Ikirwa School Project

Mission of the organisation

From Articles of Incorporation "Ikirwa School Project is a non-partisan, non-profit organization committed but not limited to the establishment, operation, and expansion of the Ikirwa English Medium School located in the rural village of Midawe near the town of Arusha, Republic of Tanzania. Activities included but not limited to the following: fund-raising and donation acceptance, recruitment of paid and volunteer labor, capital planning and expenditures, marketing, and maintenance for the benefit of the Ikirwa school." About Ikirwa School: The idea for this project was born during a camp-fire conversation between a Tanzanian guide and a Russian-American tourist. Gasper had a dream to build a school in his home village of Midawe to give local children access to English-language education and significantly improve their future academic and employment opportunities. After spending close to a decade managing World Bank capital, Masha was looking for a way to make a tangible contribution to development. Finally, America Educates, our NGO partner and fiscal sponsor, was looking for an education project in Africa. And so Ikirwa School Project was born. We are taking a multi-phase approach to building and establishing this school, starting with kindergarten classes and organically growing the school into a single-stream education program for up to 300 students. Tanzanian students are taught in Swahili and learn English as a second language. However, English has become a language of both commerce and higher learning, limiting the prospects of government school graduates, especially those who are unable to afford remedial language instruction, which is often needed to become proficient in English. Our project's goal is to provide the option of English language instruction to the children of Midawe and nearby villages. We will leverage resources offered by many volunteer organizations and the NGOs in both providing instruction and education materials to offer world-class quality academic instruction to the students as well as career development opportunities for the teachers. Our goal is to ensure that all our students score in the top quartile of the TOEFL test at the time of graduation and the Tanzanian instructors within 2 years of joining the staff. The seed funds for the project are coming from its founders, with Gasper contributing a plot of family land for school construction and Masha financing Phase I of construction. Students will be charged tuition and boarding fees and those funds are expected to eventually cover the majority of the operating budget. Up to 20% of spots will be allocated for underprivileged children of Midawe. The architectural plan calls for construction of 13 classrooms, 4 dormitories, offices, staff quarters, dining hall and kitchen, library and assembly hall in four phases. We have completed Phase I of the project, consisting of 4 classrooms and 2 offices. On January 7, 2013 Ikirwa School open its doors to 38 kindergarten and 1st grade students and has successfully completed its first semester on March 27th. Based on the feedback we have recevied during Parent's Day, the families are thrilled to have their children in our program and are impressed by the progress they are seeing. Our vision is to build a small school that makes a big difference and stands on its own without depending on outside donors for day to day operations. We intend to grow organically and pragmatically, building a track record and using our success to attract donor funds for capital improvements.

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Ikirwa School Project

709 Gold Street
Juneau, AK, 99801
United States