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Education on Overdrive—Creating Sustainable Schools

In Uganda and Tanzania, students supported by Aid for Africa members are learning more than reading, science, and math.  They are learning how to make their schools sustainable.

Children at the Sabina school enjoying fresh vegetables with their meal.

For the last three years in Rakai, Uganda, students and teachers at the Sabina School, an elementary boarding school supported by Aid for Africa member Children of Uganda, have been learning to grow their own food sustainably. Since the program began three years ago, students and teachers have planted some 100 fruit trees, including mango, jackfruit, avocado, and pawpaw.  They have also added tanks to store water collected during the rainy season to be used year-round in their gardens and have learned to compost and raise chickens. The result: Students now supplement their traditional diets of corn porridge with potatoes, carrots, beets, pumpkins, eggplants and other vegetables. Not only are the students eating better, they are also serving as examples to others.  The Sabina teachers who created the program are now working with Uganda’s Department of Education to replicate it in other schools around Uganda—which they hope will ensure a sustainable program!

The Sega Girls School is working toward becoming a full sustainable, self-supporting operation.

In Tanzania, teachers and students of the Sega Girls School in Morogoro, which began in 2008 with support from Aid for Africa member Nurturing Minds, produce fresh food used by the school community.  The school’s curriculum emphasizes environmental care and includes identifying and planting fruit and other indigenous trees.  The school uses solar panels, harvests rainwater for gardening year-round and works to minimize the school’s environmental impact.  As their programs grow, the school community hopes to become self-sufficient through student- and teacher-run small businesses.  Sega School is located in the foothills of the Uluguru Mountains, which are part of the Eastern Arc–a region that serves as the water catchment area for urban populations downstream and critical animal and plant biodiversity.  As a result, the girls attending Sega are learning how human activities affect the environment and how to better manage natural resources.

As Children of Uganda and Nurturing Minds provide their students with the tools they need to achieve in school, they are also imparting life-long lessons of sustainability and self-reliance.

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