At Choba we are not just building a school. We are trying to give each child the opportunity to maximise his or her potential. We hope that by the time they leave, aged 13 or 14, all the children will be able to speak good English. They will then be very well placed to do well at Secondary School and we are helping some of the more able students with their secondary education. But the less academically gifted will benefit too – they will be in a much stronger position to get jobs locally. There are an ever increasing number of tourist hotels in the area but they are mostly foreign owned and currently recruit staff from the more developed parts of Tanzania where better English is spoken. For the children of Choba, a salaried job as a gardener or waitress would be a significant improvement from their current expectation to be subsistence farmers or fishermen.
We aim to give the children the highest possible standards of education not just by following the Tanzanian syllabus but also by teaching them to become responsible global citizens. The children have already got to know many non–Tanzanians – we have lots of visitors and several volunteer teachers from Europe and America have helped at the school. These teachers don’t just teach the children, they improve the English of the teachers too.
We hope to achieve our aims without teaching the children to rely on outside assistance and we have plans for our school to become self sustaining within a 10 year period.
How we are Different
Valerie McGivern, Chair of Trustees of Children of Choba, manages the school. She is also a member of the school governing body which otherwise consists of parents and teachers. Valerie lives in Choba where she supervises all building work and administration together with the Head Teacher. She works as a volunteer, removing the need to use any intermediaries and thus making sure that all money raised goes directly to the school. She speaks fluent Swahili and is very involved in village life, so is well placed to understand the needs of the villagers and to make sure they are met. At Children of Choba, we believe that all projects should originate with the beneficiaries – they are better placed to identify their own problems than any outsider.