Empowering students of Tanzania
to learn, lead and thrive

Frequently Asked Questions

What is TEF?
The Tanzania Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to sustaining the development and success of Margery Wolf Kuhn Primary School and Nianjema Preschool and Secondary Schools in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. TEF is based in Vienna, Virginia, U.S.A.

Where is Nianjema?
Nianjema Schools are located on the outskirts of Bagamoyo, Tanzania. The school resides in two compounds with 37 buildings and a large, multi-purpose playing field. Buildings include girls’ and boys’ dormitories, teacher housing, and classroom buildings. A third compound houses the Modern Medics Clinic Tanzania.

How did Nianjema Schools get started?
Nianjema Schools were founded by Charlie Sloan after serving in Tanzania for two years in the Peace Corps. Charlie noticed many children were not in school and vowed to come back to build a school for those children being left out. After raising funds, including a legacy from his aunt, Margery Wolf Kuhn, he returned to found Nianjema.

How are Nianjema Schools funded?
Nianjema schools are funded through generous donations from individuals, by student tuition, as well as grants from USAID and churches. The W. O’Neil Foundation and The Carney Family Foundation were instrumental in building the Modern Medics Clinic Tanzania.

Do Nianjema students have access to a good library?
Nianjema built a new and larger library in 2011 to accommodate the growing book collection and student population and increased usage by both students and teachers. For many students the library offers access to a variety of books and a place where they can study quietly for the first time. With more than 25,000 books, the school offers more books than any other school in Tanzania. The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation of Nigeria presented 4,000 books to the school in 2015. TEF supporters continue to donate books.

In what language are the classes taught?
All secondary are taught in English, while the Nianjema primary school is an English-medium school teaching in Kiswahili and English.

Are pressing health problems addressed?
Students attend classes on how to prevent diseases and conditions such as AIDS, HIV, TB and diabetes. The new Modern Medics Clinic Tanzania, a collaborative project of TEF, will increase educational and treatment options.

Are there girls in the school?
Yes, half of the entering class are girls. Nianjema prioritizes the recruitment and development of girls through the TEF Scholars Program.

Do students pay a tuition?
Non-boarding secondary students pay $700 and boarding secondary students pay $1400.

Does Nianjema offer scholarships for students?
In addition to scholarships offered through the TEF Scholars Program, scholarships are available to students in need and to high achievers.

Does the school offer transportation?
Yes, our school bus picks up students who live too far away from the school to walk and provides transportation for field trips, community service activities and competitive sports events. The large sign on the bus is also an effective way to advertise the school to the community.

What percent of eligible students in Tanzania attend secondary school?
As there are so few government-sponsored secondary schools, only 25% of children can attend.

Does the government support the school financially?
There is no financial support from the Tanzanian Government. The US government has supported Nianjema through USAID grants for buildings and infrastructure.

What are the immediate needs for the school?

  1. TEF Scholars Program, which provides tuition scholarships and programming for girls who are underrepresented in secondary schools, make the difference between education and no education. Too often, families who sacrifice to send their boys to secondary school will keep girls at home to work or get married.
  2. Boarding costs for girls, who benefit from having safe and supportive learning environments that campus dormitories provide.
  3. Scholarships for all students, particularly orphans, who are not able to meet tuition requirements.
  4. Computers so that students can learn valuable job skills including knowing how to use popular office programs and coding.
  5. Additional housing for teachers, valuable in recruitment of good teachers and required by the Tanzanian government.
  6. New roofs for the original buildings, some of which are now more than twenty years old.
  7. For more information, contact Daphne Sloan, TEF Executive Director.

Is there an endowment fund?
We welcome discussions about named gifts, including endowing programs or scholarships at Nianjema. Large gifts can also be directed toward the science labs, the library, computers or the Modern Medics Clinic Tanzania.

How can I volunteer?
TEF and Nianjema Schools greatly benefit from the contributed skills and talents of volunteers from throughout the world. Find out more about volunteering.

Is Modern Medics Clinic Tanzania a TEF Project?
Modern Medics will offer access to medical services for students and staff as well as the surrounding community. TEF raised the initial funding and continues to support development of the clinic.