It’s been more than three years since our last blog post and school is back in session… literally! Neema International just opened Uru Academy, our very own school! Our new solar-powered classrooms are designed from converted cargo crates. The project combines sustainability and innovation to promote bright futures.
Uru Academy has five classrooms, supporting over seventy at risk children in the Uru area. The school delivers high quality education with a focus on whole child wellbeing. Tanzanian children often start to fall behind in academics when the instruction language switches from Swahili to English. Our school focuses on English immersion to give students the strong foundation they need. Our committed teachers guide students in subjects ranging from science and math to music and art. We have teacher ratios that beat even U.S. standards with an average of three teachers to fifteen students in each class. At the same time, we provide children two meals and a snack every day, have them brush their teeth twice a day and connect them to health services when
Uru Academy is also the new home to the Digitruck, our remedial program to help older children who dropped out return to school. We also have a new office that is perfect for organizing sponsorship activities. We continue to support Tuleeni orphanage and the children who live there. Plus, many of them attend Uru Academy!
Neema International is growing fast. Building an orphanage, re-engaging children who have dropped out of school, building a new school, sponsoring more and more children to achieve their dreams…
On top of it all, Mandy Stein, our executive director and founder is currently at Harvard pursuing her master’s degree. Every class she is taking is relevant to the improvement of Neema International. We can’t wait to see what she thinks of next! In the meantime, co-director Ali Hanson is taking charge of things on ground. Ali has a business background and passion for children.
Together, Mandy and Ali have been able to raise more than 1.2 million dollars for Neema International since July 2013. They’ve worked non-stop to raise money, manage resources and supervise their programs… without taking a single penny for themselves!
And then, there’s me! I’m Nicole Griffin, a UT alumni with an early childhood education background volunteering with Neema International for one year. I’ll be updating the blog on all the amazing things these children, Mandy, co-director Ali Hanson and I get up to… so stay tuned!