Unification News for October 2002

IRFF Adult Education Program in Tanzania

by Arnold Kashembe

Turning into the 21st century, education becomes life. A person without education is excluded from knowledge and life. Many people in Tanzania did not have great access to study while others had a chance of completing only standard VII (primary education). The main cause of this situation is known to be poverty. Among many poor communities, Jangwani Ward, in Dar es Salaam is well known to have very few educated people. This situation refrains its inhabitants from having proper jobs to run their daily lives. Instead many people deal with small business and illegal business such as drug trafficking, prostitution, robbery, conning, etc.

One adult class was initiated mid last year 2001 by JADECO (Jangwani Development Community) with purpose of teaching old people how to write and to read. The class was not very successful because of lack of volunteer teachers. Called on by JADECO, the IRFF - Tanzania (TRFF) has been given the responsibility to conduct this education. Our initiation becomes broader and attracts many people and Organizations that wish to work together in-order to develop Jangwani (a forgotten community).

We have now a block of five (5) classrooms at the Mnazi Mmoja Primary School fully at our disposal. We have turned it into a center that we name Jangwani Adult Education Center.

Many organizations were afraid to run their activities in Jangwani area because of its bad reputation of drug trafficking and addiction. IRFF-Tanzania has made a step towards this community. We walk along streets in this area, calling people to join our center for their education.

We work hard to achieve our goals, which are: 1. To create awareness on the importance of education in the community. 2. To acquire people with knowledge on how to read and write. 3. To train people on how to use computers in order to be connected to the world. 4. To provide the community people with vocational education in carpentry, mechanics, sewing, for self-reliance. 5. To acquire the community people with small business management skills that will enable them to raise income for their daily life. 6. To acquire people with the capacity building on catering by training them on the hygienic conditions of keeping and selling food so as to avoid diseases to the consumers.

We have established cooperation with very reliable Organizations e.g. Aga Khan Foundation, which has taken the responsibility of training our 6 (six) volunteers teachers for the effective result of this education, The Ilala Municipal which has donated some carpentry tools, the British Council (Tanzania) which has provided us with some English teaching books, and audio teaching materials.

Some other organizations such as EMAU, VETA (Vocational Education Training Agency) have promised to give us their support.

The targeted people in this program are the youth and the elderly people disadvantaged and illiterate, who suffer from poverty. This is to give them the tools to build a productive, self - reliant life.

We believe that education is a long tern effort, an unconditional service that will enable Jangwani Ward people to contribute meaningfully to the progress of their community.

The Center is managed by IRFF - Tanzania with the full participation of JADECO and the community.

Great effort is needed to be done to help this community turn into a peaceful area with healthy people. It needs courage, heart, investment tolerance, sacrifice and hard working to bring prosperity in Jangwani. IRFF has come at the right time to apply this motto 'People first' in this forgotten community.

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