Who we are
SchoolKids Light r.f.
Register number 207.715
Organization number 2582299-1
In 2007 the founders of our association made the first donations, as private persons, to the Irente School for the Blind. Some friends contributed to the support that reached such a scale that the own funds became inadequate. In order to continue and extend the support to other schools some local citizens in Inkoo, Finland, founded SchoolKids Light r.f. in 2011, with the purpose of supporting the health and schooling of children in Africa.With our present resources we have chosen to focus our work in Tanzania.
By choosing a school for the blind as our entrance we naturally focused on children with impairments. Later, having understood the challenge facing children with albinism, they were naturally included into our programs,
In Tanzania. 2019 we are supporting 12 schools with 10000 students, of whom some 620 have special needs, either visual impairment, albinism, mental impairment or are physically handicapped.
Since the election of John Magufuli as president of Tanzania, there is much positive development. Corruption has decleined, taxes are being collected and the situation in the schools is much improved. In 2011 it was a norm that one book was shared by 10 students. Now it is more like 3 students per book. Budgets are still very limited and support needed for common items like school books, note books, pens and chalks. Schools still lack equipment for sports, music and play
There are no more school fees in government primary schools and consequently most parents can afford to have their children in school. Remaining obstacles may be the distance from home to school, especially if the child is visually impaired, and cost of school uniforms.
Many children need to stay in boarding schools. All children with albinism live in their schools, guarded by walls and armed guards for their safety . Children with impairments and children from nomadic families , may have difficulties making their way to and from school making boarding schools fairly common The schools we support have close to 2000 children in their dormatories
We visit the schools annually.Thus we keep good contact and are able to follow up on programs and projects. As we do as many of our purchases as possible locally, being physically present helps us in making better deals with our suppliers.
Sometimes it is difficult to understand the English spoken on the phone and emailing does not work very well at the chosen schools. To support us locally we have appointed a local representative, Veronica Kassidy, a Braille expert whom we have learned to know well during our visits.. Thus work in Tanzania may be continued while we are in our home land.
SchoolKids Light is an independent apolitical organization with no ties to any religious community.
It is important for us to be able to promise that any contribution made will be used entirely to support the health and schooling of the children. The statues of SchoolKids Light specifically mention that all raised funds, donations and member fees must be used for the support of the children. Members are NOT entitled to reimbursement for any costs. Travel costs are paid by the traveller, advertising and administration is paid by board members. Your contribution will reach the children.
We are happy to present our work to associations, companies and other organizations.