Posted on May 04, 2022

For our meeting on May 4, Timothy Massawe of the Rotary Club of Hai-Kilimanjaro in Tanzania joined us by Zoom to tell us about his organization, the Saidia Agriculture and Social Care Organization (SASCO), and its ongoing program to support education in Tanzania through offers of scholarship help to marginalized or vulnerable children with academic potential. 

This organization (an on-going project of Mr. Massawe’s Rotary Club) has been in action for more than 20 years.  The project arose from Mr. Massawe’s experience of being only the second member of his very large but relatively poor family to graduate from university.  It focuses on marginalized children who want to study but have no opportunity to do so because they are from poor families that cannot afford the cost of the available educational institutions.  To date, the program has assisted more than 200 children.  Some of the success stories that he highlighted included children “growing up” to be a doctor, a nurse, a high-school teacher, and a pharmacist, all serving in their local communities. 
In general, the program tries to pick one child who exhibits intelligence and a desire to succeed from a family.  Once the child has finished his/her educational development, he/she is encouraged to take responsibility in both the family and the community – to give back to the community.  He emphasized the life-changing aspects of this program.  He also emphasized that there are many children in his area for whom he is looking for sponsors. 
The program works by donations from individual Rotarians and Rotary clubs around the world.  The program is run by volunteers, mostly local Rotarians, and no NGO administration fee is needed, so 100% of the donations are used for school fees and supplies. Once a sponsor commits to the program, he is linked to an individual child so a relationship is developed between the sponsor and the child.  The sponsor receives academic report cards for the child and is encouraged to visit the child and his family in Tanzania. 
Although the organization does not have a web site, they do have a facebook page ( and information about the program and arranging to be a sponsor may be obtained by email from Mr. Massawe --
Has the organization attempted to obtain any District Grants?  No, only sponsorships from individual Rotarians and Rotary Clubs.  However, there have been three Global Grants for public schools. 
Is there any help from the schools themselves?  The schools, which cost around $1000 per year, do not provide any financial assistance.  They do, however, mentor and check on the students and provide regular updates to the sponsors. 
How large is the curriculum?  Primary school is seven years; secondary school, six years.  The goal is to prepare for university. 
Do the students have any choice as to their courses?  Not in primary school.  In high school, there is a range of possible courses. 
Is there a refugee problem that impacts this program?  In general there is no overwhelming refugee problem, although there are refugees from Burundi and Uganda.  This apparently does not impact the SASCO education program. 
How do you choose the students?  There are three steps or criteria.  1.  Identify a child with potential and a willingness to work hard.  2. The family has no economic basis to support a child in school.  3. A photo and description is sent to interested possible supporters. 
How many children in each classroom?  Although it varies with different schools, there are on the order of 25 students per classroom.