It's always special when a container leaves the warehouse, but the shipment to Tanzania in August 2013 was special on many counts. In collaboration with a long-standing partner, Computers4Africa, we shared a 20ft container, loaded mainly with books, and destined for six secondary schools, four primaries, a pre-primary and even a nursing school.
Among these schools were six directly selected by School Aid. Two of these, Ilulu Secondary School and Wama Nakayama Secondary School, were brought to our attention by a representative of the Tanzanian First Lady, Madam Salma Kikwete. Both schools focus on providing a secondary education for girls, many of them orphaned as a result of AIDS.
A third school, Sunlight Secondary, was recommended to us by His Excellency Diodorus Kamala, the Tanzanian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, who visited the warehouse in 2012. This school is based in northern Tanzania and also focuses on AIDS and poverty eradication.
A further two schools near Dar es Salaam were identified by our representative in Tanzania, Arusha Kayupayupa, while the final school, Walla Secondary School near Mwanza, came to us through a contact in the UK. The rest of the resources are largely destined for the north-west of the country. Over in Dar es Salaam, School Aid's current representative, Josh Palfreman, has coordinated receipt of the shipment and distribution to the individual schools.
Textbooks are frequently lacking in Tanzanian schools, and these 12 are no exception. While three of the schools estimate that half of the students have their own textbooks, elsewhere this is as low as 5% - or even none at all. Many of the schools have no library facilities either, and have identified this as a key aim when the shipment arrives. Even those that do have a library may have books numbered in tens rather than hundreds, so we have high hopes that this shipment will make a huge difference.