Katumba Songwe Secondary School Dormitory Project
At Katumba Songwe Secondary School in Tanzania, many students are faced with issues such as early pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and poor academic performance due to difficult home environments and long, difficult distances to travel to reach school. Students have to walk an average of 1 hour and 30 minutes to and from school on unmarked paths and dirt roads where men from the village often linger, presenting risky situations. When they arrive back in their village after a school day, they cannot study because there is no electricity and they have household chores to complete. Presently, some students have taken to sleeping on the floor of the teachers' lounge to avoid these problems. This project will lead to the construction of two dormitories (one for girls and one for boys) to provide the school with the capacity to house 96 students a safe, supportive and education-focused boarding environment.
The dorm is currently being built and will be completed before the rainy season, allowing students to move in a few months before their national exams. The entire community is very excited about the dorm, as it will reduce the risk of sexual assualts that are common along the path to the school, as well as provide a safe space for female students to focus on their studies.
Final Update - 8/22/2016
The dormitory has been fully constructed after inclement weather temporarily stalled progress on the project. Girls have already begun to make use of their new beds and the community feels more assured that its young students will be safer.
"People are overjoyed and thankful for the construction that is taking place. Mothers have approached the project leader and me personally to thank us for the opportunity we are providing for her Form 1 daughter. The mother's oldest daughter was a student of mine last year, but was expelled because she became pregnant before she could graduate. The mother was close to tears as she expressed her gratitude and hope for her younger daughter." - Rebekah, Peace Corps Volunteer
"My good friend was raped last year walking home from school after remedial classes. She accepted a lift from a motorcycle driver, but he only wanted to give her a lift to have sex with her. It was very bad. I am scared many days walking home from school if it is late. It will be better to stay at school in the new dormitories because we can study late and can stay here." - Salma, 15 years old, Project Beneficiary