Perhaps you are wondering how and where The Foundation For Tomorrow identifies the children we support under the Scholarship Program. In 2018, UNICEF reported that 88% of children in Tanzania are deprived in at least three dimensions of well-being. That is: Nutrition, Health, Education, Protection, Water, Housing, Sanitation and Information. Mid-year, Tanzania was earmarked as a middle-income country and although this is true, there is still a challenge and a huge need for children living in difficult environments to access quality education.
When our current president Dr. John Pombe Magufuli took office, he put into action the policy of free education with contributions such as school uniforms and meals for students, but even with that, it is unfortunate that there are still families that are unable to finance education. These children live with the fear of not knowing whether or not they will go to school the next day because their parent/guardian has not made the contribution. This kind of fear in their minds and hearts is a hindrance to reach their full potential and thrive in their communities, it is indeed a leeway for them to be less interested or even drop out of school.
In the last two weeks, the Scholarship Program team, together with our able logistics and transportation coordinator, were out in the field in search of the most vulnerable children to join TFFT’s Scholarship Program for the year 2021. This is an activity that takes place at the end of each year.
The process of scholar identification requires involvement of the district government and the social welfare office. TFFT is currently working with 6 districts: Arusha City, Meru DC, Monduli, Arumeru, Simanjiro and Lushoto. This year, we have expanded our reach to develop partnership with the Babati District in Manyara region. We informed the government offices of our interest in working to identify children in vulnerable environments who would benefit from an educational scholarship.
With their approval, we visited primary schools in the district, believing that teachers are in a better position to spot students whose homes and families are stricken by poverty, making them vulnerable and that without a scholarship opportunity they are not likely to reach their goals. After getting a list from the teachers, we visit their homes and conduct interviews with their parents/guardians as well as assessing their vulnerability through a tool called Poverty Probability Index (PPI).
We also receive application letters all year round from individuals who have heard about our work. Once the letters are received, they are filed waiting for the end of year scholar identification process. These individuals are visited in their homes with the same assessment tools to gauge their vulnerability. In the end, all information is analyzed and students who fit in our category are selected. This year 10 students have been successful to join the TFFT scholarship program for 2021.
We are looking forward to a good collaboration from both students and their parents/guardians and we can’t wait to reveal them to you on our family day.