The Bandari Project is a not for profit organisation that aims to help break the cycle of poverty by providing educational opportunities to underprivileged children and women in Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania. We are in the process of building a school which will offer a safe and engaging learning experience to children who normally wouldn’t have access to good schooling experience.
Our main focus is to recruit children who come from poor families who would most likely be unable to afford any form of education. At our school we aim to provide the children an English based, high quality education from kindergarten to their last year of primary school. The other key facet of the project is that we work with women living in difficult circumstances, giving them opportunities in education and agriculture.
The name “Bandari” means “Port” in Swahili, we chose this name to recognise the connection to the town of Port Fairy in Victoria, Australia, where much of the support for this project has come from. “Bandari” in Swahili can mean shelter, safety or sanctuary, this reflects what we hope our school will be to the students who attend it.
The Bandari project was founded in 2014 by Seif Sakate and Catherine Ryan and began with the idea of supporting impoverished students with their studies, but soon became the much bigger project of building a primary school. In April, 2015 a group of 17 volunteers from Port Fairy, Melbourne and Queensland travelled to Mto wa Mbu to build the first phase of the project, our kindergarten. In July 2016 we welcomed our first group of students, and currently have 60 students attending our school.
We decided to base our project in Mto wa Mbu, firstly because it is the village in which Seif Sakate was born and raised, and secondly because there are a lot of students who are not able to access a good education in this area. Our school is located close to a Maasai community, the majority of our students come from this community. The Maasai typically live in very remote locations that make it difficult for their children to attend school, we hope that by building a school near them we will encourage more Maasai children to get an education.
Aims of the Bandari Project
To empower the young generation by providing them with a quality education, and hopefully a way for them to break the cycle of poverty
To educate, support and empower marginalised women within the community.
To be sustainable, both environmentally and eventually to be a fully sustainable and self-supporting project.
To be a community resource, providing life skills, and a variety of other courses and classes that would be available to the wider community.