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Lucy during the camping session with her friends enjoying themselves at the community pool.

Leading change

Growing the cognitive, social and emotional skills of primary students in Tanzania and Kenya is the goal of So They Can’s My Voice Project. Working with a range of international and local partners in 42 primary schools, the My Voice project is helping 26,000 students develop their self-esteem, confidence and leadership potential. This intensive support is vital in their early years and is delivering sustained results.

Program: Education
Project: My Voice
School: 43 schools in Kenya and Tanzania

My Voice is an education project for primary-age students by Australian-based charity So They Can. The goal is to bring about lasting change in Tanzania and Kenya by addressing poverty and inequality through education. How this is done is by helping students realise, recognise and develop their strengths and capabilities and as contributors to their own communities.

My Voice provides educational and learning resources to support student leadership, student-led clubs, awareness raising events and extra-curricular activities. The project is delivered within school with students being supported to discuss and develop abilities for learning and for life.

For Zuleyha, prefect and grade 5 student at Endanoga Primary School in Tanzania she says being involved in the Student Leadership Training program “taught me so much”. “I want to set a good example and encourage my peers to be good students and study hard”.

Having local partners in government and working with the schools are integral to the project’s success, as are the organisation’s funding partners including The Phillips Foundation.

Through its partnerships, So They Can has worked with over 26,000 students and 580 teachers. Importantly, a third of these students have continued on to secondary education with an increasingly greater gender balance. Having children remain in school and complete their secondary education is what UNESCO claims as the most significant and lasting strategy to reduce poverty and inequality.

So They Can’s Kenyan-based Country Manager Boniface Mouti sees first-hand the change that is happening. As Mouti says, the My Voice project helps provide critical support as “it is our collective responsibility to provide every child with the tools, opportunities and nurturing environments they need to thrive … their rights are to be protected, their voices heard, and their dreams supported”.

The Phillips Foundation supported the My Voice in 2023 with $40,000, helping encourage greater student engagement and participation in school.

Student Leadership Training taught me so much. As a Prefect in my school, I want to set a good example, and encourage my peers to be good students and study hard.

Zuleyha, Grade 5 Student, Endanoga Primary School, Tanzania, who participated in Student Leadership Training in February 2023 through the My Voice project.

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