So They Can, Tanzania

Founded in 2009 by Cassandra Treadwell and Keri Chittenden, So They Can (STC) works together with poor, rural communities in Africa to educate and empower, so they can break the poverty cycle, realise their own potential and meet their own needs.

Harvested seedsEducation is the key to sustainable development. STC focuses on providing quality education to children and adults, specifically women, to increase the number of students who graduate from high school and can seek further education or employment. 

Employing over 100 staff and a number of volunteers, STC works with the local people of the Mamire and Endakiso wards of the Babati district. These wards consist of 5 villages with a population of 20,000, 98% of whom are small-scale farmers. Among other projects, STC have established a Teachers' Training College to address a catastrophically low teacher-to-student ratio. 

Location

STC's head office is located in Babati and the organisation has staff accomodation in Mamire ward on 30 acres of donated land surrounded by hills, where there is solar power and a bore for running water. About 15km from Mamire over fairly rough roads, Babati is the administrative capital of the district, a small town located at the end of Tarangire National Park and at the base of Lake Babati, nestling under Mt. Kwaraa. Babati has a range of basic amenities, services and shops selling food, fruit and vegetables. There are some local restaurants and hotels, banks and internet cafes. The nearest city centre is 168km away in Arusha. Popular recreational activities are hiking, fishing on the lake, and soccer.

Assistance requested

STC takes a business-like approach to the raising and application of funds and working closely with local communities and government. As well as education initiatives, it implements micro-finance and social business programs to create acceptable standards of living that are sustainable long term without recourse to overseas aid. Teacher training is a priority, as is building capacity among its staff to better co-ordinate projects and address social needs like child and maternal health.

Impact

Through the Australian Volunteers program, an Australian Government initiative, So They Can staff have been supported with volunteers providing midwife training, business coaching, and co-ordination of education, agriculture and social business projects.

STC has helped over 500 children with school sponsorship and is in the process of helping many more through its Education Collaborative where it has begun work with 4 pilot schools.