The project will be implemented in the Village of Sungwi (Masaki ward) in Kisarawe district, Tanzania. Kisarawe district, which is located at the coast, south of Dar es Salaam city, is one of the 6 divisions of Pwani region. The population in the area is predominately the Zaramo and the main languages spoken and understood are Zaramo and Swahili. In the past twenty to thirty years, poverty levels among the population living in Kisarawe areas have worsened. The appalling and worsening poverty situation has been a result of a number of factors. There is the rapidly increasing population density in one of the already most densely populated parts of the country. Furthermore, there are decreasing employment opportunities as a result of nationalization and eventually collapse of the 6 cashew nuts plantations in the Division, which used to provide jobs for hundreds of people throughout the year. And on top of that, decreasing farm sizes and small plots, as parents subdivide their small farms into even smaller plots for their offspring, leaving little or no land for cultivation.

Over the past 30-40 years, the government, in collaboration with the Community, has constructed many primary schools. The increasing enrolment at primary level has been both a blessing and a curse. While it opens up the girls’ minds and possibility for higher learning, it also raises their expectations. They feel left out of most possibilities because they consider themselves educated and hence prefer not to follow their parent’s subsistence farming careers. In any case, they cannot find farmland for agriculture in the village because even the very tiny plots that they will eventually inherit remain under control of their parents or even grandparents until the girls have married or are about to marry.

This results in a high level of school dropout and consequently anti-social behavior in the village. Some of the girls engage in prostitution, early marriages, teenage pregnancies and alcoholism. All these problems have worsened considerably in Kisarawe district. The numbers of these offences reported to police are on the increase. The high level of poverty and the inability of the population to find gainful employment and livelihood beyond the traditional sources have had a very adverse effect on the environment around Kisarawe.

In comparison to the number of primary schools, there is a shortage of secondary schools in remote and sparsely located settlements. Centralized schools tend to be not easily accessible by all children from neighboring villages, and this is more problematic to female students, hence low female student turn over and/or high student drop outs have been observed.


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