The problem with education in Tanzania is actually not a lack of schools; it is an abundance of over-crowded, costly schools that utilize under qualified teachers and staff. Despite the appearance of a high enrollment rate, most children struggle to stay in school due to family and health issues, leaving those children who do come to school, with a low-quality of education. This system is not conducive to higher education nor does it enable children to escape the extreme poverty that consumes about 80% of Tanzania.
Cheti was founded in late 2010 as a way to strengthen communities and local economies, and create opportunity through private education in Tanzania. Cheti set out to turn the challenges seen in Tanzania’s educational system into opportunity to make a big change and leverage school to empower, engage, and enable local communities.
After their first trip to Tanzania, the founding members wanted to find sponsors for 12 students at CHETI School. They believed this would give the children an opportunity as well as help the school director reach his goal of building a new classroom.
Flash forward a year and a half; Cheti is now comprised of eight team members. Our program goals are defined by three efforts; empower local heroes by providing the resources and knowledge to make a sustainable impact, engage local communities by establishing leadership positions for mothers and highlighting the importance of education, and enable children to reach their fullest academic potential through individual sponsorship.
Cheti now has 80 nursery and primary students sponsored by individuals, organizations, and classrooms from all over the world. We believe sponsorship is a personal relationship that provides more than tuition, but increases the child’s confidence and belief in themselves. Additionally, it enables their families to use what little money they own on other family needs. “Because my daughter has a sponsor, I was able to give my family a nice meal on Easter for the first time,” said a CHETI School mother.
Cheti is currently partnering with two private schools within the Arusha region that focus on academic results. They have built 8 classrooms, numerous facilities, purchased land, school buses, provided food, HIV tests, and other educational resources. Cheti has engaged the community to work with family members and stress the importance of attendance. Thus far, Cheti’s work has directly impacted approximately 1,000 individuals. But they are just getting started.
Cheti’s approach and focus on personal, trust-worthy connections, ensures that every dollar is used most effectively to create real, sustainable impact. Ester Alexander, Jue School Director, explains that through a quality education, “we are building the children in a way that prepares them mentally, physically, and spiritually to be good citizens of this country, and we hope that the kind of education we are providing them will lead them to be leaders of this country”.