LEAF International | Tanzania

 Located in Arusha | Founded 2009 | 150+ Students Served 

Why Tanzania? “Why have we not partnered?” asked Jane Goodall whose Roots & Shoots organization empowers youth around the world. Within 3 months, a LEAF team which included Chief Shaka Zulu (of LEAF International NOLA), was heading to Tanzania to setup 3 LEAF International programs across the country.



Located at Iboru Secondary School & St. Joseph Girls School | Over 92 Youth Served Ages 14-18

See the Program in Action

Program Overview: Arusha

With the support of LEAF International, Ilboru Secondary School and St. Joseph Girls School in Arusha host the only music programs in the area that teach young people East African dances, songs and drum rhythms. The first program at Ilboru was so successful, that the program expanded to St. Jospeh at the request of the kids!

Arusha is a home to over a million African, Arabs, Indians, Europeans, and Americans. 750 boys from all over Tanzania attend the prestigious Ilboru Secondary School in Arusha. Prospective students must pass an exam to be accepted. Families often cannot afford the $60 annual tuition, so the Tanzanian government provides the rest of the school’s funding.

Students in the LEAF International prgoram meet two to three times a week after school. They also perform concerts regularly that highlight the various tribes and cultures in Tanzania while promoting the environmental messages of our partner, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots.

ONEmic Studio Arusha

Since 2014, studio engineer Edward Ndoleli, uses the LEAF ONEmic studio to teach music production to youth at Iboru Secondary School.  For more than19 years, Edward has worked in music & studio production. His passions include teaching youth, making music that impacts communities, and using music to save the Tanzania culture. Each week, students at Iboru School have the opportunity to record oral histories and share their passion for music. More than 50 students have graduated out of this course and proceeded with a career in music.

The Impact

Through the project students gain:

• Traditional Tanzanian dance and instrumental experience
• Choreography skills
• Vocal and harmonizing skills
• Increased self esteem
• Awareness of cultural traditions
• Leadership skills


Meet the Culture Keeper


Fredy Nganga is the LEAF International culture keeper in Arusha. Fredy has an innate drive to help others as well as a joyous presence. He is always appreciative and never pessimistic. His energy is contagious! We were lucky to have Fredy be a part of several LEAF festivals throughout the past years. He has also worked with local LEAF Schools & Streets youth to conintue to pass on his skills and knowledge.

Meet a LEAF International Student

LITSTJgirlsperform11*Hope is 17 years old from the Rwaanza region of Arusha. Hope dreams of being a heart doctor. He has a friend with heart problems and was discouraged that his friend had to go to India to be treated.  He joined Roots & Shoots in March 2009 when LEAF International came to the school to present the program.  He was very inspired by Shaka.

“I want to be a heart surgeon. One day I had a friend have to be taken to India for heart problems. LI program makes me very comfortable. You may get tired of your studies, and LI is a great way to relax, dance, and learn with Roots & Shoots friends. I have made so many new friends and we greet each other in the halls. I now KNOW my traditions! When I was younger, I used to see the elders doing dances in the village-now I understand. I am so proud to be Tanzanian.”

“My favorite moment at the festival was every moment. Meeting people from all over the world. We now have friends in Haiti, Malawi, America and many other countries. This was my dream and it has come true.”

Brian Linus, LEAF International Tanzania Student

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Project Highlights


May: LEAF International Tanzania and Haiti ONEmic studios participated in the first ever ONEmic Studio master-class in collaboration with Dirtwire. The crew created magic as each artist represented their country with great pride and passion. The accumulation of this class was a dynamic performance on the main-stage at the 48th LEAF festival. Check out this report to learn more about what’s happening with LEAF International Tanzania.

Culture Keeper Fredy conducted a workshop geared toward teaching youth how to make drums. This workshop was fully hands on and gave youth skills to take back to their communities in hope of creating their own instruments in the future.


Rwandan Culture Keeper David Kwizera traveled to Arusha, Tanzania for a culturally rich exchange with LEAF International Tanzania teachers, studio engineers, & youth!

Culture Keeper Fredy Nganga was accompanied by 3 of his finest students for the 44th LEAF Festival. The group did a 5-day residency (with LEAF International Rwanda) at Oakley Elementary as well as cultural exchanges at several local community centers and LEAF Schools & Streets programs. This group also participated as the headliners for a grand performance at the Orange Peel!LIRwanda&TanzaniaWithPrincple17

In May, a cultural exchange journey of a lifetime happened for a week with LEAF International Tanzania and Haiti and Asheville. Fredy came with 3 of his star students that represented everyone: Tarsila, David, and Catherine. Over the 10 days, they performed, shared their culture, collaborated with Haiti in extraordinary dances, and they also became teachers alongside their teacher Fredy. It was their first trip to the US and LEAF, and they were excellent cultural ambassadors.
In September, Fredy once again organized a month of free, community-based cultural events at the local cultural center, Via Via. The focus of the workshops: traditional instrument making. What an incredible way to bring together community!

In March, the girls at St. Joseph’s Secondary School won 2nd place in the first annual Inter-School Cultural Competition, held in Arusha. This was an amazing accomplishment, and we are so proud of their dedication to learning the dances of all the major ethnic groups of Tanzania!

LEAF International Tanzania | Arusha expands beyond year-round programming with the schools, organizing free community cultural events throughout the month of September! These community cultural events are free of cost and open to any and all who want to engage with their local traditions.
LEAF International Arusha begins a second program at St Joseph Girls School
May 2011
Fredy Nganga, Tanzania Teaching Artist and Cultural Keeper, came to LEAF Festival!
 “Fredy’s bright smile, crafting hands, prodigious talent, prevailing patience and kind heart, reveal his passion for music and sharing his musical knowledge with any willing learner. Fredy is not only a vital counterpart of LEAF International, but also an individual whose presence is intellectually invigorating.” -Juliana Twiggs, LEAF International intern
November 2009
Leonard, our LI Rwanda Teaching Artist & Mentor went to Arusha to visit Fredy and his students and conduct a class.
LEAF International Tanzania begins in partnership with Roots & Shoots
Featured Partner
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots– The Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen—for communities, animals, and the environment. Through tens of thousands of young people in almost 100 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world. Young people identify problems in their communities and take action through service projects, youth-led campaigns and an interactive website. Roots & Shoots began programs in Tanzania in 1991 to support children to learn and teach others about ways to improve the environment. The programs are strong, have stable international support and global recognition.



From music instruments to child sponsorships, our people-centered programs depend on generous givers like you to grow and thrive. Donate today! 100% of your gift goes directly to support music and arts education programs in the country of your choosing.


Want to learn more about our program with Project Arusha? Click on the links below to download the 2009 and 2010 site reports with detailed descriptions of the program from the LEAF International team!

2010:   LITanzaniaArushaJuly10Report

2009:   LITanzaniaReport09

 Learn more about Tanzania

 Tanzania is a country in East Africa with a population of around 45,000,000. In 2012, the under 15 age group represented 44.1% of the population – showing the high number of youth in the country and the importance of engaging and strengthening that population. Tanzanians see themselves as having two “official” languages, English and Swahili. Swahili is seen as the unifying language of the country between people of different ethnic groups, who each have their own language; English serves the purpose of providing Tanzanians with the ability to participate in the global economy and culture. Over 100 different (tribal) languages are spoken in Tanzania, including Maasai, Sukuma and Makonde.