Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania

by Step-by-Step Learning Center
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Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
Empower 30 students with disability in Tanzania
New jewelry designs
New jewelry designs

EMPOWER OVER 30 STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY IN TANZANIA, REPORT NUMBER 7: MAIN ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF STEP BY STEP LEARNING CENTRE, SSLC, JANUARY - APRIL 2022.

  INTRODUCTION: This report will summarise the main activities and achievements from January to April 2022 vis a vis our vision, mission, goals and activities. So far this year has seen an increase in both the number of students and the projects despite the slow recovery from the negative effects of covid.

MISSION STATEMENT

SSLC’s mission is to promote the physical, intellectual, psychological and social development of each child through a holistic educational provision in an inclusive, empathetic, respectful, positive and stimulating environment so that special needs students and their families feel safe, accepted and loved. Staff use child-centered training and learning methods to encourage all children, including those having severe disabilities, to reach their maximum potential.

 VISION STATEMENT

SSLC aims to grow its capacity to provide a safe and stimulating learning and working environment for mentally and severely physically challenged students for as long as they need such support to progressively improve and learn appropriate Life and Job skills in order to achieve a degree of independence and dignity.

 MAIN GOALS

  1. Twenty young students (age 6 to 17) with mental and physical challenges will access appropriate education, life skills training and appropriate therapy.
  2. Thirteen young adults (over 18) with mental and physical challenges will get training in Job skills and thereafter employment, income, self-esteem, confidence and emotional empowerment.
  3. Six Income Generating Projects (IGPs) will receive enough input to become viable and self-sustainable.
  4. Fourteen Staff will receive support to provide compassionate, high quality holistic teaching, training and therapy to SSLC students.

 MAIN ACTIVITIES

  1. Drawing an Individual Learning Program (ILP) for each student with input from his/her parents or guardians, then setting goals for each student
  2. Conducting one on one, Hand over hand, Experiential - hands on teaching and training the young students in basic functional literacy and life skills
  3. Providing professional therapies (Physiotherapy, Reflexology, Occupational Therapy and Speech Training plus Music, Dance, Art and Crafts.
  4. Training and mentoring young adults on the job in the Income Generating Projects (IGPs): jewelry making from beads; gardening and Livestock keeping of cows, sheep, chicken, fish and bees.
  5. Expanding the IGPs and professionalizing the job skills to make the projects financially viable and sustainable.
  6. Providing administrative and support services to the program.
  7. Collaborating with parents, community leaders and other similar programs in order to advocate for the rights of the disabled and sell the SSLC model.
  8. Participating in advocacy activities like Autism, Down Syndrome and Disabilility International days

 

STAKEHOLDERS: This year, our numbers of stakeholders went up to a total of 222 project participants and beneficiaries (115 females and 107 males). These were students, staff, parents/ guardians and their families.

 JUNIOR CORE PROGRAM (AGES 3 TO 17)

All our young students of 2021 came back to school this year and we have added four new students totaling 20 students with varying degrees of physical and mental challenges: 8 with autism, 9 cerebral palsy, 2 Downs Syndrome and 1 Slow Learner. Attendance for most of the students is very good now. Over 80% of the students were able to attend school 80% and above of the time. 80% and above of the students met the goals set in their Individual Learning Programs (ILPs). With very popular celebrations of International Days of Autism (April) and Down Syndrome (March) there was a growing list of other young students waiting to enroll.

 HOME BASED PROGRAM (HBP)

The HBP served 4 students who could not attend school due to distance, did ficult family circumstances and severe physical challenges. Teachers made home visits on Fridays to give them a full day focus . These students will be invited to come with their parents/guardians in August to to get proffesional assessment and attend intensive physiotherapy workshop with two professors and third year university students from USA.

 ADULT PROGRAM (AGES 18 AND ABOVE)

This year we have13 adult students (1 new) most of them graduates from the Junior Program: 4 are living with autism, 2 cerebral palsy,3 Down’s syndrome, 2 slow learners, 1 albinism and 1 Pfeiffer’s type I syndrome. They have made good strides in learning job/employment skills in the Income generating projects (IGPs). They raised quite a bit of income from sales of their products: jewelry, vegetables, pawpaws, guava, oranges, beetroot, chicken and milk.

One heartwarming story of an Adult Student is that of the new student Peninah. She was one of the pioneer students in 2005 when I started SSLC in a small room in a show ground. After a while her family moved to England and we never heard from them again. When they came to Tanzania this year, her Mum told me that she was shocked to find Peninah's best friend Doreen, who used to be worse than Peninah, very active now, confident and doing very well at SSLC. She asked to bring Peninah back to SSLC! This week she got another shock seeing videos of Peninah enjoying feeding our cows, chicken and fish and mulching the fruit trees. she had never done such therapeutic activities before.

  ADVOCACY

SSLC was an active participant on March 21st and April 2nd when we marched around town on International Down Syndrome and Autism Awareness Days. It was very encouraging and rewarding to see over 400 students with disabilities and their teachers, parents/guardians and supporters celebrating  with full awareness the fact that disability is not inability!

 MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Admitted 4 new students
  • Wrote 3 main proposals
  • Became a partner to Accessible Hope International (AHI) and organized a Theology of Disability Training of Trainers (ToD TOT) workshop with them at SSLC
  • Hosted and worked with one remote Astralian Volunter and two American on site University Student Interns
  • Hosted The Australian High Commissioner to Tanzania who gave us a very positive appraisal 

 SUSTAINABILITY

SSLC is supported by donations, grants, student Sponsors and Volunteers.  The Income Generating Projects grew, improved and are on their way to becoming viable Social Enterprises. However, we are still slowly recovering from the negative impacts of COVID-19, Delta and  Omicron.. We have lost support from one major donor and so are grateful to be able to write new proposals, get new partners and step up our fundraising on Globa lGiving this year, 2022. It was great to participate in the Little by Little campaign.

 

Bountiful pawpaw harvest
Bountiful pawpaw harvest
Teacher and Intern pay home visit
Teacher and Intern pay home visit
Advocacy on International Down Syndrome Day
Advocacy on International Down Syndrome Day
SSLC Students and Staff 2022
SSLC Students and Staff 2022
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Adult Students: Hadija, Dorine and Winfrida.
Adult Students: Hadija, Dorine and Winfrida.

EMPOWER 30 STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY IN TANZANIA, REPORT NUMBER 6: MAIN ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF STEP BY STEP LEARNING CENTRE, SSLC IN 2021.

  INTRODUCTION: This report will summarise the main activities and achievements of 2021 vis a vis our vision, mission, goals and activities.

MISSION STATEMENT

SSLC’s mission is to promote the physical, intellectual, psychological and social development of each child through a holistic educational provision in an inclusive, empathetic, respectful, positive and stimulating environment so that special needs students and their families feel safe, accepted and loved. Staff use child-centered training and learning methods to encourage all children, including those having severe disabilities, to reach their maximum potential.

 VISION STATEMENT

SSLC aims to grow its capacity to provide a safe and stimulating learning and working environment for mentally and severely physically challenged students for as long as they need such support to progressively improve and learn appropriate Life and Job skills in order to achieve a degree of independence and dignity.

 MAIN GOALS

  1. Fifteen young students (age 6 to 17) with mental and physical challenges will access appropriate education, life skills training and appropriate therapy.
  2. Fifteen young adults (over 18) with mental and physical challenges will get training in Job skills and thereafter employment, income, self-esteem, confidence and emotional empowerment.
  3. Six Income Generating Projects (IGPs) will receive enough input to become viable and self-sustainable.
  4. Fourteen Staff will receive support to provide compassionate, high quality holistic teaching, training and therapy to SSLC students.

 MAIN ACTIVITIES

  1. Drawing an Individual Learning Program (ILP) for each student with input from his/her parents or guardians, then setting goals for each student
  2. Conducting one on one, Hand over hand, Experiential - hands on teaching and training the young students in basic functional literacy and life skills
  3. Providing professional therapies (Physiotherapy, Reflexology, Occupational Therapy and Speech Training plus Music, Dance, Art and Crafts.
  4. Training and mentoring young adults on the job in the Income Generating Projects (IGPs): jewelry making from beads; gardening and Livestock keeping of cows, sheep, chicken, fish and bees.
  5. Expanding the IGPs and professionalizing the job skills to make the projects financially viable and sustainable.
  6. Providing administrative and support services to the program.
  7. Collaborating with parents, community leaders and other similar programs in order to advocate for the rights of the disabled and sell the SSLC model.

 

STAKEHOLDERS: In 2021, we had a total of 210 project participants and beneficiaries (107 females and 103 males). These were students, staff, parents/ guardians and their families.

 JUNIOR CORE PROGRAM (AGES 3 TO 17)

Most of our students came from poor families without the means to pay for therapy or education that can improve their wellbeing, and they (especially girls) were at high risk of discrimination, neglect, sexual and physical abuse if left to fend for themselves in the community. The Junior Program had 16 students with varying degrees of physical and mental challenges: 7 with autism, 8 cerebral palsy and 1 Downs syndrome. Two students dropped out due to difficult family circumstances. Over 80% of the students were able to attend school 80% and above of the time. 80% and above of the students met the goals set in their Individual Learning Programs (ILPs). We enrolled 5 new students in 2021. However, there was a growing list of other young students waiting to enroll.

 HOME BASED PROGRAM (HBP)

The HBP served 5 students who could not attend school due to distance, difficult family circumstances and severe physical challenges. Teachers followed them home on Fridays. When we had visitors offering intensive specialist services and training, such as in physiotherapy or occupational therapy, we invited them and their guardians/caretakers to attend the workshops.

 ADULT PROGRAM (AGES 18 AND ABOVE)

SSLC’s Adult Program catered for 12 adult students most of them graduates from the Junior Program: 4 are living with autism, 2 cerebral palsy, 2 Down’s syndrome, 2 slow learners, 1 albinism and 1 Pfeiffer’s type I syndrome. They learnt job/employment skills on the job in our Income Generating Projects (IGPs). The IGPs are developed on the school premises so that adult students safely engaged in producing and selling products to generate revenue which, supplemented by grants, can give them an income. These IGPs include livestock keeping of sheep, chicken, fish, bees and ducks; fruit and vegetable farming and jewelry making using beads.  These activities have been our most effective advocacy demonstrating that disability is not inability. They also enhanced the students’ independence and value to their families thus reducing the stigmatization and rejection that most of them experience. The ultimate goal is to settle, in due course, an Adult Program graduate back into her/his community with her/his own business after mastering an income generating project at SSLC and /or when the family and community environment is judged to be positive for the student.

One heartwarming story of an Adult Student is that of Hadija Bakary who was saved narrowly from an early marriage. Hadija is 20. Someone from her community reported to the Director of Albino Peacemakers that there was a young albino girl being sold off to an early marriage to whoever can pay her father anything. She was  reported to be mentally challenged as well because she completed primary 7 with all zeros. I am on the BOD of Albino Peacemakers so Martha the director asked if we could enrol her on our Adult Program. I said yes and she joined SSLC. She had sun burn wounds all over her face and mouth. The eyes were so affected she couldn't look anyone in the eyes, instead she looked up or down to avoid the light. She was so shy she could hardly speak. She got all zeros because she couldn't see the black board.

Within just one month of intensive care, treatment and sunscreen protection supervised by Martha herself, plus acceptance, kindness, patience and love from the safe, positive environment at SSLC, it was obvious that Hadija's "handicap" was false. She is a very smart beautiful girl, excelling and leading the others in the projects. She is beginning to read and write! She is aspiring to do her own business one day! Her life has completely turned around. 

  ADVOCACY

SSLC was an active participant in community activities such as Sports and the colorful marches around town on World Autism, Downs’ Syndrome and Disability Days. We raised public awareness of disability as a dignified state deserving of equal respect as the rest of society. SSLC’s work has become a model of care and provision for this population. In the past 16 years of my involvement, I have witnessed extreme denial where children are hidden to acceptance where many parents, guardians and community members turn up in large numbers to support students with disabilities.

 MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Started Home Based Program (HBP) during COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Started COVID-19 relief activities, like distribution of food items.
  • We extended Income Generating Projects (IGPs) to include fruit trees, dairy cows and a biogas system.
  • Repaired block one by replacing the roofing, painting and tiling.
  • Constructed a second fishpond, a bigger chicken house and five-keyhole gardens.
  • Fenced the five acres school compound to improve safety for students and general security.
  • Pulled municipal water to school to get clean running water.
  • Virtually hosted students from Susquehanna University, Pensylvania, USA, to fundraise for SSLC
  • Had an external evaluation of Step by Step Learning Centre, SSLC done by a consultant.
  • Continued raising funds onto GlobalGiving (GG) platform.
  • Wrote three big proposals.
  • Established partnership with four universities abroad to volunteer with SSLC.
  • Recruited two special needs education graduate teachers.
  • Received a Direct Aid Program (DAP) grant from the Australian embassy.
  • Enrolled five new students into the program. 
  • Participated in disability sports, International Autism day and Down syndrome day.
  • Received and worked with an overseas internship student
  • Received a Charitable Status from Tanzanian Government
  • Started construction of basic housing units for severe students to live on campus at SSLC
  • Conducted training sessions on Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at a big convention for teachers organized by The Foundation For Tomorrow.

 SUSTAINABILITY

SSLC is supported by donations, grants, student Sponsors and Volunteers.  The Income Generating Projects grew, improved and are on their way to becoming viable Social Enterprises. However, the negative impacts of COVID-19, Delta and now Omicron are still very real. We have lost support from one major donor and so are grateful we can step up our fundraising on GlobalGiving this year, 2022.

Rethinking Education Workshop.
Rethinking Education Workshop.
Gold and Silver medals on sports day.
Gold and Silver medals on sports day.
A student and a teacher in class.
A student and a teacher in class.
Bryson happy at school.
Bryson happy at school.
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COVID-19 Relief.
COVID-19 Relief.

EMPOWER 30 STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY IN TANZANIA, REPORT NUMBER 5, MAY TO AUGUST 2021.

A. INTRODUCTION: Step-by-Step Learning Centre’s vision is to build our capacity to provide a safe and stimulating learning and working environment for mentally and severe physically challenged students for as long as they need such support to learn age and gender-appropriate life and job skills in order to achieve a degree of independence and dignity. Our focus this year is fourfold: survive COVID-19’s disastrous effects, strengthen and expand our Junior Program for young students, establish our Adult Program for adult graduates from the Junior Program and expand SSLC’s financial support base. 

B. OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS AGAINST OUR OBJECTIVES at just over half way through the year seems to indicate that things are slightly better in 2021 than were in 2020:

_______________________________________________________ 

Project Objective           % completion                Comments

_______________________________________________________

 Survive COVID-19            75%                  All safe practices enforced

                                                                   Vaccines now available to                                                                                            teachers _______________________________________________________

Rebuild and                      70%                 Students progressing well          

strengthen Junior                                      Admitted 1 more student

Program                                                       

_______________________________________________________

 Establish and                     80%              Expanded the Income 

stengthen the                                           Generating Projects (IGPs)

Adult Program                               _______________________________________________________

Expand SSLC’s            Ongoing           Good progress with sponsors,            financial base                                      donors, fundraising and propoals

________________________________________________________

 

C.  PROJECT PARTICIPANTS AND BENEFICIARIES

________________________________________________________

Participants in activities        Females                  Males             Total     Students                                       11                          15                   26

SSLC Staff                                     5                            9                   14

Parents/Guardian families            90                          66                 156

(average 6 people per family)

________________________________________________________

TOTAL                                       106                          90                 196

________________________________________________________

 

D.THE CONTINUED NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF COVID - 19 is still very real. Many heads of households still have no jobs. Businesses, petty trade and subsistence Agriculture are beginning to pick up. We distributed more relief items in July, to help our students' families during the August break. 22 students and 12 staff each received 12 kilograms of beans, 13 kilograms of maize and 6 liters of cooking oil.

Hopes were raised with the arrival and availability of vaccines in August prioritising the elderly over 65, tourism workers and teachers. We hope there will be enough vaccines for everyone willing to take them and that there won't be a fourth wave! We continued to enforce all safe practices and monitor the COVID-19 national, regional and international status keeping all fingers and toes crossed!

E. THE JUNIOR PROGRAM FOR YOUNG STUDENTS continued to grow and thrive. We admitted one more student into the Home Based Program (HBP) totaling 5. Overall there are 16 young students: 4 with Autism, 10 Cerebral Palsy,1 Downs Syndrome/Trisomy 21 and 1 slow learner. Their attendance and progress for the second semester  was equally good with 90% of the students attending school 80% and above. An evaluation of the Individual Learning Programs (ILPs) showed that 80% and above of the students made progress and achieved the goals laid out in their ILPs.

One particularly heart warming story is that of Ezekieli and Elisabeth, his Mum, conventionally refered to as Mama Ezekieli. Both and his big sister,were abandoned by his dad as soon as his severe physical challenge, drooling and lack of speech, all caused by cerebral palsy, became apparent. Loss of their bread winner heralded a long period of vulnerability, hardship and poverty. Mama Ezekieli did odd jobs like handwashing in homes that would allow her to carry Ezekieli along. Soon he became too big to be carried around. She asked for help so we raised funds to pay for her to board  for one week with Ezekieli at Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Tanzania (CCBRT) in Moshi while they gave him intensive physiotherapy and measured him for a fitted wheelchair. Mama Ezekieli also learnt basic exercises to do at home with him. Ezekieli came for intensive physiotherapy sessions whenever we got visiting Physiotherapists. He remained  on our Home Based Program.

Having a good wheelchair for Ezekieli improved their lives just a little bit because they lived deep in a slum area so mobility was still limited due to the rugged pot holed roads. She towed with locking him in the house for long periods of time to look for work or ask around for help. She started to default on rent of a one roomed mud house which is usually low and affordable for someone in her situation. She told us for one month she was crying a lot for lack of options. 

At the end of June, I made a proposal to my staff to consider her case. Despite our limited resources, we unanimously decided to move them to a decent rented room near the school, asked her to take care of the dairy cows while Ezekiel is attending school, advanced her a salary from her new job to bail her off  from rent arrears for the old room and pay a deposit for the new room. Both their lives have just changed drastically! From July, our happy sight has been to find Ezekieli in his modern wheelchair, waiting for us to arrive at school in the morning while his mum keeps an eye on him from a short distance from our dairy cows. She is taking such good care of the cows as if to guard her new found luck. She is on probation for three months! She doesn't know that she has already got the job! Meanwhile Ezekieli is thrilled to be in class and occasionally enjoy his new found friends fighting to "drive" him around in his "car"!

FTHE ADULT PROGRAM FOR YOUNG ADULTS expanded to include 12 students: 3 living with autism, 3 cerebral palsy, 2 Down’s syndrome, 2 slow learners, 1 albinism and 1 Pfeiffer’s Syndrome type I. 

We expanded the IGPs by investing in fruit trees. We transformed half an acre of terrible black cotton soil ground into a productive fruit orchard. We planted 71 grafted fruit trees: 7 avocadoes, 14 mangoes, 14 bananas, 5 oranges, 2 lemons, 2 tangerines, 2 limes, 18 pawpaws, 5 guavas and 2 kokomanga. We also planted 4 hibiscus, 4 ansaka, 2 bottlebrush and 100 sunflowers (for the bees) plus many beetroots, beans, cowpeas, vegetables and elephant grass for the cows. Students and staff have already taken home vegetables, beans and cowpeas from our own harvests. The first batch of beetroot harvested weighed 53 kilograms. There was a ready market for them in town.

The jewelry project has done well. The young students enjoyed beading. It was also excellent therapy for those students with ADHD (attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder) as it improves concentration and attention, and reduces hyperactivity. Eight out of our 12 adult students have now acquired good skills in beadwork. The project had a boost with recent orders from former contacts in USA and Germany.

A fully functioning biogas system was installed. We also bought 13 sheep (more resistant to disease than goats, one had a lamb already) and 2 pregnant Friesian dairy cows. By October, the cows are expected to have calves and produce enough milk for the calves, our tea and sales!  We successfully raised a fourth and fifth batch of 400 broiler chicks. The chicken project became viable and sustainable, as there is good market for chicken in Arusha. The IGPs are slowly becoming viable social enterprises. 

Being active and productive proved to be a big self-esteem and confidence booster and most importantly a mindset changer for parents and the community as they watched the kids who were thought to be useless and burdens bring income home! 

G. SSLC’s LIMITED FINANCIAL BASE was the biggest challenge we faced especially with most donors opting not to fund salaries and buildings. COVID-19 exacerbated the situation. However, we have been able to retain one donor up to November 2021 and some of our old student sponsors. We are constantly fundraising and writing proposals. As I write, we are participating on the Little by Little campaign, great thanks to GlobalGiving and it's dedicated staff. GlobalGiving is keeping SSLC's hopes alive. We are very very grateful to you all our Donors.

 

Submitted by Margaret Kenyi

Founder and Executive Director

Step by Step Learning Centre, SSLC

17th September 2021

 

 

 

 

 

Classtime.
Classtime.
Ezekieli.
Ezekieli.
Mama Ezekieli.
Mama Ezekieli.
Students making biogas.
Students making biogas.
A bountiful harvest of beetroot.
A bountiful harvest of beetroot.

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Adult Students
Adult Students

       EMPOWER 30 SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS IN TANZANIA REPORT, JANUARY- APRIL 2021. 

A.  CONTINUED NEGATIVE EFFECT OF COVID - 19 is still very real as we could see from a number of our students who came back to school in January visibly thinner and unhealthy. Many heads of households still have not got their jobs back especially in the tourism sector. Most of our parents get their livelihoods from petty trade and subsistence agriculture which both suffered with loss of or less purchasing poweR. In February and March things got even worse as we experienced a bad second wave of COVID-19. Despite the fact that we put all protective measures outlined in the last report in place, wore masks, washed hands and kept distances, some students and staff still got sick. Thanks to your donations, we were able to give them prompt treatment. We were also able to replenish handwashing soap, sanitizers and masks. At the end of semester 1, we distributed to all the students and staff a total of 250 kilograms of beans, 250kgs. maize and 100 litres of cooking oil to buffer the students and their families during the holidays.

B. THE JUNIOR PROGRAM FOR YOUNG STUDENTS continued to thrive as we employed two fresh graduate teachers of Special Education to work with our older more experienced teachers and bring new ideas and competencies into the program. All the old students came back. We admitted 5 new young students out of which 4 are on the Home Based Program (HBP) because of the severity of their conditions. Staff follow them home on Fridays to do Physiotherapy, Reflexology, Speech Training, read stories and show them videos. The attendance for this period was good with 90% of the students attending school 80% and above. An evaluation of the Individual Learning Programs (ILPs) showed that 80% and above of the students made progress and achieved the goals laid out in their ILPs. The values of the weights, heights and arm circumference of the students confirmed that 2 students had stagnated in their growth while the rest made slight gains. All in all the kids were happy being at school, learning and playing with their friends in a positive safe environment.

C. THE ADULT PROGRAM FOR YOUNG ADULTS expanded and went very well this period. With your donations we were able to admit 3 new students into the program. They all spend 10% of the time strengrhening their Functional Literacy Skills and 90% learning Job Skills by fully participating in the Income Generating Projects (IGPs): jewelry making, gardening and keeping of livestock- goats, chicken, ducks, fish and bees. These activities besides bringing income, have proved to be great therapy for these students. We expanded the IGPs to include fruit trees and milk cows to increase income. Being active and productive have proved to be a big self esteem and confidence booster and most importantly a mindset changesr for parents and the community as they watch the kids who were thought to be useless and burdens now bringing income home! We train them to divide their stipends into 4: 25% take home, 25% savings (Akiba), 25% reinvest into the IGPs and 25% contribution to their transport to and from school. They will stay and work at SSLC until they have chosen and mastered a project well enough to be set up with one back home to run with help and supervision from home. SSLC will monitor and evaluate.

D. ENGAGEMENT WITH GLOBAL GIVING: We are preparing for July Bonus day.

BIOGAS & COW HOUSE
BIOGAS & COW HOUSE
COVID-19 RELIEF FOOD DISTRIBUTION
COVID-19 RELIEF FOOD DISTRIBUTION
FOOT PEDAL HAND WASHING UNIT
FOOT PEDAL HAND WASHING UNIT
FRUIT
FRUIT
IMRAN LEARNING TO READ
IMRAN LEARNING TO READ

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EMPOWER 25 SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS IN TANZANIA: STEP BY STEP LEARNING CENTRE, SSLC, REPORT NUMBER 3, JANUARY 2021.

A.    EFFECTS OF COVID-19

Due to the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the return of tourists from other parts of the world, we continued to take all the recommended precautions against the spread of corona virus. The homebased program described in the last report continued until we closed for the Christmas break. We have started back on campus this week with renovations and putting in place all requirements before the students come back from Monday 18th. We have

ØPlaced hand washing stations and sanitizers at strategic places

ØSpaced student desks at 2 meter intervals

ØPurchased of 2 temperature guns to monitor temperature of staff and students

ØFixed all windows and doors to ensure fresh air

ØPurchased  face masks for use each time we are unsure

ØMade a proposal for funding for COVID -10 relief items for students and their families

ØInformed parents and guardians to not send their children to school if they are sick or have a fever

B.     BACK AT SCHOOL

While the homebased program went well, the caretakers and four adult students who live near the school continued with the outdoor Income Generating Projects (IGPs) all of which continue to grow towards viability and sustainability. The chicken project in particular is a great story:

 

Five years ago the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) offered SSLC some money to buy eggs for the students but we preferred to use it for a chicken project so that we are able in future to raise our own chicken and have a more lasting source of eggs and income.  Well, it has paid off. A board member donated his sophisticated (so we thought at the time) chick house to us and so that initial funding was enough not only to purchase 25 free range chickens to start with but also build a small goat house and purchase 2 local goats. Two years later both projects grew to 75 chickens, enough eggs to supplement the students’ diet, a much larger goat house with 2 rotational grazing grounds on either side and 23 goats!  The goat project now has 53 goats including 4 kids that were born in November!

 

In February 2020, 17 volunteer students and 2 professors from Pepperdine University came on an Educational tour to Tanzania through Edutours, raised funds and built a huge chicken house for SSLC, enough to raise a batch of 1,000 broiler chicks at ago! We were all set to start with 350 chicks but on 16th March, all schools were closed due to COVID-19. We resumed in June but with most of the students on a newly devised Home Based Program. Four adult students who could walk to school (rather than use public transport or the school bus) continued with the outdoor Income generating Projects (IGPs). On 4th September 2020, we brought our first batch of beautiful yellow 350 broiler chicks.  In just an hectic 4 weeks of intensive feeding and care, we were selling grown chicken of at least 1.2 kilograms for 6,000/= wholesale and 6,500/= retail. On 19th November 2020, we brought in a second batch of 400 chicks this time targeting high demands for chicken during Christmas festivities. We made good sales. We are now set to bring a third batch in the last week of this month so that all students will participate in this very therapeutic and rewarding project.

 

It was not all rosy because not all the chicks survived. It was somewhat difficult to enter the market and an unexpected additional expense for a big fridge for prompt storage was mandatory. The longer you keep the chicks, the more they eat into the profits. Otherwise, the returns are good: with a minimal of 350 chicken, we are able to not only break even, but also make a profit enough to give each student a small stipend to take home and a little bit to put in their savings.  We are counting the chicken project as successful, profitable and sustainable.

 

 

C.     ENGAGEMENT WITH GLOBAL GIVING

One of our big achievements in 2020 was earning a permanent place on GlobalGiving’s huge platform during GlobalGiving Accelerator, March 2020. We had access to information on improving our fundraising and organization. Above all, we connected with generous donors who became our crucial support and kept the program running in a year that was a threat to the survival of this wonderful program for our students. We attended several webinars and participated in all the GlobalGiving campaigns except the last one. We were very happy with our outcome given that it was our first year of partnership with GlobalGiving. For that, we are immensely grateful to GlobalGiving and all our generous donors.

 

For 2021, we intend to be even more active on the GlobalGiving platform. We have already engaged a supporter to start a fundraiser through GlobalGiving! We hope 2021 will be kinder and more fruitful than 2020.

 

 

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Organization Information

Step-by-Step Learning Center

Location: Arusha - Tanzania, United Republic of
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Margaret Kenyi
Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic of
$41,315 raised of $60,000 goal
 
529 donations
$18,685 to go
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