Tanzania

Overview

Situated in East Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania boasts a long coastline on the Indian Ocean and borders eight other African nations: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. The country achieved its official independence from colonial rule in 1961, and now includes the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Its vast natural resources include minerals, wildlife, many lakes, arable land and forests.

Unlike many of its neighbors, Tanzania has enjoyed a long period of relative political stability despite extremely high levels of poverty. According to the most recent data, 89% of Tanzanians live on less than US$1.25 per day. Above all, The 2009 Human Development Report, which measures achievement on three basic dimensions—life expectancy, education and per capita gross domestic product—ranked Tanzania 151st of 182 countries.

Much of the country’s population has been affected by the persistent epidemics of malaria and HIV, which are the leading causes of death for children and adults, respectively.

Atlas
Population 41 million
Land area 885,800 Km2
Language of instruction Kiswahili & English
Launch of operations 2011
Room to Read office Dar-es-Salaam
Provinces where we work Mvomero District


Educational Landscape

Tanzanian literacy rates at the completion of primary school are 63% in Kiswahili and 30% in English. Upon the start of secondary school, the language of instruction switches entirely to English—Tanzania’s business language. This presents a tremendous challenge for many students, many of whom have yet to master reading and writing in Kiswahili.

Gender equality is another significant educational challenge in Tanzania, with girls’ pass rate from both primary and secondary school lagging greatly behind that of their male peers.

Programs & Results

Room to Read’s operations in Tanzania began in 2011, with the search for a local staff, initial baseline assessments and site selection. Those activities, along with program implementation began in early 2012 through a partnership with Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development—East Africa (AKU).

AKU will work with our Reading & Writing Instruction program to provide teacher training and capacity building in the schools where we work, with Room to Read providing ongoing support after the initial training period.

Consistent with our model of holistic intervention, Room to Read will also launch our School Library, School Construction and Girls’ Education programs in partnership with the local government and individual communities served.

Meet our local staff:
Theodory Mwalongo, Country Director

Theodory’s passion for education has been evident throughout his career, and led him to pursue both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education management from the University of Dar es Salaam in his native Tanzania.

Before joining Room to Read, Theodory worked as a teacher and school administrator at both the primary and secondary school levels and held various management positions for nonprofit organizations within the country.  “My dream has always been to work for disadvantaged groups in the community,” he says.

In his spare time, Theodory can usually be found catching up on the latest news—on television or in the newspaper—or spending time with his young children.

See our work

Visit a school or library in any of the countries where we work and meet the local team that makes it all possible.

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Send a girl to school, start a library, or build new classrooms. We can help you run your own fundraising campaign with your friends and family, complete with your own microsite to collect gifts and track your progress.

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Have questions?

Contact us online at
info@roomtoread.org.

Global Office:
+1 (415) 839-4400
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