Maasai songs reverberated through the hills of Ngorongoro from the village of Nainokanoka during a recent celebration for the completion of teachers’ housing built by Thomson Safaris and Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FOTZC).
Maasai singing in front of the newly-built teachers’ housing at the recent ceremony in Nainokanoka village.
Judi Wineland, Director of Thomson Safaris and FOTZC Board Member, attended the celebration at Nainokanoka and said, “The ceremony was magnificent. The teachers’ house, which will house 2-3 teachers, is perched above the Nainokanoka valley, furnished by the village, and with teachers ready to move in. The village hosted an incredible celebration with village elders, the District Commissioner, the District Executive Director, and performances by Maasai students, Maasai warriors, and Maasai mamas. It was an honor to be part of this great day and to be thanked wholeheartedly by the entire village.”
The desire to educate children is strong throughout Tanzania – a country where the government mandates all children attend school – however many challenges still remain. Attracting teachers to remote locations where housing does not exist is the most serious challenge. Teachers’ housing has proven to be an integral component to the sustainability of education in Tanzania; if housing is made available, teachers will come to stay and educate the children.
The efficacy of teachers’ housing can be seen in the successes at the primary school in the remote, Maasai village of Sukenya, where FOTZC built housing for four teachers. In 2010, the school ranked 51 out of 59 schools in the district; following completion of teachers’ housing, and the arrival of a new headmaster and teachers, Sukenya Primary School’s ranking skyrocketed to 9 out of 59 within the year. We are also happy to report that more and more Maasai families in the Sukenya area send their children to school, including Maasai girls.
Students singing a song about how books will bring them out of poverty during the celebration of teachers’ housing at Nainokanoka Primary School. During the ceremony, Judi Wineland told the crowd, “Only education will allow you to make good choices in life, you will be able to bring about changes.”
Learn more about the teachers’ housing and other initiatives throughout northern Tanzania at Focus on Tanzanian Communities.