The Roof of Africa School
Tanzania is a beautiful, vibrant country in East Africa, with Kenya to the north, Mozambique to the south and a coast on the Indian Ocean. It is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, popular with hikers from around the world. It is a truly spectacular for wildlife, with National Parks including Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti, where Elephants, Lions, Giraffes and Hippos can be found, amongst hundreds of other African species.
You will get a very warm welcome from the Tanzanian people. The national language is Swahili and many Tanzanians also speak a tribal language. There are over 130 different tribes in Tanzania, including Maasai and Chagga. English is spoken by some in the towns in the cities, especially those in the tourism industry, but less so in rural areas. English is now the language that is used in High School, so you will find the younger generation of Tanzanians are more likely to know some English, if they have been to school.
The majority of the Tanzanian population live in rural areas, with 76% dependent on agriculture - which is vulnerable to drought and flooding. Poverty levels are high, and infrastructure (especially to the rural areas) inadequate.
Sonu is a small, rural village, about 45 minutes by road to the nearest town, Moshi, in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The village has some electricity, a couple of small shops and a church. The local people are subsidence farmers, mainly growing maize and bananas. It is a peaceful and beautiful location. The high altitude means the temperature does not get too high, and the hills are leafy green. Fruit, vegetables, rice and beans are easily and cheaply purchased in the local markets. Residents collect water from springs and a small river.
The school currently has 68 preschool children, in 4 classes: Nursery, Pre-1, Pre-2 and Standard 1. They are taught English, Maths and Kiswahili in line with the Tanzanian curriculum. They also enjoy sports, art and singing. It is an English medium school, so the students are taught in English, but this is likely their second, or even third language. Teaching in English from this age will be hugely beneficial to the students, as all high schools teach in English. Resources in the classroom are minimal, the teachers work on a blackboard with chalk, but they incorporate singing and games into their lessons to engage the children,
Moshi is the nearest large town to Sonu. It is the base town for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, so is well developed for the tourism industry. Moshi has markets, shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels, bars and clubs. It has electricity (although not always reliable), water in the tap, and tarmac roads. There are many internet cafes. There is also a large supermarket 'Nakumat', which is air conditioned and sells many western brands. Bottled water is readily available everywhere. The streets are bustling and vibrant. The numerous coffee shops sell delicious Tanzanian coffee and chai.
The new School Build
We are currently fundraising to build a new school.
We have raised over £3,000, of the £10,000 required. Thank you to all who have donated so far. Here are some pics of our progress.