When a Tanzanian says "education is the key to my life", they are telling the truth. fws will ensure that Kesho Leo families and members of the wider community of Sinon are all given the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational programs.
An important aspect of the children's villages built by fws is our onsite interactive education programs. These unique programs are attended by all residents of Kesho Leo children’s village.
These well-planned education facilities include a bilingual early learning centre, a primary and secondary tuition centre, and post-schooling and community education programs (both in the classroom, and on the farm!)
Pre-primary school sessions are held in the mornings, while after school there are tuition programs for those attending the local primary or secondary school. There are also additional learning opportunities for all ages during the week and on weekends, including health, English, and permaculture education sessions.
Through these programs, not only will Kesho kids grow to become contributing members of Tanzanian society, but the wider community will continue to appreciate lifelong learning.
educating kesho kids
Our early learning bilingual centre is staffed by Tanzanian teachers and our fws professional volunteer role of Kesho Leo Education Manager. The staff implement a well-resourced, interactive educational program that promotes preschool-aged children to become bilingual, divergent thinkers, and the problem solvers of the future.
This program aims to work in conjunction with the current Tanzanian primary school curriculum, not replace it. It also aims to enhance the primary academic standards, which are often restricted by a lack of immediate resources in Tanzanian primary schools.
We think this is such a great idea that we don’t limit these sessions to just Kesho Leo’s residents - kids from neighbouring families and also fws employees’ kids are invited to attend. Over time, the local primary school should see many ‘school ready’ students coming out of the woodwork to enrol in year one – already well on their way to being bilingual!
By implementing a positive and early interactive learning program into the daily lives of the local kids, we are establishing or re-establishing their learning skills. Our daily onsite classes are based around attaining skills, understanding processes, and feeling successful.
Through a series of hands-on activities, which make use of our immediate environment, the children enjoy pre-literacy and pre-numeracy activities, drama, art, movement games, music, everyday science and community enquiry.
By engaging in different learning styles, making mistakes, asking questions, discussing answers, relying on each other for support and also relying on themselves, these kids are being encouraged to solve problems daily and to develop a lifelong love of learning.
fws aims to encourage a generation of kids to think, question, create, and enjoy problem solving, in order to better serve their nation in the future.
Nursery One classes include the youngest of our learners. Kesho kids under three years, and those from the wider community who are three to four years old, are invited to attend this fun ‘play-based’ program. We are currently operating Nursery One three times a week during the mornings for one and a half hours, with Kesho’s very own house mamas taking responsibility for some of the activities.
Nursery Two encourages our nursery learners to begin solving problems and is for kids aged four to five. This program sees the beginning of many pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills acquired. There are three morning sessions a week, each running for two hours.
Pre-primary is the year for our kids to prepare for their first year within the Tanzanian education system. Kesho kids and those from the wider community who are five to six years old are invited to attend. fws has designed this program in collaboration with the local primary school, to ensure that our pre-primary goals provide adequate preparation for the expectations of the first year of schooling. This program currently runs four times a week during the morning, and each session is three hours.
tuition: lower primary
This tuition class occurs twice a week from 2 – 4 pm (after school), and allows for the Kesho kids who are in standard 1, 2 and 3 to show off their knowledge.
Kesho Leo teachers help to consolidate what has been learnt during the week at school.
tuition: upper primary
This tuition class occurs twice a week from 3 – 5 pm (after school), and allows for standard 4, 5, 6 and 7 students to consolidate their learning and extend their English language skills, which are essential for entry into secondary school.
tuiton: lower secondary and upper secondary
This tuition will occur in the evenings under our solar-powered study lights. The demands of secondary school are high, due to the entire curriculum being presented in English. Kesho kids will be supported in adopting good study skills, problem solving strategies, and the correct application of knowledge acquired thoughout the day.
educating adults in the wider community
Kesho Leo is establishing itself as a valued community education centre. Kesho mamas, past and present employees of Kesho Leo, as well as members of the wider community, are encouraged to participate in community education opportunities as they arise. These include:
permaculture farming techniques
Kesho Leo boasts a well-established farm which provides ample educational opportunities for learners of all ages. Read more about permaculture education at Kesho Leo.
sewing and tailoring skills
Sewing and tailoring are skills much admired in Tanzania, among both men and women, and are skills which can easily lead to a job.
Kesho Leo mamas have been learning to sew in the Kesho Leo sewing room (funded by JB Were) since 2008. Sewing classes are run three days a week by a volunteer, and two days a week they are taught by a local seamstress. The quality of work produced by mamas has gradually increased, as has the mamas interest in design and learning different techniques.
By observing sales the mamas are learning what is appealing to their market. The colourful range of bags, purses and cushion covers are available at a tourist market stall in Arusha, fws fundraisers in Arusha, and to visitors to Kesho Leo.
This small business initiative will one day contribute towards fws’ goal of Kesho Leo becoming financially sustainable, as well as giving mamas practical and business skills they can turn into income when they leave Kesho Leo.
english language tuition
Learning English as a second or third language is an advantage for all Tanzanians. Those who have already acquired English as an additional language have far better chances of landing a job within any industry in Tanzania.
The secondary curriculum is delivered entirely in English and we believe that those who have not had the opportunity to attend secondary school shouldn’t miss out. Kesho Leo already runs English classes for the house mamas, and fws looks forward to one day extending this opportunity to the wider community.
information technology and maths
During three months of 2008, fws volunteers had the time and resources to introduce an exciting new concept to Kesho Leo’s house mamas – information technology.
The mamas were introduced to computers, email and internet. This class was enjoyed by the whole group, and they learnt things like how to turn a computer on, keyboard basics, opening, creating and saving a basic Word document, how to find a website using google, and the art of emailing.
Maths is an important skill for everyday life, even in the village of Sinon. During 2009 Kesho Leo house mamas participated in a weekly maths class where they learnt things like measurement, fractions and percentages and problem solving. Simple business skills such as calculating profit and loss were also important topics covered. Basic maths skills will give mamas the confidence to help Kesho Leo kids with their homework and to help out in after school tuition, as well as giving mamas basic knowledge for running a small business.
From our very first community meeting, fws
knew that education in all areas of community health was much sought after. Kesho Leo runs health classes with Kesho mamas, covering topics such as nutrition, water sanitation, living with HIV, gender roles, children’s health, and malaria prevention. fws
plans to extend this opportunity to the wider community very soon.
During the building of Kesho Leo between July 2008 until October 2009, fws employees (predominantly subsistence farmers) have learnt and gained experience in a wide variety of building, carpentry, maintenance, and small motor skills. With these new skills, ex-employees of Kesho Leo now have a wider range of job opportunities available to them.
Kesho Leo Community Education Centre provides a beautiful open learning space for residents and the wider community. Community leaders have already taken up the opportunity to use Kesho Leo as a base for community meetings. These meetings have covered topics such as gender issues, budgeting and community acceptance of HIV.
To learn more about any of the fws education programs happening at Kesho Leo, contact fws's education manager.