Second Chance Education Centre was founded by Mrs Lucy Renju (known to all as Mama Lucy) on 6th of February 2004. The inspiration behind the Centre came from Mama Lucy’s personal experience as a female child growing up in Tanzania. As a young girl, she was denied the education available to male siblings and left school at age 14.
Mama Lucy married and had her own children, travelling the world with her husband’s work. When they both retired in Msaranga village, Mama Lucy decided it was time to take action to help the thousands of young girls who were living as orphans in Tanzania.
As Mama Lucy says, ‘someone who has never sat in a group to learn has no chance at education.’ Our Education Centre was founded to give children, who for various reasons would not be able to otherwise attend school, the opportunity to begin, or continue their education.
There are two different education components to the centre. Firstly there is a nursery school (called First Chance Education Centre) and secondly a Secondary education centre (called Second Chance Education Centre).
The centre is unique, it aims to support the formal education structures within Tanzania buy offering better opportunities prior to starting schooling and then continued support throughout with tutoring and mentoring through to the secondary level.
First Chance currently provides food and education for more than 15 orphaned or vulnerable 3-5 year olds. The idea is that by giving these children a better start to their formal education they will be in a better position to understand and succeed as they go through into the first year of primary school.
With the kind support of donors we are currently building a playground for our children. The play ground includes a sandpit, merry-go-round, swings and a slide. This playground is a first in our community and none of our children have ever seen one before. We would still like to expand this play ground to include a climbing/adventure frame and more... to really give our children a chance to explore and enjoy.
Second Chance Education Centre is a school founded to give children, who for various reasons would not be able to otherwise attend secondary school, the opportunity of continued education. There are currently 15 girls at the school. The school would like to expand to help more in the community but does not currently have the finances to do so.
All the girls board. Some are orphans and some come from families which are too poor to support them in any way. Others have been forced to leave home because of family problems. “Second Chance Education Centre” is a school founded to give children, who for various reasons would not be able to otherwise attend secondary school, the opportunity of continued education.
In Tanzania you have to be of a certain academic standard to qualify for state secondary education. If you fail this your only option is private education, which is generally of a much poorer standard. This creates a vicious cycle for poorer families, which is very difficult to escape. Second Chance aims to help break this cycle by giving the poorest people in the community the opportunity of secondary education that they deserve and a route to a better life.
The school was founded in 2003 by a local family headed by Mama and Dr. Renju. It has grown quickly since then and now has five teachers and four classrooms, a dormitory, a kitchen and dining room, and a vegetable patch.
The school runs a number of other vocational training and income generating activities including the production of tie and dye materials and handicrafts which are sold in the local lodge gift shop, and rearing chickens, again the eggs are sold to the local lodge.
The majority of the students who attend the school are not able to pay for the education. Therefore the school receives next to no school fees. The challenge remains on how it can cover it’s running costs. Currently the school relies on the donations from the Renju family, the local lodge (Honey Badger Lodge) and good willed volunteers and long term supporters of the school. However finding teachers’ salaries and food to support the children is a constant challenge.