Kili School

The Kilimanjaro English Nursery School is the brainchild of Edward Lazaro, a ZARA Kilimanjaro guide, who in the Moshi area is generally known as “Teacher”.

In 1994 “Teacher” started using his leisure time to give free education to children aged three to eight, preparing them for secondary school. Also older children whose families can not afford to send their children to the public school system can attend the classes. Even though the public school system is generally free, Tanzanian public schools expect certain contributions from the parents who additionally have to pay for their children’s consumables such as paper and pens, for transportation to the school etc. Many families are not capable to get together this amount of money associated with the public schooling system – around $ 200 per year. Costs are a big obstacle for students to attend public secondary education, even if they pass the required entrance exam. Edward’s free school therefore is a welcomed option for them.

Until today, as a “class room” Edward makes use of a simple outdoor space between two huts in the outskirts of Moshi – equipped only with 4 basic wooden long benches, a tin roof and a blackboard.

A short time after starting, Edward was faced with having more than 150 children between 2 and 14 sitting in front of him. He needed assistance and convinced his wife, his cousing and another woman to join him teaching at the school, giving them basic training in being a “teacher” first. None of the four teachers received a salary, rather Teacher provided them housing and living support – financed by his salary as a Kilimanjaro guide – in return for their work.

Today, there are approximately 240 children registered with the School, some keeping regular attendance and some making occasional appearances. Approximately 180 students are in attendance on any given school day. Subjects taught are reading and writing, English, Maths and certain vocational skills. School is in session six days a week. The children are encouraged to stay and play in the area late in the day so that they are tired when they go home and go straight to bed. This is to keep the students from bad influences in areas where they live. Even on Sundays many students show up at the school.

Teacher educating primary school children, the current situation:

Kilimanjaro English Nursery School - old premises

In 2003, Jim Lumberg from Illinois joined a climb to Mount Kilimanjaro with “Teacher” being the guide. Asking about the reason for Edwards nickname, Jim got to know Edward’s school and visited it. Impressed by Teacher’s efforts and willing to support him, Jim registered the “Kilimanjaro English Nursery School” as a Illinois non-for-profit charitable NGO and managed to raise funds for the construction of an adequadely sized and equipped building for the school and to finance the
school’s ongoing formal operations for the two initial years.

Jim Lumberg with a deaf and mute student and on a Kilimanjaro charity climb with the “Climb for Kids Expedition Team”, 2006:

Jim Lumberg

In the meantime, a plot large enough to accommodate play fields and any potential growth of the School in the foreseeable futurehad been acquired. There are existing buildings on the plot which are currently undergoing reconstruction to be used as classrooms, bathroom facilities and living quarters for teachers, a kitchen with cook/watchman quarters. The time plan is to move the school into the new facilities by the end of 2007.

State of construction of the new class rooms, September 2007:

The new school building - state of construction September 2007

The Kilimanjaro English Nursery School blog section will provide up-to-date information about the progress of the project.

Even though the situation for Teacher’s School – thanks to the efforts of Jim Lumberg – is just about to improve considerably – there are still funds needed to secure the sustainability of this project. As a US 501 (c)3 registered charitable non-for-profit organisation, donations are tax-deductible for US citizens. If you would like to support the project by any means, please contact Jim Lumberg at

Support a child in need!

Street child Michael Musa Regan Fredrick Zawedi Jacob
My name is MICHAEL MUSA. I am 5 years old. My mother was raped, so I don’t know who my father is. My stepfather is a Chagga; their traditions don’t allow him to accept me, that’s why he treated me unhumanly. My name is REGAN FREDRICK. I’m 13 years old. I am an orphan. My father was burned by angry mobs suspecting him to be a thief. Because the new husband of my mother didn’t like me, I decided to live on the street where I stayed for 2 years. I slept on shop verandas, had nothing to eat… I felt like rubbish. My name is ZAWADI JACOB. I am 13 years old. I still have got both parents, but I decided to run away from home because my family has a high level of poverty being caused by the high age of my father who is roughly 70 years old. He is not able to do any income generating activity anymore.
Yusufu Ally  Riziki Stanley  Amran Mwilima
My name is YUSUFU ALLY. I am 13 years old. At the age of 2 my father died of AIDS. My mother who is unemployed failed to pay my school fees. I lived on the street for 2 years collecting and selling scrap metals to earn my daily bread. My name is RIZIKI STANLEY. I am an orphan since the age of 10. My father died in a car accident. My mother was killed by robbers at our home. Our relatives took all our home belongings and left me and my brothers with nothing. My name is AMRAN MWILIMA. I am 13. I lived in the streets of Arusha for more than one year. An experience I hate to remember. Also my 2 brothers stay in the streets because at home we had no food and no sleeping place. Our house had holes at every corner, once it rained the water came in.

There are many reasons why children become street children and there are great individuals like Mr. Mapunda from the “Msamaria Home for Street Children” (all the boys presented above live at his home) or Mary Saria from the “Huruma Women Group” who under difficult financial conditions try to provide street children with shelter, food, cloth, education and counselling. We want to encourage you to financially support their work and help the children in need.


3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. marykileo  |  January 5, 2009 at 12:38 am


  • 2. Venant Mligo  |  June 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Congratulation for putting Education First by act!!!

    I am Tanzanian working a Mzumbe University ,Tanzania.
    Please, may you send me your school Project appraisal, o how you started. I want to join your efforts by starting a new Nursery school in Morogoro, Tanzania.

    Thank you!

  • 3. Harrison Aybar  |  June 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    This message is for ‘Teacher’

    The school needs new photos of the current school and its new water station. I don’t know if you remember me or not but it has been almost a whole year since I’ve been to Tanzania and at your school. I am in the middle of a summer school project that I am using to focusing on Tanzania with. During research I stumbled upon this site, and recognized the school space from when you walked my church group with Jim Lumberg through this school and then to your current one. I apologize for rambling in this message but when I found this site I was overjoyed to see a place i can recognize. How are you? how has Hussain been? How are all the children from the orphanage and all the other children in your school? I Truly miss all of you, and them.


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