The school formerly located on 45,000-acre Manyara Ranch was dilapidated, having seen no physical maintenance or repair in over 20 years. Its buildings were shabby, lacking electricity and a proper water distribution system. The school was extremely overcrowded, with over 800 students enrolled in the 400-person capacity school. Additionally, the school itself was located in an important wildlife corridor, which meant that students shared their schoolyard with elephants, lions, and other wildlife, disrupting classes and endangering students. Despite all of these impediments, students at this school consistently ranked among the best in Tanzania.
It was with this knowledge that AWF partnered with the Annenberg Foundation, the local school district, and the community to build an entirely new school campus on the perimeter of the ranch. At the Manyara Ranch Primary School, students are now able to study in facilities that include fully equipped classrooms, dormitories, a cafeteria, IT lab, and infirmary. The new conducive learning environment comfortably holds the approximately 900 students, a majority of whom are Maasai. Meanwhile, since the location of the school has moved, elephants, buffalo, and lions no longer disrupt students’ quest for an education. AWF will begin initiating a giraffe-themed conservation education program with Wild Nature Institute under a ‘Toys R Us’ grant.
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