Zanzibar – English Basics

For students in the field of car mechanics and tailoring

The projects in Zanzibar benefit from the cooperation and the many years of experience of the locally registered NGO, Pamoja Zanzibar.

As a constituent state within Tanzania, Zanzibar has its own government, parliament and president. The average annual income is $250. More than half of the population lives below the poverty line. It is estimated that about 12 % of the children suffer from acute malnutrition.

The problem – insufficient knowledge of English

Tanzania continues to lag behind due to the decision that was made in the 1960s when it gained independence from the colonial ruler, England. Unlike its neighboring countries, Tanzania did not introduce English but rather Swahili as the official language and as the language of instruction in all schools. This mandate served to unite the many ethnic groups with their respective tribal languages under a common language, leading to a national rather than tribal identity and political peace. However, it also led to the consequence that many Tanzanian teachers and thereby their students do not have sufficient knowledge of English, leading to poorer outcomes on exams (which are given in English!) than could otherwise be expected.

The solution – Basic English Courses

The apprentices of our local partner, the educational NGO Pamoja Zanzibar, will enroll in two 2-month English courses each year in addition to their regular classes.

The goal – quality improvement

The goal: to increase the language skills of the apprentices and thus the quality of training and their chances on the job market. Particularly in the service sector, many customers are foreigners with limited Swahili knowledge, therefore, a good knowledge of English brings a strong competitive advantage.

Martin Gurtner-Duperrex

Managing Director

"I am convinced that small, manageable development projects and personal relationships on the ground serve the people in need better in the long term than large-scale projects.”