Queen Elizabeth Academy
QEA has become a beacon of hope for Mlali — primarily because it’s owned by the community itself. The school currently provides quality nursery and primary education to all children in Mlali.
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A message from Dr. Kilines Sekwiha, Founder
“My name is Dr. Kilines Sekwiha, and I am the Founder of the Queen Elizabeth Academy (QEA) in Mlali. When I was a child, my parents saw my love of learning and sacrificed to keep me in school. It was typical for girls in my village to marry at young age and for boys to become shepherds or farmers. As my father later told me: ‘When it was time to send my kids to school I did not make them take care of the cows. Instead, I sold my cows and did any odd jobs I could to get school fees for my children. My children are changing the world. Do you ever think my cows could have ever done that?’
I believe that all children deserve a high quality education so they can live out their dreams. My goal is to see our children become knowledgeable, dedicated role models and the future leaders of our country. My role in this process is simply as a catalyst; one who initiates and triggers actions for change.”
Like other areas in Tanzania, Mlali and the wider region of Dodoma has thousands of children living in difficult circumstances. Each year, many children die before they reach their fifth birthday because they can’t get access to treatments for illnesses, or their families cannot afford enough food for them. Others go without basic things such as safe drinking water, clothes, medicine, education or the love and care of a parent.
The Queen Elizabeth Academy now provides education to more than 180 children. Around one third of these pupils are provided with a free education and would otherwise not be able to access schooling. As Kilines and the staff at the school know, providing a child with a quality education not only gives them a brighter future, but can improve the lives of their families in the present, as they learn about things like hygiene, water safety and disease prevention and bring that knowledge home.
In the future, when the children at the Queen Elizabeth Academy grow up, they will be more able to access well paying jobs, and so support their family members through education and the cycle will go on. These students will bring great benefits to the community, to Tanzania, and the world.
The boarding house will be the biggest income generator for the school, attracting wealthier families from the city who want a quiet place for their children to study. When complete, the boarding house is expected to accommodate over 200 children. For every 3 paying children, one child from a challenging background will be attending for free. The fees will allow the school to support even more vulnerable children from Mlali who cannot afford to pay. It will also serve as a safe home for the students at the QEA who cannot pay fees and whose relatives are currently unable to give them the care they need at home. Fundraising is underway to continue the construction of this building.
We are building to our 3-year goals through a combination of income-generating projects. Here's what we're developing right now.
The 34 acre land for this farm was gifted to the school from the village. The school gets regular harvests of sunflowers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, maize, and so much more. They have also planted fruit trees including papaya, banana, mango, plum and guava. The plan is to expand the agriculture project, creating a tree nursery to sell seedlings to the surrounding community, while also growing nutritious vegetables for the children to ear.
QEA has built two shop units, one of which is rented out and is run as a pharmacy. This brings the school a regular local income. From this, they have been able to save money and buy a printer/photocopy machine and a laptop for the school. The other unit is meant to provide rent-free space for the school to sell its fish, vegetables and other produce.
The director of the school donated her car to be used in school especially to transport the little ones who cannot walk the long distance from home to school and back to home every day.
The QEA team has a plan to build and rent out shop units in the village. This will bring a regular local income, while also providing rent-free space for the school to sell its fish, vegetables and other produce.