Elementary education in Tanzania

Almost a month ago, three volunteers, from Australia, Colombia and Norway, met to volunteer together at Testimony Elementary School in Arusha, Tanzania. In just a few short weeks we fell in love with the school, its values, and last but not least, its students. 

About 15 years ago, Mr. Juvin Buruya Kuyenga, a Tanzanian local, began offering tutoring services to three students in his neighborhood. In 2001, after receiving glowing testimonials from his three students, the number of students increased rapidly, and Mr. Juvin decided to found his own school to help more local children grow and prosper with good quality education. Today, Testimony School has two campuses and over 130 students. 

Testimony's original and main campus in Arusha , where we are volunteering, had a visit from some government officials about a week ago (the other campus is still under construction and is located outside a city called Moshi).  Monday, February 16th, we got the sad news that these government officials had fined the school for not having met the required standards for the students' bathrooms conditions, as well as a one-month notice to fix it, or else the school would be shut down. 

That is why we are now reaching out to everyone we know, asking for monetary support in order to help us prevent the shutting down of the school and make further improvements to our students' learning environment. Most of our student body come from a low socio-economic environment and many of them are unable to pay tuition and other school fees. Despite this, Juvin still allows the majority of these students in dire situations to attend school, giving them the opportunity to receive a good education regardless of their financial situation. Presently, the school is lacking electricity and plumbing and none of our classrooms are plastered/cemented nor painted. These are of course all important issues to prioritise, but the main focus right now has to be the bathrooms, to avoid the imminent shut-down of our school. 

After a very healthy African negotiation, we have now been given the estimate of 2,400,000 TZS (Tanzanian shillings) for the entire work done with the bathrooms (both materials and labor included.) This estimates to be apx. $1674 AUD / 3,160,000 COP/ 9837 NOK / $1308 USD.

If you are able to donate, please know that anything helps, and that we, as well as the Testimony family would be sincerely grateful. At the end of the day, everything that matters is that these children can recieve the education they need and so dearly wants.

We also kindly ask you to share this post/news with your friends and family, to spread the word about our need for help right now, here in Tanzania. 

- Alex, Elisa & Mateo.


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Elisa Chávez 
Killarney Heights NSW
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