Ilboru School for Children with Special Needs

Children in Tanzania with hearing impairments or mental or physical impairments are often left with limited opportunities to receive a formal education.

A decade ago, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy funded the construction of the first primary school in Arusha, Tanzania especially designed to meet the needs of deaf and disabled children.

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The School

This school has successfully grown and made a huge difference for the children. Unfortunately, when the children graduated from the primary school, they were returned to regular mainstream education where teachers are not trained or equipped to deal with their unique learning needs. This resulted in a high drop-out rate.

Recognizing this issue, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy decided to further support these children by building a secondary school at Ilboru. We have undertaken this project as a partnership with Tanzania’s Ministry of Education. The Ministry provides specially-trained teachers to work at the two-story, five-classroom facility. In addition to standard academic courses, the school teaches vocational skills such as sewing to increase chances the children will find employment upon graduating.

In 2016, in partnership with Worldreader, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy began an innovative literacy program at Ilboru’s Primary School with the use of digital e-readers which give the deaf and disabled children access to a large library of textbooks and literature in both English and their local language of Swahili.

Guests have the opportunity to meet the students and teachers while on a guided tour of the school and learn about the challenges of delivering special education to children in Tanzania.

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