Aspire to Africa 2017
The sixth annual trip and year three of the Buyuni One Primary School Project created memories and an impact that will last a lifetime.
16 individuals, made up of the Aspire team and Bishop Vesey students, travelled from England to Tanzania and were welcomed with open arms by the Buyuni One Primary School staff, children and parents.
Over the two weeks our team delivered PE activities and worked alongside teachers in the classroom supporting the delivery of subjects such as maths, English, geography and science. The team also delivered their own lessons sharing innovative teaching ideas and engaging with the children to encourage creativity.
The Aspire to Africa team’s last visit to Buyuni One highlighted sanitation, a reliable water source, power, the teaching and learning environments and teachers’ accommodation to be major challenges faced by the school that are affecting the children’s education. The low quality of the teachers’ accommodation with its poor building work and broken mosquito nets means the risk of malaria is high; the poor ventilation leads to extreme heat during the hotter months and there is no access to electricity. This led to a high turnover of staff in addition to teachers being unable to plan lessons. As a result, an aim of Aspire to Africa is to enhance school infrastructure.
Year three of the Buyuni One project revealed the impact of the Aspire to Africa team. The facilities of the school have seen significant improvement. A new well supplying fresh water has been established, and solar panels installed for the classrooms. 2 out of the 4 teaching accommodations have been completely refurbished with the Aspire to Africa team supporting in painting the interior and exterior of the buildings. The installation of the water supply has led to the extension of the medical centre and the electricity means teachers can plan their lessons on an evening.
The progress made over the last three years has been momentous. Prior to the project’s involvement, 4 out of 50 children who took their secondary progression exam passed. Since the team’s work with Buyuni One they have now reported that 42 out of 50 children have passed their secondary exam. Two years ago the school was rated 78th out of 90 schools in the district; since the engagement of Aspire to Africa they are now rated 7th.
The trip not only had an impact on the students, teachers and school but on each individual involved. The Aspire team spoke of the skills they have gained, the knowledge they have developed and their increased confidence. When asked what they would say to someone considering the trip, their answer was go, it is a trip of a lifetime.