African Barrick Gold (ABG) recently delivered 2,360 desks to 15 primary schools in Tanzania’s Kahama district near its Buzwagi and Bulyanhulu mines. The donation marks the end of the first phase of a $1 million initiative launched by ABG in September 2012 to provide desks to schools with a critical need in districts near its operations.
To date, ABG has donated more than 4,500 desks to schools in the Biharamulo, Kahama and Tarime districts. ABG will begin the second phase in October 2013, providing more desks to schools near its operations and within the broader Lake Zone region in northern Tanzania.
Many schools in Tanzania suffer from a severe shortage of desks, so students must sit on the floor. “Sitting on a floor does not make for a very conducive learning environment and is one of the key challenges in delivering quality education,” says Stephen Kisakye, Corporate Manager, Community Relations at ABG. “We aim to alleviate that with these desk donations while improving the quality of education in rural Tanzania.”
The program is being funded by the ABG Maendeleo Fund, which provides $10 million annually for community development initiatives in Tanzania. To distribute the desks in Kahama region, ABG partnered with the Hassan Maajar Trust (HMT), a non-governmental organization that provides desks and other learning equipment to schools in Tanzania. “We are proud to partner with ABG in this major initiative aimed at improving the learning environment in our schools,” says Shariff Majaar, Vice Chair of HMT.