria commented: “Who needs Sister Act, when you can be here”

After the mass the event was celebrated with banquet and several shows. Also the children from our PATRIZIA Orphanage Songea contributed with a great dance performance.

Although the confess was over in the afternoon, the African hospitality was not. Joshua invited to us to see the village where he grew up and to meet his mother. Driving to this remote village offered us again the opportunity to see the beautiful country. Driving on “barabara mbaya”, Kiswahili for bad road, we arrived at Joshua`s village to have dinner. Being introduced to half of the inhabitants we returned to Peramiho tired but happy at 11 p.m.

PATRIZIA Children Hospital Peramiho

Finally we found time to visit the PATRIZIA Children Hospital in detail. Since the first PATRIZIA ChildrenHouse has been restructured, renovated and finally reopened in February, we were of course curious about the efficiency in the new building. We were happy to find the staff and the patients extremely happy and satisfied. Baraka, head of maintenance and Sister Ermerinde, responsible for the non-stationary patients, explained us the procedures in, as well as the functions of the different stations and rooms. We had the opportunity to ask critical questions and were informed about different problems, like lack of devices. Understanding the needs of the staff and of the patients is a great motivation to look for solutions. Especially we enjoyed the breaks, playing with the sick children or talking to concerned mothers. Discussing with employees of different departments of the hospital increased our understanding about the procedures in the hospital.


1_Invited by Sr. Ruth, Joshua, Hilda and Sr. Grace

Invited by Sr. Ruth, Joshua, Hilda and Sr. Grace.

2_Children dancing in church

Children dancing in church.

3_Children orphanage performance

Children of PATRIZIA Orphanage Songea dancing.

4_Children at celebration

Jakob, enjoying the show after his own performance.

5_Joshuas Elternhaus

Meeting Joshua`s mum (second from left) and family.

6_Remote village

Remote village.

7_Manuel und Sr. Emerinde

Manuel and Sr. Ermerinde discussing in the waiting room for pregnant women.

8_Justina and Mutter Cecilia

Newborn Justina with her proud mother Cecilia.

9_Happy Child 2

Balloons were very helpful to pleasure the children.

10_Happy Boy

Playing around with Stefano.

11_Manuel Luftballon

Manuel with children in front of the PATRIZIA Children Hospital.


300 employees in the whole hospital keep the Human Resource Department busy.


Project Journey to TANZANIA

My first journey abroad for the PATRZIA KinderHaus-Stiftung  leads me to Tanzania, where also the first PATRIZIA KinderHaus was built. The objectives of the journey are to see the recently opened PATRIZIA KinderHaus at the Girls Secondary School in Peramiho. Furthermore I am looking forward to see the previous projects, the PATRIZIA Orphanage Songea and the PATRZIA Children Hospital Peramiho and of course to meet our partners as well. Last but not least I travel together with employees of PATRIZIA Immobilien AG to gather information about a designated Volunteering Program. Evaluating the experiences of Evelien, Manuel and Mike will help us to set up the concept and develop our ideas.

On the road to Peramiho

Peramiho is located southwest of Daressalam, 1100 kilometers by car. Since it is important for us to become acquainted with the country we decided to take this mean of transport. We want to share our first impressions of this road trip with you. Although it took us 16 hours on the car, partly on dusty rural roads we would not like to miss this exciting time with our driver Joseph.

Arrival in Peramiho

Exhausted but happy we arrived in the evening in Peramiho and were warmly welcomed by Joshua and his family Joshua is the administrator of the hospital and I was very happy to meet him finally personal. We were honored, being invited for dinner to his home. Many neighbors joined us during this evening and were curious about the foreigners. It was a great evening with interesting talks and a splendid atmosphere. Tomorrow we are invited to the permanent profess of two Benedictine sisters. Typical for African celebrations it is supposed to last the whole day and we are excited what we will experience tomorrow.

(by Wolfgang Unger)

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Being the first time in Africa is quite a cultural shock. All buildings outside Daressalam are very simple.

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The first half of the route goes along the Indian Ocean until Lindi where we turn to the inland.

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Motorcycles are the main mean of transport, even for heavy goods.

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The further we head into the inland the lonelier the street becomes.

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Whenever we stop in a village people sell things on the road.

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All women are dressed very colorful.

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90 percent of the population in Tanzania is jobless. People try to sell their homemade products on the countless markets

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The vegetation changes frequently and offers beautiful views.

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Thanks to Joseph we receive first hand information about the different areas.

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Most people here are hesitant being photographed. But the children are very curious and are happy to see their pictures.

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Welcome committee in front of the guest house.

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Bonge from the neighborhood is curious about the camera.

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Only the colored pencils from Manuel are more interesting.

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Breaking the ice in Africa is not only easy because of the temperature.

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Six months old Christian was premature born in the PATRIZIA Children Hospital and is by now a strong and healthy boy.