Suumu students focus intently on the teacher.

Student Needs

In Tanzania, the government funds primary school (seven years) but does not fully fund secondary school (six years). Scholarships are few, which means that many highly motivated and capable students have no way to continue their education past the age of 14.

 

Secondary school students must pay for tuition, uniforms and other fees. The cost varies by school and can be upwards of $600 annually at some private schools. Given that the average Tanzanian earns just $300 a year, more affordable options are critical. Government schools are cheaper but there are nowhere near enough schools.

 

Some communities are trying to fill the gap by building their own schools. Suumu Secondary School in the Kilimanjaro region is one of these schools. A joint community-government secondary school, it was started by three villages in 2005. Suumu Secondary School receives minimal government funding; most financial support comes from the community. Annual tuition, fees and supplies for a student at Suumu Secondary School are $150.

 

Scholarships for Outstanding Students

The Association for Safari Scholars pays tuition and fees for outstanding students (Safari Scholars) who otherwise couldn't afford to go to school. While annual secondary schooling costs of $150 may seem affordable by Western standards, the average annual income in Tanzania is less than $300.

 

We choose students based on:

  • Strong academic performance
  • Desire to succeed in school
  • Potential to go to a University
  • Financial need

Once a student has been selected as a Safari Scholar, we will fund the balance of the student's secondary education as long as the student continues to meet the criteria. For six years of secondary schooling, our commitment is about $900 a student.