Flying into Arusha can be a breathtaking experience, with Mt Kilimanjaro hovering above the clouds. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain on earth.
Each reunion with Carey Westwood and Wanjiru Waithaka, our colleagues who founded Mana-Springs, is always wonderful. They worked tirelessly to make connections with schools in Tanzania that were all reasonably close to Arusha City, one of the most famous cities for wildlife tourism in northern Tanzania. Both contributing schools nestle within the tropical forest in the foothills of Kilimanjaro.
Cary and Wanjiru trained the teachers, who worked with the students to perfect their stories. Makumbusho Primary School is a government school where Mrs Elikaanaye Nnko has been head since 2010, working with a team of over twenty dedicated teachers.
Shilela Academy is also in the Hai District and is a thriving primary school with over 700 boarding and day students and thirty members of staff. The name ‘Shilela’ means ‘nurture’ in Machame, one of the languages spoken in the Hai District.
The wildlife across the country is incredibly diverse, with zebras, wildebeest, giraffes, buffalo, lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles and hippopotamuses all calling Tanzania their home. Rhinoceroses and elephants are protected by the government, and chimpanzees can be found in the Gombe National Park.
Many stories in the Tanzania collections feature wild animals in moral tales, illustrating how central wildlife is in the region, as well as what lessons can be learned in and outside the classroom. The behaviours and attitude of teachers and students were reflected by Lightness Hance from Makumbusho Primary School, who probably summarised the ethos of Tanzania,