Education continues to be our main priority. By expanding our education sponsorship to include primary school children, more students are able to access schooling, which historically has been expensive.
More recently, a Tanzanian government directive stated that all state education should be free of charge. This order applies to the registration fee charged by schools for entry. It does not take into account that students need uniforms, stationery, books and shoes. We therefore have created a "Basic Allowance" which provides for these necessities.
Our education budget now consumes about 50% of the total funds made available to us through all our fund-raising activities and donations. These monies fund the education of the most needy of primary and secondary school students. They also include the running costs of a kindergarten, which educates 40 children at any one time. The remainder of our revenue is used to help improve the local secondary schools and the Nyaishozi community in general, through one off development capital projects and health initiatives.
State Funded Primary and Secondary Schools
Action in Africa’s focus was to help provide secondary school education for as many students as our funds permitted. This quickly extended to primary school pupils, as it was clear that children benefited from entering the education system as soon as they were of school age. A vigorous vetting system was set up to ensure that each applicant was the most deserving and that they would make the most of the opportunity. We maintain a careful review of individual reports for each student’s progress through primary and secondary school. Headmasters and matrons of participating schools are on the Nyaishozi Action in Africa committee. Despite the distance between Ashtead and Nyaishozi, with modern technology, it is very easy to stay in touch with our students, school staff and our committee.
Private Boarding Secondary Schools
We endeavour to meet the needs of all our students but sometimes it is evident that delivering a ‘Basic Allowance’ will not offer sufficient support. Some students do not have a family network to protect them, or the family is too poor to provide a stable environment. These students are vulnerable. Girls, particularly from the age of 15 upwards are at risk of being ‘married off’ if they are not in formal education. Subsequently, the poverty cycle continues. At present we have several young girls boarding at Nyaishozi Secondary School. All are thriving in this protected environment and doing well in their studies.
Kagera District Vocational Training Centre
We have recently set up a vocational sponsorship programme for young men and women who have reached maturity without being able to access the education system. Vocational courses at Kagera District Vocational Training Centre provide these young adults with a trade – a skill which enables them to provide for themselves and their families.