Our Story

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Nelson Mandela

We are an organisation of change.

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.

CEFZ Zanzibar Steiner School provide free access to quality education for girls, orphans and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our philosophy is to raise young people who are socially and environmentally responsible and future agents of change. We do this by blending the local school curriculum with the educational principles of Rudolf Steiner. Our curriculum focuses on creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, academia at the appropriate development stage of the child, and social responsibility. We aim to provide the skills needed for youth to become employable and to transform the lives of others.

We believe that if we can provide a quality education to just one child from a family in need, that child can help support their extended family and community in the future.

CEFZ Zanzibar Steiner School receive no government funding and fundraise for all our services. Our students do not, and can not pay fees, and we are not usually funded by international aid organisations. We operate on a small scale, with an intense teacher mentoring & training program, which normally excludes elligibililty from funding for teacher training programs concerned with quantity and reporting requirements. We don't see value in training teachers to place them back into over-crowded classrooms. We do see value and high impact in training and mentoring in the workplace to build teaching capacity, and in maintaining smaller student to teacher ratios and hence reduced class sizes.

As a grassroots organisation, CEFZ have low over heads and leverage  volunteers (even our full-time Executive Director is volunteer), with minimal costs going to administration of the project, and the remainder going to where it is needed most - keeping kids healthy and in school receiving an exceptional education.
cefz tree

A Unique Approach

The Zanzibar Steiner School Education Program is designed to serve as a foundation for lifelong learning, providing students with a pathway out of poverty and preparing them for the world beyond Zanzibar Steiner School.

We take the Zanzibar government's curriculum, and inject engagement, fun and joy into the child's learning experience by using the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum, a proven producer of community leaders and agents of change, able to positively influence others and the environment.
Each year we add a grade class, and train more local teachers in the workplace; slowly but surely building teaching capacity, recruiting more deserving students and reaching further into our community. At CEF School, we aim to provide a nurturing environment for all children and at the same time provide them with a standard of education that everyone is entitled to - quality education is a basic human right.
Eventually, we aim to have 50% full paying students to offset the education of our sponsored and subsidized students.

Quick Facts

Orphans and
disadvantaged students
Classes -
Grade 1 to 7

Students are orphans or from disadvantaged families

Sponsored students

Meet Our Team
Our Board of Trustees are passionate about Zanzibar, and passionate about education.

Caitlin Sakeroff
Caitlin SakeroffTrustee
Caitlin Sakeroff, B.A (Combined Hon.), BEd. (Canada). Head of Secondary School at the International School of Zanzibar. Zanzibar resident for 6 years.
Asha Ahmed
Asha AhmedFounding Trustee
Asha Ahmed, M.Ed. (UK). Retired teacher trainer. Formerly worked for TZ21, and Education Development Center, both USAID funded teacher training projects.
Maryam Ellias
Maryam ElliasSecretary
Maryam Ellias, B.Comm.Maryam was born in Zanzibar and has volunteered at CEFZ since 2014. Ms Elias is passionate about access to quality education for Zanzibar’s disadvantaged children.
Salim Suleiman
Salim SuleimanFinancial Controller
Local businessman Salim Suleiman was born in Zanzibar has been an active member of the school since its inception. Salim serves on the board of SOS School in Zanzibar and is a very active campaigner for access to quality education for all in Zanzibar.
judi Palmer
judi PalmerFounding member and Chairperson
Judi Palmer, B.App.Sc., M.Ed. (Australia) , Founding member & Chairperson, Volunteer Executive Director. Zanzibar resident for 16 years.

Loving Atmosphere
A place for underprivileged children to flourish.

At Zanzibar Steiner School, we inspire a love of learning. We create a community for young people where quality academic success is attainable, not just aspirational. Our envronment is supportive and inclusive, we inspire students to believe in their abilities and to feel like they truly belong.

As we grow, we continue to need your support.

cef logo bottom


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


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