Providing impoverished children with a pathway to public education
The Excel Education Foundation was founded in November 2013 by Sara Mponzi and Fatuma Kimaro, two local volunteer co-ordinators from Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. While visiting a nearby school on a volunteering project, Sara and Fatuma met Rose, a nine-year-old student at Shirimatunda Primary School. Her tattered uniform and mismatching shoes led them to speak with the headmaster of the school, who provided them with a list of students in a similar situation financially. They quickly realized that this was a real issue and were inspired to work to provide every child in the area, regardless of background with an equal opportunity in life. EEF began with just twelve primary school students, providing them with a school uniform and supplies, and paying their school fees. Since then, the organization has expanded, and now provides up to 70 children in Moshi in 10 schools with a pathway to public education, both primary and secondary and healthcare.
The work of EEF goes beyond that of mere financial support. We provide our students with the familial structure and emotional support, which they usually lack at home. The children get a real sense of community and family at EEF through EEF group activities like the annual KiliMarathon, that all our children took part in as a group. We broaden their horizons and open their minds to career possibilities and opportunities that the gift of an education can give them access to. We also take our children on educational tours to further their personal growth. Our tours fall into two categories – career opportunities, and community development. We strive to give every child a level playing ground when it comes to their childhood and we continually strive to achieve this goal.
We also have started a woman empowerment group in the area, which is welcome to all woman, regardless of age in the community. These woman learn essential and new skills that can help them in providing for their children, while giving them a sense of community and meeting place to talk, discuss and grow. As the african proverb goes “if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” These woman learn the meaning of this and share their skills, discuss problems and are paramount to the development and education of their children.