There are many striking things about the Toa Nafasi Project. One is that it is a true public-private partnership working hand in glove with the local education office. The other is that it gives real value to the notion of ownership by putting onsite management of its programs directly in the hands of Tanzanian staff. That is the true mark of development!
The Toa Nafasi Project is an amazing educational program, located in Moshi Municipal District, Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania, and designed to help struggling students in public primary schools. Rejecting the private school model, it has formed a close collaborative public-private partnership with the local government educational office. Its programs employ a holistic approach to assess and treat students' cognitive and physical needs through medical referrals and tutorial sessions. The tutors in the program are formerly disadvantaged local women whom The Project hires and trains, thereby providing jobs to formerly unemployed women. As a marker of its success, Toa Nafasi is doubling in size in 2019, proving its capacity for scalability and sustainability!
I should begin by saying that I am obviously quite biased about this NGO because my daughter is the founder and President.
That said, Toa has an amazing story. The goal is simple, cost effective, and clear: enter the public school system of Tanzania, identify students in need of special attention, devote special attention to those identified, and then return them to the mainstream. The results have been dramatic for the students. In the process about 15 local women have been recruiting and trained to serve as tutors, giving them a small but not negligible wage and more importantly a sense of really contributing to their community. This is truly a model of how a grass roots effort can pay enormous social dividends, including turning the entire project over to Tanzanians in the near future.
The Toa Nafasi story is inspirational in its effectiveness. Sarah Rosenbloom drew from her personal experience to identify and specify a need, and she stays focused on that target need, even with so much distracting, collateral need surrounding her every day in Tanzania. She goes about her work with joy, and that energy has infected the program. She has cheerfully and thoughtfully drawn supporters into her world, inviting them to come and observe the program and pitch in, thus binding them even more tightly to the work of the organization. She has set an example for how to raise micro gifts for macro impact. She has made the world smaller and connected a far-flung community to US hearts and minds.
The Toa Nafasi Project is an on-the-ground effort to raise educational standards in the East African country of Tanzania and has wonderful work. It is the product of "sweat equity" contributed by my daughter, Sarah Rosenbloom, who tired of a job in publishing in New York City and determined to do something, even if small and targeted, to make this world a better place. I have been astonished, and of course very proud, to learn of all the lives (of children) that have been improved through Toa's effort to add individual tutorials and assistance to the public school curriculum, thus rescuing hundreds of Tanzanian children from being left behind, probably permanently, in underfunded and overcrowded schools. This is not a high visibility charity, but it is deliberate, thoughtful, and -- most important -- effective.
Toa Nafasi is an amazing non-profit that is truly making a difference in the government schools. I have seen first hand that the donations are put to work in the most effective way possible.
I visited the Toa Nafasi Project sometime in January-February 2017 when I was in Tanzania. I was very impressed by the vision of this organization and the sensitive manner in which the director was working with staff to help the children be successful. I was introduced to some of the partners Toa Nafasi works with and heard the praise they had for this NGO which fill a need that Tanzanians all recognize. I did witness one incident where the director has to confront a staff member on unacceptable behavior. It was obvious that the director understood the local cultural and how to address the issue so that the message was clear and the individual felt respected despite having done something that was unacceptable.
The Toa Nafasi Project has provided special education to countless young people in Tanzania; doing so has required enormous skill in navigating the local culture and educational system barriers.
What I love about TOA is the vision of Sarah Rosenbloom, Founder and Director. She created a holistic model that impacts the children they serve. They address not only academic needs of the child, they have a referral system of local health professionals and psychosocial services. TOA empowers local women to gain employment by providing the skill set needed to teach their students.. This all occurs in partnership with Tanzanian Government and teamwork with local community.
In five years, TOA grew from one school to nine schools in eight wards in 2019.
The TOA Nafasi Project model demonstrates how one vision can impact the lives of hundreds of young children and Tanzania local communities. Best of all, TOA has shown the power of sustainable growth and development and is a model that can be expanded.
My first time using this site. If Sarah (of Toa Nafasi) chose you, you are doing well. Keep up the good work and looking forward to helping us towards success. Be blessed!!
Toa Nafasi is a community based organization that targets early year Primary students who need remedial teaching. Tanzanian classroom helpers are trained by professionals to deliver high quality instruction to individuals and small groups, greatly increasing the chance of success while identifying and supporting children with more serious educational, social, or psychological concerns. The effectiveness of the program is documented with data and is supported by local communities.
Toa has committed itself to improving the current and future lives of children with learning disabilities. The staff seeks no glory or reward for themselves or their organization, but they work relentless and tirelessly to give a fighting chance to the kids who are often neglected or even disregarded. Sarah is a fearless leader who leads with her brilliant mind and heart of gold. In only a short span of time, Toa has multiplied its impact from one school and now into five schools. Highly inspirational!