Help Build a Self Sufficient School in Tanzania

Risen Daycare and Nursery School and community needs you!!!

I am currently in Tanzania near the town of Mafinga, Tanzania as a volunteer at ‘Risen Daycare and Nursery School’. Today I would like to share with you the story of a family that demonstrates every day total self-sacrifice for the sake of education: Robart and Nitike Mdamu and their two children Alice and Brian.

Robart and his wife, Nitike, are volunteer teachers and fight every day to make education accessible to the kindergarten they created. Since its creation January 2020, they have been working on a voluntary basis every day. Chryster, another volunteer teacher, teaches the children daily. This nursery school welcomes 30 students from 3-4 years old while also providing a daily breakfast and lunch to every child that attends school.

Currently they face the challenge of leasing (renting) the land where the school is located every month at their own expense. Which they can not afford and a former volunteer helped raise money to purchase their own land. Now they wish to build a new school on this land and stop having the expense of monthly rent.

Agriculture is a primary discipline that they want to pass on to children from an early age. Currently they use a solar panel for electricity, they have compost and use the manure of their chickens to feed their vegetable garden. Their goal is to teach responsible gardening to children, so that they can reproduce it at home and later when they grow up. Students are thus made aware of the principles of sustainable development, recycling and the reuse of materials: this famous “informal education” as Robart calls it, which is as important as the formal education which is learned on the benches of school.

The school relies on the collection, treatment and storage of rainwater to supply the bathrooms, the kitchen and the vegetable garden. As they don’t have running water, in addition to rainwater, they boil the water they collect from the well for their personal consumption and for the school.

Their sources of income today are slim. On one hand, there are the school fees paid by the families of the students, when the latter can afford it.  Some families participate by giving them food when they can, and others do not have the means to compensate Robart and Nitike, neither in kind nor in cash.

They do their best to give children an education with their means and the few resources they have, for example, bottle caps to teach children arithmetic. However, they are also critically short of school supplies, such as textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc., and to this day cannot be remunerated or offer a regular salary to Chryster, the teacher.

Public schools in Tanzania have very few resources. As the population and students continue to grow, the government is struggling to keep pace by creating enough teaching positions. Therefore some government school teachers have classes of more than 100 students. As you can imagine, it is therefore difficult for them to teach in good conditions, and some pupils leave primary school without knowing how to read or write.

Another important and tragic factor is the high number of people with AIDS (HIV) in the region, it is particularly important for Nitike and Robart to participate in the education of children from an early age so that prevention in schools become part of a global education approach to citizenship and health. They have children in their care who have been diagnosed as HIV positive. Other children have lost their parents due to this disease, and live with a grandparent or other relative.

As stated above the goal in the coming months is to build a school on land recently purchased. The money to buy this land was raised by a fundraiser early this year, which was organized by a former volunteer from France. 

The goal for Risen is to be financially independent and develop, build and sustain their  school project on land  the recently acquired 3 months ago. So far they have been successful in planting and growing onions, maize, potatoes and beans. And will continue to grow other foods and plant fruit bearing trees as the project continues.

They are focusing their efforts on agriculture in order to create a virtuous circle. By growing a large amount of fruits and vegetables, it will feed their own family as well as the students, and then they will sell the surplus to support the needs of the school, such as buying school supplies, payment of professors' salaries and to self-pay for all the efforts they put in every day. Buying animals like chickens and a cow would also provide them with additional income. They are raising 3 pigs at the moment to sell once grown to adult size. At the bottom of this land is a river which will irrigate the vegetable garden and the farm as well as provide water for the daily needs of the school.

Robart and Nitike goal is to welcome 400 students in the next few years in order to allow as many people as possible to benefit from a quality education and to offer children all the chances to succeed in their lives and the possibility of choose their profession. In addition to daycare and kindergarten, they want to open primary classes.

How can we help Robart, Nitike, Chryster and every child of the area today?

What they require total project $25,000 CDN:

Phase 1
-Purchase of building supplies and labor: $8,000.00 CDN

We are excited to expand our fundraiser to include developments of Phase 2.

Classroom Finishing- Doors, windows, plastering inside and out, paint, material delivery, labour

Kitchen and Storage Building- Foundation stones, bricks, cement, roofing, material delivery, labour

Toilet Construction- 5 person structure, separate building with foundation, sink hole, pipes, roofing, walls. All designs will be according to Government Engineer regulations as new schools in Tanzania are required to have a disability toilet and specific dimensions

Soccer Field (Bulldozing/leveling, goal posts)

Swingsets/Slides/Multi Play Set 

Foundation for Primary school building/Next building Phase
Purchase of school supplies (school books, notebooks, sheets, world map, pens, pencils, erasers, schoolbag, etc.)

Purchase of a cow and chickens

Purchase sports items, soccer balls

Purchase of basic necessities such as: soap, sugar, salt

Thank you for your help,

Amanda Wideman- volunteer and Risen ambassador from Canada

Please check out the Risen Facebook page and Insta page for more updates. 


Fundraising team (2)

Cristina Borgogelli
Raised $1,655 from 11 donations
Kimberley, BC
Amanda Wideman
Team member
Raised $8,770 from 20 donations

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