Community meetings in October of 2019 led to the development of priorities and a plan for 2020. Top priority was the installation of solar energy at Dumbeta Secondary School in order to supply electricity to the school. The completion of a classroom building at Gichbord Primary school to help alleviate severe overcrowding was the second item on the communities list of priorities. Connecting Lamay Primary School to the public water supply, building a labor maternity ward at Dumbeta, and purchasing a photocopier for the schools were also identified as high priorities.
DUMBETA SECONDARY SCHOOL SOLAR PROJECT
Prior to 2020 none of Dumbeta Ward's five schools had electricity. School electrification has been shown to improve student performance, enhance teacher satisfaction and benefit the community in multiple ways. Without electricity students do not have access to educational content available on the internet. By supplying electricity to Dumbeta Secondary School, we sought to have a positive impact on school enrollment, school attendance, test scores, graduation rates, and ultimately, the economic health of the whole community. The government did not have any plans to extend the national electrical grid to the schools in the foreseeable future.
Solar energy has numerous advantages. It is sustainable and not dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are lower installation and infrastructure costs. The school will not have to pay a monthly utility bill and therefore ongoing costs will be lower. And, finally, solar powered schools are not susceptible to grid blackouts, which happen frequently in Tanzania.
STATUS:COMPLETED MARCH 2020
GICHBORD PRIMARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM CONSTRUCTION
Gichbord Primary School is the newest and smallest of Dumbeta Ward’s four primary schools. Prior to these classrooms being built there were 374 students crowded into only 4 classrooms. The community identified the need for additional classroom space at Gichbord to be among the Ward’s top priorities. In partnership with the community the Rafiki Village Project was able to finish a partially completed classroom building which proved the school with two new classrooms and an office.
STATUS: COMPLETED AUGUST 2020
LAMAY PRIMARY SCHOOL WATER PROJECT
Water is life!!! It is essential for the health and wellbeing of a school and a community. Prior to 2020 Lamay Primary School students and the surrounding community members had to carry water from a public water source almost three miles from the school. Our final project for 2020 was the construction of a water line that now brings running water to Lamay Primary School and the surrounding community. The Rafiki Village Project paid for materials and the community supplied the labor to dig a three mile trench to bury the water line. Water taps were installed at the school and in several nearby locations. This means that the children no longer have to spend precious learning time transporting water from a distant source. It means that a hot lunch can be prepared for students on a daily basis. It means that students can wash their hands throughout the day, thus limiting the spread of disease. And it means that families living nearby now have running water for cooking, bathing and hygiene.
STATUS: COMPLETED DECEMBER 2020
Hand Washing Stations
Hygiene is a universal problem facing primary schools around the world. Poor hygiene leads to diarrheal illness which in turn causes absenteeism and poor school performance. When children use pit toilets and have nothing but a communal bucket to wash their hands in maintaining good hygiene is nearly impossible. Something as simple as providing a means for children to wash their hands can have a huge impact on people's lives.
This year the Rafiki Village Project funded the construction of hand washing stations at Dumbeta Ward's five public schools. These locally designed low tech stations are inexpensive to build. They are controlled by foot pedals and allow up to six students to wash their hands without touching buckets, faucets or soap. In addition to cutting down on the spread of diarrheal illness we hope to decrease the potential transmission of Covid-19.
STATUS: COMPLETED AUGUST 2020
COST: $1125 ($225/station)
PHOTOCOPIER FOR DUMBETA WARD SCHOOLS
Dumbeta Ward now has a photocopier! The electrification of Dumbeta Secondary School made this possible. In rural Tanzania, a photocopier is a rarity, outside of government offices and commercial stationary stores. Dumbeta Ward’s new photocopier will allow the schools to print educational materials and examinations in-house, saving them a small fortune in copying costs. Examinations are all-important in Tanzanian education. All primary school students must past a national exam before being admitted to Secondary School and all graduating Secondary School students must pass a national exam before advancing to higher education. But the government only provides a single copy of the exam to each school. Schools must therefore use their very limited budget to print exams for the students, or -- if funds are not available – exam questions must be hand-written on the board. This cuts into the time allotted for the exam, suppressing student scores. We expect the addition of the photocopier to have a measurable impact on student success rates!
STATUS: PURCHASED FALL 2020