Since 2006, NTC has formed a partnership with the community of Kwala, Tanzania. This partnership started with Kwala Secondary School, and has expanded to include Mahundi Primary School, the Kwala Medical Clinic, and the Kwala community at large.
Kwala Ward (a ward is like a town) is located in the Kibaha-Pwani Coastal Region of Tanzania, just 80 kilometers west of the country’s largest city, Dar es Salaam. It takes about four hours to travel to Kwala from the center of Dar es Salaam. The last 18 km of the trip can only be traveled by a jeep or motorcycle because the road is so bumpy and rutted.
Kwala Ward is comprised largely of subsistence farmers and some small businesses such as small convenience shops, butcheries, and restaurants. It some ways, Kwala is better off than other villages. The village is fortunate to have a small hospital, Kwala Secondary School, Kwala Primary School, a water tower, and a new Celtel phone tower for its more than 5,000 residents. Electricity came to the secondary school in Kwala in 2003 when it was extended to the local chicken farm.
Kwala Secondary School
Kwala Secondary School (KWASS) opened in July 2005 as an immediate result of the Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP). KWASS has thirteen staff members – supporting 400 students in Forms One through Four. KWASS’s students primarily come from one of four primary schools in the Kwala Ward. Because of Kwala’s remote location, many students attending the school from outside of Kwala rent makeshift housing in the community at a cost of roughly three dollars per month per student.
Subjects include: Mathematics, History, Geography, Civics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Kiswahili, and English. English is the nationally-mandated language of instruction in secondary school. The school also fields a soccer team.
NTC has facilitated cultural exchange projects and communication between teachers and students from Newton’s high schools and KWASS, in addition to completing numerous projects that have improved educational opportunities for children at the school.
Mahundi Primary School
Mahundi Primary School hosts 500 students from Standard One to Standard Seven. There is also one pre-primary school classroom. Subjects taught are Kiswahili, geography, civics, science, mathematics, history, English, and life skills. The school also fields a soccer team, which competes against other teams in the region.
Mahundi’s headmaster, Mr. Gunda, has been the headmaster at Mahundi Primary School since 2003. Many of the students attending Kwala Secondary School have graduated from Mahundi Primary School. The school is one of four primary schools in Kwala Ward, all of which feed into Kwala Secondary School.
In 2009, NTC initiated a partnership between Mahundi Primary School and Mason-Rice Elementary and Oak Hill Middle School in Newton. Projects at Mahundi have included the construction of a library, playground, and staff room, as well as cultural exchange projects between classrooms and clubs at each school. The NTC Kwala Committee also selected electricity as one of the first projects to be implemented at Mahundi Primary School using funds from the Kwala Fund.
Kwala Medical Clinic
NTC formed a relationship with Kwala’s dispensary in 2010, when Alan Rosenbaum, a medical student from the University of Pittsburgh volunteered at the clinic for two months. After noticing the high prevalence of HIV and STD’s in the Kwala Community, Alan decided to work with doctors and school administration in Kwala to teach sex education to all forms at Kwala Secondary School, Standard 7 at Mahundi Primary School, and teachers of Kwala Secondary School. The clinic is operated by doctors Dr. Mpili and Dr. Ngowi, and features one examination room, a basic lab, a large open waiting room, and an open doctor’s office.
The links between health and education are well known throughout the development community. Healthy children perform remarkably better in school, while children who are more educated are healthier and raise healthy children. In order to promote healthy lifestyles throughout Kwala and especially amongst students in Kwala, representatives from the Kwala Medical Clinic joined the NTC Kwala Committee in 2010.