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
, Girls' development
, Youth development
, Rural development
, 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.