There is a desperate need for foundational education provision in Tanzania. Many young children do not have access to nursery education and this affects their long term education outcomes. With incomplete education their potential employment, overall productivity and future success in life are severely impacted.
Poor families in Tanzania also lack a safe space for their young children to be cared for whilst they work. Parents need to work to survive and with no one to care for their children, young children can often be left at home alone whilst their parents work, taken with their parents to work, or are left in the care of older siblings, who also then miss out on their education.
To help address these problems, the Sisters of Mary opened the Kiluvya Nursery in 2021 alongside the ladies Vocational Training Centre to support vulnerable youngsters and their young mothers with free childcare and early education.
At Kiluvya Nursery, children aged between three and five years old receive the vital early learning they need to succeed in life. They also have a safe space, a community of peers, the safety and freedom to play and learn, and very importantly, two full nutritious meals a day.
The qualified and passionate nursery teachers at the centre have created a vibrant and nurturing space where these most impoverished youngsters can begin to acquire the skills they need for the future.
The children arrive at 8 am and then go home at approx 4.30 pm at the end of each day. During that time, the Sisters and teachers help to address some of the children’s most basic needs like ensuring they have enough food, and the necessary medical attention they may need. They ensure that the boys and girls have the chance to develop their communication and social skills, play with their new friends and learn to develop their literacy and numeracy abilities.
The nursery not only benefits the young children with a vital foundation for their education, but also provides a safe and nurturing place for them to be cared for whilst their mothers work to support them.
Free childcare is an invaluable resource for young mothers in Tanzania, many of whom are single parents, so that they can be independent and earn a living to support their family. To support this initiative, attached to the nursery is the Kiluvya Training Centre, which provides training for the most disadvantaged young women who have dropped out of education.