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Mapper Tandale – construction of a nursery with sanitary facilities for children from Tandale – Dar Es Salaam's district in Tanzania

Education of preschool children and shaping pro-social attitudes and healthy habits that are essential in life are important aspects of the development of every child. This is particularly true in an environment threatened by poverty and disease or difficult social and economic conditions. The slums of the district of Tandale, a part of the large African city of Dar es Salaam, are a difficult place for children to develop.

Tandale is one of the poorest districts of Dar es Salaam which with the growth of the Tanzanian metropolis began to transform into a densely populated area of informal development, for many arrivals from rural areas becoming the first place of settle down in the city. The biggest city bazaar, situated there, draws economic migrants with their families who for years have been occupying the one-room units rented from the locals. Given the absence of basic sanitary infrastructure and hygiene measures, epidemics have become a real threat. In 2016 many lives were taken by cholera.

For several years, preschool children in Tandale have been cared for by the Tanzania Social Development Centre (TASODEC), established by the White Fathers and the White Sisters, Missionaries of Africa. Under its social and charitable activities, the Centre aims to support parents in ensuring healthy and safe development and education for their children.

Apart from an educational and caring role, the preschool building will also serve an important health purpose. Children in Tandale live in a very difficult environment, exposed to diseases and epidemics (AIDS and other diseases such as cholera continue to be a serious problem), and so certain functions have to be assumed by the educational institution. Therefore, the plans for the kindergarten included toilets and bathrooms for children and staff, as well as a kitchen, in order to maintain basic hygienic standards.

In the evaluation of the Tanzania Social Development Centre, financial aid from external sources is essential for supporting the residents of Tandale. TASODEC tries to help those who are most in need in the area, and not only Catholics (in this part of the city, Islam is the predominant religion); the centre’s main areas of activity include improving in access to education for orphans and young people growing up without parents, operation of a sewing school, providing guidance for HIV-positive people and providing support in relation to admission to secondary or vocational schools for those who failed to complete primary school.

The kindergarten programme is aimed at children aged 4 to 6 years, irrespective of their religious affiliation. With the rapidly growing number of wards, the sanitary conditions in the building used until now are not suitable for the health and safety of children and staff. The construction of infrastructure should be supplemented with training for staff and parents in order to prevent reprehensible behaviour, e.g. physical violence, towards the children.

Pre-school education, promoting pro-social attitudes and skills needed in everyday life is an important part of a child's development, especially when he or she grows up in an environment at risk of poverty, disease or unfavourable social and cultural conditions. Africa's kindergartens meet much more needs than their European counterparts. These are the places where children — who are often exposed to violence, malnutrition or ill health — can not only learn and play but also satisfy hunger and enjoy access to clean water and toilets. By enrolling their offspring in a kindergarten, the parents can take up employment.

Mapper Tandale – construction of a nursery with sanitary facilities for children from Tandale – Dar Es Salaam's district in Tanzania

The main aim of the project is to improve the conditions of education of children from the poor district of Tandale in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and to improve the health and overall quality of life and safety of the district’s inhabitants.

The first module of the project involves the construction of a preschool building for about 200 children from one of the poorest districts of Dar es Salaam. Work on the construction of the kindergarten is being conducted by the Tanzania Social Development Centre (TASODEC), an organisation founded by the Catholic parish of St. Charles Lwanga in Dar es Salaam. The new, well equipped kindergarten will provide early education for children from the impoverished district of Tandale, whose parents cannot afford to send their children to other kindergartens. At the same time, training will be provided for teaching staff on early school and preschool education.

An important element of the project will be to ensure proper sanitary conditions through the construction of toilets and bathrooms, as well as proper nutrition through the construction of a kitchen. Equally important will be the education of pedagogical staff and the children’s parents in health-related and personal hygiene matters. In the course of the second module, to be implemented in 2018, the kindergarten workers and volunteers (a total of 10 people), who make up the teaching staff, will undergo special pedagogical training.

The project's second module involves the completion of construction (installation of windows and doors, painting, finishing of bathrooms, kitchen, floors, ceilings and electrical, hydraulic and sewage systems) and provision of kindergarten furnishings. Educational initiatives are also an important element of the 2018 activities. Training for staff, including a thematic block on the avoidance of violence against children, is planned to improve the skills of teaching staff. Also, kindergarten staff, volunteers and parents will take part in activities promoting healthy behaviour and personal hygiene.

Co-financing from Polish Aid funds stood at PLN 317,600 in 2017 and PLN 315,700 in 2018, while the project's total value reached PLN 560,700 in 2017 and PLN 430,700 in 2018.

Mapper Tandale – construction of a nursery with sanitary facilities for children from Tandale – Dar Es Salaam's district in Tanzania

Under the first module, completed in 2017, the shell of the kindergarten building was erected, consisting of a roof, wall plaster and part of the fittings. During the project’s implementation, following negotiations between the Tanzania Social Development Centre and a local contractor, it turned out that a one-storey building could be built (not just a ground-floor structure). In future, this will make it possible to accommodate a greater number of children. Difficulties in the project’s implementation included the difficult ground conditions (sand), delays in deliveries and daytime traffic in Tandale. However, these did not affect the work schedule or the final result.

The second module, implemented in 2018, consisted of the completion of the kindergarten (installation of windows and doors, painting, finishing the bathrooms and kitchen, floors, ceilings and fittings), followed by its furnishing. In autumn 2018, training was organised for parents and teaching staff. The grand opening was organized on December 8th, 2018.