Naurei Project, Tanzania
The Naurei Project consists of building a three-classroom block and attached auditorium on the school grounds of Secei Elementary in Arusha, Tanzania. The first phase of the project was completed in 2005 and consisted of the three classrooms, now serving 73 children, of which 16 are on home-based programs. These children have disabilities ranging from simple learning disorders to more severe conditions such as cerebral palsy. A number of the children with learning disabilities have now re-entered the mainstream classrooms and we are proud to boast that one child (Kennedy) came in 4th in national exams.
Phase 2 was the addition of an auditorium attached to the special needs unit and a part of their property. This auditorium serves the entire school and as the property of the special needs unit, it is also rented for community events and serves to sustain them in buying classroom resources. The government has allocated another teacher and is impressed with the units’ progress. We believe that providing them with a place in the community has elevated their status and relieved some of the stigma.
In phase 3 we extended support for this project by subsidizing a lunch program and providing materials when needed. The lunch program was started after a report from our head teacher. A doctor had examined one of the children who was suffering from severe seizures. The doctor reported that they were aggravated by the childs malnutrition. After hearing this, our board requested an estimate of cost to begin a lunch program. For $12 per day we have been able to feed 56 children. The teachers have reported that several children were found to have no disability at all after receiving additional nutrition and have been able to return to mainstream education classrooms. Other children began to respond and play on the playground where they once sat on the sidelines. Building for Generations considers this program as critical as education and that hunger is a form of violence no human should experience.
Phase 4: Upon graduating Naurei, our students options for work are extremely limited. Some end up begging. The year 2016 gave birth to a partnership with Tanzanian NGO, Connect Autism, and parent and founder, Grace Lyimo, former Peace Core Nurse. The growing need for community job placement inspired Grace and intern, Harriet Smith to develop a coaching and placement program.
$120 per month provides assessment, coach traininng, employer outreach and overseeing for a successful outcome. Thanks to a matching grant our first two graduates began September 2016.