“As a volunteer nursery school teacher in Kilimanjaro in 2007, I noticed a number of children writing backward or upside-down, in both literacy and numeracy exercises. The students who exhibited these errors were slow to catch on and hard to correct, and the teachers were at a loss as to how to help them.
Salome struggled with every subject in the classroom, and was ostracized by the other children on the playground. Daniel was good at math, but the only way I knew this was by holding his notebook up to a mirror – he would write the equations correctly but entirely backward!
My interest stirred, I researched special education networks both in Tanzania and abroad, and created a simple yet effective intervention to assist primary schoolchildren with learning difficulties in Tanzania. It has since evolved into a more holistic entity that aims to foster students' hidden talents as well as resolve perceived problems. Not every Tanzanian child can be a superstar academically, but he or she might well be exceptional in other ways, and that's what The Toa Nafasi Project wants to find out.” – Sarah
We envision a world in which every Tanzanian child is provided the chance to receive quality primary education that recognizes and fosters individual talent and celebrates uniqueness.
Each child is an individual who has diverse aptitudes and different learning styles. Building on this fundamental concept, The Toa Nafasi Project addresses the needs of primary schoolchildren in Tanzania to assess their abilities, cultivate strengths, and resolve weaknesses. We work with teachers, parents, and the community at large to enrich the classroom experience and devise innovative and inspiring teaching methodologies that encourage participation and critical thinking. The goal of The Toa Nafasi Project is to elicit creativity and distinction in academic performance, extracurricular activities, and to provide each child with a chance to excel.
Who We Are
The Toa Nafasi Project is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that was conceived in 2007 and incorporated in 2012 in response to the uniform approach to education in the East African country of Tanzania.
Toa nafasi means “provide a chance” in Swahili, and addresses the fact that without some kind of reform in the education sector that acknowledges each student's individuality, many Tanzanian students will not achieve their full potential. The ultimate objective of The Toa Nafasi Project is to re-envision the future of all Tanzanian schoolchildren: to enable them to succeed in school, attain gainful employment across various fields, become productive members of their community, and help advance their country as a whole.
The Toa Nafasi Project was founded by Sarah Rosenbloom, a longtime volunteer teacher and development worker in Kilimanjaro, and works in collaboration with partners, both international and Tanzanian, to improve the current educational system and national curricula, thereby providing every child with a chance to succeed.
What We Do
The Toa Nafasi Project's initial undertaking is a pilot project intended to assist children with learning difficulties like dyslexia, dyscalculia, and “slow” learning. It is currently being implemented at Msaranga Primary School in rural Kilimanjaro and carried out over the course of a full academic year. The program entails a three-tiered approach of assessment, referral, and curriculum modification, which is both replicable and sustainable at any school in the country. The Toa Nafasi Project's staff works in tandem with parents, school administrators, and local government authorities in the village of Msaranga to help those students who are struggling in school.
The Toa Nafasi Project's approach is a holistic one. We believe that every child is unique and should be treated as such from as early an age as possible. Our goal is not only to address specific learning difficulties but also to uncover unknown abilities. By acknowledging and promoting diversity in the primary school classroom, we will both tackle the problems with which students struggle as well as cultivate the talents that make them special.