Ever since Naftal was young, geography has always been his subject of preference. However, coming from a low-income family with four other siblings, it was not always easy to pursue this interest in school. During primary and secondary schooling materials, resources, and teachers were far and few. Despite these obstacles he had no control over, Naftal was able to overcome them and eventually travel to the capital of Tanzania to graduate from the University of Dodoma about two years ago. Since then, he is the only one in his family to graduate from university and has been working at Jifundishe for the past year. At university, where academic resources are abundant and paired with an extensive and equipped library, Naftal wants to bring his experience to those of Jifundishe. With his diploma in one hand and passion in the other, he is dedicated to helping students attain their academic and life pursuits while making a long and lasting impact on the community.
The upgrades we have instilled with the help of sponsors and donations have created benefits to teachers like Naftal and students alike. Our free and fast working wifi along with computers have given students more opportunities to pursue their interests inside and outside of the classroom while familiarizing themselves with the advantages of laptops. Not only that but it allows teachers to do the necessary research to make their lessons more thorough for them and their students. With an estimated 200 students that come to Jifundishe every day, as you can imagine, their skill levels and interests hold a wide range. With our new reading sources, Jifundishe can assist their needs to the best of our abilities. Most notably, with an influx of students flourishing in our Independent Studies program, our recent additions can equip them with the tools they need to succeed, while before we couldn’t. Having these materials accessible to all, not only impacts their academic life, instead, their overall life trajectory. Because of this, our Independent Studies program continues to attract new members from different areas outside of the surrounding area.
Despite these new steps, because we are a grassroots organization, we are always thriving to see where we can improve. There are still changes to be made to benefit our students and community even more. Some books have specific curriculum missing, for example, organic chemistry is a topic that is absent from some textbooks. Additionally, with about 200 students coming to Jifundishe every day, books and resources are bound to wear out quickly. These contribute to gaps in education that can hinder our student’s experience.
Jifundishe is committed to not only providing education to those who may otherwise not be able to but it’s more than that, it’s a second chance. By helping them attain the resources and confidence, they are free to pursue ambitions despite challenges that people in rural communities, much like Naftal face on a daily basis. Through Naftal, we see how the education of one person can be the catalyst to a movement.