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. Each week, students at 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.
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
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.”
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!
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 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!
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.
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.