$300 Will Pay for a Rural Tanzanian Child to Attend School!
Since we launched this program in 2015, ACAI has managed to help the students improve their graduation rates every year. In 2015, less than 20 percent of the students passed their exams and moved onto secondary school. By 2016, that number rose to 45 percent with ACA’s support. Finally, in 2017, graduation rates were 67 percent. And, in 2018, we are happy to announce, the graduation rate was 83 percent!!! We expect to see a 90+ percent graduation rate in 2019. It is safe to say that the program is working.
In 2020, we will have our first 3 girls attending High School. These will be the first 3 girls to attend High School from the village of Chumbi EVER! We also have the number one student in the entire Rufiji District. This program would not be possible without the generous donations we have received.
However, as our success grows, so does our burden to make the program strong. With more successful students, we have more overcrowded classrooms. Dormitories are filling up. We need assistance to scale the project so we can continue to offer future classes and students the ability to advanced their education.
Attending school in Tanzania is different from Western schools. They have two levels of standard education in the country. The first is primary school. It is required for all children to attend (although not strictly enforced). This is from grade 1 through grade 7, or ages 6-14. In grade 7 all school children are required to pass a test to move onto secondary school, the second level of standard education. Not everyone passes the test and those that do not, enter the real world looking for work. Most of the rural youth that do not go onto secondary school will work on farms or own a farm of their own.
What does the $300 buy?
However, those that pass the test are permitted to move onto secondary school – or the equivalent of high school in the U.S. Recently, the Tanzanian government – under newly elected President John Magufuli – abolished school fees for all levels of universal standard education. This has reduced the cost of attending school in Tanzania. However, there are many indirect expenses that must be covered in order for the student to attend secondary school, even if they passed the test. These expenses include:
- Uniforms for boys and girls
- School supplies
- Mathematics tables
- Annual Dormitory Fees
While these things may seem trivial, you have to remember that most of the students in the rural areas come from very poor families. The average family in Chumbi village, in the Rufiji District of Tanzania, makes less than $1 per day for the whole family! Due to these added costs, most of the families cannot afford to send their kids to school even if they pass the test.
Studies have shown the direct correlation between education and development. Rural sub-Saharan Africa is the least developed place on earth. So more students with higher educations will have increased opportunities to help transform their villages by giving back to their region. Some of these students will be provided the opportunity of a lifetime by attending university in the future.
ACA Initiative does not want to see qualified students unable to attend school. This is why ACA Initiative has setup a scholarship fund for all qualified students in Chumbi to attend secondary school.
For $300 you can change a child’s life permanently by providing them the opportunity they have never had themselves. Give the gift of education and help promote learning and sustainable development in rural Africa.