IT ALL STARTED IN OCTOBER 2015
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much".
In Tanzania, only three out of five Tanzanian adolescents, or 52 percent of the eligible school population, are enrolled in lower-secondary education and fewer complete secondary education. Many poor students are unable to attend school because of school-related costs such as transport to school, uniforms, and additional school materials such as books.
Moreover, according to the 2016 Tanzanian Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS), malnutrition affects a significant part of the population. It decreases life expectancy and is one of the most serious causes of child poverty. It impairs physical and mental growth, leading to poor brain development, poor school performance and low productivity. For instance, due to malnutrition 27.9% of the inhabitants in Tabora region suffer from growth stunting and 60% have anemia.
In line with this, as a school teacher, Mr. Sadath A. Mwamsema did notice that some children were going to school hungry, did not have school materials and, due to poor hygiene and lack of access to medicines, could not perform well in school and reach their full potential. In order to support them, he founded CODEWA in 2015 with Mr. Fredrick Sunday and Mr. Paul Sosthenes and they decided to spend a significant part of their incomes to buy school materials and food as well as to give them mental support to help them go through their hardships.
Despite a deep empathy and a real desire to help, they realised that alone he was not able to do as much as he would have liked to for these kids. So, they decided first to partner with Ms. Pauline Marimbo and Mr. Christian Urassa. Then, Sadath met Mr. Pierre Rialland, Mr. Georges Poquillon, Ms. Yuliya Kazakova and Ms. Montresor who are Economics researchers and who came to Tanzania to conduct research with the University of Essex.
As economics researchers, they knew the great power of role models on children and, for instance, that exposing children to successful people they could identify to through movies could modify significantly their aspirations and increase their school results (Bernard et al., 2014; Riley, 2017). After an inspiring meeting in October 2016, where they discussed this issue, we decided to partner all together and to make inspiring children a pillar of our actions at CODEWA. This meeting further led to the creation of CODEWA France in August 2017, our fist office outside Tanzania.