A Lot Like You

A Film by Eliaichi Kimaro

Vunjo Girls’ Dormitory Project

August 31, 2011

Earlier this summer, my parents hosted a screening of our film at the Watering Hole in Moshi, Tanzania . All the funds raised went towards the girls’ dormitory construction project at Vunjo Secondary School in our village of Mwika. This seemed like a fitting project for us to support given the themes of gender violence, inequality, and lack of access to education that we explore in our film.

In Mom’s research of Vunjo Secondary School, she found that:

Last year, 100% of girls who were boarders in Form IV (~8th grade)
passed their O-level exams to proceed to Form V (9th grade)

~ as compared to ~

Only 9% of day girls who commuted to school from home passed.

These findings are consistent with the World Bank and others – that girls perform far better when they board at school.

Furthermore, more than 90% of girls who made it into Form V (9th grade) and boarded at the school went on to college!!

So the tipping point of a girl’s educational success is in supporting their ability to pass their O-level exams. Given the 100% pass rate of boarders to 9% pass rate of day students, we believe strongly that there is a need to construct an additional girls’ dormitory to meet the growing demand (girls’ enrollment has more than doubled since 2005.)

2 relevant articles that have recently come out:

1) UNICEF study on the prevalence/impact of sexual abuse for Tanzanian school age girls
2) an article in today’s Daily News (TZ) about the rising rates of “unwanted school pregnancies” that are forcing girls to drop out of school.

In Mom’s write-up of the Vunjo Girls’ Dormitory Project, she explores these and other challenges facing school-age girls in Tanzania, and outlines the benefits of constructing an additional girls’ dormitory to meet the growing demand (girls’ enrollment has more than doubled since 2005).

A portion of the net proceeds from our film
will help fund this Vunjo girls’ dormitory construction project.

P.S. Last week, I sat down with Mom and introduced her to the world of blogging. A few days later, she completed this comprehensive blog for Mwika Development Trust Fund (MWIDEFU) that covers the constantly evolving village development projects that she and Dad have been immersed in. Look forward to highlighting each of these projects over the coming months…

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