Arise Community School: Achieving Self Sustainability

Since Arise School first opened, it has been the aim that, eventually, it would become self sustaining in the local community – a school for “their children and their community”. Self reliance is the way forward. The school will no longer be reliant on outside help.

In the last few years, Arise has particularly focused on growing fruit and vegetables and animal keeping. Various long term projects have been initiated that, through much hard work, are now beginning to come to fruition. Additional land, not needed for classrooms and other school buildings, has been used to plant fruit trees, grow vegetables, keep animals and house chickens.

In the world of food, bananas are the rock stars! As the world’s fourth largest crop, almost every free spot at Arise has become a breeding ground for bananas! They are not only eaten as a fruit, the Arise pupils greatly enjoy banana stew for their lunch. On other days, they enjoy home grown beans, another Tanzanian food staple.

After the bananas have been harvested, the leaves can be used as food for the ten goats that the school now has. The other part of the plant is used as compost for growing vegetables. The vegetables peelings are used to feed the five pigs. Nothing is wasted!

Thanks to a very recent donation through ACE, the ten goats will soon become twelve. As goats are able to reproduce twice a year, it is hoped that the school goat herd will rapidly increase providing both milk and meat. Certainly, it’s amazing how quickly the number of chickens has grown since they were first introduced just a couple of years ago. The eggs provide much needed protein and vitamins to the children. Any surplus eggs or chicks are sold locally in the community.

In addition, these various projects provide learning opportunities for the Arise pupils as part of their studies. Recycling the water they wash their hands in for irrigation purposes helps them to understand the importance of water conservation from an early age; focusing on a live chicken for a science project makes it so much more real.

Just as Arise first started from small beginnings five year ago with one classroom and one teacher, these projects have also started from small beginnings. But, they are only the start. There is so much more to look forward to in the future. We very much hope that in another five years, Arise School will be well and truly self sustaining.

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