Imagine you are a girl who wants to continue her education at high school. And your parents agree to send you! However, you live in rural Tanzania and the closest secondary school is over 20 miles from your home. You suggest renting a room with a family in town near the school, but your parents think that you will be at risk staying with strangers. They don’t have a car to drive you and bus service is erratic or non-existent. Finally, your parents know it is too risky for you to walk long distances unaccompanied each day. What do you do?
The government of Tanzania has made great strides to make education accessible for girls. It has encouraged the church to build and operate schools across the country. But housing remains a problem. As the city of Tabora grows and the government encourages more schools to open, there are more students who need safe housing. In May 2016, ARDF approved a project to build a dormitory that will house 80 girls attending St. Peter’s Secondary school In Tabora, Tanzania. You can read the original proposal here.
With the first installment of grant funds, construction has begun. The foundation has been laid, the walls and roof completed, and half of the windows and doors have been installed. Over eighty percent of the building has been plastered. The project is on schedule to open its doors to girls in the fall of 2017.
We are excited because once completed, the hostel also will create a welcoming community of girls who may worship together at the local church. In 2013, ARDF funded the construction of a similar hostel. Happyness Gasper is one student who benefited.
I completed Form IV at St. Peters Secondary School-Tabora, owned by the Diocese of Tabora of the Anglican Church of Tanzania. My parents stay [37 miles] from Tabora Municipal where the school is located. If there were no hostel at the school … I would not have gotten the chance to attend secondary school. But, because the accommodation here is comparatively affordable and safe, my parents agreed to pay for me to stay there and attend school.
— Happyness Gasper, former student at St. Peter’s Secondary School, Sikonge, Tabora, Tanzania
Currently, ARDF is partnering with several churches to build school hostels. These relatively short term and sustainable projects will positively affect generations for years to come. What makes this particular project sustainable is the fact that the rent received will help fund church-planting activities in the Diocese. ARDF is excited to empower these local leaders to continue their good work in the community.
Tabora communities have benefited, are aware [of] and appreciate the work done by the diocese.” — Gerald Ntiritobora, principal civil technician, Department of Community Development, Uyui District, Tabora