It has been over ten years since my time in Tanzania. I know much has changed, and I am eager to go back and see just how things have changed. Unfortunately, at least one fact of life for many children has not changed. For many children, it is simply too expensive for them to attend school and get an education, no matter how badly they wish for it. In Ndengele, the village where Suzanne and I labored to establish an afterschool study group for girls, we realized that our classes were actually the only classes that most of the children actually did receive at school that day. So instead of just being an English class for girls in Standards 4 and 7, we welcomed all the kids who just wanted to learn. There were many. There were at least a few who would follow us around the village so that they could practice their English skills and look at our books. These kids were more enthusiastic about learning than any kids that I similarly encountered in my day-to-day life in the United States. In Kizimkazi Dimbani in Zanzibar, the situation was somewhat improved in that the children were all able to attend school without the need for school fees (and that the teachers that the government paid for actually bothered to show up to teach), but they still had to pay money that they often didn’t have for books and supplies. These kids had relatively more hope of receiving an education, though. Sadly, it appears that the next generation of children in Tanzania still face many of the same obstacles to education that the previous generation did.
Here is an organization where you can go to help – http://www.e-watu.com/. Giving even one kid who really wants to learn a chance at an education can change the world.