Baraa and iThemba
A special cooperation
Baraa Primary School is a government school in Tanzania sponsored by the Belgian foundation iThemba.
There are around 2000 pupils at the school ranging from five to fifteen years old. The project of Baraa is unique because we are one of the only charity organizations investing in a government school.
The reality is that children are sent to private school as soon as their parents can afford to pay. This means that the poorest of the poor actually go to government schools. iThemba could opt to sponsor individual children by sending them to a good school or even create their own private school. However, we believe that we cannot only make structural changes for one child, but for a whole community living in poverty or bad health.
By sponsoring a government school iThemba aims to improve the quality of education delivered throughout the Arusha City government schools.
Currently there is no successful and sustainable model for the typical government school and a well-documented program could potentially be replicated to achieve this. These goals are very challenging. We work within the government system and we need to engage the whole Baraa community and their difficult home situations in order to achieve common goals.
Baraa ward highest number vulnerable kids
Baraa Ward is situated along the Arusha-Moshi road and has the highest number of vulnerable children (MVC) of a total of 18 wards in Arusha City. This was the result of a study carried out between August 2013 and March 2014 which was published in the Arusha Times.
Baraa Ward is a quick growing area at the city border of Arusha where children are missing basic needs such as food, shelter, education and health care. According to the article Baraa was untill recently inhabited by the natives but later bought out by gemstone dealers or other developers.
Out of the 1025 children the study surveyed, 572 were found to be most vulnerable to diseases, malnutrition and to lack most basic needs. “Baraa has a lot of HIV positive people. Some children are on ARVs. Many women have been exposed to HIV/Aids because they are doing petty business such as selling illicit liquor and food stuffs while most of the men are casual labourers”, said Ms Mercy Tarimo, a nutritional specialist with World Education Inc./Bantwana, one of the donor agencies implementing ‘Pamoja Tuwalee’ program.
All these problems impact on our pupils schooling. That is why Baraa needs our help.
MOU with the City of Arusha
Recognition of iThemba at Baraa
In 2014 the iThemba Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Arusha City Mayor and the City Director. This MOU outlines our common objectives and spells out how we will work together to make Baraa Primary School a model government primary school.
We now have official recognition for our objectives and the help and cooperation of the City Education Department to achieve them.
Since the signing of the MOU five government teachers and a new Head of the SEN unit have been allocated to the school. We have seen the number of pupils in the SEN unit quadruple .
We are grateful to Juma R. Idd, City Director, Hossein R. Mghewa, City Education Officer and Eunice Tondi Elibariki, Special Needs Education Officer for all their assistance and encouragement.