Read on to learn about the 4 components to our program and how we select students. . .
1. Fund a Student: Primary school in Tanzania (and much of the developing world) is free; secondary school is not. Every year, thousands of 7th grade students pass the exam qualifying them for secondary school, but are unable to complete their education due to school fees which average around $150/year.
To address this, we have created a person-to-person funding site. Students in need of funding create personalized profile pages with their name, age, hometown, what they want to be, and a detailed list of their school costs per year. Funders arrive at the site and can see exactly who and what their money goes to. Our goal is to afford bright, young minds the opportunity to continue their growth and education.
2. Fund a School: Once students are in school, schools are often under-funded, under-equipped, and under-staffed. When asked what they would do with all the money in the world, teachers we spoke to said they would buy materials for their classrooms and supplies for students to pursue their diverse interests. Lab equipment, musical instruments, art supplies, computers, books, sewing machines and sports equipment frequented students' and teachers' wish-lists. Our goal is to provide teachers and schools with a full portfolio of learning materials to supplement students' educations.
3. Create a Network: We've noticed that education is such a complex, multi-faceted issue. Not only do students need funding to continue going to school, but schools often need help ...
There are so many projects currently underway working to address educational inequality, yet there is a lack of coordination. Imagine coming into an impoverished community, building them a school, providing its students with the funds to attend that school, develop curriculum around a set of new learning materials including music instruments, lab equipment, computers, art supplies, and providing students with the basic necessities such as pencils, paper and solar lights, to effectively engage in their learning. That is the kind of holistic transformation we would like to facilitate, all with the help of partner organizations and government initiatives that use our funding platform
4. Connect People: Why not use the power of the internet to connect people from around the globe? One thing we've learned, as we've spent more and more time in this wonderful part of the world, is that we all have so much to learn from one another. The students, teachers and families we've interacted with in Tanzania have opened our eyes to a world we would have never seen before
Selecting Students: We believe that members of the school community are the best suited to determine which students should receive funding. We employ the help of village councils, headmasters, and teachers in identifying students who are then featured on our site. These individuals know their student bodies well, and in many cases, already identify scholarship students for government scholarships that never come, simply because the government is too over-stretched. We ask that students fit TSF's scholarship criteria, which are:
In some cases, we even employ help from the students themselves, in identifying which of their peers are the most needy. For example, students at our first partner school Lugalo Secondary School were asked to vote amongst themselves on who they thought needed financial help the most. It was incredibly encouraging to see this process actually work. Students didn't all vote for themselves; instead, several students ended up with 8-10 votes, and we learned that many of these were orphans, or students coming from other extenuating circumstances.
Apart from pure financial need, we look for students with a passion for learning, big dreams, respect for their teachers and peers, a history of good attendance and excellent grades. We will work with each of our partner schools to make sure the selection criteria are appropriate for their student body, and larger school community, but we anticipate these criteria will remain largely unchanged.