A unique school for Zanzibar's most vulnerable children

CEFZ breaks generational poverty through quality education, nutrition, and healthcare in Zanzibar. Our certified Steiner Waldorf Primary School empowers children for social and environmental action, fostering creativity and independent thinking. The curriculum cultivates curiosity, arts, sciences, and critical thinking, providing a direct pathway out of poverty through employability.

By enrolling 70% girls, we aim to raise educated and independent women, who can stand alone and make better choices for themselves and their children, without having to rely on others. An empowered woman can get her child to a doctor, can make better nutritional choices, can ensure a more secure home for her family and protect and guide her family better, especially if she is suddenly widowed or abandoned. In our world, girls rule, and our boys learn to embrace the empowerment of girls.

In response to children arriving at school hungry and unfocused, and some sick students being diagnosed with malnutrition, CEFZ implemented a rigorous nutrition program, nourishing growing bodies, minds and hearts.

Students receive oat milk porridge with dates on arrival at school, a heavy mid-morning snack like pancakes, or peanut butter sandwiches, a hot lunch and milk and snack before returning to class, and a home time snack of an egg and a piece of fruit on departing school. Attendance now runs at over 90% due to improved health, and buy in from both families and students.

In 2023 we have treated broken bones, deep cuts, urinary tract infections, asthma, colitis, severe anaemia, malaria, skin infections, dental abcesses, rotten teeth, and much, much more. Ensuring medical care of our students relieves the burden from their mothers, expediates the child's comfort and safety, and guarentees they miss minimal time from school.

Annually, we approach our local governement school, where between 100 to 180 students may be crowded into a roo with poor light and hygeine. We figure no one would have their children in this setting if they had a choice, so this becomes our first selection criteria. Secondly, we ask the Head Teacher there for the names of children without both parents, fathers, or those who seem to be from struggling families. Thirdly, we meet the families and carry out home inspections, assessing environement, electricity and water presence. Through this process we have integrated into the community and only take the children with the highes need. We believe every child deserves, and can better their life outcomes with quality education.

Exceptional teachers are needed to guide the learning of children living in exceptinally difficult circumstances. Our teachers are mentored daily in the workplace to ensure each and every child is receiveing the same standard of education any and every child is entitled to. As we add a grade class each year, we recruit and train more local teachers, reaching further into our community and imcreasing our impact on the lives of children living in poverty. In August 2023, we partnered with All Africa Anthroposophic Training to present training to 76 teachers and 15 biodynamic farmers from all over East Africa in Zanzibar

Our school farm not only supports our rigorous student nutrition program, it serves to teach children the value of animal and land care. Working the farm instils a deep gratitude and each class regularly 'gives back' by providing the remainder of the school with a cooked meal using their harvest. As our farm grows, we aim to become the first biodynamic agricullture teaching center in Zanzibar, with a one week workshop having taken place for local farmers in August, 2023.

We take the Zanzibar government curriculum, fuse it with the Steiner Waldorf curriculum, and inject engagement, fun and joy into the child's learning experience. Steiner Education is a proven producer of creative thinkers, community leaders and agents of change; just what Zanzibar needs.

It's important we can trive as a school, even though our students do not, an can not, pay fees. We have some income generating projects such as farming of biodynamic spices. The sale of cloves and cassava from our farm contributes to offset the cost of our Nutrition Program. Currently we are building our stocks of local chickens to begin production of enough eggs for students with left oveer to sell for income.. Our bee hives produce honey, however it is such a treat for our students to have honey we do not sell this crop.

When the school reaches full capacity of K-12, we aim to be in a position to take fee paying students, who will offset some of the costs of our sponsored students.

All of our Primary teachers attend the East African Steiner Teacher Training Course held in Nairobi, Kenya. This course leads to a certificate qulaification and consists of ten intensive modules held over three years. Mentoring on the job by our resident Steiner Teachers and visiting Steiner Teachers is an important past of our teacher development training. Our Secondary Teachers receive mentoring, and attend anthroposophical trainig events whenever possible.

Our SDG goals

 

Creative Education Foundation Zanzibar (CEFZ) is a charitable NGO which was established in 2011 in Zanzibar, Tanzania, in response to the lack of access to quality education for Zanzibar's orphaned and underprivileged children.

We believe if a child has access to a quality education setting with low class numbers and trained teachers, all of their resources, good nutrition and loving boundaries in place, they will have a more equal opportunity in life.

 

No Poverty

By providing free quality education and ancillary care to Zanzibar's neediest children, generational poverty is disrupted by quality employment opportunities. We believe it's a right to be educated and employable, and to have the resources to live without insecurity. At CEFZ, we believe quality education liberates both children and their families from poverty.

Zero Hunger

UNICEF* cite 64% rural and 41% urban children are suffering from Nutrition Deprivation. At CEFZ, most of our students suffer from food insecurity at home, especially in our community with widowed mothers. By providing all students with their nutritional requirements at school, CEFZ ensure our students are healthy, in school, and learnig to the best of their abilities.

Good Health

In our experience, families in poverty hold off on medical care because of a lack of resources – to pay the doctor or buy medicine. We treat all student medical conditions, thereby relieving the burden from their families, to ensure the physical and mental health of our students, and their faster return to school.

Quality Education

UNICEF* cite a literacy deprivation of 42% for children aged 9 - 12 in Zanzibar. CEFZ cap classes at 20 students, our teachers attend ongoing training, and we provide all learning resources, excursions, and tuition free to students in need. Our teachers are also trained to guide values and behaviour, shepherding the child's journey to a new life path that supports their community.

Genger Equality

Girls from uneducated families can face additional challenges accessing education, such as cultural norms that prioritize boys' education. Our enrollment levels are 70% girls and 30% boys, ensuring the girls of our community have an equal chance to lead independent, successful lives.

SDG 8

Zanzibar's youth unemployment is quoted by the International Labour Organisation as 65% for women and 43% for men. Quality education allows Zanzibar's youth to compete for well paying jobs over their better educated counterparts from outside Zanzibar, contributing positively to the local economy and particularly the tourism sector.

Many families living in poverty need to prioritize immediate economic survival over education. CEFZ provide free education and medical care to the poorest children giving them the chance to transcend barriers and grow to be contributing members of their communities, supporting others to succeed in their turn.

life on land

All CEFZ students are our partners in managing the school's biodynamic farm, with chickens, cows and bee hives. They learn to protect, restore and use our terrestrial ecosystem in a sustainable manner. Morally, socially and also environmentally conscious youth are just a few desired outcomes of our curriculum.

Prioritising children of widowed mothers

Suffer food deprivation

Suffer water & sanitation deprivation

Suffer housing deprivation

For uneducated women in Zanzibar, losing a husband signals family poverty. The children of widows are more likely to experience childhood malnutrition, illness, hunger, poor education in over-crowded classrooms, a lack of learning resources, and poor parenting. These factors trap children in poverty. 

All of this is very simplified, and poverty is a very complex issue, but let's face it: without an education youth are likely to be unemployable, or working menial, low paid, day labour, and so incapeable of supporting themselves and their families. Poverty really is a cycle.

CEFZ address these issues holistically to create a crucial and lasting impact to a child's quality of life, and a solution to lift children out of future poverty. There is no quick fix, and we are not saying there is a right way or a wrong way: this is just our way, based on what we have learned in over 20 years of living and working in the Zanzibar community. 

*Source (https://www.unicef.org/tanzania/media/2826/file/State%20of%20Zanzibar's%20Children.pdf)

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You can
change a child's life today

Education is the gift that keeps on giving for generations to come. At CEFZ, you can create an independent future for a child by sponsoring their education and full nutrition for just $70 a month. Sponsoring  tuition at $40 a month can also enable a promising future for a child in need.

At every stage of our students education, they are receiving a holistic education in small classes. Our full nutrition program has seen family buy-in and a dramatic increase in attendance. We believe the medical care and full nutrition we provide is paramount to ensuring every child is in school, and learning to the best of their abilities. CEFZ's multi-pronged approach to overcoming poverty is aimed at resulting in employable, community-conscious young adults.

 

2023 Impact

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We improve educational opportunities for underprivileged children in Zanzibar by providing quality education without regard to race, ethnicity, or religious belief. We promote a diverse and competitive educational environment.

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