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Rafiki Foundation  |  Training Africans to Transform Africa for Christ
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Teaching During the Time of Coronavirus—The Rafiki Village Tanzania

Teaching During the Time of Coronavirus—The Rafiki Village Tanzania

The new challenges caused by COVID-19 have required grit, creativity, and prayer from our missionaries and teachers in Africa. As they seek new techniques to educate Rafiki students, our teachers remain dedicated to inviting their students into the wonder of discovery. Like many around the world, Rafiki is thankful for the means to continue learning. 

When schools were closed in March, the Rafiki School Tanzania had another two weeks of work before the scheduled Easter break began. With a premature school break and sixty Rafiki resident children on her hands, Rafiki School Headmaster and missionary Laurie Eastup wondered, “How will we keep the children productively engaged?” 

The Lord provided an answer, and the Rafiki children were soon busy participating in various activities during the shutdown, including academic enrichment, focused tutoring, arts and crafts, sports, and games. They practiced teamwork and problem-solving skills as they created a geodesic dome and solved math problems, created cards and bracelets, and enjoyed playing their very first soccer match on the new Village field. 

When it became clear that in-person school would not resume following the long break, the Village sought to teach day and resident students electronically. The task seemed daunting at first, but the Rafiki Distance Learning program was soon developed through prayer and perseverance. Using the digital communication platform WhatsApp, Rafiki teachers informed parents of the plan and sent lessons to students. Through the platform, students turned in audio recordings of themselves singing solfege for music class and reciting memory verses for Bible class. Rafiki students were thrilled to see and hear their teachers through the app, and Rafiki teachers were encouraged to know that students’ learning would continue. Back at the Village, the resident children also completed the lessons their teachers sent electronically. Older students in the Village tutored the younger children, helping them complete their assignments and strive for excellence. 

We now rejoice that the Tanzanian government has called for schools to reopen. As the Village prepares to put health and safety measures in place and welcomes students back to the classrooms, the Rafiki School Tanzania looks forward to learning new lessons as they endeavor to continue teaching in the time of coronavirus.

*The students pictured stayed in the Village during lockdown; this is why they are not socially distanced.