Blog Post
Libraries for Tanzania

Libraries for Tanzania

Tanzania is a beautiful country and has lively, intelligent citizens. Although the government in theory is able to provide free education to the primary school children the resources available in the schools are inadequate to be conducive to learning. It is important that Tanzania instills in its children the love of learning and reading if its development is to be productive. At present, most primary schools in the country do not have libraries. The children are denied the freedom to learn to love words and language.

It is well known that English is a subject in the Tanzanian curriculum however the Tanzanian curriculum is not in English. A majority of Tanzanians are not able to speak or utilize the English they have learned due to lack of practice. Practice requires reading, writing, and speaking the language. The best option for Tanzanian schools would be bi-lingual libraries where students have the ability to chose the language of interest. This is a challenge as books in Kiswahili are difficult to find and can be expensive.

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The immediate goal is to build 10 school libraries. There will be 5 libraries in Kigamboni and 5 libraries in Mwanza. This is to be done by Voices of Africa Foundation (VOA) with books that have been donated by School Aid UK through on the ground Tanzania community based partners, Kigamboni Community Center (KCC) and My Little Traveling Library Mwanza. These community based organizations have good working relationships with the designated schools and can help to lead them on the path to improved learning environments for the thousands of children they serve.

The Project Thus Far

The books were donated, shipped and cleared from the port by SchoolAid UK. The container was then delivered to KCC where it was unloaded at an approximate cost of $100. There were 50 wooden pallets donated to KCC by VOA donors to contribute to the building of bookshelves and desks. The books are at KCC and are ready to be delivered to the schools.


The books are now required to be delivered to the schools in Kigamboni and Mwanza. There is a cost for the transportation of the books to the schools. Bookshelves and desks are also required. The idea of using pallets is to reduce the expense and have a way for the parents to assist in the building of the library spaces for their children. We will need to pay and feed people who come to volunteer which has a cost involved. Both community organizations will also have to make regular visits to the project to gather information and make sure that the resources are being utilized appropriately.

The transportation of the books to the schools should be roughly 3.5 million Tsh. This is the most critical component and should cover both delivery to Mwanza as well as delivery to the school points. Pallets, if required to be purchased, are between 2,500-7,000 Tsh each. There is an additional transportation charge also attached here.

Labor costs 10,000-20,000 Tsh per day per person depending on the work required. For each school, delivery should take 1 day and 3 people. Follow up will take 1 day and 1 person once a month. Overseeing the building of the libraries with the pallets should take 5 days and 2 people per school. The total labor cost is estimated to be 2.2 million Tsh. All labor will be procured by KCC and My Little Traveling Library.

If anyone would like to get involved in this project please send us an email and we would be glad to tell you more!

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