The overall objective of Kamitei Foundation is to improve the education of children in rural communities in Tanzania, which are among the most underprivileged in the country. We believe that in the long term, improving education has a significant positive impact on the standard of living of individuals and their communities. Also, it has important benefits in areas such as health, birth control, local empowerment and the emancipation of girls. The benefits of better education tend to be structural and long lasting.
Kamitei is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012. In addition to building two entire schools from scratch, we built many class rooms and teacher houses. We organised numerous teacher training workshops and school visits, supplied thousands of books and hundreds of desks. We provided more than 60 scholarships to young and very talented kids who otherwise would not have had the chance to continue their education.
If you ask us what are some of the most rewarding aspects of all those years of effort? The children themselves, of course; but also the constructive co-operation with the communities, succeeding to build awareness and have them "buy-in" to our co-investment approach. And our success in terms of 'bang-for-buck': only around 5% of all funds donated during the past 10 years went to overhead (which in our definition includes fundraising and marketing costs). In other words, about 95% went straight into education improvements.
And the results? The number of primary school graduates in the communities we support has multiplied by a factor of 2 - 5 during our involvement. So did the number of secondary school students in the communities where we built new secondary schools. And more than 80% of our community scholarship students currently have a paid job, enabling them to maintain a family and raise children.