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The Heaven Pre & Primary School in Kiserian, Tanzania, is a private English-medium school that is now serving more than 200 children in nursery through Standard 7 (~ages 3 to 14) in 10 classrooms. Founded by Sister Crispina Mnate, Heaven first opened to provide a quality education for the youngest of the 47 orphans for whom Sister is the legal guardian as the director of The St. Joseph's Orphanage. Today, 19 of the students are from St. Joseph's and the rest come families living in surrounding villages.

Since Unite began working with Sister Crispina Mnate in 2014, we have renovated the pre-primary building, constructed toilets blocks for both the boys and girls, installed hand washing stations, built the block of seven new primary classrooms and the administration building (which includes now a fully stocked school library as well as teacher offices, a conference room and indoor toilets), and installed a playground and comprehensive rain water harvesting systems on all the buildings. In May 2017 we brought TANESCO power to the school and for the first time ever there is light! In November 2017 we completed the building of a 10-foot wall to secure and protect the ~5 acre campus. Other current and future projects include: 

  • Installing a sport court for basketball and volleyball.
  • Leveling playing fields. 
  • Building more classrooms (to increase our capacity from our current 270 to more than 500 students), a school kitchen and dining hall, and additional toilets.
  • Working with the administration to provide the support of expert consultants, professional development for the staff, and advanced programs for the students (computer training, music education, professional sports coaching, art, etc.) 

Why:

A high quality, English-speaking education in Tanzania is difficult to find and cost prohibitive for the vast majority of children. In fact, less than 2% of the country’s youth will ever attend upper secondary school, and 1 in 5 girls has no education at all. Studies show that students who receive private primary educations are far more likely to attend quality secondary schools and then go on to college or University. As one community leader said, “These children are orphans. No one is looking out for them… Education is all they have.”

Not only is Heaven providing a safe, quality education for hundreds of children in need, it is also creating teaching and support jobs for surrounding community members and ultimately, through school fees, an income stream that will empower the school (and the orphanage) to become self-sufficient with operations.

Recently Heaven was cited as a "model" school by authorities. That is due, in part, to the expertise of our education consultant Astridah Katalyeba, who brings to Heaven more than 30 years of experience as a teacher and administrator at primary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities across East Africa.  

See our 2017 Heaven Wish List here.