Our partnership with Learning for a Better World (LBW) Trust
HAND IN HAND –So They Can and Learning for a Better World (LBW) Trust
By Mike Coward AM Director LBW Trust
Partnerships underpin the success of charitable organisations just as they do cricket teams.
Since 2006 the cricket charity Learning for a Better World (LBW) Trust has been intent on tertiary educating impoverished students in cricket’s extensive Developing World.
Given that Tanzania has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council since 2001 it was inevitable the Trust would learn of the admirable and ambitious work being undertaken by So They Can in Tanzania and Kenya.
The LBW Trust also works in Kenya which with Uganda and then Tanganyika (now Tanzania) at one time formed the East African Cricket Conference which competed at the inaugural World Cup in 1975.
While the Tanzania Cricket Association stages club matches and the Massai Warriors will have an occasional game for charity, cricket has little profile in the vast country these days. That said, it is worth remembering it was first played on the island of Zanzibar in 1890.
The LBW Trust has entered into a significant partnership with So They Can and on a recent visit to the field I could see it was already bearing fruit.
The Trust is paying the salaries of 23 of the first graduates of the Mamire teachers’ College which is flourishing just three years after opening its doors to students in the Babati district.
This bold program provides newly graduated teachers with a priceless opportunity to start work immediately while awaiting placement by the Tanzanian government under the agreed Memorandum of Understanding
The head teachers of the schools at Sora and Kwaraa were as relieved as they were delighted to welcome the young and excited if nervous graduates to the staff.
At the impressive sub-village school of Sora the presence of four graduates saw class size reduced from 80 to closer to 50 and the school rated within the top 400 in the country – a striking distinction.
And the three graduates at Kwaraa ensured head teacher Henry Mwanga had 11 rather than eight teachers to control and educate his 593 students.
Not only did the schools benefit immediately but the graduate teachers gained in confidence as they eased the burden on existing staff and honed techniques to serve them well when their placements were ratified by the government.
Unquestionably this is a stirring partnership between So They Can and the LBW Trust and one that can help to significantly improve the quality of primary education in the Babati district.
There is a long way to go but, as in all productive partnerships, there are now runs on the board.