Beyond providing food, water, and other essentials, one of the most important things we do is to help provide education. Education is the single greatest factor in breaking the cycle of poverty in the communities we serve. The two ways we support education are by partnering with existing schools and by providing scholarships to individual students.
In 2015 we began a partnership with Emburis Pre & Primary School. Emburis School is a private English-medium school located in one of the poorest villages in Monduli. The school was started by Nakaji Lukumay, a recently retired school teacher/inspector, to help the families who couldn’t afford to send their children to school. Primary school is tuition-free in Tanzania, but the cost of uniforms, supplies, and transportation keep many families from being able to afford school. Also, government primary schools are taught in Swahili, while the secondary schools are taught in English. This leads to a great number of children failing in secondary school because of the language difficulties. Nakaji started Emburis School as an English-medium school because she knew that the children needed to learn English early.
Nakaji, or Mama Junior, began Emburis School with personal funds. This was a struggle from the beginning. When we met her and saw how she stepped out in faith, not knowing how the school would be able to survive, we began praying for God to lead us. And, of course, He did. We began our work with Emburis School at the beginning of 2015, providing a nutritious lunch for the students. Until that time, they could only afford to feed the children a cup of ugi (a runny maize-based porridge with little nutritive value) each morning. And the teachers were having to stop teaching, make and serve the ugi, and clean up before they could resume teaching. We started with lunches of peanut butter sandwiches and fruit . In September of 2016, after outfitting a kitchen and two dining rooms, and hiring a cook, we were able to start feeding the students a hot nutritious breakfast and lunch each day. This may not sound like a big deal, until you realize that many Tanzanian children will eat only 1 meal each day, if that.
We are also partially subsidizing the teacher salaries. Mama Junior had hired some amazing teachers, but the lack of stable funding meant that they were making much lower salaries when compared to their peers, and many times they had to wait until funds came in to be paid . With a generous gift from one of our donors, we were able to increase their salaries and make sure they get paid on time. We’ve also been able to help get new classrooms built, provide water filters for each classroom, and provide new uniforms for the students.
To learn more about Emburis School, check out (and like) their Facebook page here.
Maasae Girls Secondary School
The Maasae Girls Secondary School was started as a way for Maasai girls to escape being sold into marriage, and be able to attend school, which had previously been something they could only dream about. Now in it’s 21st year, they count doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, and other successful women among their graduates. In 2016, after consulting with their headmaster, we created and taught a curriculum on health & hygiene, including period care, STIs and birth control to the 350 students at the MGSS. We have continued our support with funds to subsidize the cost of disposable period products for the school. To learn more about this amazing school, click here.
In addition to our partnerships with Emburis School, and Maasai Girls Secondary School, we also provide full and partial scholarships to 36 individual students at 9 different schools, including primary school, secondary school, teacher’s college, veterinary school, and medical school.