The library which was sponsored by Wentworth Africa Foundation as part of ongoing support to the school, at a cost of 31.6m/-.
The foundation partnered with Read International a youth driven educational developmental organization which began its life in 2004. It was founded by a group of socially entrepreneurial students, led by Rob Willison. He was inspired to start it following a gap year teaching in Tanzania.
Read International works in all regions in Tanzania mainland and to date has supported 113schools with libraries and provided more than 1.6 million books and other reading materials in 21 regions across Tanzanian. They have worked with more than 1000 volunteers mainly university students and continuing graduates.
The library refurbishment program in Mandera secondary school engaged 5 volunteers and worked hand in hand with the school authorities and students.
Read International’s vision is to impact students with the power of education and to enable them to reach their full potential. The funding provided by Wentworth Africa Foundation enabled not just the refurbishment of the structure but also the provision of basic furniture, 3 computers and 882 books.
Teachers and students were also trained to run the library and the computers are connected to Shule Direct—a web platform delivering qualified educational content that serves as a supplementary for learning and revision for students and a teaching resource of teachers in secondary schools in Tanzania.
Speaking at the handing over function, president of the foundation, Barb McBean said the support was very much in line with the foundation’s vision where they see education as the key towards changing society.
“Our vision is to impact students with the power of education and enable them to realize their full potential,” McBean, said, urging students to work hard and to take their studies seriously.
For her part, headmistress of the school, Rose Kabisa said that the school that was founded in 2009 has 524 students who board at the school. She said the school has been focused on raising passes .They had 3 division zeros in the final exams for form 4 and 2 last year and that they had now embarked on a campaign dubbed “eliminate division zero”
‘’We thank Wentworth Africa Foundation and Read International very much for giving us such a wonderful gift for learning. Today opened up a whole new world of learning for us and we are the envy of the other schools around us. We will use this library effectively and will be happy to share the tools with our surrounding neighbours. Wentworth Africa Foundation is a great friend to us providing us this year with a library and last year with sanitary pads for our girls,” she said.
Deputy minister of Energy, Subira Mgalu lauded Wentworth Africa Foundation for the substantial financial assistance to Read International for the library refurbishment. She said it was the first modern library in the district and expected that it will help students to improve their knowledge and grades.
‘’ Tanzania is working hard to become a middle income country by 2025 , so we need to uplift all sectors including education, this is one way we do so, by providing access to information through books and ICT”, she added.