Undoubtedly, there are many primary schools in Tanzania that would benefit from some extra assistance. While AfricAid aren’t able to provide support too EVERY school that needs it, we are making a huge difference at Losinoni Primary School, thanks to the support of people like you! Losinoni is a school on the outskirts of Arusha, the region in which AfricAid have been working for almost 15 years.
The children that attend the school are all drawn from the local Maasai villages. The Maasai are undoubtedly one of the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups in Tanzania. Because of the poverty many experience, and with the changing times, it is essential that these children get at least a basic education. This increases their life chances across a whole range of measures including physical health, life expectancy, earning potential and general well-being. For girls, education will mean that they are less likely to marry and bear children at a young age, be a victim of domestic violence, and suffer the extreme poverty that disproportionately affects women.
Losinoni Primary School started in 1975 with just 80 students. It now has close to 600. The youngest are the 4-5 year olds in ‘nursery school’ and the oldest are those in their final year of primary school, Standard 7. Many students walk over 3 miles in each direction to attend school each day, frequently doing so on an empty stomach. Making things even more difficult for the children, many suffer skeletal fluorosis because of the very high fluoride levels in the local water supply. The school currently has 12 teachers and class sizes are large.
AfricAid has been involved in a number of projects at Losinoni including classroom construction and renovation, provision of desks, building toilets, providing a computer and printer for staff use, and the highly successful school lunch program.
The school lunch program is critical to the success of Losinoni students and we are extremely grateful for your donation through Global Giving.
AfricAid staff undertake regular site visits to Losinoni Primary School, where we administer a school lunch program, as well as receiving written project reports from the school administration. AfricAid has been supporting Losinoni since 2004 and has implemented a number of successful initiatives at this rural primary school, which serves local Maasai communities. We’re delighted to be able to share some of the highlights of the latest report from the school with our Global Giving supporters.
Losinoni currently has 557 students enrolled. A new primary school opened in the area a short time ago, and is closer to the homes of some of the students, who have since transferred there.
Since the introduction of the school lunch program at Losinoni, the Principal reports that school attendance has increased, student concentration levels have increased, and there is more active classroom participation. This has meant that student performance in the national Standard Seven Examinations (the last year of Primary School) has continued to rise. In 2004, when AfricAid commenced working with Losinoni, only 23% of Losinoni students passed the exam; in 2014 this number was 87%! We’re absolutely delighted with this result, and look forward to it growing further. By way of comparison, the national pass rate for 2014 was 57%.
All of this is made possible because of support from people like you! We’re extremely grateful for the support we receive from our generous Global Giving donors.
Thanks to the School Lunch Program, there is even enough energy for a game of netball at lunchtime!
Losinoni village is part of the East African Rift fluoride belt. While a small amount of fluoride is associated with the prevention of tooth decay, many parts of Tanzania and East Africa have toxic levels. The World Health Organization recommends that we ingest no more than 1.5mg/liter of fluoride in the water we use for drinking and cooking. Unfortunately in some parts of Northern Tanzania, the fluoride level reaches 95mg/liter.
Students at Losinoni Primary School benefit immensely from the generous donors who contribute to their school lunch program through AfricAid. In addition to the nutritious lunch they receive daily, the teachers and administrators ensure that the lunch is a healthy break from the often dangerous levels of fluoride occurring naturally in their home water supplies. Levels above 10 mg/liter are associated with the bone disease skeletal fluorosis, which causes pain and damage to bones and joints and can have a severe crippling effect.
By collecting rainwater from the roofs of all the school buildings, the school is able to provide safe drinking water and to cook the daily lunch of traditional makande stew in uncontaminated, fluoride free water.
We’d like to thank our Global Giving donors for supporting the school lunch project at Losinoni Primary School. As a result of your support, we feel confident these students have a brighter future ahead of them.
Losinoni village is in Northern Tanzania. The people who live in and around Losinoni are primarily Maasai, and they face incredibly harsh conditions in that area. Each day, around 600 children make their way to Losinoni Primary School, and despite the difficult terrain, lack of safe drinking water, and ongoing threats to their family’s food supply, these children learn and thrive. In 2014, it was ranked the #1 primary school in the district.
AfricAid believes there are three main reasons for Losinoni’s success:
Through the AfricAid School Lunch Program, the children of Losinoni Primary School have enough fuel to sustain them in their studies. They eat makande, a traditional Tanzanian dish of stewed beans and corn. The dish is especially popular among the Pare and Chagga people of the Kilimanjaro Region of Northern Tanzania, but the dish is eaten throughout the country, especially by school children. The reason is simple: makande provides a nutritious, “whole protein” meal at a relatively low cost. Swahili Mom Kitchen offers a great recipe for makande – why no try it yourself? There’s a link to the recipe below.
With the support of our donors, AfricAid will continue to ensure that the children of Losinoni are able to thrive. We’d like to again say a big thank you to you for donating to the School Lunch Program through Global Giving.
AfricAid's Losinoni School Lunch Program began years ago when AfricAid founders went to visit the rural primary school in Tanzania. Arriving during what would normally be lunch time, the founders noticed that the children do not receive a meal at school. When creating the School Lunch Program, the mothers of the children wanted to help. The Maasai people are known for their beautiful beaded jewelry that they make by hand and the Shuylers thought this would be a great opportunity for the Losinini mamas to help feed their children at school. AfricAid buys the handmade jewelry from the mothers and re-sells the bracelets and key chains in the US to fund the School Lunch Program. These amazing mothers put time and energy into ensuring their children and others in the village are receiving a nutricious meal at school so they can stay focused and study.
Thank you for supporting this community initiated program.
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