Behind The Scenes: TFFT’s Scholar Identification Process

May 4, 2018

How does TFFT identify students for the Scholarship Program?

So much goes into the scholarship identification process, we figured you might be interested in learning more! At its heart, The Foundation For Tomorrow aims to serve orphan and vulnerable children. When TFFT began in 2006, we relied on referrals from Tanzanian orphanages we worked with. They were our vetting tool when choosing scholars to participate in our Scholarship Program.
The information provided to us was valuable, but it was not always the only data TFFT needed. It also left out a critical fact when it comes to serving Tanzanian children and following our mission: Not all orphans are vulnerable, and not all vulnerable children are orphans. This crucial information helped TFFT restructure how we choose our scholars and truly provide services for those most vulnerable.

The Foundation For Tomorrow follows a non-discrimination policy, thus, our criteria for selection is not based on gender, religion, or ethnicity. Our selection process seeks to ensure that the Scholarship Program is reaching and providing for the most vulnerable.

Children are selected depending on multiple considerations: history of vulnerability, age and present class, ability to be able to fit within the partnership school community, the Poverty Probability Index (PPI), and more.

TFFT has two ways of enrolling children in the Scholarship Program. The first one, which has been used for some time, is through an application. The second is through community identification. The students who apply and those identified in the community will go through the same process of verification.

Community Identification

In Community Identification, we engage community leaders in identifying MVCs (most vulnerable children) that are most in need. To quality for a scholarship, a child must be:

  • At least 5 years old at the time of application
  • About to start primary school or is currently attending school
  • Must be able to show evidence of vulnerability, orphanhood and/or dire financial situation in the household (verifiable from the Village Leaders and/or Social Welfare Office)

TFFT then allows any other community structure that works with orphan and vulnerable children look over and verify the list of potential scholars identified.


If a child is applying for the Scholarship Program, their parents or guardians do so on their behalf. This would include a representative from an orphanage, should that be the child’s circumstances. A Village Chairperson or Village Executive Officer must confirm the information on the application. A reference letter from the Social Welfare Office must also be submitted with the application.

After receiving all of the application materials, the TFFT team begins reviewing the information received and certifying that is is correct. Next, there is an interview conducted by TFFT staff with the guardian/relative and the child applying for the scholarship. Lastly, there is a home visit following the interview. After home visits, selected applicants will be informed of their acceptance into the program! Agreements are signed by TFFT and the guardian of the new scholar. There are other steps that can be taken prior to acceptance to help the child succeed in more than just academics!

  • With parent/guardian permission, letting the child undergo a medical test including HIV test. The results of these tests will not in any way affect the student’s admission to the Scholarship Program, though it will help guide us in our support of the child.
  • The current guardian/parent can grant TFFT a form of legal guardianship of the child from the date of scholarship acceptance. This will allow TFFT to assist the child in the absence of the actual guardian/parent. This will be verified and made official by a Village Chairperson.

Our former Scholarship Manager, Stephen, meets with a scholar and a Village Leader.

Too often, circumstances out of a child’s control hold them back from reaching their full potential. While the scholar identification process may seem long, the TFFT team wants to ensure that we are reaching and providing access to education for those children that are most in need. By assessing the factors listed earlier, we are able to provide scholars entering our program with opportunities that they might not have had prior to joining us. TFFT believes education is power. Through education access, TFFT hopes one day to see a world where all children contribute to society as active and empowered citizens free of exclusion, disadvantage, and vulnerability.

Interested in learning more about our Scholarship Program? Click the photo below!