Literacy and special needs
According to our baseline survey, the women of Kamanga do not share an equal status with men and are expected to take on the responsibility for caring for the whole family, as well as other labour-intensive tasks such as farming and carrying water.
In general, women’s illiteracy is one of the factors that leads to poverty and lack of opportunities – for instance, access to and use of proper healthcare. It also makes women vulnerable to sexual violence, abuse, neglect, marginalisation, discrimination and many other forms of inequality. Due to the clear connection between education levels and self-confidence, literacy decreases the likelihood of being subject to all forms of violence.
Therefore, at the end of 2017, we started planning a Literacy Project which targets women and girls from Kamanga village and teaches them how to read, write, and perform basic numeracy.
More research needs to be undertaken but to gain an idea of the standards of education and the literacy status in Kamanga, the field team visited the primary schools of the village to identify and survey the quality of education provided. The results were stark: the main difficulties include lack of classrooms, a 1:113 teacher-to-pupil ratio, and often only a single textbook being shared by the whole class. The drop-out rate for girls at primary school is reported to be as high as 40%; reasons include early marriage and teenage pregnancy.
As a result, a project plan specifically tailored and based on the key findings was drafted. The main goal is to lower the rate of illiteracy by 15% among women and girls in Kamanga village by the end of the project. Furthermore, the project will support the implementation of Tanzania’s Vision of 2025, which aims at increasing quality of life as well as forming an educated and learning society.
We began planning a Special Need Education Project in 2015, and during 2017, we continued our research on the barriers to education faced by children with disabilities and special needs. In collaboration with CHAWATA, we collected and evaluated field data, and developed a project outline on how to assist children with special needs both in and out of school.
Cedar Tanzania is currently in the process of designing educational programmes tailored to the communities of Nyamatongo. As of now, it seems most likely that these projects will focus on literacy and special needs education. Adult education programmes are also being considered, as we wish to give uneducated adults and out-of-school youth the skills needed to become more employable or pursue their own entrepreneurial endeavours. These educational projects are still in the developmental stages, but it is our hope to start implementation by the year 2020.
Sengerema District Council has donated a building to Cedar Tanzania to be used for the benefit of the community. We would like to support the educational needs of Kamanga by turning this building into a Community Centre. From it we hope to run programmes such as the following:
A literacy programme
A health forum to discuss issues of personal health
A SASA! forum to discuss issues of power imbalance between men and women, with the aim of preventing violence against women and girls
After-school tutoring support
Computer literacy classes
Classes in business acumen
Future plans include raising the necessary funds to render the building usable, with costs estimated at USD $30,000 to renovate the rooms, fix the roof, landscape the grounds and purchase educational equipment.
If you want to hear more about our educational projects please contact us:
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter