Summer's quickly coming to a close and a new school year will be here before we know it. The school year brings about excitement about reconnecting with friends, starting fresh with a new teacher, first day of school outfits and brand new bookbags.
Many of Tanzanian students have been returning to their schools this month and the rest will follow in August. They certainly are excited to be back in the classroom, back with their friends and learning new lessons. But for many of our students their school room experience is missing a critical piece: textbooks. Textbooks are a rareity in Tanzanian classrooms. Think back to your days in school and try to imagine learning new subjects without textbooks, talk about challenging! Tanzanian teachers have to been incredibly creative and resourceful to teach their lessons without physical books.
But with your support and donations, the school year could be a very different experience for our students. This year they could have textbooks as part of their curriculum. Now think about what that would be like.
Please considering giving to this project and creating a different, richer, more powerful classroom experience for our students. Thank you!
Beep. Beep. Beep. The alarm clock goes off. You wake up, shower, go downstairs, eat breakfast, get your packed lunch, grab your backpack and catch the bus to school. You attend a few classes, have recess, more classes, and then lunch and recess again! Then more classes, home for a snack and homework. If you are lucky, maybe some after school activities and then dinner and bed. And so the cycle continues...that is the case for many of us in America.
However, attending school is not so easy in other places, particularly Tanzania. It is not uncommon for children to have to walk 20 kilometers just to attend school, and then also to return home after the school day. 20 kilometers is roughly 12 miles - I think that is a long distance, and I have at least three meals a day plus snacks. Some of these children make this commute with a single serving of porridge as their whole day's nutritional intake. AfricAid aspires to provide these sorts of children a nutritious meal while at school in order to feed their hungry bellies.
It is estimated that over 29 million primary school aged children, more than half are girls, are out of school in Africa. There are a myriad of obstacles and barriers to entry including distance, fees, uniforms, etc. Providing school lunches ensures and encourages that bellies are full and minds are supported. Lunch meals promote attendance - they help the students and their families. There is a solution to feeding the hungry minds and hungry bellies in Tanzania and we are excited to be part of it!
These days, we walk into any elementary school or middle school or high school and computers are almost guaranteed to have some presence. We grow up expecting to know how to operate a computer. It is no longer a luxury, but almost a necessity. However, this is not the global picture.
In Tanzania, computer training / studies are not offered at all schools and often they are optional. Therefore, it is only a rare few who grow up and learn how to access this digital world. Computers can be used to expand our horizons and perspective beyond the four walls of the classroom. They expand the meaning of learning and grant the users a global perspective. Digital literacy is a crucial skill in the current job market and in order to be a competitive candidate these are necessary skills. With this perspective, it is vital to be aware that not everyone has such access and availability to computers in this near digital age.
Children in Tanzania lack many resources, including books and computers, but through this program established by AfricAid computer labs are granting access to this new world to those that are otherwise limited. The labs we have introduced to Tanzania thsu far have been low-cost, low-energy NComputing Technology and we only hope to provide more!