“Educating girls is a sure way to raise economic productivity, lower child and maternal mortality, improve nutritional status and health, reduce poverty, and eliminate HIV/AIDS and other diseases.” UNICEF
TEMBO’s commitment to secondary school education for girls is at the heart of our mission. According to UNESCO (2011), “Poor rural girls face the worst access conditions, and disparities tend to broaden at of the end of primary (for every 100 rich urban boys completing primary, only 53 poor rural girls do). Poor rural girls have virtually no opportunities to pursue secondary education.”
Since 2004, TEMBO has been addressing this critical issue by ensuring that girls in Longido District have access to secondary school education. As of 2017, TEMBO has sponsored more than 270 girls to attend secondary school. In 2017 alone, our donors are sponsoring 112 girls to achieve their dream of acquiring a secondary school education.
Prior to starting Form 1, TEMBO outfits each girl with a school uniform, trunk, mattress, toiletries and school supplies. The cost of outfitting a girl for school is approximately $350 Cdn (January 2017). In addition to financial support, all TEMBO-sponsored girls receive ongoing social and academic support through a mentoring program offered by our local staff.
Academic Enrichment and Support
TEMBO English Camp (TEC): a three-week academic enrichment program offered to TEMBO sponsored girls during the long break between first and second term. Immersed in a supportive English-language learning environment, the girls study core subjects such as biology, geography and civics while continuing to develop their language, literacy and study skills. TEC also helps to build self-esteem and reinforces everyday life skills and healthy lifestyle choices.
The program was first offered in 2010 to 33 girls in Forms 1 and 2. Since then TEC has expanded its reach to include girls in Form 3 and it is now offered on an annual basis to more than 60 girls.
Primary And Secondary School Success (PASS): a 10-week academic enrichment program for girls in Longido District who have completed primary school and are anxiously awaiting acceptance to secondary school. Local Tanzanian teachers work in partnership with Canadian volunteer teachers to provide girls (ages 12-15) with an academic boost in math and sciences, as well as support for the development of English language and literacy skills.
For many of the girls, English is their third language and they need an opportunity to develop their skills so that they will succeed in secondary school where English is the language of instruction. By the end of their 10 week program with PASS, the girls are much better equipped to approach their studies with confidence and competency.
Because PASS is a residential program, it also serves as a positive and safe learning environment for these girls as they await admission to secondary school. Once girls have completed primary school, it is customary in their villages for many of them to be forced into early marriage and early pregnancy. The girls’ participation in PASS delays this process, thus enabling them to pursue secondary education. TEMBO works with the local school teachers and parent councils to identify girls that would benefit from the rich learning experiences offered by PASS.
Mentoring and Life Skills Training
Success in secondary school requires more than just getting there. TEMBO provides comprehensive mentoring and support to families and girls before heading off to school, during the school year and through our academic enrichment programs. Paulina Sumayani, TEMBO’s Executive Director, leads our mentoring program while Mary Laiser, TEMBO’s Community Facilitator, teaches life skills to the girls including lessons on the importance of education, FGM (female genital mutilation), hygiene and health. As educated Maasai women, Paulina and Mary bring authenticity to the messages they share with the girls.
Our staff also works with the families and the community by hosting family information sessions prior to sponsorship and during the school year. Working with the local education officers in Longido District, TEMBO works to create a strong and supportive educational experience for all.
In Tanzania, students who have completed four years of secondary school have the option of continuing their studies through vocational or teacher training programs.
Since 2007, TEMBO has sponsored 26 young women to attend a two-year training program to become primary school teachers. Today, 100% of these women are now working in schools in villages throughout Tanzania.
Since 2007, TEMBO has supported 64 young women for vocational training programs. The programs vary in length from 12-36 months, many of which include a comprehensive field placement component. Many of the TEMBO sponsored students have opted to study community development and they are now working with local community-based organizations, while others have studied hotel management and have found work as hotel receptionists, cooks and housekeepers.