The Mary Ryan Foundation empowers disadvantaged youth in rural Tanzanian communities by working through community-led groups to increase access to quality primary, secondary and higher level education for the most vulnerable children, and establish accredited vocational and alternative livelihoods programs for out-of-school youth.
“Electricity is more than a light switch…at the Center, it translates to more skills & opportunities for kids whose previous career choices were limited to street peddling, farming or early parenthood.” Nahasibu Kailoni, Director of MRF Programs in Ilembo
Out-of-school youth living in rural Tanzania have little to no opportunities to develop income generating skills in a safe and supportive environment. In the few communities trying to initiate vocational schools for these underserved children, the lack of electricity and infrastructure limit the ability of the school to generate enough income to cover operational costs and provide a quality education for its students.
The Mary Ryan Foundation is improving access to educational opportunities for over 80 disadvantaged youth in Mbeya, Tanzania through its vocational school in Ilembo. Unfortunately, high installation and equipment costs have prevented the school from accessing electricity. Bringing electricity and high quality electric-run products to the vocational school will expand opportunities to initiate new skills training for students and boost the school's ability to become self-sustaining.
The Mary Ryan Foundation has a five-year sustainability action plan for the vocational school. Each year, external support is reduced, while the community’s contributions increase by using profits from selling furniture and construction to cover the operating costs. Initial funding for the school to obtain electricity will expand long-term opportunities to initiate new vocational skills training for students while boosting the school’s income and ability to stay on track toward sustainability.