Madisi Secondary School
Madisi Secondary School in the village of Igoda was the very first school that we partnered with people to build. Led by Godfrey Hiari, Emmanueli Masumbuko and the leaders of the village of Igoda and four other nearby villages, people responded with an incredible outpouring of enthusiasm and built Madisi’s first six classrooms in just 70 days in early 2005. As people came from other villages to see what was happening, word spread and inspired a movement which today involves people from 188 villages, working together to build schools in six regions of the country!
Madisi has an enrollment of over 300 students – just over half of them are girls, and more than a fifth of them are orphans. The school has a reputation for high academics, strong discipline and a student body which is active in the community. Madisi students have been involved in building a dam which provides water for the school and teacher houses, helping to build the college we are preparing to open in September 2014, and constructing an HIV/AIDS Community Treatment Center that opened in January 2011. Teachers and students from Madisi have helped more than 2500 people from the five villages around the school to get to HIV testing and treatment. They are involved on a near daily basis in helping widows, orphans and those sick with HIV/AIDS. They are currently working to help build VST’s first English-medium primary school.
More than 100 students have graduated from this school – many of whom continue to sacrifice their breaks from higher studies to come and help out either at Madisi or at one of the other schools we have throughout the country. This school is nestled in one of the last remaining protected rain forests in Tanzania and looks out over vast hills of tea. Located at an elevation of nearly 6000 feet, it is cold nearly year round. Students come from villages throughout the Iringa region and from as far away as the city of Dar es Salaam to study at Madisi.