Tumaini Nursery School

With Art in Tanzania supporting over 100 community schools and education centres, there are many different location opportunities for teaching projects for volunteers/interns. Academic centres benefit from the work of interns and volunteers  as innovative methods of teaching are introduced helping not only the students but the staff also.

Earlier this week I was given the opportunity to visit the local pre-school in Madale IMG_2735 (1)
Village; Tumaini Nursery School. Although there is no current project at this particular time, I was able to visit to experience a typical lesson and document the work of previous volunteers.

At this school, ages range from two to six and here are three separate classes for different age groups. The aim of Tumaini nursery is to prepare the young students before their transition to primary school; ensuring that they are at the appropriate academic level. Not only have Art in Tanzania volunteers been involved in teaching and education projects at Tumaini, but also projects involving construction to help enhance the quality of the nursery school. The renovation of classrooms to improve the teaching environment as well as the construction of basic facilities such as toilets (as pictured below) are some examples projects that have taken place in previous years.

On my particular visit to the school, the children were taking mathematics exams to monitor their progress so far and test whether they are ready to move on to the next level. For the oldest age group (5-6 yrs old) the exam consisted of addition and subtraction of numbers and different ways of writing these sums. However, for the IMG_2733younger years (2-3 yrs old) they will be called to the teacher individually or in small groups and asked questions about what they have been learning. This acts as a more relaxed approach for the younger ones. Once the exam is over, after about an hour, it is break time for the students and they are able to run outside and play. There is a large open space just in front of the classrooms where the children are able to run about safely and they are provided with a swing set that is indeed very popular! Like all nursery school children, they enjoy playing different games and this particular break time they formed a circle by holding hands and began to sing what sounded like a traditional nursery rhyme or song.

 

With the help and support of our volunteers, schools such as Tumaini Nursery School and local organisations are able to benefit from the various projects run by Art in Tanzania! To find out more about how to get involved or to get extra info about the various projects, don’t hesitate to visit our website!

Asante sana,

Lily 

Donations to An-Nabawiya Nursery School

school2 SebastienBeunA small nursery in the village of Fuoni, pronounced An – na – Ba – wee –yah, built in 2012 by Ms Asia Issa Jecha and Mr Hassan Mwinyi kombo as part of a women’s project.

The school is run by 6 local teachers who devote their time from 07:30 in the morning to 12:00pm, five days a week, in order to help educate the young local children. The school initially had 93 students and now have at least 100 local children who attend the nursery for free. The nursery building is also used from 19:00 to 20:00 for private tuition classes; these are held by different teachers.

teaching3-SebastienBeunThe children learn English, Maths, Science, Swahili, Arabic, Art and Religious Studies. Art in Tanzania have been involved with the nursery since 2014 and have provided a total number of 10 volunteers who have helped teach the children and also assisted the local teachers, by, for example, providing them with one to one English lessons.

The first day we visited the nursery was to deliver four benches that were kindly donated by a former Swedish volunteer; altogether there are four classrooms, however, all four of the benches were placed in one classroom. The aim is to fill all four classrooms with these little benches so that all of the children can benefit and enjoy learning in a comfortable environment. All the children wanted to sit on them and were extremely excited and happy with the generous donation.

When we went to visit the nursery again, we spoke to the head teacher, Mrs Latifa Mahfoudh, a stunning and pleasant woman who you could see loved working with the children and had always had a passion for teaching; we sat down and had a long chat at about the nursery and what her ambitions were for the nursery and its students.

Latifa pointed out some of the improvements to the actual building that needed to be carried out; a new roof was needed as the current one leaked, new windows were needed as well as a more stable and safer wall/fence around the parameters of the school with a gate, in order to keep the children safe and protected. Two of the classrooms were not plastered so it was impossible to provide a more pleasant environment for the children to learn in, as you can see from the pictures, the classrooms were dark and unpleasant, even with the sun blazing outside. The nursery also needed to build new toilets for the little boys and girls to use.

As well as the children’s facilities, Latifa showed us her own office, which really does need some attention, it would help her to have a proper carpet that covered all of the floor, new stable chairs and shelves so that when volunteers or guests come, they too can use the office and have a pleasant and clean workspace to work in, without feeling your chair is going to giveaway any second! Latifa would also like to go on computer courses and get computer for her office to make her work easier.

Upon our return, three volunteers, Louise Proctor, Claire Manning and Elizabeth Drey flew out to Zanzibar from Ireland and brought with them a very generous donation of over £4000 for the nursery; with their help and local workers, building work has now commenced, with a new roof and plastering. The work on the wall/fence will be started next, and then the new windows will be fitted. The donations will also help to build new toilets for the little boys and girls. A further £3296 has been donated by Whitney Harris-Linton from Michigan (£77 put towards the roof), Melissa Wolsley from Findlay, Australia (donated £99 for a black board to be fitted in the classroom) £2600 and £520 have also been donated from more kind donators. The money given will be used to finish renovating the school and any money left over will be used on a new project in Madale, Dar-Es-Salam, subject to the donors consent.

kiswahili sebastienIf you would like to volunteer at the nursery or donate; your time, skills, money, toys, stationary or school equipment, do contact Edward Busungu at Art in Tanzania and get involved, it certainly is a fantastic project and the children and staff are simply delightful to be around.

If you do wish to teach at the school, we would recommend spending more than two weeks, as this will enable you to build a much better rapport with the children and staff, allowing them to put into practice what you teach and you will be able to witness the difference that your presence can make in their lives and futures.

 

Al – Quwiyyi Islamic School

A private Islamic school in the village of Fuoni, named after the founder’s, Mr Hakeem Abdullah, families tribe name in Mafia, pronounced Al Qu-wee.

The school was opened on Monday 13th January 2014 after four months of preparations. The school has 24 classes, providing nursery to secondary education to approximately 600 local students.

Art in Tanzania has been working with Al – Quwiyyi since 2015 sending volunteers to teach the children Maths, English and Science or to simply assist teachers in a range of subjects and look after the children in the classroom.

School days are Monday to Friday 07:00 to 13:00 – lunch is at 13:00. From 14:00 to 22:30 the school operates Madrassa classes for approximately 250 students. Any volunteers, who can deliver or assist in teaching Arabic, Quran, Tajweed and Fiqh will be most welcomed. The school would ideally like volunteers to stay longer than two weeks to teach, to enable the volunteers to build a great rapport with the children and staff.

If volunteers are here for a short stay or did not want to teach, they can choose to assist with cooking lunch or assist in the school’s stationary and snack shop

The founder of the school, Mr Abdullah, has an ambitious plan to build a boarding school with a Masjid, female and male hostel plus accommodation for workers in the near future, he is currently liaising with officials for a suitable plot of land. Support with this project would be welcomed from international organisations to help make his vision a reality. You can contact the school directly at alquwiyyi@hotmail.com.

If you would like to volunteer at the nursery or donate; your time, skills, money, toys, stationary or school equipment, do contact Edward Busungu at Art in Tanzania and get involved, this is a fantastic school with friendly students with great ambitions and dreams you can be a part of.

Please note that this is an Islamic school so if you do wish to volunteer be mindful of the way you dress, wearing modest clothing, by way of covering your arms, legs and your hair, would be appreciated by all the staff.

Helping the kids in Yusuf School

YusufFounded by Yusuf Kombo Juma, a father of six children, who witnessed the problems and challenges of education and set out on a mission to tackle the issue, he sold his own land and properties and got creative in raising money in order to fund his vision.

Yusuf started his school with just one nursery class with 30 local children in 2010, this then grew each year and now the school has two nursery classes and five secondary classes with 95 local children attending the school for 8000 TZS per month, the eldest students are aged 13. The school runs from 07:30 to 12:00/ 12:45 for the older students. There are seven local teachers. Yusuf is hoping to build another classroom for those older than this, but will need funds to build it.

donatedArt in Tanzania has been working with this school since 2011; they helped expand the school from one class room to what it is now, through Art in Tanzania two volunteers have helped out for three months, helping the students and the teachers also, a volunteer from the UK taught the teachers ways of teaching for two weeks which the teachers found very helpful. Yusuf said that good education brings in more students so volunteers are very much welcomed to help support in whichever way they can.

girl school-SebastienBeunChildren of all faiths attend the school and learn, Maths, English, Science, Swahili, Arabic and some learn about Islam. There will be opportunities to teach the children different languages, such as French and German if volunteers wished to do so. If you don’t want to teach you can simply provide help and support for the children and teachers, you could even set up clubs or different activities for the children, there is something for everyone.

In order to expand the school, Yusuf wishes to buy the plot of land next to the school building to create three new classes for the school. For this he requires 4 million TZS (approximately £1450) to buy the land, and then 3 million TZS (approximately £1060) to build one classroom.

DSC04539Yusuf also has an ambition to build a centre for children near the Yusuf school on a plot of land he already owns, this would provide shelter and education for orphans in need. To build around five rooms Yusuf would require around 9 million TZS (approximately £3200) the centre would then need, beds and other furnishings to provide for the children living in the centre.

Yusuf spoke about how some of the children come to school in really bad conditions; these children need support in many ways, not just teaching.

If you would like to volunteer at this school, or to donate, stationary, teaching material, desks, chairs, clothes for the children, bags or office equipment you time or money, get in touch with Edward Busungu at Art in Tanzania for more information.

 

Interview with a volunteer

Interviewing has always been something exciting for all of us. Learning about experiences one had is a fantastic feeling for the rest. This interview is with a volunteer working with Art in Tanzania, an NGO known for upbringing major social impacts in the community of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Let’s hear about Sari’s experiences and how she worked with AIT to help the community grow.

Interviewer: Hey Sari, How are you doing?Sari 3 (1)

Sari: It’s good. How are you?

Interviewer: I’m great. Let’s start. First, tell me something about yourself.

Sari: I am Sari, living in Finland now. My first time in Tanzania was two years ago. This is my fifth time with Art In Tanzania since then.

Interviewer: That’s amazing. So, you’ve been volunteering for a long time. You can tell me exactly how do you think volunteering affects the community?

Sari: I can say from my side, as I was in the Construction as well as Environmental conservation project that even if you do a small thing for a community or teach a few people how to do something, they can spread the word. Even a small help from your side can be a big thing for the natives. You can’t change the whole world but you can change a community by taking a single ‘step’.

Interviewer: That means a lot, really! Have you been volunteering before these AIT Volunteering?

Sari: Not really, this is practically the first.

Interviewer: That’s good. How did you end up at Art in Tanzania?

Sari: Yeah, we had a big festival in Finland called ‘World Festival’. I met Marjut at the Art in Tanzania stand there.  I was planning to have a sabbatical year from work & she told me about the volunteering & internship opportunities here. It sounded so good that almost the next day I was booking the tickets.

Interviewer: Awesome. So What project were you working on at AIT?

Sari: Mainly construction & some environmental projects like in Moshi, we had a Tree Plantation & Conservation project. In Zanzibar, I learnt how to make Dhow boats & in Dar es Salaam, we made the compost & I taught native people how to use it for agriculture.

Interviewer: That’s so good. How was your experience with AIT during these two years?

Sari: I was so good, that it is my fifth time here. I really love this. I keep coming back & back & back.

Interviewer: Now Sari, I want you to rate Art in Tanzania on the following points on the scale of 1-5.

Sari: Yeah, go ahead.

  1. Community Service that AIT is doing 4
  2. The closeness to the local community 4
  3. The kind of projects 4
  4. The support you get from ait while you are on your project 3
  5. Accommodation 4
  6. Food 4
  7. Overall 4

The interviewer is a volunteer working with Art in Tanzania & has no relation with AIT at all. The interview is devised and conducted by the interviewer itself, with no interference from the AIT team.Sari 2 (1)

Day at the Prestige pre- school and nursery

Day starts like it always starts: a cup of instant coffee and few toasts with jam. After breakfast I and Camilla, another intern here at AIT, are waiting our ride at the volunteer house. Camilla tells me that it would take between 25 minutes and 1,5 hours to get to the school depending how many kids we are picking up after us. Car comes to pick us up at 8.00. There are already few kids and one teacher in the car, but we have to pick couple more kids before we can go to school.

The school is only going on for two weeks, so it is not a regular school, more like fun summer school thing for kids whose parents are still working. Prestige school is located in Mbezi area in Northern Dar es Salaam. School has tuition, so kids who go to school here are coming from “privileged” backgrounds. Kids are mostly between four and six years old.
maalit

We arrive at school around 9 o’clock. Some of the children are so young that they go to nursery. Unfortunately I did not have the time to visit the nursery side. Every morning starts with a praying moment. I also introduce myself and kids are asking me different kinds of questions like “Where are you from?”, “How old are you?”.
After that kids move over to the main teaching area. There are quite many adults: four in a class and then there is me and Camilla, which is a lot comparing to Finland where the same size class would have only two adults. First “subject” is learning what nose does, then color and paint different areas from paper they have been given. Camilla tells me that they have gone through all of the different areas before.

 lounasAfter that it is breakfast time (I feel like a hobbit because I’m having second breakfast), me and Camilla are having chapati and tee. Tee is so sweet that I can almost feel the sugar rush in my veins, chapati are good, like they always are, the only thing missing is some hot sauce.

Painting continues after breakfast and the subject is tongue. When this is done, we go outside to play. Camilla takes eight kids with her to play football and the rest of us are throwing a ball to one another. Kids and teachers also play a local game that I don’t know.
After playing outside for roughly 35 minutes we head back inside. There is a rehearsal of some kind of play. Camilla tells me that they have practiced it every day. The day ends with lunch. I and Camilla are having ugali and some veggies. I think there is cabbage and carrots with some sort of red sauce. Anyway the food is good. And soon it is time to head back to the volunteer house in Madale. This time the travel takes only 20 minutes.

leikkimaalaus

 

By: Tia Suomi

Interview with Mark Okello from Youth Initiatives Tanzania

Written by Saara Kanula (Finland) (Originally published on May 6, 2014)

Youth initiatives Tanzania (YITA) is one of the most vibrant and committed youth organizations addressing the challenges facing young people in slums around Dar es Salaam. YITA’s mission is to facilitate socio-economic empowerment of young people in informal urban settlements through supporting up and coming entrepreneurs and youth who are getting involved in politics and decision-making.

YITA is funding itself by producing handmade sandals. They have collaborated with Art in Tanzania’s Fair Trade project which have their sandals on sale at the Fair Trade shop in Dar es Salaam. YITA was founded in 2009 and Mark Okello is one of the founding members. I had a chance to speak with him and was very impressed with his work.

Fair Trade Tanzania

Mark Okello is one of the founding members of YITA.

How did the idea of YITA originate?

I developed a passion for working with young people in 2007 when Idecided to join Tanzania Youth Coalition (TYC), there I worked as a volunteer up to 2009 beforeI teamed up with some of my friends to form Youth Initiatives Tanzania. My main idea was that, while TYC and other organizations are doing so much in policy analysis and advocacy, there is still a group of young people left out who do not necessarily need the policy analysis for them to see a change. They are more in need of practical training that has a direct impact on their daily income. This is what prompted me to start working withYITA to see this become a reality.

What kind of challenges do you face in your work in YITA?

One of the biggest challenges I face working with YITA is that I am a typical volunteer, meaning I don’t have any financial benefit from this. Another challenge is the fact that I feel that there is a very big need for more organizations like YITA in Tanzania – unfortunately we cannot solve all the problems by ourselves. The mentality of young people is also challenge, when they see me as a solution to their problems and not a facilitator to the solution of their problems.

Sandals are made from old car tires.

What has been the most impressive moment in your work in YITA?     

I am happy to see young people develop and make positive steps after my engagement with them. I have received calls from various young people thanking me for touching their lives in a special way through YITA.

YITA is funding itself by producing handmade sandals. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of making them?

We make our sandals from old car tires, leather, Kitenge (a locally produced clothing material) and Masai cloth. We have trained 11 young people from a slum we have been focussing on called Manzese to make the sandals. The main aim is to create employment for young people who are living in the slums around Dar es Salaam and it also acts as a fundraising activity for YITA.

How do you see the future of youth living in slums?

There is much to be done by our government to uplift the youth living in slums – the future does not look very bright. Unless like-minded organizations join hands and minds to figure out how to help with the challenges that are faced, there is not much to be expected from young people living in slums.

How do you see YITA’s future?

Youth Initiatives Tanzania has a good future ahead. We are working towards establishing sound financial stability and the capacity to undertake the activities that we have planned.

More information about YITA: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Youth-Initiatives-Tanzania-YITA/232389036811338?fref=ts