The Toa Nafasi Project

by The Toa Nafasi Project
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The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project
The Toa Nafasi Project

Greetings from the entire Toa Nafasi team and this being the first time you are hearing from us this year, we wouldn’t want to miss the chance to wish you and yours; Happy New Year 2023! We’re grateful for your end of year generosity and kindness helping us kicking off right the 2023 academic year for our unique grade 1 students. Additionally, we’re elated to keep you on the loop yet again on the continuity of our program, our plans for the year and the achievements we’ve made so far.

Observation has Begun

Tutor Doreen is observing children enrolled in grade 1 in Jitegemee Primary School for social behaviors, adaptive abilities, and motor skills. She has noticed that one of the students walks with a piece of cloth holding it close to her right ear. She gets close to get her name and understands what is going on. She learns, Maria (not her real name) feels water pouring in her ear and she hopes to catch it with the piece of cloth. Doreen will continue to test Amina and her peers for literacy, numeracy, and cognitive skills to get a full picture. Further, Doreen and all Toa Nafasi tutors in all 11 primary schools will call in for one on one sessions, Maria’s parents and parents of all students identified with learning difficulties to better understand the challenges that impair their children's learning. Maria will eventually be taken to a partner hospital for diagnosis and treatment and tutor Doreen will continue to support her and her peers throughout the year.

Nutrition Support Continues

Toa Nafasi tutors continues to support grade 2 students -- the 2022 cohort of Toa students due to graduate in March this year.We're continuing to support the cohort finish the program by tutoring and offering free nutritional cup of porridge. The latter support is our effort to alleviate hunger and the consequent stunting of body and mind. We are determined to have these children stay in class, learn, and play. These are some of the many benefits Toa students gain from the free meals in school. Learn more about our 2022 Cohort and achivements here

Experiential Learning

Toa Nafasi team of tutors and office staff travelled to SOS Children’s Villages, Arusha on January 27 for a learning visit. As part of our on-going professional support, tutors learned family-like care services, parenting techniques, alternative discipline, easy hand-made tools that enhance learning and experiential learning for children through chores from SOS Children's Villages professional social workers, family mothers, a father, aunts and child protection officer. Furthermore, tutors learned how they could best support children with learning disabilities applying lessons gained from visiting our partner, SOS Children’s Villages. The learning visit was not only informative but also fun and engaging.

Folding New Partnerships

We are thrilled to share that we have been accepted into the Issroff Family Foundation’s Collaborative Learning Initiative (CLI) 2023 Cohort. Over the course of the year, our Executive Director, Novatus Marandu, while working with the Toa Nafasi team, will join Issroff Family Foundation’s leadership development program designed to facilitate relevant and authentic peer-to-peer learning opportunities for rising leaders of community-based organizations. At the program’s end, Toa Nafasi will have developed a new strategic plan and formed meaningful partnerships with the cohort members from the rest of East Africa. Additionally, this learning initiative is also an opportunity to meet and connect with partners from around the world brought together by Issroff Family Foundation. We are so excited to have been chosen to participate in this practical and prestigious program!

New Tailoring Workshop

We’re also excited to share that we have expanded our program to include an entrepreneurial project to support low-income young mothers of children with learning disabilities with tailoring skills to produce different school supplies. The workshop also acts as a training space for previously unemployed women that we’re unable to hire as tutors or as tailors providing an opportunity for more women to gain useful skills and resources to start small businesses.

Nonetheless, we’re immensely grateful for our partner, A Childhood For Children, for supporting the women tailors at our workshop to make 254 school bags for 2023 Toa Nafasi and First Foundation students. A Childhood For Children is helping us support children with learning disabilities with educational items like these school bags, note books and pens removing all barriers to access education and therefore helping us channel our focus on the children’s academic, social and emotional learning. Would you like to support local women make a school bag for a child with learning disability? Donate here

Toa Nafasi tutors, staff and SOS Staff
Toa Nafasi tutors, staff and SOS Staff
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Students at Jamhuri learning in groups
Students at Jamhuri learning in groups

Medical Support

The failing students, as they are often called, always appear on the bottom of the list. Toa Nafasi program is changing that narrative. We’re prioritizing these students having learned they have learning disabilities. One thing we have been doing lately is taking them to hospital for medical support. Eight students with different health challenges have been screened. So far some have been diagnosed with intestinal, chest and other infections and 1 has been scheduled for nasal polyps’ surgery. She will undertake the surgery later this month.

Food and School Supplies Support

A cup of porridge makes all the difference. The food program is going into its second year. Many of our students come from low income families where parents are unable to afford 3 meals a day. For some of these children, parents or guardians are busy trying to make ends meet and its difficult to a balanced meal. All of our students get the nutritional food support in school. This initiative has helped us in a myriad of ways. Children are not sleeping in classes due to hunger anymore, they are getting healthy and are learning.

Additionally, our partners are continuing to support all our 292 children with school materials. We have recently received exercise books of four different kinds, erasers and pencils. Partners have also contributed financially which enables us to stay afloat and cater for the children’s in our program needs. It's through your donations that we are able to do all this.

In and Out of Class

Our team of tutors is working tirelessly to support the students in classes. They are making tools, tutor the students, attending workshops and learn subjects like Mental Health and are empowered with communication and leadership skills from training like one conducted this July by Dr. Steve Mortenson from University of Delaware. On fridays, tutors introduce students to different sports cultivating their interest to learn with games and sports.

Moreover, out of class, Toa Nafasi’s board promoted Novatus Marandu as its executive director. He has recently returned from the U.S attending Mandela Washington Fellowship program. While in U.S, he visited current and potential partners like Segal Family Foundation (SFF) and Issroff Family Foundation. At Segal he met the founders Barry and Dolly Segal, Executive Director Andy Bryant and other staff both at SFF and Focus for Health. He also visited Friends of Tanzania and met board member Rita Kamazima and Clayton Batko, Project Committee Chair where he discussed all things partnerships.

Our executive director was also interviewed twice with the Voice of America where he introduced the Toa Nafasi program to international swahili speakers. He is now travelling to Dodoma attending Annual NGOs Forum and meeting and connecting with partners.

Novatus is also working with the Toa Nafasi board on transitioning Toa Nafasi into a local African led organization.

Have you been wondering what you can do to support the last on the list. Reach out to us to learn how or donate. Karibu sana!

Tutor Glory Mongi interviewing our alumni student
Tutor Glory Mongi interviewing our alumni student
Novatus in a photo with prime minister and leaders
Novatus in a photo with prime minister and leaders

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A student at one of our partner schools
A student at one of our partner schools

First Round of Assessment: The first round of assessment that includes Observation, Test 1 and Interviews is complete. We finally have 292 students with learning difficulties that we are enrolling in our robust tutoring program. This will also go hand in hand with scheduled appointments to doctors for health challenges we’ve observed and later treatment. And don’t forget, the cup of porridge for every child in the program is going into its second year.

Learning Visit: Toa Nafasi had the opportunity to host SOS Children’s Villages, Arusha – an international NGO providing family-like care to children and young people in Tanzania – and Her Journey To School – a local NGO promoting gender equality through education. These partners visited our offices and partner school where our children, tutors and staff demonstrated what is it like on a typical day of children with learning disability. We were all excited to learn from each other, experience and have fun.

We invite you and your network to our offices and project site to learn, volunteer or donate. Karibu sana!

Events:  We’re excited to share Toa Nafasi’s Chief of Operation, Novatus Marandu, is a recipient of Mandela Washington Fellowship Program – a U.S flagship program for Young African Leaders. He’ll be travelling to U.S for six weeks this summer at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. In recognition of their accomplishment in their communities, Novatus and fellow young leaders, Dr. Tulia Ackson, speaker of the Tanzania parliament invited them to the parliament. Afterwards they also met Dodoma Regional Commissioner, Anthony Mtaka and Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Ambassador Swahiba Mndeme.

Partners: The Toa Nafasi Project are grateful for the support we receive from our partner, A Childhood For Children. We recently received school supplies donation for all students in the 11 partner schools in Moshi from A Childhood for Children. Thank you A Childhood For Children for supporting the education of children with cognitive disabilities.

News:Toa Nafasi also appeared in two newspapers articles and two photo features in Tanzania’s widely circulated newspapers, The Guardian and Nipashe. We’re honored children with learning difficulties are getting into the spotlight. The first article in the Guardian newspaper highlighted the need to review curriculum to incorporate the needs of children with learning difficulties. The second article shined light on the trainings provided to children with disabilities tutors. Awareness that children with learning difficulties can and are learning like performing students is very important for both the policy makers and the wider community.

Students in a game
Students in a game
Novatus in parliament - front and centre
Novatus in parliament - front and centre

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Nova with our students
Nova with our students

All over the country, the school year has started with standard one students’ enrollment. Toa Nafasi tutors are going into classes in our 11 partner public primary schools and observing the newly recruited students for motor, hearing, vision and physical impairments working hand-in-hand with government teachers. We’ll soon have the 2022 cohort of students ready to take test 1.

At a parents meeting in Kaloleni Primary School, a grandmother of a student says her granddaughter, Dorcas, who just joined standard one, is unable to see objects placed in front of her. This is a good step working with parents and caregivers of students to identify students’ challenges that lead to learning difficulties. At the beginning of every school year, Toa Nafasi tutors hold parents meetings for newly enrolled families in all schools. In these meetings, parents are introduced to the project and get to hear hands-on what the tutors do yearround with students with learning difficulties.

We’re excited to share that we have a new teammate. His name is Nova and he’s the new chief of operations at Toa Nafasi. He’s a leader with a background in international development work and loves to work with children. “At Toa Nafasi and working with children with learning difficulties, I feel like I am home,” he says.

Finally, check out Toa Nafasi's 2021 End of Year Report to learn about all the amazing things we did last year.

Parents meeting
Parents meeting

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Here at Toa Nafasi, we have been working hard to support our hundreds of students in our pull-out tutor program. Our students are making great progress. The tutors are busy preparing to administer test 2 in order to compare the results from the beginning of the year and see their progress to date. We can't wait to see their learning after a consistent year in school without any COVID-19 related closings.

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact life in Tanzania just like the rest of the world. Sadly, we must share we lost one of our beloved tutors, Rose Assay, who was head tutor at Magereza Primary School. Please read our post honoring her life and contributions to Toa.  Each of our tutors is important to the team and Rose Assey was extremely special.

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Organization Information

The Toa Nafasi Project

Location: Moshi, Kilimanjaro - Tanzania, United Republic of
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ToaNafasi
Project Leader:
Novatus Marandu
Moshi, Kilimanjaro Tanzania, United Republic of
$9,439 raised of $15,000 goal
 
78 donations
$5,561 to go
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