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.

Population 48 million
Land area 945,087 Km2
National language of instruction Swahili
Launch of operations 2011
Room to Read office Dar es Salaam
Provinces where we work Mvomero, Bagamoyo 

Educational Landscape

Tanzanian literacy rates at the completion of primary school are 63% in Swahili and 30% in English. 

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.

Cumulative results
Libraries established 51
Book titles published 31
School construction projects 48
Girls' Education participants 888

Results updated annually

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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Less than 1% of US nonprofits have received nine consecutive Charity Navigator four star ratings. Our transparency and accountability place us among the best charities. See for yourself.

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See our work

Documentary filmmakers travel to Room to Read projects across Asia and Africa to tell the stories of children who are benefitting from our programs.

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You can change the world

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

Global Office:
+1 (415) 839-4400
9am-5pm Pacific Time (US)
Mon-Fri, excluding holidays

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