A few years ago, I wrote a blog entry for Toa titled “The Brand Newbians” referring to the additional tutors we hired for our first expansion in 2016.  At that time, we had been firmly entrenched at Msaranga Primary School for about three years and were ready to expand our program to the neighboring primary schools of Msandaka, Mnazi, and Kiboriloni.

Another three years later, and Toa is poised to expand again in 2019, this time to include the primary schools of Moshi, Shaurimoyo, Magereza, Korongoni, and Jamhuri.  This expansion is quite different than the 2016 one.  For starters, the schools we are moving into are geographically varied with some a bit farther up the road towards Arusha and others in town center.

Also, unlike our 2016 expansion, we were not responsible for choosing the schools this time around.  Rather, that edict came from above (as it should) with representatives of the District Education Office.  As a result of our fantastic fifth anniversary celebration in February and the sanction of Mama Anna Mghwira, the current Regional Commissioner of Kilimanjaro, we solidified our very important public-private partnership and gained legitimacy in the eyes of the local government authorities.  With them on-board and with both their cooperation and collaboration, we are finding – thus far – this expansion to be slightly more elegant.  We are no longer “newbies” ourselves to this game, and the rollout into the new schools so far has demonstrated our capabilities.

That said – and there will be much more on the new schools, new tutors, and new pupils to come! – the “brand newbians” from 2016 are now old hats and have had no problem inducting the new group into the Toa family, showing them the ropes, and working (blessedly) as a team.  For the moment, it’s simple in-service training and shadowing the current staff but I have no doubt that soon enough, the new Toa tutors will be running things like Hyasinta & Co.!  We can only wait to find out who will be their Grand Puba!!  (For those of you for whom this reference goes over your head, no worries, you would have had to have been a hip hop fan in the late ’90s….)

Below are some photos of a few of the new tutors doing their in-service training at Msaranga Primary School.  There are 15 newbians in addition to our 12 current tutors for a tutoring staff of 27 total all led by Hyasinta.  Everyone will be spread out over the nine schools come January in teams of three.

Mwalimu Linah stands while Mwalimu Haika leans over a pupil’s  work.


Mwalimu Haika is not letting any details go unnoticed!


Behind Linah, Mwalimu Oliva keeps a watchful eye, and to the right of Haika, Mwalimu Happiness helps another student.


From left, we have Walimu Noela, Oliva, Happiness, Haika, and Linah!