Our organization built 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 2006 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 and another, Dennis, received a scholarship to Saint Jude's Private School. Dennis had no disability but appeared to. He was suffering from malnutrition.
Phase Two was the addition of an auditorium and kitchen attached to the special needs unit and a part of their property. 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 headteacher.
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 were able to feed 56 children.
The teachers reported that several children were found to have no disability at all after receiving additional nutrition and were 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. We are happy to say that the Tanzanian government has recognized this need and in recent years has subsidized the lunch program.
Phase 4: Upon graduating Naurei, our student's options for work are extremely limited and some end up begging. The year 2016 gave birth to a partnership with Tanzanian NGO, Connects Autism, and the development of a training center (Connects Autism Tanzania).
$120 per month provides assessment, coach training, employer outreach and overseeing for a successful outcome. Thanks to a matching grant our first two graduates began September 2016.