Science Laboratory at Ikhanoda Secondary School

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Science Laboratory at Ikhanoda Secondary School

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

About You
Project Street Address
Project City

Ikhanoda village

Project Province/State

Singida region

Project Postal/Zip Code


Project Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on:

Tanzania - East Africa

What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1-5 years

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What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?


Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.

This grant would be used to equip a science laboratory in a rural village secondary school in the village of Ikhanoda in the region of Singida, Tanzania, East Africa. There two other labs within an hour radius of the village but neither has materials or working equipment.

What makes your idea unique?

While this idea may not be entirely unique, it is one of dire necessity. Tanzanian students have been studying Biology, Chemistry and Physics in secondary school with no practical experience. We feel that science and introducing technology to rural students are crucial components to Tanzanian development and effective tools that can be a catalyst to reducing poverty, for increasing productivity, and a way to increase economic stability in this developing country. Last year, Ikhanoda Secondary School received a grant from the US Embassy’s Ambassador Self-Help Fund to equip a modern library – this laboratory will add to the productivity and experience for these rural students. It will also attract students from all over the region, which will help the economy of the village.

What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)

Children & Youth , At risk youth , Boys' development , Education , Girls' development , Youth development , Rural development , Rural , Gender equity , Indigenous cultures , Vulnerable populations .

What impact have you had?

Over the past four years, PEN Trust has distributed 200,000 new and used textbooks throughout Tanzania. These books have been distributed to pre-schools, kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, universities, seminaries and regional libraries free of charge. We have eleven scholarship students ranging from 1st grade to 13th grade. We have assisted in the construction of Ikhanoda Secondary School. We also have various feeding programs and deliver food to the elderly, widows and to orphans and vulnerable children. We have assisted in the construction of Miyuji Lutheran Church. We have had micro loan projects and medical loans for various individuals. We had a seed cooperative program with rural farmers and youth organizations.

Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.

A small percentage of students that finish primary school actually move on to secondary school due to various circumstances but mainly due to the inability to pay for school fees. Those that do attend often find that there are very few equipped laboratories in the entire country of Tanzania. Our hope is to make a typical rural village school in a charter school attracting students from throughout the country.

Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.

The first step is to work with the school on a collaborative level. With their consent, we can approach the local authorities to ask for permission to donate one of the already established classrooms and have it converted into a laboratory. After consent is given then whatever upgrades that need to be done will be completed by local workers including plastering and painting the walls, adding a cement floor and ceiling board. All of the classrooms are in various stages of completion so it will depend on which classroom is given. Lab tables with sinks and storage units will also be made by local carpenters. The last step is equipping the lab with the necessary equipment and supplies.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Success in Year 1:

Acquire funding for finishing the classroom (plastering walls, painting, etc.) Acquiring lab furniture and materials.

Success in Year 2:

Provide extended teacher training for use of materials

Success in Year 3:

See test scores rise in the areas of science as a result of the new lab. Increased student attendance because of the draw of the laboratory.

Do you have a business plan or strategic plan? (yes/no)

For this particular project, not really – this is a pretty straight forward brick and mortar proposal. Money is needed to get it jump started and the rest is in the hands of the teachers and administration. We do have a history of completing projects such as this, so it will not be a new venture for PEN Trust.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 1:


What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 2:

Permission from Ikhanoda Secondary and then local authorities and government officials to donate a classroom for a laboratory.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 3:

Equip the laboratory.

Describe the expected results of these actions.

If all three steps listed above are completed effectively and efficiently, the end result will be a modern laboratory in a rural village school. This laboratory can provide hope for a new future for students and revitalize a community. This lab as small as it may seem may be the one thing that can interrupt the cycle of poverty for a particular student. That would be our goal and dream.

What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

As part of a PhD thesis project of the Executive Director of Books For Africa, we traveled to several schools within Dodoma and Singida regions in central Tanzania. We interviewed teachers and administrators about various programs and needs. At every school we went to, when asked what the school’s most pressing need is, every single school replied lab equipment. We received the same answer from the History teacher the English teacher as well as those directly involved with the Science courses.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

This grant is being submitted by the two members of PEN Trust. Mungwe ABC Athman is a Tanzanian businessman with a background in architecture and construction. Andrea M. Wall is a Minnesota native who was formerly a Kindergarten teacher. She moved to Tanzania in 2003 to work with PEN Trust. One thing to note about our NGO is that we do not go into a village or area presuming to know what it is they need. We look for projects that have already started and just need help in completion. This is one such project.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

From Philanthropy News Digest, a service of the Foundation Center

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Lack of funding would be the main drawback. The school is willing to provide us with a classroom. We may need to do finishing touches like plastering and painting walls, adding ceiling board, window glass, etc. before building countertop stations with sinks and storage units for the laboratory materials.

Financing source


If yes, provide organization name.

The government of the Republic of Tanzania

How long has this organization been operating? (i.e. less than a year; 1-5 years; more than 5 years)

1-5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes, we have a five member board for our US 501c3

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs? (yes/no)


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses? (yes/no)


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Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government? (yes/no)


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Because of our transparency and strong ties with US organizations we have occasionally received containers of food and books at no charge. The Tanzanian government has been instrumental in provided transport to rural villages.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the total number of employees and total number of volunteers at your organization?

We have two unpaid staff – one given a living allowance.

What is your organization's business classification?

Non-profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Have you received funding from any of the following groups? (Please check as many as apply.)

None of the above.