Jan 25, 2021

Empower 30 Students with Disability in Tanzania.



Due to the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the return of tourists from other parts of the world, we continued to take all the recommended precautions against the spread of corona virus. The homebased program described in the last report continued until we closed for the Christmas break. We have started back on campus this week with renovations and putting in place all requirements before the students come back from Monday 18th. We have

ØPlaced hand washing stations and sanitizers at strategic places

ØSpaced student desks at 2 meter intervals

ØPurchased of 2 temperature guns to monitor temperature of staff and students

ØFixed all windows and doors to ensure fresh air

ØPurchased  face masks for use each time we are unsure

ØMade a proposal for funding for COVID -10 relief items for students and their families

ØInformed parents and guardians to not send their children to school if they are sick or have a fever


While the homebased program went well, the caretakers and four adult students who live near the school continued with the outdoor Income Generating Projects (IGPs) all of which continue to grow towards viability and sustainability. The chicken project in particular is a great story:


Five years ago the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) offered SSLC some money to buy eggs for the students but we preferred to use it for a chicken project so that we are able in future to raise our own chicken and have a more lasting source of eggs and income.  Well, it has paid off. A board member donated his sophisticated (so we thought at the time) chick house to us and so that initial funding was enough not only to purchase 25 free range chickens to start with but also build a small goat house and purchase 2 local goats. Two years later both projects grew to 75 chickens, enough eggs to supplement the students’ diet, a much larger goat house with 2 rotational grazing grounds on either side and 23 goats!  The goat project now has 53 goats including 4 kids that were born in November!


In February 2020, 17 volunteer students and 2 professors from Pepperdine University came on an Educational tour to Tanzania through Edutours, raised funds and built a huge chicken house for SSLC, enough to raise a batch of 1,000 broiler chicks at ago! We were all set to start with 350 chicks but on 16th March, all schools were closed due to COVID-19. We resumed in June but with most of the students on a newly devised Home Based Program. Four adult students who could walk to school (rather than use public transport or the school bus) continued with the outdoor Income generating Projects (IGPs). On 4th September 2020, we brought our first batch of beautiful yellow 350 broiler chicks.  In just an hectic 4 weeks of intensive feeding and care, we were selling grown chicken of at least 1.2 kilograms for 6,000/= wholesale and 6,500/= retail. On 19th November 2020, we brought in a second batch of 400 chicks this time targeting high demands for chicken during Christmas festivities. We made good sales. We are now set to bring a third batch in the last week of this month so that all students will participate in this very therapeutic and rewarding project.


It was not all rosy because not all the chicks survived. It was somewhat difficult to enter the market and an unexpected additional expense for a big fridge for prompt storage was mandatory. The longer you keep the chicks, the more they eat into the profits. Otherwise, the returns are good: with a minimal of 350 chicken, we are able to not only break even, but also make a profit enough to give each student a small stipend to take home and a little bit to put in their savings.  We are counting the chicken project as successful, profitable and sustainable.




One of our big achievements in 2020 was earning a permanent place on GlobalGiving’s huge platform during GlobalGiving Accelerator, March 2020. We had access to information on improving our fundraising and organization. Above all, we connected with generous donors who became our crucial support and kept the program running in a year that was a threat to the survival of this wonderful program for our students. We attended several webinars and participated in all the GlobalGiving campaigns except the last one. We were very happy with our outcome given that it was our first year of partnership with GlobalGiving. For that, we are immensely grateful to GlobalGiving and all our generous donors.


For 2021, we intend to be even more active on the GlobalGiving platform. We have already engaged a supporter to start a fundraiser through GlobalGiving! We hope 2021 will be kinder and more fruitful than 2020.



Sep 21, 2020

Empower 25 Students with Disabilities in Tanzania.

Students receive relief items
Students receive relief items


EMPOWER 25 SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS IN TANZANIA: STEP BY STEP LEARNING CENTRE, SSLC REPORT                                                                              NUMBER 2, SEPTEMBER 2020.


The first recorded case of someone with COVID-19 in Arusha was on 16th March 2020. The following day, the Government announced that all schools should close until further notice. When mentally and severely physically challenged students stay at home, it poses numerous challenges to the parents. In the following weeks, many of our parents who rely on odd jobs and precarious livelihoods started to experience hardships especially in feeding their families. The mandatory requirements to control the spread of corona virus looked impossible to many of our students and their families. In April, we had to divert funds from the chicken project in order to purchase masks, maize and beans to distribute to students and their families.

Thanks to GlobalGiving COVID-19 emergency relief fund of US$1,000, we were able to purchase and distribute a second round of food, masks and this time sanitizers (photos and accounts attached). These proved to be very welcome relief.


In May, the Government announced that all schools should reopen from 29 June 2020. Since none of our students can follow and practice the basic guidelines to control the spread of corona virus, we reorganized the program so that the staff follow our students to their homes. They start with educating and training them together with their families on corona virus and COVID-19 first before carrying on with the rest of the school program. Only five students who live near the school walk there and participate in the outdoor Income Generating Projects (IGPs) based there.

 We have done an evaluation of this homebased program and to our happy surprise, we got numerous positive outcomes:

  • Immediate relief from concerns and fears about corona and COVID-19 for both parents and us.
  • Some of our least supportive parents/guardians are now involved and are participating in the Individual Learning Program (ILP) of their children.
  • Parents/Guardians appreciate the program more and are more grateful.
  • Many are surprised that it’s basic therapy and involving their children in the ordinary activities of daily living and not some miracle cure out there that are making the big progress they see in their children since they joined SSLC.
  • The neighbors and community are seeing what a difference accepting, caring and including special needs children makes in their lives. This has already reduced the stigma usually faced by our students. 
  • Staff achieve more by focusing on one student at a time.
  • We were able to see the dire living conditions and realities facing some of our students. For example, one was found living in a dangerously washed out falling mud house! We have since started raising funds to build a simple house inside the school compound for him and the grandmother who raised him to move in.
  • We have made savings by not running two school buses daily.

 The big drawbacks are the fact that the kids are lonely at home and they really miss playing with their friends at school. We miss circle and meal times and cannot wait to be back at school January 2021!


One of our big achievements this year is earning a permanent place on GlobalGiving’s huge platform during GlobalGiving Accelerator, March 2020. We have access to information on improving our fundraising and organization. Above all, we have been able to connect with generous donors who have become our crucial support and kept the program running in a year of testing…to say the least. We are immensely grateful to GlobalGiving and all our generous donors.


Margaret Kenyi, Mrs.

Founder and Executive Director,

18 September 2020.

a student and mum
a student and mum
a teacher, student and football game
a teacher, student and football game
a student learning
a student learning
Adult Program students selling their products
Adult Program students selling their products
Adult Program vegetable garden
Adult Program vegetable garden


May 26, 2020

Empower 25 Students with DisabilitY in Tanzania.


 Step by Step Learning Center's vision is to grow our capacity to provide a safe and stimulating learning and working environment for special needs students for as long as they need such support, so that they can progressively learn age and gender-appropriate life skills and work skills, in order to achieve a degree of independence and dignity. Our focus thie year is to expand SSLC's financial support base in order to start and establish an Adult Program around students who have grown into young adults through the junior program. In the Junior Program we focus on intensive therapy, functional literacy and life skills training. In the Adult Program, students gain job skills by learning on the job in the Income Generating Projects (IGPs): Beadwork, Gardening, Livestock rearing of Chicken. goats, fish and bees.

Three unexpected risks greatly affected this semester. Usually we are sure of clogging at least 12 weeks from January to the first week of April when in all the past years the heavy rains begin. We hoped to close on the Thursday before Good Friday.  

 Arusha city sewage Construction Company dug huge canals passing just outside the school gate along the main road leading to SSLC. They threw piles of dirt on the road making it impassable to cars and the school bus. After laying the sewage pipes, they left huge receptor holes gaping dangerously. Even as we parked the school buses 300 meters away and moved our routine walk to school first thing in the morning, we wondered we would maintain the walking when the rains came.

 We have known about climate change but not as certainly as this year. The rains that should have subsided after Christmas 2019, just kept on pouring until by end of January, we could only walk the 300 meters to school on dry days. As more rains came, it filled the pipes with water. The receptors oozed excess water and dug deep gullies onto our road. We bought umbrellas and boots (thanks to a donation from a Volunteer's family). We managed to walk on and off for some weeks but when a deluge came in February, we had to close school. We moved the classes for the few students, whose roads to their homes were still passable and could make it to school, to another Volunteer’s house. During that time, we raised some money and got a contractor to dig canals on either side of our road to drain off water so we could walk again to school.  Attempts to involve the local government and our neighbors were frustrating and amounted to not much. We poured gravel onto a narrow corridor on the road to form a path for us to keep walking to school. School resumed and on some days we were able to walk the 300 meters without boots.

 It looked like we were on schedule to carry on until April 9th and then have a break for Easter after a very eventful semester. But, on 15th March while the school bus was making the round home, they were stuck in traffic because the police had stopped traffic and cordoned off a house where the first COVID -19 case in Arusha was living! The following day, the government closed all educational institutions from kindergarten to universities for 30 days. Both Volunteers wereevacuated to their respective countries on the recommendation of their organizations. At this time of fear, stress and uncertainty caused by the deadly corona virus, it was advized  to be with family and friends who can help if medical care is required.  This was the shortest, most eventful semester ever, lasting 10 weeks only.


We had planned and budgeted to start raising the first batch of 350 broiler chicks in our new large chicken house. We postponed that project and decided to divert that money to buy 180 kilograms of maize and 50 of beans. We distributed them to students and staff to cushion especially our very low salaried staff and unemployed single parents during these days we are supposed to stay and work from home. We hope and pray the world will stop the virus soon.

Our dream of expanding our financial base looked possible when we qualified for GlobalGiving Accelarator March 2020 and kicked off well. But as COVID-19 reared its head, we almost despaired as many collegues dropped off the challenge as it was almost inappropriate to ask people for money during this time of great stress, sorrow and uncertainty. Thanks to you our very generous Donors, we qualified to permanently be on GlobalGiving platform. With this additional funding, and commitment from many of you to support us long term, we will be able to maintain a high quality program for our young students and employment for our young adults. We cannot thank you enough. 

COVID-19 Relief: Maize & beans distribution
COVID-19 Relief: Maize & beans distribution
3. Young adult students in Job Training Projects
3. Young adult students in Job Training Projects
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.