Education is key to escaping poverty but access is difficult and over 40% of children in Tanzania are out of secondary education and the majority of these are girls who suffer from chronic malnutrition which affects their physical and mental development.
In late 2017, the Sisters of Mary accepted the invitation of the authorities in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, to begin a new education programme in the country to tackle poverty issues amongst the young, particularly girls.
With the gift of land in Pwani Region, Makarunge, Kisarawe, west of Dar es Salaam, we opened our first live-in school in the country in 2019 with 150 girls.
Since the completion of the phase 1 building there has been significant demand for the extension of this programme to accommodate more deprived girls.
With our donors’ support this school has had the addition of two extra buildings in 2020 and 2021 and the expansion is now complete, with even further growth in numbers currently underway.
The school will eventually accommodate 900 of the most impoverished girls in the region and offer full time care, nutrition and a vital secondary education leading to employment.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused even greater levels of poverty for children and particularly girls in this region – the school places are many times oversubscribed and so the programmes play a crucial role in providing humanitarian support for the area.
To address the desperate situation of young unemployed and unskilled women out of school, we have built a new dual purpose training and day-care centre, which opened in 2022. Whilst the young women aged 17-22 receive accredited vocational training in sewing, electronics and commercial cookery, their young children will be looked after at a Kindergarten attached to the training centre. The mothers will learn skills which will help them find work and feed their families and their young children will receive full time care, nourishment and the vital chance for early learning and stimulation.
Looking ahead, plans for the construction of a school for boys in the country are now progressing. With the gift of land in Dodoma plans are now underway for the development of the boys’ school which will open in 2023, with 160 boys joining the school. With the help of our supporters we hope to expand the school, to offer secondary academic education and vocational training for 900 of the country’s most desperately deprived young boys to help them into employment.
Opened in 2018, our Tanzanian programmes support girls in Kisarawe Girls School, the Kiluvya Training Centre and Day Care. In this video, you can see the day-to-day life at the programmes, see the girls flourishing and learning and how much the education they receive impacts them.
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World Children’s Day 2023
Every child has the right to education, but not every child can access education.
In September 2023, the UN reviewed its progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Over October, we reflected on how we work towards these goals within our programmes providing our children with the opportunities to escape from poverty and thrive.