The Toa Nafasi Project

by The Toa Nafasi Project
Play Video
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
Test Day!
Test Day!

It has been another busy period for The Toa Nafasi Project.  Schools are back in session after three months of closures due to COVID-19.  Every year, we observe each new Grade One student for social behaviors, adaptive abilities, and motor skills.  The students also take a test for literacy, numeracy, and cognitive skills.  This year has been no different except for the unexpected break!  Our tutors were able to complete testing in July and we found that 59% of the children are what we term “typically developed” and classified as Tier 1.  They will likely need no extra support from our tutors to succeed in school.  On the other hand, 41% of pupils could use some extra support from Toa (Tiers 2 and 3) and we will provide this assistance to them through in-school tutoring and medical/psychosocial referrals.

However, it must be acknowledged that 2020 is a year like no other.  Like other countries, Tanzania closed all schools for a lengthy period of time, from March 16th to June 29th, and this interruption is likely to have some significant consequences.  Although children are back in the classroom now, research shows that disruptions in school continuity can cause long-term harm to educational achievement.  Thus, we are moving ahead with our regularly scheduled second assessment (six months after the first) in a small sampling of children to demonstrate this theory and will most likely continue working with the 2020 students well into 2021 due to what we assume will be an unfavorable outcome of the second assessment.  We are committed to helping our students get through this difficult time and succeed in the future.

Another part of our work includes helping parents to become partners in their children’s education.  Most parents and caregivers do not know about learning differences, so we are proud to have partnered with Tai Tanzania to produce a short video for families to watch and learn from.  Aside from being informative, it is also moving and a pleasure to watch. You don’t even need to know Swahili to know what is going on! We think the message will really resonate with parents who perhaps did not understand their child’s different learning style or disability.  Toa is so excited to have been able to collaborate with a fellow Tanzanian NGO on this beautiful project.

We will support 41% of Grade One students
We will support 41% of Grade One students

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Tutors prepare to return to school
Tutors prepare to return to school

As with the rest of the world, Tanzania has had to adjust to a new normal in the face of Coronavirus. Primary schools have been out of session in Tanzania since March 16th, but we are excited that they will be opening up again on June 29! 

During this closure, we have spent our time doing special health and sanitation workshops with our tutors and are prepping our staff with the necessary PPE to continue our important work. This was all made possibly through our generous donors who contributed on Giving Tuesday Now. We don’t know what we would do without all of you.

Once we’re back to school on June 29, we will have a lot of catching up to do. Some children will have suffered for lack of the structured classroom environment and returning to school will be a big challenge for many. As you know, Toa assesses students in March each year in order to group the students into Tier One (typically developed), Tier Two (slightly lagging), and Tier Three (delayed development) cohorts. Although we were unable to finish our testing before the lockdown began, we are ready now to hit the ground running. By the end of July, all testing should be completed and we will be able to begin our remedial and referral services from the beginning of August. As life resumes a kind of normality, we are aware that these services are more needed than ever before! 

Despite the school closures, we have been hard at work analyzing our progress until now and we are excited to measure our impact on students from 2019. According to our Early Childhood Education Platform, Toa tests all incoming Standard One students a few months into the school year. Our tutors provide special remedial services to students who test below a baseline score of 80%. To track their progress, we test these students two more times over the course of 11 months. As you can see in this chart, for 2019-2020, the baseline test showed 296 students unable to achieve a passing score out of 449 tested (66%). One year later, only 13 students (3%) were unable to achieve a passing score. Our tutors and students have made impressive progress!

We are thrilled to have been recognized and honored by the Lord Mayor of Moshi, Ray Mboya. Augustino went to accept the hati ya pongezi (congratulatory document). We were nominated for the award by the headmistress of Jamhuri Primary School, Mwalimu Mashauri, for the classroom refurbishment project of her school.

Student Progress Chart
Student Progress Chart
Accepting the Congratulatory Document
Accepting the Congratulatory Document
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

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

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
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

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
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

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

The Toa Nafasi Project

Location: Moshi, Kilimanjaro - Tanzania, United Republic of
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ToaNafasi
Project Leader:
Sarah Rosenbloom
Moshi, Kilimanjaro Tanzania, United Republic of
$8,087 raised of $10,000 goal
 
64 donations
$1,913 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

The Toa Nafasi Project has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

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.