We are delighted to be updating you on the multiple projects that we have completed together with our partners Made With Hope (MWH) at Marurani Primary School and our amazing donor Brinda Jaykant Shah Foundation and One Kind Act. The renovations and construction undertaken at Marurani could not have been possible without the determined commitment of the local community and the time they sacrificed to ensure the project’s success. We are happy to be able to share our progress.
Introducing Marurani Primary School
Marurani Primary School is located in the Nduruma ward in Arusha region of Tanzania. In 2020 Hussein, founder of our partnering organisation Ndoto in Action, visited Marurani Primary School a number of times to meet with Marurani staff members to identify many areas in which Made With Hope can provide necessary support. Marurani faced a number of challenges supporting children and making education more accessible. The school did not have enough classrooms, toilets or water.
When Hussein first visited Marurani the school had 406 pupils and 8 teachers, yet there are only 7 classrooms, this meant over 50 students would have to fit into one classroom. There were not enough classrooms at Marurani to meet the needs of the community. Building new classrooms with adequate desk space for the number of students was identified as a priority.
No toilets for girls during their period…
There were no suitable student toilets as persistent rain had rendered them unusable. In 2020, Marurani primary school was close to being closed by the government just because of the state of the toilet. Young girls at school were opting to not go to school because they were not comfortable, especially during their menstruation meaning they missed up to 45 days of school a year. This was creating an unfair barrier to their education. New toilets for girls and boys at the school, with handwashing facilities with soap, were therefore a priority.
Limited clean water…
There was one water tap that supplied the school, for all its cleaning, drinking and cooking needs. The tap only had water available twice a week for two hours at a time. There was a 3000L water tank to store the water from the tap but it was not sufficient to meet the school’s needs. The provision of water tanks was therefore vital not only for drinking and cooking, but also in enabling the new toilet blocks and classrooms to be cleaned effectively.
As Hussein’s visits were at the height of the pandemic, Hussein along with the staff and community identified an urgent need for the construction of handwashing facilities to prevent the spread of disease.
How the community got involved to make this a success
The project began with a series of community inception meetings to identify the needs of the school. To create a sense of ownership and involvement in the projects the community committed to providing at least 10% of the people-power needed for the construction. The village leaders and local government created a schedule for community members to participate in the construction projects to ensure the project is completed on the agreed time. The renovation would not have been successful without the help and support of the local community. Hussein Salim, Director of NIA shared that the single most recurring positive theme found throughout the renovation was teamwork.
The construction managers, contractors and members of community worked closely together, overcoming plenty of hurdles along the way. Boosting local engagement and involving everyone in the process will also help with ongoing maintenance and repairs to the buildings by instilling a sense of ownership to the project.
By working together we have managed to achieve our goals and continued the process of providing access to clean water and quality education in order to provide equal opportunities for children.
The finished result
School facilities have a profound affect on student learning. Layout, noise level, temperature, inadequate light, and air quality can impact on students’ and teachers’ ability to focus on a daily basis. Clean and comfortable surroundings provide the best conditions and opportunities to learn.
For this reason, we are so proud to announce that, as a result of the construction work carried out in the previous months, Marurani Primary School is now equipped with:
A new girls toilet block consisting of:
- 10 toilets, with one accessible toilet, specially designed to accommodate people with physical disabilities
- a hand washing station with 12 taps
- a changing room
- a dedicated incinerator for waste disposal.
- Cupboards of menstrual provisions in the girls toilet to encourage girls to attend school when menstruating.
“Before the new toilet, I was not attending at school when I am Menstruating because we did not have proper toilet that can secretly help me to manage my menstruation while I am at school. ”
— Anna, standard VI pupil at Marurani primary school
Rainwater Harvesting Tanks:
8 New rainwater harvesting systems equipped with 5000 litre water tanks
- We were able to install 8 x 5000L water tanks at Marurani primary school. This provides 40,000L of water at school which will help the students to not walk distance to fetch water or have to carry water with them to school.
4 fully renovated and fit for purpose classrooms
- Around 180 students will be taught in these classrooms each day, sitting at their new desks. We could also connect electricity to classrooms which is incredible for a school in rural Tanzania.
Hand over event:
This day was so special and unforgettable in the Marurani community. The community members were super excited to receive the project after all effort and energy they invested in supporting the project. The village Government was full of smiles on their faces. The event started with different games and entertainment, followed by a speech from the school headteacher, village Government leaders, and finally the speech from District Executive Director (DED) and the handover ceremony followed.
The Impact of the renovations:
The completion of the multiple projects ensures that staff and students attending Marurani Primary School can focus on teaching and learning, knowing they are in a comfortable and safe environment. It removes all barriers to accessing education that the school previously suffered from, such as not having access to a clean and safe toilet when at school. These barriers prevent children from attending school and getting an education meaning they’ll likely end up trapped in a cycle of poverty in the future. The improvements undertaken at the school ensure these issues no longer stand in the way.
The school has now opened for the new school year so we will be following up with the impact of this project over the coming months
Thank you to the Brinda Jaykant Shah Foundation and One Kind Act for making it all possible.
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Written by Elena Bella & Eve Stanislawski