26 November 2012

Tanzania: Camfed Project to Support Schools With 350 Million Books

SOME 193 secondary schools in ten districts countrywide, will receive textbooks worth 350 million, thanks to a nongovernmental organization (NGO), Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED).

The initiative is part of efforts by the NGO, dedicated to address challenges facing the education sector including shortage of books, which has so far invested 11.4bn/- since it was launched in the country in 2005. Last year, CAMFED invested 2.7 billion in 540 primary and secondary schools in the ten districts it operates.

"Our organization aims at multiplying educational opportunities for girls and support education for boys from poor families," CAMFED Tanzania's Director, Mr Msaada Balula, said. Mr Balula made the remarks while briefing journalists ahead of CAMFED's annual general meeting slated for December 4 and 5, this year, in Morogoro.

The meeting is expected to draw about 140 participants from the 10 districts. Districts to benefit from the donation include Iringa Rural and Kilolo in Iringa Region, Kilombero, Kilosa and Morogoro Rural in Morogoro Region as well as Pangani and Handeni in Tanga Region and Bagamoyo, Kibaha and Rufiji in Coast Region.

"Each year, we conduct an AGM where among others we discuss progress and challenges for our projects for the respective year and share ideas and experience. We also work on solutions and way forward to improve the projects for the next year," Mr Balula noted.

The meeting is expected to be attended by CAMFED board members, partner ministries namely the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Prime Minister's Office Regional Administration and Local Governments. Others are Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children.

Also expected at the AGM are district executive directors (DEDs), regional and district education officers for secondary education among others. "We are also looking forward to having representatives from students who have benefited from our programmes and mentors of the students," Mr Balula said.

Since it was introduced in the country, a total of 64,227 children in primary and secondary schools across 540 partner schools have benefited from a "safety net" fund that helped them to meet basic school-going costs and thus minimize dropout rates.

"Likewise, more than 6,000 vulnerable girls have received comprehensive bursary support that covered all costs related to their secondary education, from school fees to textbooks," Mr Balula said.

CAMFED was established in Zimbabwe in the year 1993 by British philanthropist, Ms Ann Cotton, who was dedicated to enable vulnerable girls from poor families to access education and realize their opportunities in life. The NGO now operates in five African countries including Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Malawi and Zambia.

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