We fund and support Mvumi Secondary School in central Tanzania

Blindness and the ICAP Unit

Mvumi Secondary School has set up a unit to educate eight pupils each year from the Buigiri School. The first eight began at Mvumi in January 2009. The numbers will gradually rise to betwen 40 and 50 during the coming years with approximately eight blind students entering the School each year. 'Blind' encompasses severely impaired pupils as well as wholly blind people.

Blindness in Tanzania has a direct link with poverty and malnutrition. The national percentage is around 4% of the population but in some areas it is as high as 10%, so it is a significant problem.

Education in an integrated environment

Government policy is for children with disabilities to be educated in an integrated environment. There is an outstanding primary school for blind children at Buigiri, some 30 kilometres from Mvumi. Its Headteacher is himself totally blind. Of the 12,200 Tanzanian primary schools, Buigiri School regularly comes within the top 100 and in 2006 came sixth. However, at secondary level, provision for blind pupils is inadequate and uneven.

Partnership with the government

The Anglican Diocese of Central Tanganyika, under whose auspices DCT Mvumi Secondary School and Buigiri Schools funtion, has developed a 10-year partnership with the Ministry of Education under which eight children leaving Buigiri School each year transfer to Mvumi Secondary School, where they receive a quality education. Special Needs teachers are working with other staff to ensure the blind pupils benefit from the full life of the school.

A very generous grant from ICAP plc, an international FTSE 100 company to Mvumi School Trust has enabled The School to provide:

  • two new staff houses at Mvumi for Special Needs teachers
  • the ICAP Block containing study and 'prep' facilities, together with a staff room and storage for Braille equipment
  • Braille machines
  • a Braille duplicating machine
  • funding for boarding and tuition for Mvumi's blind and severely visually impaired pupils.

The Government :

  • supplies three or four fully-trained Special Needs Teachers and pay their salaries
  • is required to provide some Braille paper and Braille duplicating* paper
  • maintains the Braille machines
  • will replace  machines and a duplicator in 2016/2017.

While this is a wonderful step forward for both Mvumi and for the pupils there is still a great shortage of suitable paper and Braille books covering the Tanzanian O level syllabus. The Trust is using its resources to create Talking Books and Braille Books. It may be that at some future date,when funding permits, the Government will set up similar schemes elsewhere in Tanzania . Meanwhile, the unit puts Mvumi yet again at the forefront of top-quality and innovative education in Tanzania.

Sponsor a visually impaired student

Our student sponsorship programme includes opportunites to sponsor individuals at the ICAP Unit. Please see our Sponsor a Student page for details.

BBC report from Mvumi ICAP Unit

Gap year student volunteer helps create Braille books

Gap year student helps make Braille books at Mvumi School ICAP Unit