Mangola Secondary School
The Mangola Secondary School is situated on a small hill on the outskirts of the Kisima Ngeda village. The salt lake, Lake Eyasi, shimmers on the horizon. About 300 pupils attend the secondary school divided into four years. Many of the children must walk up to 15 km through the bush every day in order to reach the school. Classes beginn at 8:00am, school days end at 4:30pm. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, Kiswaheli, English, geography and history are the subjects taught. For corresponding academic performances, the Secondary School's final certificate serves as a prerequisite in order to study at a College.
All the pupils receive breakfast and lunch such as Ugali (cornmeal mush), rice and beans. There are holidays over Easter and Christmas, as well as in the summer for a month. There is as little running water as there is electricity. Only a solar panel provides electrity in a limited extend. Needs in drinking water are attempted to be covered by a water pump and water tanks.
Every year, fairtrade media funds scholarships to schoolgirls and schoolboys in Tanzania. This enables the pupils to attend a secondary school and, with the appropriate acedemic achievements, enables them also the access to a College education. During our last visit to Tanzania we had the chance to meet a few of the pupils that receive this scholarship.
Joyce Peter walks down the dusty village street of Kisima Ngeda. She just turned 20 years old. As long as the boarding-school of the Mangola Secondary School is not finished, she lives at her uncle's in Kisima Ngeda. Her mother and her four brothers and sisters live at the outskirts of the small town Endamagahy. "Unfortunately too far away to go from there to school every day", she comments. Joyce's favorite subjects are natural sciences - she doesn't like English at all she says, smiling.
The 17 years-old Pendaeli Bakari mutters a shy "Good Morning" as she enters the office of the Lake Eyasi Trust Foudation. It is the school holidays still she wears her colourful school uniform very proudly. During the school period she walks home every week-end for 3 hours on a dusty path and in the blazing sun, this in order to help her mother with the goat farming and with taking care of her four younger brothers and sisters. When asked what the best thing at school had been in the passed year she answers like a pistol shot: "The trip to the Ngorongoro crater!", and gazes over dreamily at the Serengeti.
Neema Yeremiah just comes back from playing volleyball as we meet. It's Sunday. Usually she hast to look after her family's goats on Sundays. Not today, it's her 18th birthday which she spends with her girlfriends. As the baby of the family, she gets at least for once a time-out from her brothers. Usually though, she says pensive, they all have to help on the peasant farm, otherwise it does not suffice to survive. There is not time left to learn on week-ends. "My father? I don't know him...". After school she would like to study medicine - this is why she also wants to go to College after the 4th year, in order to obtain an admission for university.
Until 2012, breakfast and lunch was prepared in wooden barracks on the clay soil for the approximately 300 pupils. A few stones served as fireplace between which logs were burned. Without any smoke outlet the kitchen workers had to prepare the meals in the smoke. There were neither running water nore a work surface to prepare the food.
The new kitchen was installed by local masons, has a floor made out of concrete and is equipped with a solid roof. Three energy-efficient cooking units have drastically reduced the use of wood, as well as considerably decreased the kitchen workers' workload and exposure to smoke.