Educate, Discover, Play: TFFT's Learning Centre

June 15, 2018

The Foundation For Tomorrow envisions a world in which all children contribute to society as active and empowered citizens, free of exclusion, disadvantage, and vulnerability. We believe that offering opportunity to the future generation gives hope for a better tomorrow for us all.

As many of you already know, TFFT is working toward building an innovative, interactive Learning Centre, the first of its kind in Tanzania. TFFT’s new state of the art Learning Centre will broaden our impact, enrich the experience of TFFT Scholars, and offer valuable educational opportunities for thousands in need. To learn more about how this idea began and receive a more broad overview, see our full brochure!

Over the next few weeks, we want to share a more in-depth look at specific parts of the Learning Centre. There are so many working parts that are going into creating a facility that will not only provide for our scholars, but for their families and community members. While this building will be a place of learning, TFFT also hopes it will be a facility that children and adults alike can enjoy themselves and have fun!

One way we hope to do this is by including innovative elements that encourage children to interact with one another and the physical space. We have been inspired by other similar state of the art facilities like ImaginOn in Charlotte, NC and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA. Textures, colors, shapes, and interactive pieces can be found all over these learning centers and they engage children in a fun, fresh way that keeps their attention while helping them learn.

What differentiates The Learning Centre from other similar facilities is the holistically sustainable nature of the structure itself. The building will be a science project in and of itself. It can be used as a tool for students and the public alike to ask questions, think deeper and understand how we all contribute to the betterment of the world. One way we plan to do this is by teaching sustainability through the visible conservation of resources throughout the space. Humanity is increasingly living beyond our means. We currently consume 50% more natural resources than the Earth’s ecosystem can replenish. As the warmer weather arrives here in the US and we spend more time outside, it becomes harder to ignore the impact humans have on our planet.

The One Planet Living (OPL) Initiative is structured around 10 principles of sustainability and aims to demonstrate that living sustainably is possible, affordable, and desirable. TFFT will use the OPL framework to help us work within our fair share of our planet’s resources. The sustainability piece of the Learning Centre will aid the building in not only being a place of education, but allow the physical space itself to be a learning tool.

  1. Zero Carbon: Avoid human-induced build up of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    • Make the building energy efficient
    • Deliver all energy with renewable technologies
    • Help foster a renewable energy economy
  2. Zero Waste: Limit discarding products that create disposal problems and squander valuable resources.
    • Re-use, recycle, and compost
    • Reduce waste by improving product design
    • Generate employment in recycling (identify waste that can be utilized for economic development through community initiatives)
    • Eliminate landfill
  3. Sustainable Transportation: Travel by car and airplane is contributing to climate change, air and noise pollution, and congestion.
    • Promote walking and biking as part of a healthy lifestyle
    • Promote and make accessible public transport to reduce dependency on cars and to save people money
    • Promote low emission and electric vehicles
    • Reduce the need to travel (use web technology for meetings)
  4. Local and Sustainable Materials: Resource exploitation increases environmental damage and reduces benefits to local community.
    • Use local, reclaimed, renewable, and recyclable materials while building from the ground up.
  5. Local and Sustainable Food: Industrial agriculture produces food of uncertain quality, harms local ecosystems, and may have high transport impacts.
    • TFFT intends to not only utilize food from local farmers but also promote the value of local products as a whole.
    • Promote healthy eating through seasonal food
    • Support jobs in local and environmentally friendly food production
    • Prevent food being wasted
  6. Sustainable Water: Local supplies of freshwater are often insufficient to meet human needs due to pollution, disruption of hydrological cycles, and depletion.
    • Use of a well
    • Use water more efficiently in buildings and in the products we buy
    • Tackling local flooding and water source pollution
    • Use rainwater and recycle water where possible
    • Manage open spaces to capture and store water, or to restore natural water system such as aquifers
  7. Land Use and Wildlife: While the Learning Centre will be in a more urban setting, we will ensure there is biodiversity in the natural area we have our building on.
    • Protect and expand old habitats and create new space for wildlife
    • Manage land to increase its natural productivity by using gardening or farming practices which improve rather than deplete soils
  8. Culture and Community: Local cultural heritage is being lost throughout the world due to globalization, resulting in loss of local identity and knowledge.
    • Foster a culture of sustainability
    • Celebrate and revive traditional culture and heritage to create a sense of local identity and pride
    • Revive local identity and wisdom
    • Support participation in arts and local events
  9. Equity and Local Economy: Some in the industrialized world live in relative poverty, while many in the developing world cannot meet their basic needs from what they produce or sell.
    • Promote equality, local economic development, and fair trade to ensure a beneficial impact on communities locally and globally
    • Buy from local businesses where possible
    • Create inclusive, empowering, work places with equitable pay
  10. Health and Happiness: Rising wealth and greater health and happiness increasingly diverge, raising questions about the true basis of well-being and contentment.
    • Make it easy to adopt healthy lifestyles through walking, cycling, healthy eating, and community activities which enhance well-being
    • Foster a culture of neighborhood and community care

This center will be the first of its kind in Tanzania and will serve as a beacon of hope, accessible to all citizens and TFFT scholars. Through the Centre, TFFT hopes to improve our existing programs, engage the entire community, and ignite lifelong learners. The need for quality education in Tanzania is more clear and urgent than ever, and systemic change must start at the community level. We hope this new endeavor will foster healthy and productive communities of people who represent a positive future for their nation and hope for our world. If you’d like to be part of this groundbreaking project, click here!