About the Beneficiary:
The CHETI schools in Arusha, Tanzania were started by Zuma Msoma in 1997. He had saved $1400 and used it to purchase a plot of land and start building a classroom. In the 20 years since then, he has managed to build 5 different schools, 4 "daycare schools" for children age 3 to 7, and one primary school (ages 7 to 14) which also has a orphanage on the grounds for 49 orphaned children.
I've volunteered as a teacher at CHETI schools for the last 3 weeks and will continue to do so for the next 3 months. I've gotten to know Zuma and am so inspired and impressed by what he's done and the intense commitment he has to helping the children of his community. I've conducted a short interview with him and have included the transcript of it at the bottom of the page.
About the Project:
One of the "daycare schools," called CHETI #3, has become drastically overcrowded. They've resorted to turning what was once the office and kitchen into a small overflow classroom and Zuma has had to turn away children because there's just no room. He's built a second building with two classrooms, but needs our help to finish it. The work left to complete the classroom is broken down below.
Windows - 540k Tsh
Doors - 300k Tsh
- Rough Gravel - 270k Tsh
- Smooth Gravel - 100k Tsh
- Sand - 100k Tsh
- Rough Cement - 300k Tsh
- Smooth Cement - 300k Tsh
Plaster (includes blackboards) - 600k Tsh
Ventilations - 10k Tsh
Labor - 1,500k Tsh
Water - 200k Tsh
Paint - 700k Tsh
Paint Labor - 100k Tsh
Total: 5,020,000 Tsh
At the time of creating this page, the conversion to USD according to google is $2,235
I will be at CHETI schools for the next 3 months and will personally purchase all materials and pay all laborers, saving cost as much as possible and recruiting volunteers to help with some of the work. With GoFundMe I can withdraw funds at any point so we can do the work as we raise the money, rather than waiting for the final goal to be met. Any extra money we get, whether because of exceeding the goal or because of cost savings, will be put toward purchasing supplies to fill the classroom, such as desks and chairs.
If you donate at least $50, we'll put your name on the wall once it's finished being painted.
Interview with Zuma:
October 19th, 2017
How long have you been teaching?
1997 is when I began CHETI, but I’ve been teaching since 1992. 1997 is when I totally involved my life in teaching.
What made you want to do that?
At the beginning it was just the need of pursuing my orphanages was to get money because I had no job, I had no profession, but I could teach. So I said “why not use my talent to help myself and help the community?” But later on I saw that my talent was needed by the community and there are too many people who need me to help their children get educated… so I was driven through that. Now I’ve done a lot: done 5 schools (4 daycare centers, 1 primary school) and now I’m building a secondary school. So my life has been changed abruptly to do what I didn’t think of before. But I thank God for knowing who I could be, and that’s sort of who I am right now to the community.
So you’ve been doing it for 20 years, now. Are there any people who came through your schools and graduated who you keep in touch with, now?
Yes, there are some who come, and some are supporting me. I remember a guy called Alex and another guy called Robert, who were my students the first time. They talk, talk, talk about my schools; told people about what I used to do, how I treated them and how good I was to them, and convinced some people to come and support me. Some people built classrooms for me, but due to the fact that the students talked about my name, talked about my work, and felt the love I had given to them in past times. There are others who have gotten their degrees, they have remembered what I did to them and they come and say hi to me and sometimes even talk to others about me and support me in one way or another. So I’m proud. Parents are proud of what I’m doing, they love me, and always we work together.
Do you know how many kids there are at Cheti #3?
About 55, total.
How many do you expect next year?
Maybe having about 70. The problem is that we don’t have enough classrooms, already. That’s why sometimes I say “no” to the children who are under 4 years. But when I get enough rooms we’re going to accept all children between about 3 and 7 to attend the daycare center. But right now I say “no” to most of the small ones and give those opportunities to those who are big so that they can try and be prepared to go to primary school in the next coming year.
So right now at CHETI #3 they’re between 4 and 7?
Between 4 and 7, yes, 3 I don’t take. Even though they deserve to be at school. Those are the children who can learn very easily. And what I say is that daycare centers don’t just give education, but give care. We care for the children. Parents go to work, leave their children in good hands. So I want to do more than just teaching. I want to show care to the community’s children.
So here at CHETI #3, what happens once they graduate this school?
Normally, children at CHETI # 3 graduate when they’re around 6 years (plus or minus) and they have to go to primary school. So some go to government schools, some go to other private schools and some go to my fifth school which is a primary school and get started in preparing for their higher learning,
Are you married?
Is your wife involved with the schools at all?
At the beginning she didn’t like the idea of having schools. But later on she learned that it’s important, the work that I’m doing, and now… I took her to training. Right now she’s the headmistress of my biggest school, my primary school. So she is guiding me a lot, we discuss things together, get solutions to problems together, and our life builds children’s lives.
How many teachers are there at CHETI #3?
Right now there are two teachers and one cook. But if more children come to our schools, I’ll need to hire more teachers. There’ll be about 4 teachers here and 1 cook.
What’s the background of most of the kids at this school?
We’ve got lower class, middle class and upper class in Tanzania. Most of the upper class go to private schools where they have to pay a lot of money. Middle class, they go to just normal schools where they have to pay a moderate amount of money. And there are those poor who cannot afford even low cost schools. So, my school has been supporting the community in one way or another, giving free education to the most poor people. For example, at my schools right now, there are about 112 children who get a free education. They don’t pay any school fees. Some are paid my the director (the director is me, Zuma) and some are paid by volunteers who came and volunteered at CHETI schools and saw my heart and decided to lend me a hand and decided to sponsor some children. And some are some people who heard about me and offered to sponsor children. So I told them the cost to sponsor a child at my school, and they agreed, and they send money to my account. That’s how we help the community, the poor, who cannot afford to get even cheap education in Tanzania.
What’s the tuition for a school like CHETI #3?
Really, there are children who are poor and cannot pay. So sometimes I just tolerate and let them start freely. But it’s a burden to me because I should pay my teachers, I should pay the cook, the cleaner, I should buy teaching materials. SO sometimes I run the school at a loss. But I say it’s not a loss because it’s a gain for the community. In one way or another, the rest given to me by the community is bigger than money. But all in all, when I’m supporting the community, I feel great and I feel like people are keeping me moving and I feel happy.
If someone wanted to sponsor a kid at CHETI #3, how much would that cost them?
It would cost about $170 USD annually
And at CHETI #5?
At CHETI #5, which is the primary school, it’s costs about $390 USD annually. And that includes tuition, brunch, lunch and transport. Because it’s about 10km from CHETI # 1, 2 and 3, so I should have buses which will be taking the children. I have those buses, but it adds more cost because they have to travel about 10km from their living places.
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