We’d like to give a special thanks Fiona and Festival Recycling.
Please read on for information about how we plan to spend the money raised at Glastonbury this year:
The Bunju Centre
The Bunju Centre is situated to the north of Dar-es-Salaam. It is one of KIWOHEDE’s newer sites but one of their most important. KIWOHEDE currently has 22 centres across Tanzania. When KIWOHEDE was first established, the project it operated out of the home of one of the founders. Since then, the organisation has grown, has rented some buildings, and has also been able to use government properties as in-kind support for their work. Recent years have seen increasing pressure on land, especially in urban areas, and peppercorn rents are not only unavailable anymore, landlords want their properties back. As a result, the organisation has been working towards owning the buildings at some of the key centres, in part to secure the organisation’s future so that they are more resilient to external economic changes. The Bunju Centre is part of this strategy, and is particularly important because of its proximity to Dar es Salaam. One of the Dar es Salaam projects (with a residential crisis centre) has already relocated to the Bunju site as a result of the lease not being renewed.
Initially, a large plot was secured, and the site now boasts three large versatile buildings. The first (the Mama J block) opened in 2005, and includes two bedrooms with bunkbeds. It is home to a groundbreaking project working specifically with girls who have been trafficked from rural to urban areas. Kiota funded the second block (the Peter Zimber block), which opened in 2007, and also the third block which is almost complete.
Kiota has recently put funding into two aspects of the Bunju Centre – one capital and one project-based. The capital project is the third building. The project-based funding has gone towards a project in the second building – a pilot informal secondary education project.
Secondary Education at Bunju
Speaking to many of the girls on trips to KIWOHEDE centres, the Kiota team found that the overriding thing on each of the girls’ minds is to receive an education and better themselves and their situation. All the girls who attend KIWOHEDE are now supported by the organisation to finish their primary school education, and the last decade has seen a huge increase in those able to access primary education across the country (enrolment is now at around 90%). However girls face particular difficulties in completing their education, and in accessing secondary education. The drop-out rate for girls is higher than for boys for the same reasons that result in far fewer girls accessing secondary education than boys – early marriage and early pregnancy, involvement in domestic chores and taking care of the sick, the elderly and children, and boys being prioritised when resources are scarce.
Some statutory assistance is available for those otherwise unable to afford secondary education. However, this help is based on exam results, making this unrealistic for many that have had interrupted schooling.
KIWOHEDE have been mulling over setting up a secondary education project for some time, and now it is finally a reality! Their idea differs from other schools, because it sits within the KIWOHEDE set up, so that alongside core subjects, girls access life skills and vocational training and counselling. There are also opportunities to get involved with dance and drama, used as a therapeutic tool, and also sport. Importantly, many of the girls come from similar backgrounds, and have experienced similar struggles. KIWOHEDE hopes that other organisations will follow a more supported model of secondary education in the future.
The Bunju centre has been assessed and granted examination status and certification by the local government. Three teachers (all graduates) have been employed, and they are supported by students from the Education Department of the University of Dar es Salaam. They concentrate on teaching seven core subjects, working towards the standard Tanzanian Secondary School National Exam. The subjects are Swahili, English, Biology, Physics, Geography, History and Maths. Secondary schools in Tanzania require students to pay fees (although poor students may be able to access governmental support for this), and students must also buy school uniforms, shoes, books and other equipment. At the new class in Bunju, students are only asked to contribute their bus fare, and receive a 50% reduction on this as a result of wearing the uniforms that KIWOHEDE provides. Those that cannot afford even this, or don’t have anywhere to stay, can use the residential facilities at the centre. KIWOHEDE often receives donations of food, and when it can do so, provides a meal – cooked by the attendees – for all girls (and a few boys) attending the centre, and they all eat together. There may be 120 of them!
40 girls commenced year one of their secondary education in July 2010. A further 51 are attending vocational training programmes. As a result of having been victims of trafficking or hazardous domestic labour, 9 have found safety living at the centre. They are enrolled in primary school. The money raised at Glastonbury will go towards funding the second year, and second intake of 40 students, at this fantastic secondary school offering additional support.