Think of Africa and think of poverty. That is the word many people use to describe this fastest growing continent. The people of Tanzania don’t want to be poor. They want to be self-sufficient. They want something beyond life long poverty.When even the lowest price government school is beyond the reach of three quarters of the population, education is a luxury, and self-sufficiency is impossible. Serengeti Scholars is out to change this perception of helplessness for Secondary School students and their families. Through our experiences in Africa, we know that education, attention, and respect create proud people who can rise above poverty.
Our concentration is on young women, who are not usually allowed by their families to attend school. We also select students who are studying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics(STEM) subjects. We concentrate on Secondary School because if a student is able to reach this level, we know there is the drive and motivation to succeed against all odds.
Education will build infrastructure in this young Country. There is a great shortage of doctors, lawyers, architects and other professionals. There is one Cancer center for the entire population of 49 million. There is one doctor for 30,000 people. The lack of preventative medical care is unbelievably small compared to the size of the Country.
When students cannot go to school, workforce development is not possible. And major corporations will turn away from moving to, or expanding their companies in Tanzania. Thomas Freedman, in his NYT Op-Ed called Africa the New China, predicting that the last great land mass, with the largest potential workforce, will exceed Chinese production of goods. And CNBC states that by 2035, Africa will be the largest continent with leading growth indicators.