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Working with the St. Jude Foundation, registered charity no. 800451

Please help us to raise money for The Heri Special School at Mporoto, Tanzania.

Tanzania, in East Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. Although the Tanzanian government's policy is that all children should be entitled to primary education, this does not, in practice, extend to handicapped or disabled children, who are mostly kept at home; in many cases their families are ashamed for them to be seen. This was the situation at Mporoto, a large village near the town of Mbeya in the south-west of Tanzania.

A teacher called Egha Egha visited Mporoto and was so distressed by what he saw that he made a big decision, – to leave his teaching job and set up a special school for the disabled children of Mporoto. For the next few years, with great difficulty, Mr Egha kept the school going, using various rented buildings (one of which was destroyed by a storm!). The school received no state support, and the pupils' parents were too poor to pay school fees; so Mr Egha started a small farm to provide funds for the school, growing maize and other crops and vegetables for sale, with the help of the pupils' parents (this work continues today.)

Mr Egha calls his school "Heri Special School”, “Heri” is the Swahili word for “happiness”.

In 2005, with the support of the St. Jude Foundation, Mr Egha began the task of providing a permanent building for his school at Mporoto. A piece of land was bought, plans were drawn up, and work began on laying the foundations of the main school building. Since then, the building work has continued slowly but steadily; the rate of progress has depended (and still depends) on the ability of the St. Jude Foundation to raise enough funds to keep the work going.

Mporoto is in the Rungwe district, near to Mbeya in south-west Tanzania.

 

Currently, in 2018, there are 39 students who use the school, of which around 15% are disabled. Some of the disabled children are taught at their homes by Heri Special School staff.

Some of the children at Heri Special School, with two of their teachers, photo taken in 2015.

If you would like to support the development of Heri Special School please visit our donations page using the button below. Donations will be gratefully received, as will all suggestions for fund-raising


Looking to the Future

If and when the new Heri Special School is completed and functioning effectively as a special school, our long-term aim is to make it a model which could be followed elsewhere in Tanzania and further afield. The need is great: two shocking statistics were recently published in "Developments", the magazine of the (British) Department for International Development:

(1) Throughout the world, 27 million disabled children are unable to go to school.

(2) Of all the disabled children in the world, only 2% receive an education.

The establishment of Heri Special School will be one small step towards putting this right.

A group photo of some of the pupils with parents and teachers, taken in 2016.

 

Heri Special School, since 2005

2005 - laying the foundations

2005 - laying the foundations

2006 - the walls are built

2006 - the walls are built

2007 - building the roof

2007 - building the roof

2008 - water supply fitted

2008 - water supply fitted

2009 - new toilet block

2009 - new toilet block

2010 - a teaching session in progress

2010 - a teaching session in progress

2011 - completing the plastering of the school walls

2011 - completing the plastering of the school walls

2012 - "nursery" class taking place in one of the painted and decorated classrooms

2012 - "nursery" class taking place in one of the painted and decorated classrooms

2013 - building a defensive wall against future floods

2013 - building a defensive wall against future floods

2014 - the main school building

2014 - the main school building

2015 - some of the pupils in the classroom