Scroll Top

Here's What We Do Better

Our strategy is based on the belief that people we are working to support are best placed to address the challenges they face with the backing of MZF and partners empowerment programmes.

Thus, our holistic, participatory community development programme targets 24 Shehias in Unguja and Pemba. The ultimate aim of the programme over the past three years has been to improve the wellbeing of our targeted communities.

As opposed to prior programmes where the interventions were developed, designed and implemented independently, each sector focusing on its own set of outcomes, this time, the focus was on cross-sector pollination, finding connections in the ways the sector supports and assists each other. Instead of a purely sectoral approach, the programme adopted the strategy that centres on the improvement of the individuals- a, teacher, a mother, a student, or an farmer, as a whole being.


Many children in Zanzibar, both boys and girls are now attending school as evidenced by an 84% primary enrollment rate. Despite an increase in awareness of the importance of going to school, there are still an estimated 69,000 children of school going age who are out of school or have never entered school in Zanzibar. Those in school are struggling to attain foundational literacy and numeracy skills with nearly 20% of standard 7 students failing the Standard 7 examination. This eventually results in a nearly 50% drop off of students due to massive failures at the Form 2 examination. A multitude of factors including insufficient and overcrowded classrooms, undertrained and underpaid teachers, and minimal teaching and learning materials contribute to these poor results. Milele Zanzibar Foundation’s strategic interventions and collaborations with education partners aim to address the many challenges with a focus on the following:

  1. Facilitating access to safe, healthy and conducive learning environments
  2. Promoting equitable, quality teaching and learning of relevant, critical 21st Century skills Nursery – Tertiary.

In 2015-2016 Milele Zanzibar Foundation education programmes were able to support nearly 60 schools through various interventions including infrastructure, scholarships, training, and capacity building programmes impacting over 200,000 students and teachers.

Education Programme Sub-Sectors

1. Access to Safe and Conducive Learning Environment

Skuli Yetu ni Hazina Yetu: Partner: Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) Beneficiaries: 7,338 (3,591M/3,747F) students; 13 schools students Brief: This project seeks to increase enrolment and attendance for students in pre/ primary and secondary schools by creating conducive learning environment through completion of construction of classrooms, toilets and staff houses.

School Roofing Project: Partner: Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) Beneficiaries: 25,056 (12,474F/12,582M); 39 schools Brief: This project seeks to increase attendance and safe learning environments for students, especially during the rainy season, by reducing the number of unhealthy, unsafe roofs in classrooms throughout Unguja and Pemba.

2. Promoting Quality of Instruction and Learning Outcomes:

Milele Elimu Zanzibar  (MEZA II): Partner: Forum for African Women Educationalists Zanzibar (FAWE Zanzibar) Beneficiaries: 450 (263F/87M) students; 30 schools Brief: This project seeks to improve interest and performance of students, especially girls, in STEM subjects through the provision of scholarships and life-skills and leadership empowerment through TUSEME and STEM Clubs in secondary schools.

Promoting English Language and Literacy: Partner: Zanzibar Institute of Education (MoEVT) Beneficiaries: 200,000 primary STD 1 to 4 students; 1,600 English teachers. Brief: This project seeks to broad improve performance of students in primary school by increasing teacher competence in teaching English as a Second Language and students’ overall English reading, writing and speaking skills through contextually and grade-level appropriate, fun and user-friendly English textbooks and teachers guides.

Education Programme Spotlights

Our School is Our Treasure – Skuli Yetu ni Hazina Yetu (SYNHY)

Milele Zanzibar Foundation partnered with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOEVT) to finalize construction and/or renovation of classrooms and improve learning conditions in 21 schools in Unguja and Pemba over the course of three years.  In keeping with its mission of accelerating progress, using a holistic and sustainable approach, Milele Zanzibar Foundation’s Skuli Yetu ni Hazina Yetu (SYNHY) programme not only finalizes classrooms initiated by the community, but also ensures each school has access to clean water, toilets and electricity if needed. This comprehensive set of activities, along with construction of staff houses in some of the more rural schools, is aimed at increasing enrollment, improving attendance of both students and teachers in order to translate to improved performance and ultimately instilling a joy for learning.

Skuli Yetu ni Hazina Yetu (SYNHY) OUTCOMES
  • Increase in enrollment in some of our schools
  • Increase in total attendance rates of schools
  • Increase in teacher attendance in select schools
Skuli Yetu ni Hazina Yetu (SYNHY) OUTPUTS
  • 7,338 (3,591M/3,747F) student beneficiaries
  • 24 Teachers understand good hygiene and sanitation practices
  • Completion/renovation of 49 classrooms/offices- including 2 brand new schools
  • Construction/renovation of 108 toilets
  • Construction of 5 staff houses
  • Construction of 6 offices
  • Construction of 4 wells and 7 water towers
  • 24 teachers trained in SWASH sanitary techniques
  • Installation of 350 desks
  • Community benefit from water facilities available at schools in Mkanyageni, Bandamaji, Mbuyutende.


Despite the decline in maternal mortality, from 473 deaths per 100,000 in 2006 to 307 per 100,000 in 2012 (THPS, 2012) Zanzibar fell behind achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of a maternal mortality ratio of 130 deaths per 100,000 by 2015. Among causes of maternal deaths identified include delays in seeking care (partly due to financial barriers as well as long distances to clinics, low community awareness of the need for maternity care and poor quality of services. Reducing maternal mortality is a central priority for the Ministry of Health and the agreed focal area for the partnership with the Milele Zanzibar Foundation

Our Goal

By 2020, MZF target communities are engaged and systems strengthened to ensure the health and well being of women and children.

Our Objective

  1. Increase women and children’s regular access to quality health care to ensure healthy deliveries, good parenting, and enduring well being
  2. Mobilize communities to improve nutrition and sanitation knowledge and behavior through a community –led health promotion strategy.
  3. Promote coordinated and quality health care to be delivered in professional, well-managed facilities.

Our Approach

  • Infrastructural Support
  • Nurturing professionalism in health care delivery
  • Community engagement
  • Tanzania Housing and Population Census (THPS, 2012)


Zanzibar is a predominantly young and dependent population. As in many other developing countries, the government is the number one employer, the private sector is direly under developed and the rural population is primarily engaged in small scale, artisanal farming, fishing and livestock rearing to achieve basic survival. As a result, 30.4% of Zanzibaris, especially youth and women, live below the poverty line.

Milele Zanzibar Foundation’s livelihood interventions seek to empower primarily youth and women in rural areas through income generating activities, building technical skills to encourage a spirit of self-sufficiency, sustainability and resilience. In 2015-2016, the Livelihood Sector implemented several projects that helped to increase income and potentially improve overall livelihood of over 10,000 primary and secondary beneficiaries.

Livelihood program focusing on:
  1. Youth empowerment: In this programs we are empowered youth on technical and soft skills to be self employment, Multiplier, ecopreneurship and to be employed in any institutions
  2. Women empowerment: MZF empowered women through self financial sustainability (Village Saving Loan), strengthen their competencies income generating activities. These opportunities are enabling women to contribute to the household income and to ensure that their children are eating properly, able to go to school as well as seek medical attention when need arises
  3. Organic farming: MZF promote sustainable economic through sustainable agriculture by providing technical and soft skills to farmers to improve their livelihoods.
Shehia Field Officer

Following the capacity building of the Shehia Advisory Committee, our community has progressed in service provision by building a Health Centre, renovating classrooms and digging a well.

Master Trainer, Deep water seaweed farming

I have trained about 140 here in Tumbe, about 30 in Msuka, 30 in Shumba Mjini, four in Kojani and four in Chwaleq. I am very grateful to MZF because their support has enabled us to adopt best farming practices and as a result, we produce and sell more.

A Soap Making Entrepreneur

We use local materials that are from Zanzibar including seaweed, cloves, and aloe vera. So far, the centre has 25 members, two of whom are men. It also acts as a training point and since the inception we have trained about 265 people. On average, I earn about Tsh350,000 per month, an amount that goes a long way to sustain my family of three children.

A Villager at Kokota

We used to buy a 20-litre water container for Tsh300 and sometimes I needed up to 300 litres in a day, like when we needed to wash our clothes. That would mean spending up to Tsh9,000, an amount that was too huge for our kind of modest family income. This challenge was taking a toll on our lives.

A Mother of Seven

I was pregnant, then one day, I felt labor pains and my helpers and I trekked to where a boat was stationed. Unfortunately, by using the sea ambulance speed boat donated by MZF, I gave birth while I was being ferried to Wete District hospital.  Now both the child and I are doing well after receiving treatment.

Minungwini Primary School Teacher

The training has built our ability to support pupils in the best way to learn and think, this is different from the past when we could not make use of the local materials for teaching. With the new ways of teaching, even the pupils’ performance has increased.

A pupil, Minungwini Primary school

I was very happy to receive a free school bag with which I could carry 7 exercise books. The bag motivated me to start attending classes regularly and my marks improved. For example, this year I am among the Top 10 pupils in my class. I am very thankful to MZF.

Volunteer, Ukorongoni Health Facility

I was excited to get the opportunity to work in health services provisions for women and children at the centre. I also liked the experience of working in rural areas to interact with community members to address public health challenges. I would like to advise Milele Zanzibar Foundation to continue with the programme and increase the programme period which is currently three months only.

Clinic Officer, MZF Clinic

With improved health services following the renovations and setting up of facilities supported by Milele, more women are now receiving maternal services at the facilities. This is something which had not been seen before, because in this village many women used to deliver at home.

Clinic Officer, Bumbwisudi Health

We thank MZF for the support as they have renovated water supply systems, painted the building and repaired toilets; for example, pit latrines for persons with disabilities that had not been working are now in a very good condition.