Girls who stay in school for seven or more years typically marry four years later and have two fewer children than girls who drop out
Our mission is to educate and empower Tanzanian girls who are poor, marginalized and at-risk of becoming involved in exploitative forms of child labor.
The ChallengeTanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world and only 17% of girls in Tanzania attend secondary school. Poverty forces many girls to drop out of school resulting in early marriage and teen pregnancy. Tanzania has one of the world’s highest teenage marriages rates with 37% of girls marrying before the age of 18 and teen pregnancy rates with 121 births per 1,000 girls age 15-19.
The SolutionA quality education provided by the SEGA (Secondary Education for Girls’ Advancement) Girls’ School. With a 97% pass rate and a 96% retention rate, an education from SEGA leads to continuing education, future employment, and ultimately an increased standard of living which includes improved healthcare, food security, and housing.
A striking body of evidence demonstrates that educating and empowering women and girls to realize their full potential may be the most powerful way to break the cycle of poverty and create prosperity.
And yet, across the developing world, women and girls are consistently marginalized and undervalued. Education beyond primary school is often out of the question for those living in poverty, regardless of their previous academic performance or desire to learn. In families in which funds are limited, boys are usually educated before girls, as the boys are expected to make a long-term economic contribution back to their families.
An extra year of secondary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 15-25%
When 10% more girls go to secondary school, a country’s economy grows by 3%
When women earn income, they reinvest 90% of it in their families, buying books, medicine, and education for their children
The SEGA (Secondary Education for Girls Advancement) Girls’ School is a residential secondary school for bright, motivated Tanzanian girls who otherwise would be unable to attend school due to extreme poverty or hardship. Housing over 250 students, SEGA uses a holistic approach to education which includes an academically challenging Tanzanian curriculum, entrepreneurship development, and a comprehensive life skills and leadership program.
SEGA’s goal is to improve the quality of life for vulnerable Tanzanian girls.
SEGA is rated in the top 20% of small secondary schools in the country and has a pass rate on national exams of 97%, compared to 70% nationally.
The majority of SEGA students are bright and motivated girls on full scholarship who, prior to coming to SEGA, were at high risk of dropping out of school due to extreme poverty or hardship.
Girls receiving full scholarships to SEGA are selected from over 20 different communities throughout Tanzania; have completed 5th grade; have been identified by their teachers as bright but highly at-risk; and must pass a SEGA entry exam, interview and home visit process.
SEGA provides all the necessary financial, material and social support for the girls to attend and succeed within the school. Also providing a supportive, safe and loving environment in which to live and learn.
In 2015, SEGA was named an Ashoka Changemaker School. Changemaker schools enable their students to become changemakers: young people with the skills and confidence to change the world for the good of all.
SEGA is situated at the foot of the Uluguru Mountains in a rural area of Tanzania near the town of Morogoro, 190 km west of Dar es Salaam. Morogoro is one of Tanzania’s growing cities with a population of 240,000.
The SEGA StudentsOver 90% of SEGA students are vulnerable girls who were at high risk of dropping out of their public primary schools before coming to SEGA. Some have lost their parents to malaria, AIDS, or other diseases; some are too poor to afford uniforms, books, or transportation to traditional government schools; some needed to work to support themselves and their families giving them no time to attend school.
Approximately 250 students study and live on the SEGA Girls’ School campus in grades 7 - 11 and a pre-secondary remedial program. In addition, 60 graduates live off-campus who are currently enrolled in continuing education programs supported by SEGA scholarships.
Holistic Approach to Transforming Lives
Strong academics, supported by excellent infrastructure and resources.
A high quality education that fosters the development of strong values, healthy self-esteem, and independent thinking. SEGA is also a center for excellence in teaching, learning and leadership development.
Education for Life
Focuses on life skills, leadership training, community outreach and social responsibility opportunities. SEGA provides amazing extracurricular activities including sports, arts, music, theatre, drama and dancing. Life Skills education both on and off the SEGA campus, focuses on HIV/AIDS awareness, early pregnancy prevention, human rights, communication skills and career counseling.
Training allows students to put theory into practice as they develop a business plan and learn to manage the costs of running a business. The students collaborate with each other, learn computer skills, use their creativity to design, produce, market, and sell products and services. They also speak publicly in the community.
The Modern Girl program trains SEGA graduates as mentors to go back into their home communities to teach life skills including reproductive health, communication skills and human rights to girls ages 10 - 18. The program is designed to educate communities about the negative outcomes of early marriage and teen pregnancy, which are two of the leading reasons why girls drop out of school in Tanzania. This program reached over 300 girls in 16 communities last year with plans to grow by 5 new communities each year.
SEGA aims to achieve partial financial sustainability through a three-pronged approach which includes school-run businesses (including the SEGA Lodge); a second stream of paying students which will decrease the cost per student; and support from an interest-bearing endowment fund that will help sustain the school indefinitely.
SEGA teaches environmental stewardship and operates an environmentally sustainable campus. The campus is off-the-grid and entirely run on solar-power, has a rainwater catchment system which provides the school with reliable, renewable water, and maintains organic gardens that provide 30% of the school’s produce.
Support for the girls doesn’t stop at graduation. The program offers graduates career workshops, help in obtaining internships, and job placement assistance. In addition, 83% of graduates go on to continuing education beyond high school to A-Levels (an additional 2 years of high school required to enter university), and two-year certificate degrees in teaching, nursing, business and non-profit management. Currently SEGA is able to pay for all of these graduates to go on to higher levels of schooling through our Continuing Education Scholarship Fund.