The success of Sasamani's initiatives results from collaboration with four secondary schools in the area, dedicated teachers, and the support of students' caretakers. The longstanding partnership with the Bagamoyo District has been instrumental in the program's success. Sasamani's impact goes beyond the students they directly serve, as they contribute to the overall development of Bagamoyo. A positive cycle of progress and prosperity is created as students prosper and give back to their community.
The recognition gives us confidence and a sense of belonging to the society we work with. The partnered teachers felt valued for the effort they are constantly making to help the sponsorship students strive. As the Education Director, I felt rewarded to see the efforts made by the team Sasamani being recognized by the government. This is all thanks to the sponsorship students' commitment to achieving their educational goals.
Sasamani's holistic education sponsorship program continues to make a significant difference in the lives of students and the future of Bagamoyo. In celebrating Sasamani's accomplishments, we are reminded that education is the cornerstone of progress and has the power to transform lives and entire communities.
by: Serena Prince, 2023 Sasamani Intern, Government and Africana Studies Major at Connecticut College, USA.
Gratitude fills my heart as I reflect on an incredible summer journey with the Sasamani Foundation. I had the privilege of immersing myself in the heart of Tanzania, living with a host family in Bagamoyo for six weeks, and contributing to educational equity.
During my time with Sasamani, I had the honor of working closely with partner schools, local educators, and ambitious students. The experience taught me the immense power of education in transforming lives, transcending borders, and nurturing dreams. Sasamani's mission is to make education more accessible for women and girls by sponsoring students who show promise and connecting them with resources to guarantee their success in education and their personal development.
From supporting students with English, History, and Civics subjects to empowering them with mentorship, every moment was a step towards fostering a brighter future. I was able to work with local teachers to work towards improved lesson plans and share teaching methods. I even introduced an Art class to students, which is not a part of their standard curriculum, to become a space for students to embrace creativity and self-expression.
Beyond the academic realm, my journey in Tanzania enriched my cultural awareness, strengthened my resilience, and forged bonds that transcend geographical boundaries. Living in the local community and being engulfed by such an enriching culture was a truly transforming and humbling experience. I met so many amazing people who are now like family to me and explored some of Tanzania's diverse regions.
This journey has further ignited my passion for education equity, honed my cross-cultural communication skills, and deepened my commitment to driving positive change in underserved communities.
As I reflect on my time, I extend heartfelt gratitude to the Sasamani Foundation for their trust and support. A special thank you to Andy Halsey and Melissa Ryan for initiating my connection to this remarkable journey and The Posse Foundation for helping me to fund this opportunity. To everyone who cheered me on, thank you for being part of this journey. This is just the beginning, as the fire ignited in Tanzania fuels my drive to continue advocating for education equity and shaping brighter futures, no matter where the journey takes me.
Tutaonana baadaye, Tanzania 🇹🇿❤️
#educationequity #genderequity #internabroad
About the Sasamani Internship Program
The Sasamani Foundation partners with The Otto and Fran Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement at Connecticut College. During the summer, the Sasamani Internship Program allows Connecticut College students to work with Sasamani-sponsored students in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. The interns contribute their unique talents and perspectives toward Sasamani's mission.
With the internship program, Sasamani aims to foster a new generation of young people passionate about making responsible, sustainable, and empowering change. Together with Tanzanian interns, Sasamani staff, beneficiaries, and partners, the interns from the U.S. work on projects empowering women and girls in East Africa.
Six of the Tech4All graduates holding their certificates. From left to right Evelyne, Sada, Ester, Kulwa, Lucia, and Mwanaheri.
On a momentous occasion, Sasamani proudly announces the graduation of its inaugural group of Tech4All computer literacy students in September 2023. This achievement is a resounding testament to the program's remarkable success in empowering individuals and unlocking new avenues of opportunity.
In June 2023,Tech4All officially launched with a clear mission: to provide every student in the Sasamani Education Sponsorship program with an opportunity to gain the essential skills and resources they need to thrive in today's digital landscape.
Jane M.K., Sasamani's esteemed Tech4All partner from PM Tech in Bagamoyo, delivering the computer certificate course, expresses her pride in these sponsored students, 'I am immensely proud of how fast and effectively the Sasamani students adapt and learn.'
Mwanaheri, a 2023 Tech4All Graduate and Sasamani Education Sponsorship student, shares her transformative journey in this video:
Tech4All is an initiative by the Sasamani Foundation dedicated to bridging the digital divide in Tanzania and further empowering Sasamani Education Sponsorship students to shape their future. In a world where digital skills are paramount, Sasamani firmly believes every student deserves access to computer literacy and the opportunity to unlock their full potential. Tech4All provides access to a three-months computer literacy certificate course and computer and Internet access at the Sasamani Office in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, to all 200 Sasamani Education Sponsorship students.
For further details about Sasamani Tech4All and to support the impactful program, click the button below.
The Sasamani sponsorship program in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, is a powerful force for change, offering holistic educational support to girls from vulnerable families. Here are five key reasons why the Sasamani sponsorship matters:
1. High Graduation Rates: The Sasamani sponsorship program boasts an impressive graduation rate, with 95% of sponsored students successfully completing middle school. This accomplishment is particularly striking compared to the national average in Tanzania, where only 35% of girls complete middle school. But it doesn't stop there; 100% of eligible Sasamani-sponsored students continue their education, enrolling in tertiary institutions such as college and vocational schools. This result starkly contrasts with the national average of only 7% of girls enrolled in tertiary education in 2020 (source: World Bank, 2020).
2. Empowering Vulnerable Families in Bagamoyo, Tanzania: The Sasamani sponsorship program has earned accolades from local authorities for its dedication to providing access to education to girls from the most vulnerable families in Bagamoyo. These families often struggle to meet basic needs, let alone fund their children's education. In partnership with the Bagamoyo District Government, Sasamani supports 200 students from secondary school onwards to achieve their educational goals, offering hope and opportunity to the sponsorship students, their families, and the Bagamoyo community.
3. Direct Impact of Donations: One remarkable aspect of the Sasamani sponsorship program is that 100% of the sponsorship donations go directly to the students. A holistic sponsorship for one student costs $360/ annually or $30/monthly, covering tuition fees, room and board, health insurance, school and hygiene supplies, and individual and group counseling. Every dollar contributed has a tangible, immediate impact on the lives of the sponsored students. It ensures that the funds are used where they are most needed in securing access to quality education for girls from the most vulnerable families in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.
4. Improved Outcomes of Graduates: The impact of the Sasamani sponsorship extends beyond graduation. The sponsor students report increased confidence, well-being, and clarity about shaping their future. Furthermore, sponsor students receive access to the knowledge and skills, including mentorship and basic computer literacy programs, to secure better job opportunities and contribute meaningfully to their families and communities, unlocking their potential and creating brighter futures.
5. Paying it forward: One of the most heartwarming aspects of the Sasamani sponsorship program is how graduates who have benefited from the Sasamani sponsorship program unite to give back to their community. These young women, empowered by education, become agents of change. They understand the transformative power of education, actively engage in community development initiatives, mentor the younger girls in the Sasamani sponsorship program, and advocate for girls' education.
In conclusion, Sasamani sponsorship is more than financial support; it provides hope and breaks the cycle of poverty for the next generation of young women in Bagamoyo. Through its holistic approach to education, Sasamani is opening doors to a brighter, more equitable future for these girls, their families, and the entire community. The impact of this sponsorship program reaches far beyond the classroom, making it a truly transformative initiative. By supporting the Sasamani sponsorship program, you are investing not just in education but you are investing in the belief that access to education enables girls to shape their destinies and contribute to a brighter future for Tanzania.
On International Women's Day, Sasamani celebrates this year's theme: "Embrace Equity." From individual belief systems to community investment in women and girls' education and empowerment, embracing equity is inherently an individual and a community act. Sasamani takes today to acknowledge that the work to increase gender equity in East Africa does not happen in a silo: It takes a village!
Sasamani's impact is made possible by the effort, support, belief, and buy-in from a vast web of people and organizations, who advocate for equitable access to education and employment opportunities for ALL people. We extend our gratitude to the many who make Sasamani’s work possible:
Most importantly, embracing equity comes from within. Sasamani knows that the largest barriers to achieving gender equity are social and cultural norms. We are constantly inspired by the women and girls who participate in Sasamani's programs, who boldly re-write this narrative and are agents of change for themselves and their community.
Since Sasamani's founding in 2012 and thanks to the collaboration of so many, we have witnessed community buy-in and advocacy for girls' education in Bagamoyo grow by leaps and bounds. Gladness Kulola, Sasamani's Education Director, says: "I have observed both the girls and their parents becoming more eager and thirsty for girls' education in the last ten years. The overall cooperation from the Bagamoyo parents and community has been outstanding and very positive, making me proud of our future society."
And the important work continues! YOU can #EmbraceEquity this International Women's Day and support Sasamani's initiatives:
1. Donate: Your financial support makes our work possible! Any amount is sincerely appreciated and will be applied directly to Sasamani programs.
2. Sponsor a Student: A monthly $30 donation covers school fees from middle school through university and ensures each student's basic needs are met, including food, boarding costs, hygiene supplies, school supplies, and transportation.
3. Advocacy: Engage in conversations with friends, family, and community that celebrate and advance the ideas, contributions, and achievements of women and girls.
Collective action makes the change. We thank the entire Sasamani community for supporting, advocating for, and believing in women and girls' education and empowerment. Together we continue to push the needle forward.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
This article was written by: Rachael Lieblein-Jurbala, Sasamani U.S. Board of Directors, and 2018 Sasamani Intern.
Neema holds a Bachelor's Degree in Development Studies from the University of Dodoma, and a Master's Degree in Community Economic Development from the Open University of Tanzania. Neema launched her professional career first as a Research Assistant with Synnovate Research Institute, where she conducted social and political research across Tanzania, and then as Sales and Marketing Officer for Dama Media Limited. From 2012-2016, she served as Project Coordinator for the Bagamoyo Girls' Education Association (BAGEA), a non-governmental organization dedicated to women and girl's education, empowerment and economic development. Neema joined Sasamani’s Tanzanian Board of Directors as an advisor in 2012, and formally became a part of the Sasamani Team in October, 2017, when she began coordinating the Women Leading Change program's operations and recruiting efforts. Neema has also received professional training in East African Youth Entrepreneurship from the International Labour Organization; Gender, Women's Empowerment, and Globalization from the Thomson Reuters Foundation; and Project Management and Fundraising from the Foundation for Civil Society.
"Sasamani envisions improving gender equality and increasing access to education and employment opportunities for women and girls in East Africa so they can positively impact their families and communities. This work is not only my area of expertise, but is also where my heart and focus are." Neema says. "Through the teamwork and spirit of the Sasamani Foundation, together we will leave a remarkable impact on East African youth and women."
Neema joins an illustrious team of dedicated Sasamani full-time staff, including Gladness Kulola, Education Director, and Tialda Frolich-Rienstra, Executive Director. Both the U.S. and Tanzanian Board of Directors extend a warm welcome to Neema in her additional capacity as Country Director, and look forward to her continued leadership and valuable contributions in furthering Sasamani's mission to improve gender equity in East Africa.
Today, the Sasamani Foundation stands together with the world in celebrating the achievements of women, in raising awareness against bias, and in taking action for equality.
We envision a future in which all possibilities for women and girls are equitable and attainable. It is our mission to improve gender equity in East Africa. Our initiatives increase access to education and employment opportunities for women and girls, empowering them to shape their own futures and cultivate positive change in their communities.
Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. Sasamani beneficiaries, staff, and board members exemplify this 2022 International Women's Day theme. Every day, Sasamani sponsored students are determined to stay focused on their studies. Every day, Women Leading Change graduates use their unique voices to solve complex and systemic issues. Every day, entrepreneurs in Sasamani's employment program strive to support their families. Every day, Sasamani staff and board members lead initiatives to improve gender equity in East Africa. Together we effect positive change within family structures, within organizations, and within communities. Together we are committed to #BreakTheBias.
Today, we share #BreakTheBias stories of Sasamani beneficiaries and staff members and celebrate their achievements.
"I took a step forward in facilitating my fellow East African women to develop their leadership skills through the Women Leading Change Program. I am responsible for the Learning and Development department of Tanzania's largest Financial Services Provider and the voice of encouragement for women in my company. Through the Women Group Mentoring Program that I lead, I provide confidence building and other capacity building program and #BreakTheBias."
- Edith, Women Leading Change Graduate
My name is Laura Delgado, and I am Sasamani's Interim Executive Director, temporarily standing in for Tialda while she is on leave. I wanted to introduce myself and also share with you all how excited I am for this year's annual appeal drive! (Really, I am actually VERY excited!).
I wanted to begin by thanking Tialda and both the US and Tanzanian Board of Directors for trusting me with this position! I am so grateful for the opportunity and chance to work with such talented and inspiring people. Seriously, I am inspired daily by the amazing people who make Sasamani tick, Gladness, Neema Harold, Elias, and of course Erica and Andy.
One of the many things that excites me about Sasamani is the direct impact this foundation has on the lives of women and girls. Every penny donated is spent on a girl's education, health care, school fees, or training fees to deliver EXTREMELY high quality transformational coaching.
I first came to know of Sasamani through the Women Leading Change program, which provides a 6 month long transformational leadership program and coaching to East African women, arming them with incredible tools to assist them in taking leadership roles in local community and management positions. I was lucky enough to work with the amazing Neema Harold, and we reviewed all the applications for this past year's virtual program. I was completely blown away by the women who applied, their life stories, adversities overcome, and addicting optimism for life and thirst for knowledge. It is truly special. Seeing them go from applicants to graduates of the WLC program is an inspiration. WLC seeks to unlock the potential and talents these women already have, and help them focus efforts to be the change. Try watching the graduation video without tearing up, it's a challenge!
Learning about the other programs, especially the Education program led by our incredible Education Director, has been one of those life altering epiphanies. First of all, Gladness personally interviews every potential student, all of their teachers and works with their parents. Her level of dedication and attention to detail, and compassion, is something to wonder at. She spends untold hours helping the students prepare for exams, waiting in line to make sure they are all registered for health care, attends every graduation ceremony, she is the most dedicated Auntie to these students you have ever seen! I really can't express how impressed I am by her dedication and talents.
All of this is to say, if you decide to donate this year, which I hope that you do, it is going to a special, well thought out place that will directly impact our efforts. We had six Sasamani students graduate college this year! All fees, tuition, lodging, healthcare and supplies were paid for by donors. The remaining 68 students are in primary school, and some of them need sponsors. Please visit our Sponsor a Student section to read their bios.
We have a very ambitious plan this coming year to partner with Escala, another nonprofit working to develop entrepreneurs, and donations will help us succeed and achieve these goals. What I love about Sasamani is that your donation doesn't disappear into a black hole of overhead and fees. When you donate, you know you are making a different in someone's life, you are offering to spread HOPE.
I hope you and your loved ones have a fantastic holiday season, and if you are in a place to give, I hope that you consider helping our students and the Sasamani mission.
It has been a very difficult year for so many women and girls around the world. In Tanzania, you have the opportunity to make one decision, education, a little easier for some families. When you invest in a woman, you invest in lasting social change.
By: Cia Martins, Sasamani Intern.
As Sasamani launches its annual student sponsorship campaign: Ripples of Change, one of the Sasamani sponsored students shares how the sponsorship impacted her life.
Siaba, 24 years, recently graduated from the University of Dodoma. Siaba joined the Sasamani sponsorship program in 2014 when she was at Kingani Middle School. Since then, Siaba has gained a bachelor's degree in Biology and intends to pursue a career in public health research. Her goal is to join the fight to prevent disease in her community and in Tanzania at large. Siaba explained to us that her area of expertise is in "causative agents, such as vectors and other microorganisms, that can be cultured, so as to assess the effective measures of controlling them".
Siaba shares that when she joined Sasamani, her intention was to "invest all my efforts into my studies" as she wants to become a contributing woman to society. She notes that she still has a way to go, but those who work with her have no doubt she will exceed her own expectations. Siaba's commitment to her community, to her learning, and to her future exemplifies Sasamani's mission: To empower women and girls to shape their own futures and thereby cultivating happier, healthier, and more prosperous communities.
Like many sponsored students, Siaba's journey did not start smoothly. When she was introduced to Sasamani, her family was unable to afford her school fees for the following year. This educational insecurity took a toll, and she began performing poorly in her studies. After working with Gladness, our Education Director, and through the correspondence with her sponsor, Siaba started to get more confidence in her ability to achieve her educational goals. Siaba's grades improved remarkably. Siaba ended up graduating from high school first in her class!
In speaking with us, Siaba said that one of her favorite things about Sasamani was the ability to "meet with different people, explore new knowledge, and ways to overcome life challenges". Committed to the community of Sasamani students, Siaba encouraged Sasamani to facilitate more gatherings between students from the different schools, so that students can have conversations about "how to be innovative after completing their studies, and create an even more expansive social education". Like many Sasamani students, Siaba is engaged, perseverant, and ambitious.
Siaba is one of the six students who graduated from the Sasamani program this summer. They have achieved the educational goals they set for themselves. And while we celebrate their triumphs and the ways in which they persevered, we also acknowledge that their journeys are just beginning. Currently, Sasamani and the graduates are exploring how support looks like in this new phase of their lives.
As we embark on the sponsorship campaign for 2021: Ripples of Change, we want to thank our generous donors for ensuring that all 75 Sasamani sponsored students have the opportunity and motivation to overcome obstacles with a renewed sense of self-confidence, made possible by the security of education.
"The Sasamani Foundation is a special organization without which many of us, in one way or another, could fail to reach our goals and dreams. I would like to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to all Sasamani supporters for the sponsorship on behalf of all Sasamani students". - Siaba, Sasamani Sponsored Student.
Will you help us to increase access to educational opportunities for girls in East Africa?
This year's IWD campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge
A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.
We at Sasamani choose to challenge the idea that women are natural leaders. We know that WHEN WOMEN LEAD, THEY CHANGE THE WORLD! The Sasamani Foundation and the University of Dar es Salaam strive together to empower women's leadership in East Africa. Because when women are empowered to lead, they can achieve transformative, positive change not only within family structures, but also within organizations and communities. The Women Leading Change program paves the way by supporting women to find their unique voices and solve the complex and systemic issues in East Africa.
On 3/8/21 we aim to raise $3821 in support of Sasamani's Women Leading Change Program. Be part of the change and make your gift today:
Your support will show that you choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. That you want to create an inclusive world where more women lead and change the world for better.
This campaign will close on 3/14/2021.
Women Leading Change graduates, coaches and facilitators joining in #choosetochallenge