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Tanzanian students get boost from coffee

Germany and Tanzania offices team up with NGO to keep students in school

Jifundishe group photo

Coffee sales support Jifundishe, a Tanzanian NGO that promotes community development through education.

As 2023 drew to a close, Volcafe’s Tanzanian and German companies – Taylor Winch Tanzania and Gollücke & Rothfos – partnered to support a special programme that is boosting the prospects for Tanzanian students to complete their education.

Jifundishe is a Tanzanian NGO that promotes community development through educational opportunity. Named after the Swahili word for ‘teach yourself’, Jifundishe has developed a number of programmes that range from establishing free community libraries and computer labs, to promoting youth and female entrepreneurship, to elementary tuition in English and scholarships for university.

Volcafe’s Tanzania and Germany offices partnered with Jifundishe to support its Independent Study Program. This initiative assists students who would otherwise be unable to continue their studies to complete a secondary education.

Jifundishe library

Across Tanzania, enrolments at secondary school level are much lower than for primary level (39 vs 82 percent in 2020/21, according to the World Bank) and drop-outs are also a concern. Many students, especially girls, end up taking low-wage jobs or getting married rather than completing their schooling. Finding innovative approaches to allow young people to continue learning is vital.

That is what Jifundishe’s Independent Study Program strives to do. By grouping students of various ages to learn together, coordinating teachers who guide the learning, and organising classroom space, the programme enables students who cannot attend traditional schools to prepare for the national exam. Participants are also provided with the necessary learning materials, a solar light to assist with studying by night, and reimbursement of the exam fees. Jifundishe reports that more than 500 students have taken part in the programme, with 85 percent of participants passing the exam since 2017.

Taylor Winch Tanzania and Gollücke & Rothfos contributed a total of US$4,000 to Jifundishe’s Independent Study Program – funds sufficient to run the programme for approximately eight months. Jifundishe is based in Arumeru district – a coffee-growing area in northern Tanzania – and, in a circular touch, the companies’ contributions were partly funded through sales of coffee from Arumeru.

More than 500 students have taken part in the programme, with 85 percent of participants passing the exam

‘We have worked within the community in Arumeru for years offering technical support to farmers. We wanted to support a project that connects with our vision of responsible citizenship, and this partnership with Gollücke & Rothfos allowed us to do that through our donation,’ says Zippy Irungu, General Manager of Taylor Winch Tanzania.

‘We are always on the lookout for impactful and, above all, meaningful collaborations that go hand in hand with our values. That is why we were especially happy when our colleagues from Taylor Winch proposed this project,’ adds Bastian Fülles, General Manager of Gollücke & Rothfos. ‘It allows us to support the empowerment of young minds and help to create a pathway for a brighter future through the promotion of Tanzanian coffee. We believe that education is the key to unlocking potential, so we feel very honoured to play a part in facilitating the growth and success of these students!’

Improved literacy and sustained education bring lasting benefits to a community. Through our support for Jifundishe’s work, we hope to offer students a different option and ultimately enhance the chances of improved livelihoods for them and their families.

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