LEAF International | Tanzania

 Located in Arusha & Dar es Salaam | Founded 2009 


Project Arusha

Located at Iboru Secondary School & St. Joseph Girls School | Over 60 Youth Served Ages 15 – 21

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“The LEAF International music program has changed the spirit of our entire school!”

Jovinus R Mutabuz

Iboru Headmaster

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.

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 a Teaching Artist


Fredy Nganga is the LEAF International teaching artist 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 May LEAF in 2011. He was able to work with LEAF Schools & Streets youth and 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.”

“The project at Ilboru Secondary School exemplifies the power of combining the fun of music and dance with environmental and cultural appreciation. We are inspiring a new generation of compassionate and aware change-makers in Tanzania.”

Chase Pickering

Roots & Shoots Board of Directors, Roots & Shoots

Dar es Salaam

 Mianzini Preparatory School | Over 30 youth served ages 7 – 13 |


“The program has lifted the spirits of all the students!”


LEAF International Ambassador

Program Overview: Dar es Salaam

Once a small coastal village, Dar Es Salaam is now the largest city in Tanzania and the country’s economic center. It has a lively urban music culture influenced largely by globalization. They have a local version of hip hop called “bongo flava.”

At Mianzini Prepatory School, Ibrahim All Salum teaches local singing and dance traditions twice a week. Students perform regularly at public events in Dar Es Salaam and lead environmental projects through Roots & Shoots. The project helps students use music as a vehicle for positive change and encouraged community involvement in youth-led environmental initiatives. It is the hope that these students will be able to take group trips to LI Arusha and other areas of Tanzania to perform, compete, and make connections.

The Impact

Through the project students gain:

• Traditional Tanzanian singing and dance instruction
• Increased self esteem and performance opportunities throughout the community
• Awareness of cultural traditions
• Leadership skills
• Opportunities to work in preserving the natural environment


Meet Our Teaching Artist

Ibrahim All Salum is the LEAF International Teaching Artist in Dar Es Salaam. He is also the vice chaLIDarIbrahimirman of the Lumumba Theater Group. He began learning traditional music when he was in standard IV schooling after being inspired by the festival that used to take place at the University of Dar es Salaam each year. He loved seeing the performances and ever since then, has wanted to become like those artists. These artists inspired Ibrahim to learn and develop the skills that he uses to be the great artist that he is today!

In his own words:

“Teaching cultural traditions is important to my community because it helps people to understand our way of living, i.e traditional rules and regulations, values, and beliefs. And by teaching these values we preserve our culture!” -Ibrahim

Meet a LEAF International Student

LIDarSwediShabaniSwedi Shabani is in year VI at Mianzini Primary School, and really enjoys taking music classes. “I think musical traditions must be perpetuated because they educate children and adults,” he reflects.


“I feel good when I play my musical traditions because I develop my talent” -Swedi

The Program In Action!

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Project Highlights

LI Arusha begins a second program at St Joseph Girls School

May 2011
 Fredy Nganga came to LEAF!


“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, LI intern


November 2009
Leonard, our LI Rwanda Teaching Artist & Mentor went to Arusha to visit Fredy and his students and conduct a class.


LI 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.