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Our Dream

Education for Every Youth in Every Village

Students learning in class
Community-Driven Development
We believe need – real need – is best defined by people’s willingness to work. It is easy as outsiders to look at the poverty in villages and to leap in and identify needs and try to tackle problems. Doing so divides us into beneficiaries and benefactors with a whole host of unintended consequences. That’s why we require every village to participate by working hard – very, very hard – so they take ownership in the school and view it as their own. It preserves their dignity, it lays the foundation for transformational change, and brings us all together.
Sustainability
We welcome donor funds to help us build and open more and more schools, as well as expanding and improving existing ones, but we neither ask for nor accept any donor funds to run our schools. We do not want them to be dependent on outside funds. We believe this policy has given people in villages a strong incentive, even though it is very difficult to do so, to run their school in a financially sustainable manner. A school where the teachers are paid by the parents is also a school where the teachers are accountable to those parents -- and we believe that this is one of the key reasons why, year after year, our students score so high on the national exams.
ning from the day they open.
Local Leadership
We ask people who come to Africa to serve with us to agree to work under our Tanzanian, Malawian, Ugandan or Zambian leaders. They have succeeded in building a large network of sustainable schools, they employ and manage a staff of over 550 people, and they provide a quality education to nearly 14,000 students. We are convinced that for those who come from outside the continent of Africa to join in and help in this ministry that they need to purposefully choose to come with an attitude of humility, ready to contribute and ready to learn.

Reaching Those at the Bottom
As Christians, we feel a particular call to help those in greatest need, and that inevitably means we end up serving in remote places where for one reason or another no one else has gone. It also means in the villages where we serve, we need to make a special effort to ensure girls get to go to school. It’s not that parents don’t want their daughters to get educated; it’s just that poor people often have to make very hard choices. We consider each girl in school a great victory; the scholarship program in 2019 meant that 54.7% of all of our students were girls.

Access for All
Government schools and indeed the other private schools choose the best and brightest students. We take everyone else. We were never purposefully trying to achieve academic excellence; we believe everyone should at least get the chance to go to school. But our teachers know they simply have to teach better and our students know they have to study harder. For the last 15 years these students have consistently scored far better on the national exams than students in government schools have – over the last 5 years we have had a 97.4% pass rate on the national exams; last year 54% of our students scored so high they qualified to be admitted to college.

 Living 'Incarnationally'
We ask all of our missionaries to make a commitment to make their homes in the villages where we send them to serve.  They live on the same amount of money that their fellow teachers make, they eat the same food, live in the same kind of houses, and they serve under the same leadership.  We ask them to make themselves to be poor so that they might reach the poor.  The goal is to build relationships with their students and colleagues, live out and share the Gospel, and become a real part of the community.  

Service and Sacrifice
Jesus set an example in the way he forsook the power and privilege of Heaven to come and live among us. Through his actions he displayed servant leadership. His life and lifestyle displayed a high degree of sacrifice which culminated in his suffering on the cross. We strive – however imperfectly – to imitate the example He set.  For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ, not only believe in him, but also to suffer for him. - Phil 1:29.

Prayer
As we look at all that has happened over the years we cannot help but recognize the Lord at work. We ask for those who are willing, to pray for three things: 1) open doors 2) workers to go out into the harvest field 3) wisdom for our leaders. With all that has happened, with all of the schools that have opened in the unlikeliest of places, and all of the missionaries and teachers who have made incredible sacrifices to teach in these schools we cannot help but believe that the Lord has been actively at work.

Personal Relationships
We believe that personal relationships are the cornerstone for ministry, not just between leaders, staff and missionaries, but with the students and communities we are serving in. The Apostle Paul puts this beautifully in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 – “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel, but our lives as well because you had become so dear to us.” We look to hire local teachers and send missionaries who feel called to this work and who are willing to get so wrapped up in the lives of their students and the community that sharing the Gospel is a natural result of loving them.

our values
Our Ministry Model
read about our Ten values:
Community-Driven Development
We believe community transformation happens best when people are leading it themselves.
We believe need, real need, is best defined by people’s willingness to work. It is easy as outsiders to look at the poverty in villages and to leap in and identify needs and try to tackle problems. Doing so divides us into beneficiaries and benefactors with a whole host of unintended consequences. We want to avoid that.

That's why all of the schools we've built over the last 16 years have one thing in common: people heard about our other schools and believed that if people in other villages could build their own schools, then they could too.  When people work hard -- very hard -- they take ownership in the school they build and they view it as their own. That preserves their dignity. It lays the foundation for transformational change. And it brings us all together.

What they have accomplished, and the way they have done it, is truly inspiring.
Sustainability
All of our schools are financially self-supporting from the day they open.
We welcome donor funds to help us build and open more and more schools, as well as to expand and improve existing ones, but we neither ask for nor accept any donor funds to run our schools. We do not want them to be dependent on outside funds. We believe doing it this way has given people in villages a strong incentive, even though it is very difficult to do so, to run their school in a financially sustainable manner. A school where the teachers are paid by the parents is also a school where the teachers are accountable to those parents -- and we believe that this is one of the key reasons why, year after year, our students score so high on the national exams.
Local Leadership
We believe that Tanzanians, Malawians, Zambians and Ugandans are best suited to lead the change they are working towards in their own countries.
We ask people who come to Africa to serve with us to agree to work under our Tanzanian, Malawian, Zambian or Ugandan leaders. They have succeeded in building a large network of sustainable schools, they employ and manage a staff of over 600 people, and they provide a quality education to nearly 14,000 students. Those from other continents who ask to come and join in this work are welcomed as co-laborers and fellow servants of God, but are asked to come with an attitude of humility, an eagerness to contribute and a spirit of wanting to learn.
Access for All
We welcome everyone in our schools regardless of past academic performance, how poor their family is or how many years they have been out of school.
Government secondary schools, and indeed other private schools, choose the best and the brightest students. We take everyone else. We seek to increase access to education; our schools exist for those who would otherwise not go to any school at all. That is why our teachers simply have to teach better and our students have to study harder. While we would never say we were aiming for academic excellence, for the last 16 years our students have consistently scored far better on national exams than most other students. Over the last 5 years we have had a 97% pass rate on national exams, and last year 68% of our students scored so high they qualified to be admitted to college – an amazing accomplishment for students who weren’t even thought to be good enough to start secondary school!
Living Incarnationally
We are committed to living at the same standard of living as those we are serving.
We ask all of our missionaries to make a commitment to make their homes in the villages where we send them to serve.  They live on the same amount of money that their fellow teachers make, they eat the same food, they live in the same kind of houses, and they serve under the same leadership.  We ask them to choose to live at the same standard of living as everyone else in the village.  The goal is to build relationships with their students and colleagues, live out and share the Gospel, and as much as is possible become a real part of the community.  
Service and Sacrifice
We strive – however imperfectly – to imitate the example Christ has set for us. 
Jesus set an example in the way he forsook the power and privilege of Heaven to come and live among us. Through his actions he displayed servant leadership. His life and lifestyle displayed a high degree of sacrifice which culminated in his suffering on the cross. We strive – however imperfectly – to imitate the example He set.  "For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ, not only believe in him, but also to suffer for him." - Philippians 1:29.
Prayer
We do not simply believe in the power of prayer - we depend on it.
As we reflect on all that has happened over the past 16 years we cannot help but recognize the Lord at work. That is why we ask those who want to help us to pray for three things: 1) open doors; 2) workers to go out into the harvest field; and 3) wisdom for our leaders. We marvel at the villages which have invited us to partner with them to build schools.  We rejoice at the teachers and the missionaries who have made tremendous sacrifices to serve in our schools.  We are inspired by the leaders God has called and what they have done.  We see all this and we cannot help but be thankful for those who have given of themselves to pray for this ministry.
Personal Relationships
We want to share our lives with people.
We believe personal relationships are the cornerstone for ministry -- between leaders, staff and missionaries, and between them and our students and parents. The Apostle Paul models this for us when we writes in in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 – “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our lives as well because you had become so dear to us.” We seek out and hire teachers from villages and cities, and we send missionaries from all around the world who feel called to this work.  Our desire is for them to get so wrapped up in the lives of their students that sharing the Gospel is a natural result of loving them.
Equity and Justice
As Christians, we have to strive for a world where people of every ethnic group are valued and respected.
Most youth in villages naturally go to primary school with students of their own ethnic group. And most students who go to secondary school end up doing the same. But our schools are unique. Our students come from 120 different ethnic groups. Our teachers, who come from more than 55 different ethnic groups, spend their weekends and their vacations traveling to these villages to make our schools known.  We believe when our students live and work together, study together, and build their school together -- and they do this for four or more years -- their hearts and minds are changed and we create the conditions for a more just world. Going to school is important – but it won’t necessarily create a more just world. Going to a multi-ethnic school like ours just might.

Living the Gospel is as important as teaching it.
Reaching Those at the Bottom
We are committed to helping those who would otherwise never get the chance to school.
As Christians, we feel a particular call to help those in greatest need. That inevitably means we end up serving in remote places where, for one reason or another, no one has wanted to work to build a school. It also means in the villages where we serve, we need to make a special effort to ensure girls get to go to school. It’s not that parents don’t want their daughters to get educated; it’s just that people in villages often have to make very hard choices. We consider each girl in school a great victory; the scholarship program meant that last year 54.2% of our students were girls. 9% were orphans.
redemptive ends

Partnering with communities is our open door to sharing the Gospel.

We believe that when we work together with people to meet the needs of individuals and communities, invest our lives in long-term relationships, and empower people towards sustainable growth, God opens doors, ears and hearts to hear and receive the Gospel.
Introductions

Leadership

Leaders are gathering

Our History

Village Schools began with a seemingly impossible dream in 2004 when Godfrey Hiari and Emmanueli Masumbuko left their home villages in western Tanzania and travelled some 400 miles to the village of Igoda. They worked with people from five villages and in 70 days those people built Madisi Secondary School, launching a movement that has inspired tens of thousands of people in villages all across Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Uganda to work together to build secondary schools for their kids as well. 

A decade later -- after building and opening more than 30 schools, starting one of the largest HIV/AIDS clinics in central Tanzania, and helping more than ten thousand young people get an education -- the leadership in Tanzania embarked upon the project of founding a leadership college. The first students graduated from that college in 2019, and more than a dozen of them have been working together to propel forward the work in Tanzania at an accelerated pace. They have also been traveling to Malawi, Zambia and Uganda to work with leaders in those countries to mobilize people to build and open secondary schools in more than a dozen villages.

The Impact

54
Schools built
13,735
Students enrolled
7,304
Graduates

What we've done and what we hope to accomplish

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