Feb 27, 2020

We Started 2020 Strong

In 2019, we more than doubled the number of schools in which we provide services, bringing the total to 9 public primary school sites across 8 wards of Moshi Municipality, Kilimanjaro Region. This expansion went so well that The Toa Nafasi Project’s American founder, Sarah Rosenbloom, made the decision to turn over management to local leadership. Thus, 2020 began under wholly Tanzanian direction with Deputy Director, Augustino Valerian; Assistant Deputy Director, Emmanuel Mnubi; and Tutor Leader, Hyasinta Macha. Under these local leaders, Toa Nafasi expanded to 2 more schools, bringing the total number to 11 school sites across 10 wards. 

 

In order to handle last year’s expansion, we added 15 formerly underemployed local women to our corps of tutors. In 2020, Augustino, Ema, and Hyasinta hired and trained 4 more women to help with the new expansion, bringing the total number of tutors to 30. Providing employment opportunities such as these is an additional benefit of The Toa Nafasi Project.

 

Our tutors have started the new school year by observing the new Standard One students to get to know them and have a baseline knowledge of each student’s capacities and proclivities. By March, they will begin the formal evaluation process which includes an individual assessment for each child so we know which students will need the extra support.

 

Under local leadership, we can only expect to strengthen our partnerships in the community. All of Toa’s expansion is made possible through our strong relationship with the District Education Office in Moshi as they help to facilitate relationships with the government school administrations. Additionally, The NationalStrategy for Inclusive Education, published in 2009 by the Tanzania Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, called on non-governmental organizations to work with government bodies to achieve its inclusive education goals, and The Toa Nafasi Project has answered that call. We hope to be able to continue to do that for a long time to come!

Our leadership team- Augustino (L), Hyasinta, Ema
Our leadership team- Augustino (L), Hyasinta, Ema

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Dec 2, 2019

The Toa Nafasi Project - Going towards 2020

Young girl working
Young girl working

We will be expanding our services once again next year, this time in 2 more schools in 2 more wards: Kaloleni Primary School in Kaloleni Ward and Jitegemee Primary School in Pasua Ward.  Thus, by 2020, we will have nearly reached halfway to our goal of having a Toa presence in 1 school in each of the 21 wards in Moshi Municipality.  Still quite a ways to go, but it’s a triumph of sorts.

In order to accommodate the new influx of pupils, we have already hired and begun to train 3 new tutors – Walimu Pendonsiana, Hajra, and Sauda – for a total of 29 local women who work assiduously under Hyasinta’s careful guidance.  We also hired an office manager to stay full-time at our office in Moshi town.

The graphic below shows the breakdown of our 2019 Tier 3 students at each of the current 9 participating school sites per the results of our initial assessment in April.  As we have reached 6 months into our intervention, the 2nd assessment has just been completed so we should see a lot of change very shortly.  (Check out Mwalimu Happyness congratulating a student on completing her test below!)  We should have those test results by the end of the year in time for our Q4 report.

Young boy working
Young boy working
Young boy and his tutor
Young boy and his tutor
Tutor with students
Tutor with students

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Sep 4, 2019

The Toa Nafasi Project - September Report

Toa Nafasi Class
Toa Nafasi Class

As we begin to look towards the end of 2019 The Toa Nafasi Project’s year has been a great success with our expansion into five new schools continuing to flourish, and our recent collaboration with the International Association for Special Education (IASE) on their biennial conference providing an invaluable experience. Founded in 1989 with the goal of improving quality of life and service delivery for individuals with special needs around the world, IASE fosters a culture of cross-collaboration in which members can share ideas and learn from each other.

This year, in July of 2019, IASE’s conference took place in Tanzania for the first time and members of The Toa Nafasi Project played an integral part in the planning process.  Well-placed within the country to provide assistance, we helped publicize the event; researched transportation, accommodation, and entertainment options; liaised with other IASE members and stakeholders; and drummed up local participation on the ground in Tanzania.

More than 350 delegates from 27 different countries were in attendance and participated in panels and sessions about different areas of special education from experts all around the world.

The theme of the conference was “Empowering Persons with Disabilities: Developing Resilience and Inclusive Sustainable Development.† The thinking is that if development is not inclusive, it will leave others behind.  And if it leaves others behind, it will not be sustainable.

This theme resonated strongly with the staff at Toa Nafasi, which after six years of operations on the ground consists of: Founder Sarah Rosenbloom, Deputy Director Augustino Valerian, Assistant Deputy Director Emmanuel Mnubi, Tutor Leader Hyasinta Macha, and 26 Tutors.  All our staff are Tanzanian with the exception of Sarah and Allison Taylor, our Fundraising and Communications Manager who works remotely from Australia.

Five members of our tutoring staff (along with Augustino, Ema, and Hyasinta) attended the IASE conference and participate with like-minded peers in panels and sessions regarding special needs and disability.  For many of them, it was their first opportunity to travel to a new part of their own country and mingle with people from all over the world.

Thus, polepole (slowly) and little by little, we at The Toa Nafasi Project like to think we have done our part to fulfill the theme of this past IASE conference.  We have aimed to empower young people with disabilities, as well as those who educate and care for them.  We have sought to develop resilience in both our tutors and students, encouraging them not to give up should they fail, but rather try another way around.  And we have built a model for development that is both inclusive and sustainable. 

IASE Conference
IASE Conference
Toa Nafasi Tutors at the IASE Conference
Toa Nafasi Tutors at the IASE Conference
Toa Nafasi Students
Toa Nafasi Students

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